2022 Conference

April 30, 2022 | 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM

Princeton Theological Seminary

64 Mercer St, Princeton, NJ 08542


Registration is free. Advance registration is requested.

Art, the Sacred, and the Common Good, Scala’s third major conference hosted on the campus of Princeton Theological Seminary, will bring together scholars, culture creators, educators and students to ponder the challenges and opportunities in connecting art, the sacred and our shared lives and stories. Each session will be a conversation among thinkers, educators and culture creators that brings new audiences the age-old ideas that coalesced around faith communities and national communities. This event will show how those traditions and ways of living, although under threat, are indeed being renewed. We will also offer an opportunity to participate in the liturgy of the hours. Our audiences for this event include students, teachers, parents, faith leaders, and concerned citizens who believe that education for beauty, wisdom, and worship are crucial to the foundation of a flourishing society.

We would like to thank the following organizations and individuals for making this event possible:

The Institute for Humane Studies

The McGrath Center for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame

The Pepperdine School of Public Policy

The Thomistic Institute



* Schedule is tentative. All attendees will receive the final schedule at check-in.

April 30, 2022 | 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM

8:30-9:00         Choral Lauds, Paul Jernberg and choir

9:00-9:45         Coffee and breakfast

9:45-10:00       Welcome Remarks, Margarita Mooney Suarez, Princeton Theological Seminary

10:00-11:00     Culture & the Common Good: Theological and Philosophical Perspectives on Beauty and Our Life Together

  • Moderator: RJ Snell, The Witherspoon Institute
  • David Corey, Baylor University
  • Fr. Reginald Lynch, Dominican House of Studies
  • Gordon Mikoski, Princeton Theological Seminary

11:00-11:30     Break

11:30-12:30     Story, Art, and the Sacred: Possibilities for Transcendence in Literature and Film

  • Moderator: William Gonch, Scala & Princeton Theological Seminary
  • James Matthew Wilson, University of St. Thomas in Houston
  • Caleb Brown, Screenwriter and CEO of The Story Locker
  • Christopher Beha, Novelist and Editor, Harper’s Magazine

12:30-12:40     Mid-day prayer

12:40-2:30       Lunch Break

2:30-3:30         Ever Ancient, Ever New: Bringing Traditional Art Forms into Modern Spaces

  • Moderator: George Harne, University of St. Thomas in Houston
  • David Clayton, Pontifex University
  • Paul Jernberg, Magnificat Institute of Sacred Music
  • Léon Krier, Architect and Urban Planner

3:30-4:00         Break

4:00-5:00         Beauty in the Curriculum: Educating for Artistic Appreciation & Creativity

  • Moderator: Tim O’Malley, University of Notre Dame
  • Elizabeth Corey, Baylor University
  • Jonathan Pidluzny, American Council of Trustees and Alumni
  • Eric Cook, Society for Classical Learning

5:00-5:30         Choral Vespers: Paul Jernberg and Choir

5:30-7:00         Closing Reception



Léon Krier was born in Luxembourg in 1946. He studied architecture at the University of Stuttgart for two terms. Between 1968 and 1974 he collaborated with James Stirling in London.

He has taught architecture and urbanism in London at the Architectural Association 1974 to 1976 and at the Royal College of Arts 1977. In the United States he has taught at Princeton University 1977; as Jefferson Professor at the University of Virginia 1982; and intermittently at Yale since 1990 where he is the inaugural Robert AM Stern Visiting Professor 2015.

His awards include the Berlin Prize for Architecture 1977; the Jefferson Memorial Medal 1985; the Chicago AIA Award 1987; the Silver Medal of Academie Française 1998; European Culture Prize 1995; the Driehaus Prize 2003; and the Congress for the New Urbanism Athena Award 2006.

Exhibitions of his work have been held throughout the world, including a personal show at the Museum of Modern art in New York in 1985. Léon Krier has worked extensively in Europe and North America. He is currently working on projects in Guatemala, USA and England. He is personal adviser to the Prince of Wales for whom he master-plans the development of Poundbury in Dorset County, England, 1988 to present

Dr. George Harne is the Executive Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of St. Thomas in Houston. Dr. Harne received his Ph.D. from Princeton University and received master’s degrees from Princeton, St. John’s College, and the University of Washington. While at Princeton, he was active in the Center for the Study of Religion and the Program in Hellenic Studies. Dr. Harne has published and presented papers on ancient, medieval and Renaissance music, as well as the contemporary philosophy of music.

Dr. Elizabeth Corey is the Director of the Honors Program at Baylor University and an Associate Professor of Political Science at Baylor. She has earned several awards for research and teaching and was a 2016-2017 Robert Novak Journalism Fellow. She writes for First Things and serves on the board of the Institute on Religion and Public Life. She has also published in The Atlantic, The Chronicle of Higher Education, National Affairs, The Wall Street Journal, and in a variety of scholarly journals.

Timothy O'Malley

Dr. Timothy P. O’Malley is director of education at the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame, where he also serves as the academic director of the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy. At Notre Dame, Prof. O’Malley has a joint appointment in the Department of Theology where he teaches and researches in the areas of liturgical-sacramental theology, catechesis, theological aesthetics, and marriage/family. He is the author of seven books, most recently Becoming a Eucharistic People: The Hope and Promise of Parish Life (Ave Maria Press, 2022) and Real Presence: What Does It Mean and Why Does It Matter? (Ave Maria Press, 2021). Currently, Prof. O’Malley is working on a book on the Eucharistic shape of Catholic higher education with colleagues from Villanova University. In addition to his work at Notre Dame, Prof. O’Malley serves on the board of trustees mission committee at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, TX.

Christopher Beha is the author of a memoir, The Whole Five Feet, and the novels Arts & Entertainments and What Happened to Sophie Wilder. His latest novel, The Index of Self-Destructive Acts, was nominated for the 2020 National Book Award. He is the editor of Harper’s Magazine.

David Clayton is an internationally known artist, teacher, writer and broadcaster. His artistic training is in both the sacred art tradition of Byzantine iconography; and as a portrait painter in the style of Western classical naturalism, which he studied in Florence, Italy. He has written four books, two of which feature his art; and has illustrated another three written by other authors, one by Scott Hahn. His own books include The Way of Beauty – Liturgy, Education and Inspiration for Family, School and College, published in May 2015; and The Vision for You, How to Discover the Life You Were Made For, published in 2018. He is Provost of www.Pontifex.University, a canonically Catholic university faithful to the Magisterium, which offers online programs.

Dr. James Matthew Wilson is the Cullen Foundation Chair in English at the University of St. Thomas at Houston. He has published ten books, among them four collections of poems, including The Strangeness of the Good. His poems, essays, and reviews appear regularly in a wide range of magazines and journals. The winner of the 2017 Hiett Prize from the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, Wilson also serves as Poet-in-Residence of the Benedict XVI Institute for Sacred Music and Divine Worship, poetry editor of Modern Age magazine, and series editor of Colosseum Books, a new imprint that publishes the best contemporary poetry and literary criticism of serious craft and spiritual depth. Wilson was educated at the University of Michigan (B.A.), the University of Massachusetts (M.A.), and the University of Notre Dame (M.F.A., Ph.D.).

Dr. R. J. Snell is Director of Academic Programs at the Witherspoon Institute and editor-in-chief of The Public Discourse. Prior to his appointment at the Witherspoon Institute, he was Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Philosophy Program at Eastern University and the Templeton Honors College.

Eric Cook is the Head of School at Covenant Classical School in Fort Worth, Texas. He also serves as the President of the Society for Classical Learning. Eric has been an educator for over 20 years as a teacher, leader, and speaker. He is a passionate advocate of the classical Christian renewal.

Dr. David Corey is a Professor of Philosophy at Baylor University. He is the author of two books, The Just War Tradition (with J. Daryl Charles) and The Sophists in Plato’s Dialogues. He is currently at work on a book about American domestic politics entitled The Politics of War and the Politics of Peace.

Paul Jernberg is the founder and director of the Magnificat Institute for Sacred Music, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the renewal of sacred liturgical music in the Catholic Church. An accomplished composer, his numerous choral works, including the Mass of Saint Philip Neri, are sung in many parishes throughout the United States, as well as in Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Sweden.

Father Reginald Lynch, O.P. entered the Dominican Province of St. Joseph in 2007, and was ordained a priest in 2013.  He earned a PhD in theology at the University of Notre Dame, with a major concentration in medieval theology and minor concentrations in patristics and philosophical theology.  He has written on topics in sacramental, systematic and historical theology in journals like The Thomist and Nova et Vetera.  His book, The Cleansing of the Heart: The Sacraments as Instrumental Causes in the Thomistic Tradition (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2017) received the Charles Cardinal Journet Prize in 2018.  Currently, he is working on a book on the reception of Aquinas’ Eucharistic theology in the early modern period.


Princeton Theological Seminary is easily accessible from local airports, including Newark International and Philidelphia International, via car or public transit. For more information on traveling to the Seminary, click here.

Lodging is available at Princeton Theological Seminary’s Erdman Center starting at $70 per night, including tax. Click here for more information.


The conference will be subject to Princeton Theological Seminary’s COVID-19 protocols. Currently, all visitors are expected to be vaccinated and to wear masks indoors except when eating or drinking. Any further updates to this policy will be posted here.


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