Christian in the World

The Christian in the World Lecture Series for spring 2021 was an integrated program of study, prayer and discussion for Catholics who want to live their faith more deeply. The program seeks to help participants gain a more profound understanding of the Scriptures and the Church, and to support lay people in exploring how to live their baptismal vocation in everyday life.

The Christian in the World spring 2021 lecture was a panel discussion on how living with COVID-19 restrictions has been, for some, a time to discover their inner contemplative, their “monk within.”

Br. Israel Sanchez, O.S.B., moderates the panel discussion with Abbot Peter Eberle, O.S.B., Br. Thomas Buttrick, O.S.B., and Mount Angel oblates Suzanne Kaufmann and Maizie Redner.

The original presentation was live-streamed from Mount Angel on May 8. It is available to replay on this web page or on the Abbey’s YouTube channel.

Dante’s World & Ours | Fall 2020 Lecture Series

The fall 2020 Christian in the World series explored Dante’s Divine Comedy, an allegory about the soul’s development from being stuck in sin to being free. The three lectures were presented by Fr. Stephen Rowan, STB, PhD, and are available to view here on this web page, or on the Abbey’s YouTube channel.

The Inferno



Notes from Fr. Stephen Rowan

Dante was a Christian in the World; in his case, the world of the 13th-14th century Florence, Tuscany, and northern Italy. His great text, the Divine Comedy, is a window into his world, showing us characters whose actions earned them a place in one of three states of life after their time on earth: Hell, Purgatory, or Paradise.

If that were all it is, the Comedy would be of interest only to antiquarians or curiosity seekers. But the Comedy is also a mirror reflecting into our own times, showing how Christians in the world can find themselves — even now — under conditions that are very much like Hell, Purgatory, or Paradise. Our age, no less than Dante’s, is plagued by avarice, envy, and pride; like Dante, we have seen abuses of power in state and church; we, too, have wondered how we and our society can become “unstuck” from a tangled up state of soul and find a way out.

Dante’s Comedy is a way of speaking — an allegory — about the soul’s development from being stuck in sin to being free; from being lost to finding its true home; from fumbling in the dark to living with love in the light. It is, in the end and all along the way, a hopeful journey.

With a little guidance about Dante’s themes and style of storytelling, the Divine Comedy, which Dante intended to be a saving message for his own time, can serve the same purpose in ours.

– Fr. Stephen Rowan

For more information about Christian in the World, or to learn how you can help support this lecture series, please call Mary Ann Amsberry 503.769.3844