Event shines light on truth and meaning in the universe

Dr Angela McCarthy and Dr Philip Matthews are speakers at the New Norcia Institute for Benedictine Studies event 'Light and Darkness' on Saturday 29 August 2015.

22 July 2015

The truth and meaning in the universe will be explored through ethics, theology, art and music at an event hosted by the New Norcia Institute for Benedictine Studies on Saturday 29 August 2015.

As the United Nations proclaimed 2015 as International Year of Light, two academics from The University of Notre Dame Australia's School of Philosophy & Theology, Fremantle, Dr Philip Matthews, Acting Dean, and Dr Angela McCarthy, Senior Lecturer in Theology, will share different historical and cultural perspectives of light at the event 'Light and Darkness'.

Dr Matthews, an avid philosopher and astronomer who has recently delivered a unit of study in cosmology at the University's Broome Campus, will unpack the meaning of life in a universe that 'is stranger than we imagine'.

"For the Yindjibarndi people, their universe centred on the town of Roebourne in the Pilbara region of Western Australia; the Yindjibarndi story is at least 30,000-years-old," Dr Matthews said.

"For Immanuel Kant, his universe was a large collection of stars held together by mutual gravity. Just like the Solar System, this collection of star must be rotating and flattened as a disk. His story is 200-years-old. Edwin Hubble's universe consisting of the Milky Way plus other Island Universes is 90-years-old.

"For those of us in New Norcia for the 'Light and Darkness' event, our understanding of the universe may be just one of many millions in existence. Our story is only beginning."

Dr McCarthy, who is passionate about researching the connection between Scripture and art, will further explore this topic with relation to the Mandorla Art Award works currently on display in the New Norcia Museum and Gallery.

"In the beginning, God said: 'Let there be light', and it was good. When we seek to portray our understanding of God through artistic means we are dependent on the presence of light and its absence," Dr McCarthy said.

For more information on the event, please visit www.newnorcia.wa.edu.au.

To enquire further about courses in the School of Philosophy & Theology, Fremantle, please call +61 8 9433 0138 or email fremantle.theology@nd.edu.au.

Leigh Dawson: Tel (08) 9433 0569; Mob 0405 441 093; leigh.dawson@nd.edu.au