By Kenneth Wapnick
On January 4, 1989 at the Foundation for A Course in Miracles, I engaged in a dialogue with Father W. Norris Clarke, a Roman Catholic Jesuit priest and philosopher, on the differences and similarities between A Course in Miracles and traditional or biblical Christianity. Fr. Clarke is an unusual priest and Catholic philosopher, insofar as he has an open-minded and non-judgmental approach to non-Catholic teachings, all the while retaining his very strong personal faith in the truth of the Roman Catholic Church. His background is impressive, and is summarized briefly here:
Rev. W. Norris Clarke, S.J., earned his Ph.D. at the University of Louvain, and was Professor of Philosophy at Fordham University in New York for thirty-one years until his retirement in 1985. Since his retirement, he has been a visiting professor at universities and colleges across the nation. He founded, and for twenty-five years was Editor-in-Chief of the International Philosophical Quarterly. He has served as President of both the American Catholic Philosophical Association and the Metaphysical Society of America, and as a member of the Executive Council of the American Philosophical Association. He has lectured widely, and has published more than sixty articles in philosophical and theological journals and anthologies, and has authored three books. He is loved and respected in religious and philosophical circles around the world as a man of deep faith and wisdom.
Numerous awards and honors have been bestowed on Fr. Clarke in recognition of his outstanding qualities as a teacher, a philosopher, and a priest. Among these honors are the American Catholic Philosophical Association's Aquinas Medal for distinguished contribution to Christian philosophy, the Outstanding Teacher Award from Fordham University, and Honorary Doctoral Degrees from Villanova University and Wheeling Jesuit College. I am honored that he accepted the Foundation's invitation to join me in this dialogue.
Fr. Clarke and I have been friends for many years, and he was the ideal person with whom to enter into this dialogue. Our conversation was video-taped, but unfortunately the quality of the tapes was unsatisfactory. This book is an edited version of the dialogue, which includes minor changes made to enhance readability, and additional clarifying material with appropriate references to A Course in Miracles1and the Bible. . . .
I am extremely grateful to Fr. Clarke
for his willingness to participate so graciously in this dialogue, and
for the clarity he has brought to the issue of comparing A Course in
Miracles and biblical Christianity. I also wish to thank my wife Gloria
and Rosemarie LoSasso, the Foundation's Director of Publications (originally
Fr. Clarke's doctoral student at Fordham University) -- both of whom were
present during the dialogue -- for their many suggestions in preparation
for the dialogue itself, as well as for this book.
From the Appendix
Kenneth Wapnick - Biographical Note:
Kenneth Wapnick was a close friend and associate of Helen Schucman and William Thetford, the two people whose joining together was the immediate stimulus for the scribing of A Course in Miracles. He is a clinical psychologist, having received his Ph.D. from Adelphi University in 1968, and is on the Executive Board of the Foundation for Inner Peace, publishers of A Course in Miracles. In 1982, Kenneth and his wife Gloria established the Foundation for A Course in Miracles, of which they are President and Vice President. This Foundation is the teaching organization of the Foundation for Inner Peace. In 1988, they opened an Academy and Retreat Center in Roscoe, New York. [In 2001 the Foundation moved to Temecula, CA.]
Kenneth is the author of twelve books
on A Course in Miracles, one co-authored with Gloria, and is preparing
books for publication at the time of this writing . He also has
authored several articles on A Course in Miracles and psychotherapy.
In addition to conducting classes and workshops at the Foundation's Academy,
he and Gloria have presented numerous lectures and workshops throughout
the United States, as well as in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. They
publish a quarterly newsletter, "The
Course in Miracles and Christianity: A Dialogue, copyright 1995
by the Foundation
A Course in Miracles is published
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