Notre Dame welcomes new Dean of Philosophy & Theology in Sydney

25 May 2017
Professor Christian Brugger. Image: Supplied.

Catholic theology is more relevant in today’s world than ever before as it brings greater meaning to every element of modern society, according to The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Professor Christian Brugger.

Professor Brugger was recently appointed Dean of the School of Philosophy & Theology at Notre Dame’s Sydney Campus. Previously, he served as Professor of Moral Theology at St John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver, USA, and is widely published in moral theology, natural law theory and bioethics.

Professor Brugger said the Catholic Church and its intellectual tradition has been at the foundation of the development of hospitals, universities, common law and human rights, even representative governments, and it is important for students to have an understanding of these deep roots.

“Moreover, Catholic theology and philosophy should be at the table of public debate; they don’t want to dominate the conversation but they should resist exclusion from the great social debates of the day,” Professor Brugger said.

“I hope to bring to Notre Dame my knowledge and experience as a Catholic moral theologian and philosopher, and help to establish this University as a place where students and scholars can engage the breadth of the Western Canon within a context of the Catholic intellectual tradition.”

Being faithful to the mandate of a Catholic university – intellectual engagement in the Catholic tradition – Professor Brugger hopes to build on Notre Dame’s transformational degrees in Philosophy and Theology to ensure graduates can make a difference in their professions.

“Students will learn to be people for others as they come to ask and understand the deepest questions that have occupied the human mind and heart,” Professor Brugger said.

“We can’t give ourselves to others if we don’t know ourselves. Part of self-knowledge is the knowledge that comes from social memory: Where have I come from? Who are the heroes of my family (the saints)? What are the salient ideas about human origins, nature and destiny that have shaped me and my world?

“The Catholic intellectual tradition is a repository of human memory. If the School of Philosophy & Theology can facilitate a lively connection between our students’ minds and the greatest ideas of that tradition, then I am certain we will see a positive social payoff.”

Notre Dame Sydney Campus offers dynamic, contemporary and practical degrees in Philosophy and Theology. For more information, please visit

With thanks to The University of Notre Dame Australia.

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