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DICERN - Institute for Research on the Signs of the Times
Activities and Programs

In line with its core mission, the Institute works to enhance public understanding of and access to research and information on the Church''s mission by organising courses, seminars, discussion panels, lectures, internships, training, and policy programs.

Public Lectures
DISCERN organises a number of lectures throughout the year centering on the "Benjamin Tonna Lecture"; the "Discern Annual Lecture"; and the "Gaudium et Spes Lecture".

The Discern Annual Lecture

 2002  "Discerning the Signs of the Times"
His Eminence Cardinal Paul Poupard
President of the Pontifical Council for Culture
Text Published
2003  "Spirituality and the Preferential Option for the Poor"
Rev. Gustavo Gutierrez OP
Text Published; Video Presentation Available
2004  "Girls & God: Theology and Women Today"
Dr. Janet Soskice
Text Published titled "Imago Dei"
2005  "Reforming the Catholic Church: The mission of Cardinal Yves Congar"
Rev. Fergus Kerr O.P.
Text Published
2006  "Cults, Sects and New Religious Movements: What are they doing in Contemporary Western Society?"
Prof. Emeritus Eileen Barker
Text Published
2007  "Children of the same God"
Prof. David B. Burrell C.S.C.
Hesburgh Professor in Philosophy and Theology
University of Notre Dame
2008  "Beauty: A path to dialogue between believers and non-believers"
Prof. Peter Serraccino Inglott
Professor Emeritus in Philosophy
University of Malta
Interview published titled "Contemplating Beauty"
2009  "Is secularisation on the Reverse Gear?"
Prof. David Martin
Professor Emeritus in Sociology
University of London

The Benjamin Tonna Lecture (instituted in memory of the first Executive Director of DISCERN)

 2002  "Vatican II: Of Happy Memory - And Hope?"
Nicholas Lash
Norris-Hulse Professor Emeritus of Divinity,
University of Cambridge, U.K.
Text Published
2003  "Catholic Education in Liberal Democratic Societies:
Challenges & Predicaments"
Prof. Terence McLaughlin
University of London, U.K.
Discussant: Rev. Prof. Peter Serracino Inglott
Rector Emeritus: University of Malta
2004  "Karl Rahner: theologian of Hope and Dialogue"
Dr. Philip Endean SJ
University of Oxford, U.K.
Text Published
2005  "A Christian looks at the EU Social Dimension"
Prof. Vera Negri Zamagni
University of Bologna, Italy
Text Published
2006  "A Global Dilemma: The Diversity Problem and Modern Democracy"
Prof. John Stone
University of Boston, U.S.A
2007  "Falling Church Attendance: Has Anything Gone Wrong?"
Prof. Robin Gill
Professor of Modern Theology
University of Kent, CanterburyText Published
2008  "The Political Economy of undocumented Migration"
Prof. Stefano Zamagni
Professor of Economics
University of Bologna, Italy

The Gaudium et Spes Lecture

 2002  "Economics, Conscience and International Debt"
Professor Stefano Zamagni
University of Bologna, Italy
Consultant: Pontifical Council "Justitia et Pax"
Member: New York Academy of Sciences
Text Published
2004  "Bible Reading and the Formation of Ecclesial Basic Communities."
Rev. Fr. Carlos Mesters
Text Published
2006  "Thinking Ethics while Teaching Economics"
Rev. Dr. Frank McHugh
Research Fellow at St. Mary''s College, Twichenham
former Fellow of St. Edmund''s College, Cambridge
Text Published
2007  "Il Cristiano davanti alle sfide della convivenza"
Professor Andrea Riccardi
Professor: Roma Universita Tre
Founder: Community of Sant'' Egido
organised in conjunction with the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice and the Justice and Peace Commission
Text Published
2008  "Essere Politico Cristiano Oggi"
Rt.Hon. Savino Pezzotta
Member of the Italian Camera dei Deputati
Text Published
2009  "Banking on Virtue?"
Robert Keen
Von Hugel Institute, St. Edmund College, University of Cambridge

Discussion Panels
DISCERN organises a number of discussion panels in the form of Discerning Round Tables and Seminars.

 2002   "Il-White Paper dwar ir-Relazzjonijiet Industrijali"
"The White Paper on Industrial Relations"
Chairperson: Prof. Godfrey Baldacchino
2002   "Il-Ligi tal-Familija"
"The Family Law"
Chairperson: Dr. Ruth Farrugia
2002   "The Holy See, Culture and Discernment"
His Eminence Cardinal Paul Poupard
President of the Pontifical Council for Culture
2003   "Liberation Theology: an autobiographical note"
Rev. Gustavo Gutierrez OP
2004   "Ir-Riforma tal-Welfare f''Pajjizna"
"Welfare Reform in Malta"
Dr. Charles Pace; Dr. Joe Falzon, Ms. Sue Vella, Dr. Paul Pace
organised in conjunction with Centru Fidi u Gustizzja - Centre of Faith and Justice
Call Published
2007   Seminar: "Confidence Building Strategies"
Prof. Richard Rubenstein
with introductory talks by Rev. Dr. Rene Camilleri and Rev. Dr. Joe Inguanez
2008   "Nicodemus Nights"
various invited speakers
2009  "Zimbabwe: Finding hope in a time of Economic and Political Crisis"
talk by Christopher Hingley
organised in conjunction with St. Andrew''s Scots Church, Malt

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