In an address given to the Fourteenth Synod of Bishops on October 14, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI stated: 

Only when both methodological levels the historical/critical and the theological are observed can one speak of a theological exegesis that alone is adequate to Sacred Scripture. . . therefore for the life and mission of the Church, for the future of faith, it is absolutely necessary to overcome this dualism between exegesis and theology. Biblical theology and systematic theology are two dimensions of one reality, which we call theology.

These remarks are a succinct summary of Benedict’s methodological approach to the Bible, which he articulated 20 years earlier in his 1988 Erasmus lecture. In this lecture, he called for an interpretation of Sacred Scripture focusing on its historical context combined with the fullness of the canon, an explicit philosophy of interpretation, and a hermeneutic of faith in the context of the Church. His “Method C” would unite patristic and scholastic exegesis with a philosophically chastened historical method for an integrated approach to theological reflection. 

This conference will reflect upon how biblical scholarship can best embrace the openness to complementary methods the sources of revelation require: 

  • How does historical critical biblical scholarship contribute to an integrated Catholic Theology and what are its limitations? 
  • How does Catholic philosophy and theology shape the understanding of Scripture in turn? 


Gregory Vall Chair of and Professor of Sacred Scripture, Notre Dame Seminary

Dr. Gregory Vall has been privileged to serve the Church on the faculty of Notre Dame Seminary of New Orleans from 1992 to 2000 and from 2015 to the present. He also taught at the Catholic University of America (1989 to 1992), the Franciscan University of Steubenville (2000 to 2004), and Ave Maria University (2004 to 2015), where he served as Director of the Ph.D. Program and Chair of the Theology Department.

Dr. Vall received a Ph.D. in Semitic Languages and Literatures from the Catholic University of America in 1993. His areas of scholarly expertise are the biblical languages, the Old Testament, and the letters of St. Ignatius of Antioch. His book “Learning Christ: Ignatius of Antioch and the Mystery of Redemption” was published by CUA Press in 2013. A second book, “Ecclesial Exegesis: A Synthesis of Ancient and Modern Approaches to Scripture,” is forthcoming with CUA Press. He has published articles in “Biblica,” “The Bible Today,” “Catholic Biblical Quarterly,” “Journal of Biblical Literature,” “Nova et Vetera,” “Seminary Journal,” “The Thomist,” and “Vetus Testamentum.”

Dr. Vall is a native of Cleveland, Ohio. He and his wife Lourdes, and their four children—Teresa, Gregory, Ezra, and Mark—reside in Covington, Louisiana.

Fr. David Meconi, S.J. Associate Professor of Patristics Theological Studies

Fr. David Vincent Meconi, S.J., is an Associate Professor of Historical Theology and Catholic Studies at Saint Louis University; he is also the editor of “Homiletic and Pastoral Review.” He holds degrees from Marquette University, the Pontifical License in Patrology (Liz. Theol.) from the University of Innsbruck in Austria, as well as his doctorate in Ecclesiastical History from the University of Oxford (D.Phil., Oxon.).

Fr. Meconi has published numerous books and articles on the early Church, and on Saint Augustine of Hippo in particular. He has recently translated a collection of the Sermons of Peter Chrysologus (Routledge, 2020), has edited three Cambridge Companion volumes, and authored “Augustine On Self-Harm, Narcissism, Atonement and the Vulnerable Christ” (Bloomsbury Press, 2020). In 2021, Fr. Meconi's “Christ Unfurled: The First 500 Years of Jesus' Life” (TAN Books) and “The Ongoing Incarnation: A Spirituality of the Mystical Body” (Emmaus Academic) will appear.

Robert Louis Wilken William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of the History of Christianity Emeritus, University of Virginia

Robert Louis Wilken is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of the History of Christianity emeritus at the University of Virginia. He is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, past president of the American Academy of Religion, the North American Patristics Society, and the Academy of Catholic Theology. He is chairman of the board of the Institute on Religion and Public Life, the publisher of “First Things.”

Among his numerous publications are “The First Thousand Years: A Global History of Christianity” (2013), “The Spirit of Early Christian Thought: Seeking the Face of God” (2003), “The Christians as the Romans Saw Them” (1984/2003), and “Remembering the Christian Past” (1995). He has taught at Fordham University, the University of Notre Dame, the Institutum Patristicum (Augustinianum) in Rome, the Gregorian University in Rome, and Providence College.


We are honored to have an esteemed list of conference presenters - the full is of which can be read here: Conference Presenters.pdf

Conference Details, September 17th - 19th, 2021:

Location Information

  • St. Bernard's School of Theology and Ministry
  • 120 French Road, Rochester, NY, 14618 US

Schedule & Details

Details for lodging, meals, airports, complimentary shuttle service between the hotel and conference location, as well as a complete schedule will be provided in your registration confirmation email - available immediately upon registering. 

A schedule of the weekend is available here: Conference Schedule


  • For those who live locally and plan to commute to the conference in-person, please select this option. Note: no meals or evening receptions are included.

  • For non-presenters who wish to attend online, Zoom meeting links will be emailed to you to participate in the conference.


Billing Information

  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • American Express
  • Discover
Reg Fox by Webconnex
Secure Online Registration Powered by RegFox