The Christian Heritage Centre

Media Video

Catholicism & Contemporary Culture: Recordings

Friday 4th August 2023

Catholicism & Contemporary Culture

What is Truth?

Dr Andrew Beards

Opening the Catholicism & Contemporary Culture course, Dr Andrew Beards examines how the Catholic and secular worldviews define truth, and the wider consequences of this for our society 

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Approximate running time: 50 minutes 

Truth in the Public Square

Dr Andrew Beards

In this second lecture, Dr Andrew Beards examines the difference between objective and subjective truth and asks where these worldviews have their origins.

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Approximate running time: 60 minutes

Faith & the Arts: Reflecting the True, the Good & the Beautiful

Dr Caroline Farey

Dr Caroline Farey discuses the foundations of objective truth, goodness, and beauty, and how we can learn to discover this in the arts. 

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Approximate running time: 55 minutes


The New Atheists: Faith Without Reason

Dr Andrew Beards

In this fourth lecture, Dr Andrew Beards examines the routes of ‘New Atheism’, its decline, and how Catholics can deal with it through apologetics.

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Approximate running time: 60 minutes

Philosophical Foundations for Sacramentality

Dr Caroline Farey

In this lecture, Dr Caroline Farey discusses the theological and philosophical backdrop to sacramentality and how this relates to the wider world. 

Approximate running time: 55 minutes


The Church and the Eucharist: One Faith, One Body

Stefan Kaminski

Stefan Kaminski explains how the Catholic teaching on the Eucharist relates to the Church and her four marks.

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Approximate running time: 60 minutes

Societal Truth: Discerning the Common Good

Dr Andrew Beards

Dr Andrew Beards asks what are the principles of natural law and how can they guide society away from the pitfalls of postmodernity and subjectivity. 

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Approximate running time: 40 minutes

About the Faith & Reason series

The Faith & Reason series is made up of three courses that 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.

Head to our Faith & Reason page for more information

Blog Media

Igor Sikorsky’s Search for Faith

2nd June 2023

Where is God? Igor Sikorsky's Search for Faith

A spiritually unconscious or dead man would be in the position of a rushing air­liner with an unconscious or dead crew in the control cabin – Igor Sikorsky

“БОГА НЕТ!” (There is no God!) proudly proclaims a Soviet poster from 1975. Above, a cosmonaut looks out on the heavens, across which are countless galaxies, towering over the backward churches. It is a sentiment that now forms a dominant part of public discourse across the West, where religious belief is ridiculed and presented as incompatible with reason. But for the Russian scientist Igor Sikorsky, science had far from disapproved existence of God. 

Born in 1889, Sikorsky took inspiration from the Wright brothers’ first flight to enter the infant aviation industry. He established a successful manufacturing business in Russia, before fleeing to the US in the aftermath of the 1917 Revolution. He spent the rest of his life in America developing what is now a multi-billion dollar company.

Throughout his life, Sikorsky was awestruck by the scientific accomplishments made during the 20th century . “Aeronautics”, he argued, “was neither a science nor an industry. It was a miracle”. The aviation industry was still in its infancy when he began manufacturing planes: it required a true leap of faith to make his dreams possible. When asked by a journalist if he had seen God whilst ascending to the sky, Sikorsky replied that he had not seen Him, but he had felt God’s presence. Today, such comments might seem backwards. But as a pioneering aeronautical engineer, he could hardly be described as such.

Sikorsky is credited with developing the first commercially successful helicopter

Science can illustrate the great wonders of the universe. However, Sikorsky was acutely aware that some of the accomplishments done in the name of science were deeply troubling. This did not come from science, but it was a symptom of a culture that was jettisoning Christianity. The consequences, Sikorsky warned, would prove fatal, arguing that a man without faith was like the unconscious pilot of a plane. Although technically flying, he would be hurtling towards destruction.

"There is no God!" - a Soviet poster from 1971

This comment was made against the backdrop of the Second World War and under the cloud of the Atomic Age, a time where mass destruction loomed large. However, these comments ring true today in our postmodern age. Despite all the scientific accomplishments of the West, a moral crisis of being and purpose runs through the nerves of our society. Human reason is capable of great triumphs, but it becomes distorted when society has no place for faith.

Remedying this is not easy. However, the scientist warned against entirely ditching scientific enquiry and reason. Instead, he proposed that humanity must rediscover the power of “spiritual wisdom”, putting reason not as the end of human existence, but as a means to even greater truth. “The very first men to find and accept Christ were wealthy alien scientist astronomers,” wrote Sikorsky. The point is clear: science can point us towards God.

This brings us back to the beginning. Both the Atheist and the Christian look into space and see stars, planets, and galaxies; but arrive at opposite conclusions. The Atheist sees the stars and the earth, but that is all. They are the end of all existence. Sikorsky looked upon the same sky but saw something different. Reason led him to see that the universe was created by God, full of wonder and beauty. Just like the three astronomers visiting the infant Christ, he found that reason is no barrier to faith.

If you are interested in learning more about the place of faith in contemporary society, please visit our Faith & Reason course page. 

Note, this post draws on the following article: A Scientist’s Orthodox Faith’, The British Association of Iconographers Review, Issue 71, 2023

Events Talks

Catholicism in Post-Modernity [evening talk]

Catholicism in Post-Modernity
[evening talk]

1 October, 7:30pm [2019]

Living Catholicism in a Post-Modern era

Post-modernity and Catholicism present two fundamentally different ways of viewing the world: what are the challenges and the opportunities?

Post-modern thinking has deeply impacted the way that citizens look at the world, at themselves, and at Catholicism. In many ways, this has posed a great challenge to Christians, and to Catholics in particular, as they have sought both to be faithful to the Great Commission and to live integrated lives. Simultaneously, post-modernity has opened new doors of opportunity for taking the Gospel into the world. Thus, Catholics finds themselves both challenged by this philosophical world view of the West whilst also being offered new avenues for the transmission of the faith.

About the speaker:

Michael Dopp graduated from St Augustine’s at the University of Toronto with a Master of Divinity (MDiv) and earned a Licentiate in Sacred Theology (STL), with a concentration on the new evangelization, at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Michigan. Michael has been involved in a variety of ministries dedicated to evangelization and mission projects in Europe, Africa, and North America. He is founder and president of Mission of the Redeemer Ministries, founder of The New Evangelization Summit, and co-director of The Summer Institute in the New Evangelization.




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