On April 27, 2014, Pope John Paul II was canonized a “saint” by the Catholic Church, just nine years after his death in 2005—a unusually fast time table by the Church’s standards, testament of the consensus in the Church of JPII’s profound impact and personal holiness.
In honor of his legacy, Pope John Paul II High School created the “JPII Center for Scholarly Engagement “ in 2010 under the leadership of Dr. Brad Peper, a member of our theology department. The purpose of the Center is to become a forum for scholarly debate on matters of faith and society, inviting scholars, civic leaders and clerics to lead us in these discussions as a service to our Church and the broader civic and religious communities of Middle Tennessee. The Center now hosts two annual events, the Distinguished Lecturer Series in the spring, and a Fall Symposium.
Distinguished Lecturers have included Mr. George Weigel, JPII’s principal biographer in an international best seller entitled Witness to Hope, who discussed JPII’s continued influence on the life and history of the Church, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, who spoke on the relationship between the Christian faith and his role as a politician, Bishop Daniel Flores, who discussed how Catholic moral theology should inform U.S. immigration policy and Church polity and Dr. Amy Jill-Levine, a New Testament scholar and orthodox Jew, who discussed the relationship between the Jewish and Christian faith.
The Symposium in the fall invites two scholars of differing views to debate issues of contemporary importance. Past symposiums have included debates on the relevance of traditional “just-war” theory in the context of a nuclear age, and contemporary misunderstandings of Islam and how these often skew Christian-Muslim relationships.
For more information or for questions about the Center for Scholarly Engagement, contact Dr. Brad Peper at Brad.Peper@jp2hs.org