Welcome to Sapientia!

This is the blog of Fordham University’s Center on Religion and Culture. Since its founding in 2004, the CRC has welcomed the public to enjoy conversations with artists, journalists, scholars, writers, and faith leaders on the wide range of issues that arise at the intersection of faith and culture.

Those issues are as numerous as ever, and debated with perhaps even greater intensity than ever, as the stakes for our society and our world have never seemed higher. 

(Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

The eruption of the Coronavirus pandemic only underscores that urgency, yet also makes the launch of our blog that much more timely — we cannot do in-person events for the foreseeable future, so this digital platform is a providential means of staying in touch while staying at a safe distance. 

The name of the blog? “Sapientia” is Latin for “wisdom,” and we took it from Fordham’s motto, “Sapientia et Doctrina.” We prefer the first half of the motto, because the translation is so straightforward and the value of wisdom is clear and universal — from the ancient philosophers to Sacred Scriptures. 

“Doctrina,” well, not so much. It can mean “knowledge” or “teaching” or, God forbid, in a literalistic way it translates to that very church-y word, “doctrine.” Or, as the late Cardinal Avery Dulles, S.J., first holder of the University’s McGinley Chair, once put it in an essay on the motto:

“The most extensive analysis of the motto I have seen occurs in a presidential address by the Reverend Robert I. Gannon, S.J., delivered on September 17, 1941, celebrating the centenary of Fordham’s foundation. Translating the Latin words of the motto as “wisdom and information,” he contended that the formula gives primary emphasis to wisdom by placing it ahead of information.”

We want to use this platform to provide information, so that it serves wisdom and promotes that cardinal discipline in our contested public square. 

Sapientia aims to continue such discussions and invites new and established voices to share their thoughts. Are you a graduate student just starting your research? A published author wanting to test an idea? We want to hear from you.

What topics might be addressed? Current affairs? Film? Literature? Philosophy? Faith? All those and many more.

Our parameters? Religion and culture. That’s it. Almost any subject might fall between those concepts.

Stay tuned! And stay in touch … the blog’s administrator is David Goodwin, the Assistant Director of the CRC, and he can be reached at dgoodwin@fordham.edu.


David Gibson, Director Fordham University Center on Religion and Culture

David Gibson is a journalist, author, filmmaker, and Director of the Center on Religion and Culture.