DISCERN ANNUAL LECTURE - READING THE SIGNS OF THE SECULAR CULTURE
TOMÁŠ HALIK was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic) in 1948. Under the influence of British Roman Catholic authors including G.K. Chesterton and Graham Greene, at age of 18 he converted to Roman Catholicism. He studied sociology and philosophy at Charles University, Prague, and earned a Ph.D. in 1972. Halik also studied and received a license in psychotherapy. In a speech during the PhD graduation, Halik made a forceful speech "on truth" which Communist regime considered sufficiently subversive to condemn him as an "enemy of the regime" and thereby bar him from receiving any academic position. In 2014, he was awarded the Templeton Prize. During the 1980s Halik became an active dissident. He offered religious services and helped organise an underground network dedicated to religious and cultural freedom. After the 1989 Velvet Revolution, which brought about the fall of the communist regime, he became an advisor to President Václav Havel. In 1992 Pope John Paul II appointed him advisor to the Potificial Council for Dialogue with Non-Believers. The following year, Halik joined the Sociology Faculty at his Alma Mater, and in 1987 he was appointed Professor, and served also as the Head of the Religious-Studies-Department. In 2009 Pope Benedict XVI bestowed on him the title of Honorary Prelate of His Holiness. Professor Halik's critique of dogmatism and his effort to reach out to non-Roman Catholics and non-believers makes his vision of the Church parallel to that of Pope Francis.
DISCERN ANNUAL LECTURE - READING THE SIGNS OF THE SECULAR CULTURE, by Professor Mgr Tomáš Halik, Professor of Sociology at Charles University, Prage. The lecture will be held at The Old Refectory, The Archbishop's Curia, Floriana, on Tuesday 6 November 2018 at 19:00 hrs