The Christian Heritage Centre

Short summer courses

Faith & Reason series

Catholicism & Contemporary Culture
3rd - 6th August 2023

Explore the rationality of the Catholic Faith in today's world

***NEXT COURSE: 3rd-6th August 2023 - Catholicism & Contemporary Culture**

Our three Faith & Reason courses provide a systematic overview of the fundamental themes of the Catholic faith. At the same time, these are approached in the context of contemporary culture and thinking, in order to engage in a dialogue that is relevant today.

Each course is entirely standalone and does not require attendance at the other courses. The courses nonetheless offer a progression through the below three themes, whilst also providing some link-up material between each course:

  1. A Catholic Integration: Preparing a rational ground for faith and responding to perceived challenges to faith from philosophical and scientific viewpoints
  2. Catholicism & Contemporary Culture: Identifying and responding to underlying philosophical differences between the Catholic and secular conceptions of reality
  3. Living Catholicism Today: the lived-out dimension of the Catholic faith, with its moral and sacramental dynamic

Course topics

The Faith & Reason courses require no prior qualification or background in philosophy or theology, and are suited to anyone wanting to deepen their understanding of the Catholic faith, whether from within or without the Church.

The courses will be particularly helpful for:

  • secondary-level teachers of RE
  • catechists, especially those working with teenagers and adults
  • leaders in educational or Church institutions

Each course consists of 9 lectures and a workshop, and closes with a general Q&A session.

The course is framed by opportunities for Mass during the day and communal prayer in the morning and evening.

Some free time for walks and reflection is offered as part of each course, as well as evening socials with a well-stocked bar!

Dr Caroline Farey has taught catechesis, theology and philosophy for many years throughout the English-speaking world. In 2017 she was appointed by the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelisation to the working party for the General Directory for Catechesis, and in 2012 she was appointed by the Vatican as one of the lay experts at the Synod on the New Evangelisation. Dr Farey taught at St Mary’s Seminary Oscott and the Maryvale Institute, before working in Evangelisation and Catechesis for several UK dioceses.  She has licentiates in both philosophy and theology, besides a doctorate in philosophy, from pontifical institutes.


Dr Andrew Beards is a lecturer in philosophy at Allen Hall, London. For over thirty years he has lectured in Philosophy and Theology in Canada and the UK. Andrew has published work in academic journals and is the author of books, including Objectivity and Historical Understanding, (Brookfield. VA & Aldershot: Ashgate, 1997), Method in Metaphysics: (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008), Insight and Analysis, (New York and London: Continuum, 2010), Philosophy the Quest for Truth and Meaning, (Collegeville, Minn: Liturgical Press, 2010) and  Lonergan, Meaning and Method: Philosophical Essays, (New York and London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2016)

Theodore House offers a wonderful venue for any residential course. The tranquil and beautiful surroundings of the Stonyhurst estate offer a peaceful setting with endless opportunities for walks. Guests will enjoy the comfortable recreational spaces and a beautifully lanscaped garden.

For more information about Theodore House, please click here.

  • Arrivals from 3pm (Thursday)
  • Course commences at 6pm (Thursday)
  • Departures after lunch (Sunday)
Cost (per course)

Single room: £320 p.p.*

Twin room (sharing): £270 p.p.*

Non-residential, (includes lunch and dinner): £180 p.p.

*Costs include full board from Thursday dinner to Sunday lunch inclusive.

Please register below (includes £50 p.p. deposit payment):