The Ignatian Humanities

The Gail and Francis Slattery Center is committed to a specific vision of the humanities called the Ignatian Humanities.  Drawing on the life and work of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the Ignatian Humanities emphasizes the flourishing of faith alongside reason, the importance of eloquent communication, a pedagogy grounded in cura personalis, and the development of students into “contemplatives in action.” 

Thus, the Ignatian Humanities inspires us to draw on our own lived experiences and cultivate habits of self-examination; to actively imagine ourselves within the lives of others and so inspire compassion, empathy, and understanding; and to seek fullness of life in relation with the divine. This approach embraces critical thinking and the thoughtful consideration of ideas, both old and new. It aspires to help us assemble, with careful discernment, a coherent worldview grounded in both reason and faith. And it compels us to adopt a mindset that is at once humble and bold, as we engage in the lifelong process of personal growth through authentic engagement with a diversity of perspectives and experiences. 

In this way, the Ignatian Humanities seeks that inner moment when the head, the heart, and the soul converge to embrace the good, the true, and the just  – and there find God in all things. 

Our Mission

Motivated by the life and work of St. Ignatius, the work of the Gail and Francis Slattery Center for the Ignatian Humanities seeks to advance the study of the humanities at the University of Scranton by supporting the work of both undergraduate students and faculty pursuing research and creative endeavors in the humanities, and by supporting the work of humanities departments. It will create opportunities, through speaker series, lectures, workshops, and the like for members of the campus community to engage with the work and ideas of scholars and artists from all over the world. In doing so, the Center will create a community of humanities researchers, highlighting the importance of these scholarly and creative endeavors and celebrating their contributions to human understanding.   

Through the cultivation of an authentically humanistic ethos, and in taking seriously the guiding principle of an Ignatian education – namely, the formation of men and women for and with others -  the Center and the work supported therein will aim to: 

  1. Advance a deeper understanding of the relationships between faith and reason;

  2. Further the development of intellectual curiosity, critical examination and re-examination, and the skills associated with thoughtful and respectful dialogue; 

  3. Seek interdisciplinary solutions to contemporary problems, with an eye towards justice and moral development; 

  4. Promote an understanding of common human experiences; 

  5. Help us to interrogate our collective past, and work towards a better future;

  6. Create space for work and expression within the humanities for historically excluded voices; 

  7. Help us to identify our ethical responsibilities as people, professionals, citizens, and stewards of Creation;

  8. Create opportunities for dialogue and understanding through encounters with cultural and religious pluralism;

  9. Move towards a world in which the dignity of all people is equally respected, as we grow in our encounters with difference; and

  10. Engage the local community with the work of the Center.