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Father Jaki International Congress Leads to Published Work  

Observatory Father Library

Jaki Foundation treasurer Father Joseph R. Laracy, alongside Foundation president Father Paul Haffner, worked with various authors to produce an edited volume based on the Congress.

Father Stanley Ladislas Jaki (1924-2009), a Hungarian-born Catholic priest of the Benedictine Order, was a world-renowned author, physicist, philosopher, and theologian. He served as Distinguished Professor of Physics at Seton Hall University for decades and made very significant contributions to Catholic thought and culture, especially in the relationship between science and religion as well as the history and philosophy of science. During a conference held in Rome in April 2010, the Stanley Jaki Foundation was established. The aim of this Foundation is the promotion of Christian culture through the life and writings of Fr. Jaki.

Thanks to the Catholic Studies program and its director, Ines Murzaku, Ph.D., the Jaki Foundation was able to gather a diverse, international group of scholars with expertise in fields such as philosophy, theology, chemistry, physics, engineering, and computer science, at Seton Hall University for the 2015 Father Jaki International Congress. The Seton Hall Department of Physics, the Office of the Provost, and other campus units also came together to offer a stellar event. Papers presented at the Congress covered topics that ranged from Jaki's early career work in experimental physics, to Jaki's research on the important connection between the theology of creation and the emergence of natural science in medieval Europe, to Jaki's Christological perspective on the doctrine of creation and its implications.

Jaki Foundation president, Father Paul Haffner, and treasurer, Father Joseph R. Laracy, then began the process of working with the paper authors to produce an edited volume based on the Congress. With support from the Center for Catholic Studies, the book was published in early 2020 by the respected UK-based Catholic publisher, Gracewing, noted for its scholarly publications. This volume will certainly be of great interest to students and faculty in the fields of systematic theology, the philosophy of science, and the history of science.

Fr. Haffner in Rome.

Jaki Foundation president Father Paul Haffner.

Father Paul Haffner is a priest of the Diocese of Portsmouth, UK, and studied physics at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. In 1987, he defended and published his doctorate at the Gregorian University, on the relation between creation and science in S. L. Jaki. Since 2014, he has taught the course, The Popes and Science (CAST 3023 / PHYS 3103), which introduces students to Papal teaching on the relations between Christian faith and natural science and serves as a foundation for further study of faith and reason. He is the author of over 40 books and 150 articles on philosophical and theological themes, and many of his books have been translated into other languages, including Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian.

Father Joseph R. Laracy is a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark and member of Seton Hall University Priest Community. He serves as assistant professor of Systematic Theology at Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology. Father Laracy's interdisciplinary research and teaching interests also involve him in the Program in Catholic Studies, the Department of Mathematics, and Computer Science, the University Honors Program, and the University Core Curriculum. Father Laracy earned the STD (Fundamental Theology) degree from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome as well as the SM from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and BS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Categories: Faith and Service

For more information, please contact:

  • Ines Murzaku
  • (973) 275-5845
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