People look to their different religions for an answer to the unsolved riddles of human existence.  The problems that weigh heavily on people’s hearts are the same today as in past ages.  What is humanity?  What is the meaning and purpose of life?

--Nostra Aetate, the Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions, Second Vatican Council (October 28, 1965)

Mission

The mission of the Center for Religion and Culture is to provide a forum in which St. Edward’s University faculty, staff, and students can study how religion informs one’s global understanding along cultural, intellectual, artistic, and political lines. Stemming from our Holy Cross and Catholic heritage and from our University Mission Statement's commitment to the dignity of all individuals, the Center is focused on how global trends in such realms inform religious practice and belief.

Key to this commitment is a consideration of the meaning of vocation. Basil Moreau, the founder of the Order of the Holy Cross, had expressed a vision of teaching as a vocation, which is a term that, derived from the Latin root vocare—to call—and vox—voice—is understood as calling. The Center recognizes the importance of exploring the meaning of vocation in a rapidly-changing and diverse world and how one's vocation can best serve the calls of global peace and justice.

Programs and Activities

 Since its inception as a St. Edward's University Signature Program in 2011, the Center has sponsored a variety of programs under the leadership of Fr. Lou Brusatti.

  • The Center supports a freshman studies course on religion and culture. This course is taught collaboratively by Fr. Brusatti and Dr. Mark Cherry of the Department of Philosophy. 

  • The Center was awarded a NetVUE grant for the establishment of an Institute for Teaching as Vocation in the Holy Cross Tradition. In conjunction with Campus Ministry, this Institute provides an opportunity for St. Edward's University faculty to engage in conversation and collaboration on the meaning of vocation.

  • The Center collaborates with the Center for Ethics and Leadership and the Kozmetzky Center, hosting talks on contemporary global issues in religion and culture, and other events.

  • The Center hosts monthly lunch conversations, with recent topics on the environment, immigration, work in the 21st century, gun violence and millennial spirituality.

Staff

louisb [at] stedwards.edu (Fr. Lou T. Brusatti), DMin, Director of the Center for Religion and Culture and Associate Professor of Religious and Philosophical Studies (512-448-8643, Andre Hall 220, Campus Mailbox 1033)

sherrid [at] stedwards.edu (Sherri Defesche), Administrative Coordinator of the Center for Religion and Culture (512-464-8871, Andre Hall 107, Campus Mailbox 1033)