About Our Activities

  • In line with its core mission, the Institute works to enhance public understanding of and access to research and information on the Church's mission by organising courses, seminars, discussion panels, lectures, internships, training, and policy programs.

    Public Lectures

    DISCERN organises a number of lectures throughout the year centering on the "Benjamin Tonna Lecture"; the "Discern Annual Lecture"; and the "Gaudium et Spes Lecture".

    The Discern Annual Lecture

    2013Costa"Faith in an Age of Unbelief"
    Gavin D'Costa
    Professor in Catholic Theology
    University of Bristol
    2012Faggioli"Is Vatican II Dangerous or in Danger?"
    Massimo Faggioli
    Assistant Professor of History of Modern Christianity
    University of St Thomas
    2011Zanussi"The New Barbarians"
    Krzysztof Zanussi
    Professor of European Film at the European Graduate School
    2010Luigi Bettazzi"il-Concilio Vaticano II Ieri, Oggi, Domani"
    H.L.Mgr. Luigi Bettazzi
    Bishop Emeritus of Ivrea
    2009Martin"Is secularisation on the Reverse Gear?"
    Prof. David Martin
    Professor Emeritus in Sociology
    University of London
    2008Serraccini Inglott"Beauty: A path to dialogue between believers and non-believers"
    Prof. Peter Serraccino Inglott
    Professor Emeritus in Philosophy
    University of Malta
    Interview published titled "Contemplating Beauty"
    2007Burrell"Children of the same God"
    Prof. David B. Burrell C.S.C.
    Hesburgh Professor in Philosophy and Theology
    University of Notre Dame
    2006Barker"Cults, Sects and New Religious Movements: What are they doing in Contemporary Western Society?"
    Prof. Emeritus Eileen Barker
    Text Published
    2005Kerr"Reforming the Catholic Church: The mission of Cardinal Yves Congar"
    Rev. Fergus Kerr O.P.
    Text Published
    2004Soskice"Girls & God: Theology and Women Today"
    Dr. Janet Soskice
    Text Published titled "Imago Dei"
    2003Gutierrez"Spirituality and the Preferential Option for the Poor"
    Rev. Gustavo Gutierrez OP
    Text Published; Video Presentation Available
    2002Poupard"Discerning the Signs of the Times"
    His Eminence Cardinal Paul Poupard
    President of the Pontifical Council for Culture
    Text Published

    The Benjamin Tonna Lecture (instituted in memory of the first Executive Director of DISCERN)

    2012Mostofsky"Medical Miracles: Faith, Fact or Fiction"
    David Mostofsky
    Professor of Psychology at the Boston University
    2011Ian Ker"Newman on Councils and Vatican II"
    Ian Ker
    Professor of Theology at the University of Oxford
    2010Ursula King"Teilhard de Chardin and Contemporary Mystic Quest"
    Prof. Emerita Ursula King
    Department of Theology and Religious Studies
    University of Bristol
    2009Michael Barnes SJ"A Church in Dialogue"
    Rev. Dr Michael Barnes SJ
    Heythrop College, University of London
    2008Stefano Zamagni"The Political Economy of undocumented Migration"
    Prof. Stefano Zamagni
    Professor of Economics
    University of Bologna, Italy
    2007Burrell"Falling Church Attendance: Has Anything Gone Wrong?"
    Prof. Robin Gill
    Professor of Modern Theology
    University of Kent, CanterburyText Published
    2006Barker"A Global Dilemma: The Diversity Problem and Modern Democracy"
    Prof. John Stone
    University of Boston, U.S.A
    2005Kerr"A Christian looks at the EU Social Dimension"
    Prof. Vera Negri Zamagni
    University of Bologna, Italy
    Text Published
    2004Soskice"Karl Rahner: theologian of Hope and Dialogue"
    Dr. Philip Endean SJ
    University of Oxford, U.K.
    Text Published
    2003Gutierrez"Catholic Education in Liberal Democratic Societies:
    Challenges & Predicaments"

    Prof. Terence McLaughlin
    University of London, U.K.
    Discussant: Rev. Prof. Peter Serracino Inglott
    Rector Emeritus: University of Malta
    2002Poupard"Vatican II: Of Happy Memory - And Hope?"
    Nicholas Lash
    Norris-Hulse Professor Emeritus of Divinity,
    University of Cambridge, U.K.
    Text Published

    The Gaudium et Spes Lecture

    2012Vignon"The Revival of Democratic Values and the Governance of the Catholic Church"
    Jérôme Vignon
    President of the Semaines Sociales in France
    2011Roger Trigg"Free To Believe?"
    A Religious Conscience in a Secular Society

    Roger Trigg
    Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, University of Warwick
    Academic Director, Centre for the Study of Religion in Public Life,
    Kellogg College, Oxford
    2010Stefano Zamagni"Caritas in Veritate Fraternity, Reciprocity and New Economic Problems"
    Professor Stefano Zamagni
    Professor of Economics, University of Bologna, Italy
    Consultant: Pontifical Council "Justitia et Pax"
    Member: New York Academy of Sciences
    2009Robert Keen"Banking on Virtue?"
    Robert Keen
    Von Hugel Institute, St. Edmund College, University of Cambridge
    2008Barker"Essere Politico Cristiano Oggi"
    Rt.Hon. Savino Pezzotta
    Member of the Italian Camera dei Deputati
    Text Published
    2007Kerr"Il Cristiano davanti alle sfide della convivenza"
    Professor Andrea Riccardi
    Professor: Roma Universita Tre
    Founder: Community of Sant' Egido
    organised in conjunction with the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice and the Justice and Peace Commission
    Text Published
    2006Soskice"Thinking Ethics while Teaching Economics"
    Rev. Dr. Frank McHugh
    Research Fellow at St. Mary's College, Twichenham
    former Fellow of St. Edmund's College, Cambridge
    Text Published
    2004Gutierrez"Bible Reading and the Formation of Ecclesial Basic Communities."
    Rev. Fr. Carlos Mesters
    Text Published
    2002Stefano Zamagni"Economics, Conscience and International Debt"
    Professor Stefano Zamagni
    University of Bologna, Italy
    Consultant: Pontifical Council "Justitia et Pax"
    Member: New York Academy of Sciences
    Text Published

    Discussion Panels

    DISCERN organises a number of discussion panels in the form of Discerning Round Tables and Seminars.

    2009Hingley"Zimbabwe: Finding hope in a time of Economic and Political Crisis"
    talk by Christopher Hingley
    organised in conjunction with St. Andrew's Scots Church, Malta
    2008 "Nicodemus Nights"
    various invited speakers
    2007 Seminar: "Confidence Building Strategies"
    Prof. Richard Rubenstein
    with introductory talks by Rev. Dr. Rene Camilleri and Rev. Dr. Joe Inguanez
    2004 "Ir-Riforma tal-Welfare f'Pajjizna"
    "Welfare Reform in Malta"
    Dr. Charles Pace; Dr. Joe Falzon, Ms. Sue Vella, Dr. Paul Pace
    organised in conjunction with Centru Fidi u Gustizzja - Centre of Faith and Justice
    Call Published
    2003 "Liberation Theology: an autobiographical note"
    Rev. Gustavo Gutierrez OP
    2002 "The Holy See, Culture and Discernment"
    His Eminence Cardinal Paul Poupard
    President of the Pontifical Council for Culture
    2002 "Il-Ligi tal-Familija"
    "The Family Law"
    Chairperson: Dr. Ruth Farrugia
    2002 "Il-White Paper dwar ir-Relazzjonijiet Industrijali"
    "The White Paper on Industrial Relations"
    Chairperson: Prof. Godfrey Baldacchino

    Other Activities

    2012 "Pray, Pay and Obey: The Laity before and after Vatican II?"
    Dr Oonagh O'Brien
    Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology
    University of Cambridge
    2012 "The Holy See's Document: Reforming the International Financial and Monetary System"
    Michael C. Bonello; John Cassar White; Lawrence Zammit and Joe Vella Bonnici
    2011 "Religion, Conflict and Violence in Contemporary and Historical Perspective"
    Kevin Avruch
    Henry Hart Rice Professor of Conflict Resolution
    Professor of Anthropology
    The School for Conflict Analysis & Resolution
    George Mason University, Virginia
    2010 "Just Wars in Theory and Practice"
    Prof. Richard Rubenstein
    Institute for Conflict Resolution and Analysis
    George Mason University, Virginia