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Events at the McFarland Center

Spring 2020

Important Update: As of March 12, 2020, all campus events are canceled for the remainder of the semester. Please check the College's Coronavirus page for more information.

Rev. Peter Dubovsky, S.J.Wednesday, January 29, 2020; 4 p.m., Rehm Library
Hope in Time of Crisis — International Visiting Jesuit Fellow Rev. Peter Dubovsky, S.J., a native of Slovakia, surveys the wars, destruction, deportation and violence in ancient Israel to question: is there a hope when the temple is on fire, when the city lies in ashes, and when the people are massacred? Fr. Dubovsky is professor of the Old Testament exegesis at Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome.


Ingrid RowlandThursday, February 13, 2020; 4:30 p.m., Rehm Library
A Roman Rivalry: Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Francesco Borromini on the Strada Pia, 1634-1680 — Ingrid Rowland, University of Notre Dame professor of architecture and history, based in Rome, will offer a review of Jesuit architecture in Rome, including the churches San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane and Sant' Andrea al Quirinale, built a few hundred yards apart by great rival architects of the 17th century. A visit to Sant’ Andrea is part of the Ignatian pilgrimage.


Joshua Wolf ShenkThursday, February 13, 2020; 7:30 p.m., Rehm Library
Vocation of the Writer: Joshua Wolf Shenk — Joshua Wolf Shenk is author of "Lincoln’s Melancholy," named one of the best books of the year by The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Atlanta-Journal Constitution. He is editor of Believer magazine and director of the Black Mountain Institute at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, a new institute for the study of writing and culture. He writes for The Atlantic and is and advisor for The Moth radio hour. Co-sponsored with the Creative Writing Program.


Thea RiofrancosMonday, February 17, 2020; 4 p.m., Rehm Library
A Green New Deal for Climate Safety and Social Justice — Thea Riofrancos, assistant professor of political science at Providence College, is coauthor of  “A Planet to Win: Why We Need a Green New Deal“ (Verso 2019). In this talk, she will outline the environmental and social justice goals of the Green New Deal and suggest why it responds better to the challenges of climate change than other current and prior administrations' policies.


James ChappelWednesday, February 19, 2020; 4:30 p.m., Rehm Library
A Church Renewed: Sex, Capitalism, and the Making of Modern Catholicism — Drawing on his recent book, “Catholic Modern” (Harvard University Press, 2018), James Chappel, Hunt Family Assistant Professor of History at Duke University, describes the transformation of the Catholic Church in the 20th century. In 1900, the Church stood squarely against everything we might call "modern": democracy, women's rights, and so on. By 2000, this had almost entirely changed. How did this happen, and why? The answer will involve sex, economic depression, fascism, Communism, and war. One of the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity.

Elizabeth Bloch-SmithMark S. SmithCANCELED Wednesday, March 11, 2020; 4:30 p.m., Rehm Library
David and the Messiah: From the Bible to Jewish and Christian Tradition — Elizabeth Bloch-Smith and Mark S. Smith, faculty at Princeton Theological Seminary, will discuss the "different Davids" (child-hero, gangster on the run, brilliant monarch, aged king) presented in the Hebrew Bible and surmised from the archaeological remains. Then, they will look at David imagined further as prophet, singer and harbinger of the Messiah in the Dead Sea Scrolls, the New Testament and Jewish tradition. Bloch-Smith, an archaeologist, is field director at Tell Keisan, Israel. Smith is Helena Professor of Old Testament Literature and Exegesis, specializing in Israelite religion and the Hebrew Bible. Supported by the Kraft-Hiatt Program for Jewish-Christian Understanding.

Shelly MatthewsCANCELED Monday, March 16, 2020; 4:30 p.m.
The Lynching Tree and the Cross: James Cone, Historical Narrative, and the Ideology of Just Crucifixion (Luke 23:41) — Shelly Matthews, professor of New Testament at Brite Divinity School, will explore African American theologian James Cone’s idea that contemplating the crucifixion of Jesus makes possible a fuller understanding of Christian identity, white supremacist violence, and the legacy of slavery in the contemporary U.S. context. Further, she will argue that the inverse relationship also holds: scholars of the ancient Roman Empire might consider modern lynching practices as a means to understand more fully the workings of ancient crucifixion. Co-sponsored with the Class of 1956 Chair in New Testament Studies.


Edgardo Colon-EmericCANCELED Thursday, March 19, 2020; 4:30 p.m.
The Scandal of the Transfiguration: San Óscar Romero’s Message to Today’s Church — Edgardo A. Colón-Emeric, Irene and William McCutchen Associate Professor of Reconciliation and Theology at Duke University Divinity School, explains martyr bishop Saint Óscar Romero’s conviction that God wants to radically transform people, history, and land starting from the world of the poor, and how priests and churches in El Salvador who embraced his theology were persecuted. He is author of "Óscar Romero’s Theological Vision: Liberation and the Transfiguration of the Poor" (University of Notre Dame Press, 2018). One of the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity.


Emily WilsonCANCELED Tuesday, March 24, 2020; 4:30 p.m.
War, Homecoming, Heroism, Truth — Emily Wilson, author of an acclaimed recent translation of the Odyssey, will talk about what we might learn from the Homeric poems about ethics and empathy, and about the moral and poetic challenges of studying, engaging with and translating the distant past. She is a professor of classical studies and graduate chair of the Program in Comparative Literature & Literary Theory at the University of Pennsylvania. Her talk is the Thomas More Lecture on the Humanities.


Teresia HingaCANCELED Thursday, March 26, 2020; 4:30 p.m.
African, Christian, Feminist and More: Mapping and Engaging African/a Women’s Theo-ethical Footprint in the Age of Globalization — Teresia Hinga, associate professor of religious studies at Santa Clara University, is a founding member of the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians, a pan-African association of women who study the role and impact of religion and culture on African women's lives. She will trace the historical footprint of African/a women’s theology and ethics, highlighting key themes, roadblocks to flourishing, and proposals for morally viable ways out of the precarity that characterizes the lives of women and children. One of the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity.


Jody FreemanCANCELED Tuesday, March 31, 2020; 7 p.m.
Resetting the Course for Climate Policy: What's Necessary and What's Achievable — Jody Freeman is a leading scholar of both administrative and environmental law whose work in academia and government has shaped a variety of large-scale initiatives in energy and environmental policy. She is Archibald Cox Professor of Law at Harvard University and founding director of the Harvard Law School Environmental Law and Policy Program. In this talk, she will review where we are in addressing climate change, where we need to be, and what’s really possible.


Sandro GaleaCANCELED Wednesday, April 1, 2020, 4:30 p.m.
Health Haves and Have Nots: Understanding and narrowing health inequities in a rapidly changing world — Sandro Galea is a physician, epidemiologist, author, and dean and Robert A. Knox Professor at Boston University School of Public Health. He will explain how, despite tremendous progress on health in multiple dimensions, our health remains vastly worse than it could be. Galea will suggest how we need to talk about health differently in order to narrow health gaps and create a healthier world.



Salamishah TilletCANCELED Tuesday, April 14, 2020; 7 p.m.
The Audacity to Heal: A Public Conversation about Surviving Sexual Assault — Co-founder of A Long Walk Home, Inc., a non-profit organization that uses art to end violence against girls and women, Salamishah Tillet is a writer, feminist activist, and rape survivor. She is Henry Rutgers Professor of African American and African Studies and Creative Writing at Rutgers University, Newark. She is also faculty director of the New Arts Justice Initiative at Express Newark and associate director of the Clement A. Price Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience at Rutgers.