2012 Honorary Degree Citation

Lisa Sowle Cahill
Doctor of Humane Letters

Lisa Sowle Cahill

A renowned theological ethicist, you are a strong and articulate advocate for human dignity and the common good. Offering a balanced alternative to the extreme views that often dominate our political landscape, you stand at the forefront of the most sensitive and critical issues of our times.

You have graced Holy Cross this year through the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity, presented by the McFarland Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture. There, you emphasized the critical need for access to health care in the United States and around the world.

A Catholic moral theologian, you have published 200 articles and produced 15 books on the most pressing issues of our times. You make connections that shape our thinking about faith and ethics.

For more than 35 years, you have served as the J. Donald Monan Professor of Theology at Boston College. You have been president of the Catholic Theological Society of America and the Society of Christian Ethics; and you have been a fellow of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Your recent books, Bioethics and the Common Good and Theological Bioethics: Participation, Justice, and Change, reveal the passion and the care you bring to health care, poverty, human rights and dignity.

You have been an advisor and a catalyst for policy discussions at the Catholic Common Ground Initiative, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Vatican. You have received the John Courtney Murray Award from the Catholic Theological Society of America, its highest honor, which is named for this great American theologian known for his work on religious liberty.

As a central figure in contemporary Roman Catholic theological ethics, you tackle complex moral issues and diffuse tensions. You call for progressive religious thinkers and believers to work together, and you build new bridges of understanding between Church and society.

That all may know of our high regard for your scholarship, for your contribution to classrooms, lecture halls, scholarly journals, books and global initiatives, for your advocacy for a world of justice and civil discourse, the College confers upon you this day the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.