Introduction to Christianity at 50

Organized to mark the 50th anniversary of Joseph Ratzinger's Introduction to Christianity, ​this conference celebrates a seminal work of the Church's preeminent theologian in the public sphere. With an eye to continuing the task begun in the Introduction, the conference invites us to consider the book’s historical context and theological strategy as we reimagine the work of articulating the Christian mysteries in an increasingly post-Christian age. The conference is for anyone involved in the task of communicating the faith, especially those whose work lies at the intersection of the academy and the Church.

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Introduction to Christianity

Why It Still Matters

Introduction to Christianity grew out of lectures Joseph Ratzinger gave before the student body of the University of Tübingen. The book’s publication in 1968, not long after the close of the Second Vatican Council, marks a milestone in the Church’s engagement with the modern world and in the career of the Church’s preeminent theologian in the public sphere. The Introduction, as an articulation of the abiding significance and urgency of the Christian mysteries, models a form of Catholic apologetic ever more necessary in a world that is increasingly post-Christian.


Check back soon for a complete schedule.

Confirmed Speakers

    Rev. Richard Schenk, O.P. | President Emeritus of the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, Austria

    Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer | Bishop of the Diocese of Regensburg, Germany

    Rev. Robert Imbelli | Professor Emeritus of Theology, Boston College

    Tracey Rowland | Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame, Australia

    John Cavadini | Professor of Theology & Director of the Institute for Church Life, University of  Notre Dame

    Cyril O'Regan | Huisking Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame

    Francesca A. Murphy | Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame

    Clemens Sedmak | Professor of Social Ethics, University of Notre Dame

    Leonard J. DeLorenzo | Academic Director, McGrath Institute for Church Life; Concurrent Faculty, Department of Theology, University of Notre Dame

    Timothy P. O'Malley | Editor, Church Life Journal; Concurrent Faculty, Department of Theology, University of Notre Dame

    Patrick Gardner | Assistant Professor of Catholic Studies, Christopher Newport University

    Anthony Pagliarini | Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies, University of Notre Dame

    Donald Wallenfang | Associate Professor of Theology, Walsh University

    Rev. Aaron Pidel, SJ | Assistant Professor of Theology, Marquette University

    Anthony Sciglitano | Associate Professor of Religion, Seton Hall University

Conference Details


The conference is free but we ask you to register here.

For further information, please email or call 574.631.9195


All events will be held in the Notre Dame Conference Center's McKenna Hall on the University of Notre Dame campus. The campus is about a ten minute ride from the South Bend Regional Airport, and taxis are generally waiting outside the airport to transport passengers.

South Bend is accessible by air, the South Shore train from Chicago, and buses from both O'Hare and Midway airports in Chicago.

A campus map is available at: .  Please check the website for available parking.


Attendees are responsible for booking their own lodging for the conference.

A block of rooms has been reserved at The Morris Inn (located directly across from the conference center) at the rate of $149 + tax per night. Rooms are available for the nights of November 4, 5 and 6, 2018. Please call 574.631.2000 and let the booking agent know that you are attending the Ratzinger conference.  

Other local hotels near the University include (but are not limited to):


Please see here for places to eat on campus.