Tomorrow evening, our initiative "The Tocqueville Forum on the Roots of American Democracy" is sponsoring a roundtable discussion of Pope Benedict XVI's 2006 lecture at Regensburg University. The Pope's lecture was, infamously, received with denunciation and opprobrium by the Islamic world as well as by many in the West (colleagues at Georgetown were, and continue to be, outraged by the Pope's remarks). It was evident from the reaction that most people hadn't read the Pope's lecture, which is a reflection on the close relationship between reason - particularly derived from the Greek philosophical tradition - and faith as drawn from the Biblical and Christian tradition. The Pope also spoke out in criticism of the rise of value relativism within the Universities of the West (and, in fact, lay at the heart of many of the criticisms of my colleagues) and called for a renewal of the Christian faith in Europe.
We have assembled a great line up of speakers for tomorrow night, including Marc Guerra of Ave Maria University, Daniel J. Mahoney of Assumption College, Jean Elshtain - who holds the Leavey Chair at Georgetown as well as teaching at some university in the midwest - and, in place of special pride, Georgetown's own Father James V. Schall, S.J., author of countless articles and books including a recent book on the Pope's Regensburg lecture.
In addition to giving due measure to the Pope's lecture, we have thought that the occasion was also one at which we could at least partly honor some of the great contributions of Father Schall