The Arts and Notre Dame's Mission

Central to the Catholic tradition is the encounter with spiritual realities through the sensible media of color, form, sound, movement; through the literary arts and dramatic performance; and through the built environment. Artistic expression has been seen in this tradition as a privileged avenue to the transcendent. We were particularly pleased to announce the imminent construction of the Raclin Murphy Museum of Art at Notre Dame, and we are grateful to Ernestine Raclin and Chris and Carmen Murphy for the lead gift that made this possible. The museum will be near the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, the new Matthew and Joyce Walsh Family Hall of Architecture and the O’Neill Hall of Music to form an arts corridor at the south end of campus. Such facilities would of course be welcome on any campus, but they have for us a deep and close connection with our distinctive Catholic mission.

The theme of the artistic expression and religious tradition will be explored in this year’s Notre Dame Forum, “The Catholic Artistic Heritage: Bringing Forth Treasures New and Old.” Among the keynote events planned for the fall is a dialogue between Pulitzer Prize-winning author Marilynne Robinson and Susannah Monta of our English faculty, which will take place tomorrow. The former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams will deliver a lecture on November 26 on the works of Shakespeare, entitled Relieved by Prayer: Power, Shame and Redemption in Shakespeare’s Drama. Our sacred music department will also host several events this fall as will other departments, and we are also working on some exciting events for the spring semester. You can learn more at the Notre Dame Forum website: