The Center for the Catholic Intellectual Tradition

18 Chatham Sq., Wilms Bldg.
600 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15282
Phone: 412.396.1595
Fax: 412.396.4501

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    Past Catholic Artistic Imagination Presentations

    Composing Inner Resonance: Contemporary Musical Settings of the Passion

    March 16, 2015
    4:00 -5:30 PM Africa Room
    Presenter: Zvonimir Nagy

    The accounts of the Holy Week Gospel narratives have inspired composers throughout music history to set the narrative of Christ's Passion to music. From cross-cultural and cross-denominational perspectives, the presentation will unveil a selection of more recent Passion music by present day composers. The discussion will offer a window into the composers' creative world as it arranges a moderated dialogue between the sense of the composer's musical representations and music's ultimate manifestations at the crossroads of tradition and innovation.

    Experiencing the Religious Music of J.S. Bach, Then and Now

    February 26, 2015
    4:00 -5:30 PM Power Center, Section A

    Join Benjamin Binder, Associate Professor of Musicianship, for an afternoon of music and conversation on the religious music of J.S. Bach. The passions, cantatas, and sacred works of Johann Sebastian Bach are regularly performed on concert stages today. These performances may profoundly move us, but to what extent are we really having the same experience as Bach's congregation when they heard these pieces as part of their worship services in St. Thomas Church, Leipzig almost 300 years ago? In this session, we'll reflect on the many differences between the musical, cultural, and religious environments of Bach's 18th-century Germany and those of our own time. We'll also sample some recordings and videos of modern-day approaches to presenting Bach's religious music that deal with this historical divide in interesting and sometimes provocative ways.

    Gregorian Chant: Liturgical Music and Catholic Intellectualism

    December 10, 2014
    4:00-5:30 PM
    Chapel of the Holy Spirit
    Reception following in Union 613

    The quietness within the monastic walls provided adequate space for chanting and creativity. It also offered the monks a favorable environment for the invention of a system used to visually represent aurally perceived sacred sounds through the utilization of symbols called neumes. Drawing on chant examples from the 9th through the 12th centuries, Sister (Dr.) Marie Agatha Ozah will discuss the ingenuity of these monks as they created the neumatic notations and their use even in contemporary liturgical music. We will sing a few simple chants, limiting ourselves only to the Gregorian chant, from the Graduale Romanum. This presentation will take place in the University Chapel in order to give the participants the opportunity to experience this music within the ambient in which the repertoire is usually performed.

    Picture of Du Fay

    Memory, Time and Sacred Proportion in the Music of Guillaume Du Fay

    November 18, 2014
    4:00-5:30 PM
    Union 613

    Professor Jessica Wiskus will lead attendees through an experiential encounter with the influential 15 century Renaissance composer, Guillaume Du Fay. We will listen to his musical masterpiece, Missa Se la face ay pale. A beautiful and haunting work, the sacred symbols within the music begin to reveal themselves only after careful study. From the philosophy of Plato to the visionary writings of St. Augustine, we will explore some of the thinking that informs Du Fay's musical imagination, focusing on the way that his music uses proportion to create an overlap of "past" and "present" and lead the listener to an intimation of eternity. Finally, we will listen several times to the Gloria of Du Fay's mass, experiencing for ourselves the rhythms and repetitions that express the music's sacred meaning. As usual we will enjoy cocktails and hors d'oevres in a relaxed and collegial setting. Faculty, staff, and graduate students are welcome to attend. Space is limited.

    Music as Therapy
    October 21, 2014
    4:00 pm -5:30 pm
    Union 613

    Music therapy is a 60 year old profession with principles of practice founded in human experiences of music. Dr. Elaine Abbott will share her expertise in an informal and experiential format. You will learn about music therapy as a profession and, by listening to music together, appreciate how its principles operate. As usual we will enjoy cocktails and hors d'oeuvres in a relaxed and collegial setting. Attendance is open to all faculty, staff, and graduate students.

    Religious Art Postcard

    "Spirit and Symbol: A Campus Tour of Religious Art"
    September 30, 2014
    613 Student Union

    President Charles J. Dougherty will lead a walking tour of religious art on our Bluff.  Learn about the history and symbolism of key pieces of public art that beautify our campus and contribute to making us a community of "One Heart, One Spirit."

    "The Mystery of the Crucified One in Byzantine Hymnography and Iconography"

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

    613 Student Union

    This presentation will discuss Byzantine icons and hymns of the Crucifixion, examine their biblical-exegetical basis, and ponder their theological claims.  Dr. Bogdan Bucur is an Associate Professor with the Department of Theology.  His work explores the link between biblical exegesis, doctrinal developments, and spirituality in early Christianity and the Byzantine tradition.

    "Encountering the Other: Catholic Social Teaching and Art"
    Monday, February 24, 2014
    Africa Room

    "Through my art I hope to create images that strike a chord in the soul that resonates in the mind a state of wonder. Being in awe of humanity's possibility and celebration of the dignity of each person is reflected in how well society is creating a 'peace-filled' world. The artwork is more than social commentary of images and symbols; it is the story of you and I in relationship." - Matthew Walsh, Assistant Director, Spiritan Campus Ministry. Join us in exploring some of the key principals of Catholic social thought through the artist's imagination.

    "Rublev's Icon of the Trinity"
    Friday, December 6, 2013
    613 Student Union

    Our series continues with a consideration of iconographic representations of the LORD's appearance to Abraham in the form of three men (Gen. 18).  Early Western and Eastern icons interpreted this passage Christologically.  The Russian iconographer Andre Rublev, in his famous icon on the Trinity, illustrated the same event as an interaction between the three persons of the Trinity and an invitation addressed to the viewer to participate in the life of the Trinity.  Dr. Radu Bordeianu will share his expertise in a relaxed setting.

    "Michelangelo's Catholic Imagination"
    Tuesday, November 12, 2013
    Africa Room

    This series of receptions will begin with a consideration of Michelangelo's artistic engagement with Catholic liturgy and devotion, focusing on his first major commission, the Pieta in St. Peter's.  Emily Fenichel, Visiting Assistant Professor in Art History, will share her expertise in a relaxed setting.