Acts of Conference
Stanley Jaki Foundation International Conference
Paul Haffner and Joseph Laracy
On April 15, 2015, a diverse, international group of scholars with expertise in fields such as philosophy, theology, chemistry, physics, engineering, and computer science, gathered at Seton Hall University (SHU) in South Orange, New Jersey, USA for the Father Jaki International Congress. Dr. Anthony Troha of the SHU Department of Physics gave the first presentation, focusing on Fr. Jaki’s early career work in experimental physics. Dr. Troha’s paper offers a fascinating look into Jaki’s doctoral research in experimental physics under the direction of the Austrian-American physicist and Nobel laureate who discovered cosmic rays, Dr. Victor Hess. Program Chair, Father Joseph R. Laracy, presented a paper entitled, “Creation, Revelation, and the Emergence of Empirical Science.” Laracy develops Jaki’s research on the important connection between the theology of creation and the emergence of natural science in medieval Europe. Monsignor Richard M. Liddy, Professor of Religion and Director of the Center for Catholic Studies at SHU, presented a very interesting paper entitled, “Jaki and Lonergan: Confrontation or Encounter?” Liddy shared a number of thought-provoking and sometimes humorous vignettes from his experience working with Stanley Jaki at SHU. Dr. Peter Floriani, an experienced computer scientist, as well as a student of the works of G. K. Chesterton, John Henry Newman, and Stanley Jaki, gave the next paper. Based on the insights of these three Catholic writers, Floriani suggests a new approach to higher education, distinctly Catholic, that he instantiates in a yet to be founded university called “The Ambrosian.” Dr. Tracy Trasancos, a research chemist turned theologian, and faculty member at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut, offered the paper, “Science was Born of Christianity: The Facts of Fr. Jaki’s Research.” Following Jaki, Transacos advances the thesis that the cause of the stillbirths of science in ancient pre-Christian cultures was theological, not geophysical nor socio-economical. Father Paul Haffner, Visiting Professor of Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, President of the Stanley Jaki Foundation, and General Conference Chairman, submitted a paper entitled, “Christology and the Cosmos in Stanley Jaki.” It offers a lucid Christological perspective on the doctrine of creation and its implications. Finally, the Italian engineer and friend of Stanley Jaki, Antonio Colombo, offered the keynote address to conclude the Conference. Colombo’s paper offers a detailed biographical sketch of Jaki’s journey of life from his birth in Győr, Hungary to his death in Madrid, Spain.