Hope College alumnus Fr. David Meconi, S.J., will be returning to his alma mater on Monday, Feb. 2, at 4 p.m. to give a late-afternoon lecture as part of the Saint Benedict Forum’s Catholic Speaker Series.

His lecture, “Ravishing Ruin: Self-Loathing in St. Augustine,” will be presented in the Fried-Hemenway Auditorium of the Martha Miller Center for Global Communication.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

In the talk, Meconi will explore questions such as “Why are we drawn to our own pain, fascinated with our own melancholy?” and “How is it that we can choose to injure ourselves and to rebel against our innate hunger for wholeness and perfection?”

The address will explore how Augustine came to understand self-loathing as a result of the Fall, and how he saw sin as a way of destroying that which he knew had already become tarnished through his own bad choices. Augustine was one of the first to recognize how he, too, had come to love his own ruin and how his harmful behavior was really a strategy to keep himself from true intimacy.

A 1987 Hope graduate, Meconi teaches in the Department of Theological Studies at Saint Louis University; he is also the editor of “Homiletic and Pastoral Review.”

He holds the pontifical license in Patrology from the University of Innsbruck and the D.Phil. in Ecclesiastical History from Oxford University.  Most recently he published the “Annotated Confessions of Saint Augustine” (Ignatius Press, 2012), “The One Christ: St. Augustine’s Theology of Deification” (Catholic University of America Press, 2013), and co-edited (along with Eleonore Stump) the “Cambridge Companion to Augustine” (2014). He is a former president of the Jesuit Philosophical Association, as well as a Fellow at the Augustinian Institute at Villanova University.

The Saint Benedict Forum is an outreach of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, with which the college’s Campus Ministries program has a covenantal partnership. Meconi’s visit is being co-sponsored by Hope College Campus Ministries, Counseling and Psychological Services, the Department of Psychology and the Department of Religion.

The Martha Miller Center for Global Communication is located at 257 Columbia Ave., at the corner of Columbia Avenue and 10th Street.