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HCC prof speaks at last Theology on Tap

Guy Gregory | Thursday, December 4, 2008

Mike Griffin, professor of Theology at Holy Cross College, spoke at Legends last night, as part of the final installment of the Theology on Tap series for the semester.

Around 30 students attended the talk, which spotlighted Thomas Merton and Dorothy Day, who are both known for being Catholic radicals. Griffin’s main focus was to show what these people have to teach students about the faith.

Griffin’s in-depth analysis of the two started with a brief biography about each.

Griffin said it was interesting that both Day and Merton were not raised to be Catholics but then became important figures in the faith.

He said that Merton and Day both questioned certain practices of the church. Day saw the church being used as an instrument to suppress social unrest. Merton’s biggest complaint was the official approval of bishops found in any orthodox Catholic literature.

Day and Merton held similar ideals and were in frequent contact with each other. In fact, Merton wrote stories for “The Catholic Worker,” a newspaper started by Day.

To learn more about Day and Merton, Mr. Griffin recommended two biographies: “Living With Wisdom: The Life of Thomas Merton” and “Love is the Measure: A Biography on Dorothy Day.” Both books are written by Jim Forest.

Theology on Tap occurs about five or six times per semester. Speakers are typically Notre Dame faculty and last night marked one of the first times an outside faculty member was the main speaker.

Griffin is also a member of the Catholic Peace Fellowship, which was founded by Merton.

Due to the cold weather, next semester’s talks will most likely take place at Coleman-Morse Lounge.