Center for Augustinian Study and Legacy
Our Augustinian legacy has helped distinguish Merrimack as a Catholic College of the liberal arts and the professions.
The dedication of the Augustinian founders to academic excellence and their commitment to fostering a true community of learners has guided the College throughout its first fifty years. That legacy continues to inspire Merrimack today. Free, passionate and critical inquiry among a community of friends remains the Augustinian heart of Merrimack. Students are challenged to search for truth, to balance contemplation and activity, to consider service to society and Church, and to grow through knowledge to wisdom. These Augustinian ideals mark a Merrimack education as truly liberal and liberating, and prepare our graduates for the challenges and concerns of the new century.
Continuing the work of Merrimack’s founders, the Center introduces St. Augustine of Hippo, his life, thought and search for truth to members of the community. Lectures, symposiums, retreats and seminars sponsored by the Center encourage conversation and debate on Augustinian themes, on the Catholic intellectual life, and on a wide range of religious, ethical and spiritual concerns. The Center also nurtures the common life of the College through attention to and care for the quality of professional and personal interaction. It invites faculty, staff and administrators to consider the resources of the Catholic and Augustinian intellectual traditions for the enrichment of their work in the academy.
The Center promotes professional research and writing on the life and thought of St. Augustine and on the various Augustinian schools in theology and philosophy. By providing library and on-line resources, suitable support services and office space, and opportunities for collegial conversation, teaching and publication, the Center advances contemporary Augustinian scholarship. These endeavors are pursued in cooperation with the Augustinian research centers at Villanova University and the Washington Theological Union, and with theological institutes and schools related to the Order around the world.
Building on work in primary sources and textual criticism done at other Augustinian centers and institutes, the Center at Merrimack specializes in applied research. It encourages consideration of the relevance of Augustine’s ideas to contemporary questions, in many academic disciplines, across ecumenical and inter-religious communities, and for diverse constituencies of students and scholars. In this way Augustine’s own life and writings, and the theologies he has inspired, can enrich discussion about the concerns and problems of contemporary society.
Merrimack faculty and students find in the Center opportunities to interact with visiting scholars from around the country and the world. Members of the College join visiting fellows of the Center as colleagues in conversation, writing and research. The Center thus enriches the academic community at Merrimack and advances the continuing relevance of Augustinian thought for the College’s educational mission.