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Events at the McFarland Center

Spring 2022

Events will be held in person unless specified. At this time, attendance is limited to current Holy Cross students, faculty and staff. Most events will be recorded and made available for public viewing on our Listen and Learn page.

Revealing the Truth About the World’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Tuesday, February 1, 2022
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Chris Mooney

Chris Mooney, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist with the Washington Post and a lecturer at Yale School of the Environment, describes his months-long investigation into the world’s climate-warming emissions, which found that countries are dramatically under-reporting their climate impact—by as much as 13 billion tons of greenhouse gases annually. In his talk, hear how the gap in data was discovered, what accounts for the discrepancies, and about the data set built to hold the entire world accountable for what it is truly emitting. Co-sponsored with Environmental Studies.

Untidy, Eclectic, and Diverse: Lived Religion in Latin America Today

Wednesday, February 9, 2022
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Gustavo Morello, S.J.

Gustavo Morello, S.J., associate professor of sociology at Boston College, reports on an extensive three-year study of religion as practiced by Latin Americans in their daily lives. By choosing not to focus strictly on attendance, adherence and affiliation, his research team noted how religious influences have been pluralized, and religious practices are diverse and occur everywhere. His talk is one of the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity and part of the initiative on Catholics & Cultures.

How Should We Elect Presidents?

Thursday, February 17, 2022
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Eric Maskin

Nobel Prize Laureate Eric S. Maskin, Adams University Professor and professor of economics and mathematics at Harvard University, considers the ethics of voting systems to replace our flawed plurality rule—where voters vote once, and the candidate with the most votes wins, even if that candidate earns a minority share of votes. Countering Kenneth Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem, he challenges that there is a particular voting system that can satisfy our ethical principles and elect a president with a majority rule. Co-sponsored with the Economics Department.

On the Trail of an Antisemitic Myth: Or How Lies Are Turned into "Facts"

Wednesday, February 23, 2022
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Magda Teter

Since the Middle Ages, the death of a Christian child often resulted in violence against Jews, who were frequently blamed for the child's death. While other anti-Jewish libels waned, this one endures. Magda Teter, professor of history and the Shvidler Chair in Judaic Studies at Fordham University, unpacks the enduring power of this lie, and explains how and why it came to be rooted in Christian imagination, reaching beyond medieval Europe to contemporary America and the Middle East. Teter is author of Blood Libel: On the Trail of an Antisemitic Myth (Harvard University Press, 2020), winner of the 2020 National Jewish Book Award. Her talk is supported by the Kraft-Hiatt Fund for Jewish-Christian Understanding.

Russia at War: What does it mean?

Friday, February 25, 2022
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A panel of Holy Cross professors and Russia experts will discuss Russia's attack on Ukraine, why it happened, and where it leaves us now. After opening remarks, they will be available to answer questions. Featuring professors Amy Singleton Adams, Nina Barzachka, Judith Chubb, Diana Dukhanova, Cynthia Hooper, and Olga Partan. Learn more.

Tell Me How I Conquered You: Clues from the Second Century BCE Mediterranean

Monday, February 28, 2022
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Dan-El Padilla Peralta

Faced with rapidly expanding and highly destructive empires in the third and second centuries BCE, communities all around the Mediterranean were forced into harrowing choices about how best to defend (and reimagine) their cultural traditions. In this Thomas More Lecture on the Humanities, Dan-el Padilla Peralta, associate professor of classics at Princeton University, will examine some of the strategies for negotiating this collision of worlds that crystallize in the Book of Daniel. He'll also identify and discuss several other places in the literatures of the eastern and central Mediterranean where we can detect theories of cultural survival being developed through narratives of resistance.  Padilla is an expert in ancient Roman history and known for his activism to reshape the classics discipline. 

Fragments of Friendship: Spiritual Undercurrents of the Global Catholic Resistance to Fascism

Wednesday, March 16, 2022
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Brenna Moore

In the early to mid-twentieth century, a remarkable network of Catholic historians, theologians, poets, and activists pushed against both the far-right surge in interwar Europe and the secularizing tendencies of leftist movements. In this talk, Brenna Moore, professor of theology at Fordham University and author of Kindred Spirits (University of Chicago Press, 2021), explores how this group sought a middle way anchored in “spiritual friendship”— religiously meaningful relationships understood as uniquely capable of facing social and political challenges. For this group, spiritual friendship was inseparable from resistance to the global spread of fascism. One of the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity.

Banner graphic for Curing Injustice features five of Dr. Farmer's book covers over a film still from Bending the Arc of Dr. Farmer's face, off center, with an out of focus background of blue and green.

Curing Injustice: The Living Legacy of Dr. Paul Farmer

Tuesday, March 22, 2022
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Global health and social justice advocates around the world are grieving the unexpected loss of Dr. Paul Farmer, who was professor and chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and co-founder and chief strategist of Partners In Health. Join an interdisciplinary discussion with Holy Cross professors Judith Chubb, Tsitsi B Masvawure, Mary Doyle Roche, Susan Rodgers, and Ann Sheehy to reflect on Dr. Farmer's legacy and consider the impact that he's had on students of anthropology, theology, ethics and global health. Portions of the documentary “Bending the Arc” will be shown.

Fraternity, Martyrdom and Peace in Burundi: The Forty Servants of God of Buta

Thursday, March 24, 2022
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Jodi Mikalachki

During Burundi's 1993-2005 civil war, students at Buta Minor Seminary were ordered at gunpoint to separate by ethnicity—Hutus over here; Tutsis over there! They chose instead to join hands and affirm their common identity as children of God. The 40 students killed were quickly proclaimed martyrs of fraternity. Drawing on interviews with survivors, parents, neighbors, religious leaders and other Burundian intellectuals, Jodi Mikalachki, associate professor of English at the University of Burundi and a visiting fellow at DePaul University’s Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology, examines how Burundian Catholics understand the significance of the Buta martyrdom to their country and the world. Part of the McFarland Center’s global initiative on Catholics & Cultures.

Empathy and Historical Understanding

Wednesday, March 30, 2022
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Thomas Kohut

German historian Thomas Kohut is the Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III Professor of History at Williams College and author of Empathy and the Historical Understanding of the Human Past (Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2020). Drawing on examples from 20th-century German and Holocaust history, Kohut argues that the deliberate, self-reflective use of empathy is a legitimate and important mode of historical inquiry. Part of the Colloquia of the Department of Philosophy with support from the Rehm Family Fund.

Cover of the Boston Globe from January 6, 2002 features headline "Church allowed abuse by priest for years."

Justice and Care: Reflections around Past and Current Abuse and Safeguarding in the Church

Thursday, March 31, 2022
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Rev. Hans Zollner, S.J.

Twenty years ago, the Boston Globe Spotlight team first published revelations of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy, which became a nationwide scandal, then a global crisis, for the Roman Catholic Church. Unresolved questions around justice and care for all involved continue to undermine the Church's credibility. Rev. Hans Zollner, S.J., one of the leading figures in Rome working to address this issue worldwide, joins us to discuss what the Church has done and what still needs to be done. Fr. Zollner is founder and president of the The Centre for Child Protection, now the Institute of Anthropology, at the Pontifical Gregorian University. He is also a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors and an advisor of the Congregation for Clergy. He is a psychologist and licensed psychotherapist, particularly interested in human formation in the training of seminarians and religious worldwide. One of the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity, with additional support from the Rehm Family Fund.

How To Read a Biblical Rape Story

Monday, April 4, 2022
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Rhiannon Graybill

The Hebrew Bible is filled with sexual violence. But how should we read biblical rape stories? Rhiannon Graybill, associate professor of religious studies at Rhodes College, argues that the framework of consent, which is often invoked to respond to sexual violence, is insufficient and insufficiently feminist. It also fails to attend to important features of sexual violence, whether ancient or contemporary. In response, she offers a  framework for understanding sexual violence that tends to the ambiguity and confusion that often surround these experiences. Her talk will analyze three biblical rape stories: Dinah (Gen. 34), Tamar (2 Sam. 13), and Lot’s Daughters (Gen. 19). Part of the Hebrew Bible Lecture Series, supported by the Kraft-Hiatt Fund for Jewish-Christian Understanding.

Fishbowl Discussion: Greening Cities from Plan to Practice

April 6, 2022
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Using Green Worcester as a springboard for conversation, this discussion looks at the environmental planning process and what happens when competing ethical interests come into play. Featuring John Fernández, professor of architecture and director of the Environmental Solutions Initiative at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Karin Valentine Goins, program director of Preventative and Behavioral Medicine at University of Massachusetts Medical School and a public health activist who co-founded WalkBike Worcester, and John Odell '88, chief sustainability and resilience officer for the City of Worcester. Co-sponsored with the Office of Sustainability.

Rabbi Abraham Skorka with his arm around his friend Pope Francis, both smiling.

The Pope’s Rabbi on Meaningful Interfaith Dialogue

April 11, 2022
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Argentinian-born Rabbi Abraham Skorka, a longtime friend of Pope Francis, focuses on deepening Catholic-Jewish relationships—not to convince the other of their personal beliefs, but to open up a dialogue between their faiths to help address global issues and problems affecting members of both religions. With Francis, he co-authored “On Heaven and Earth” in 2010. Skorka, a biophysicist, was rabbi of the Benei Tikva synagogue for 42 years and the rector of the Rabbinical Seminary for 20 years. The talk is supported by the Kraft-Hiatt Fund for Jewish-Christian Understanding.

The Ukraine War and Prospects for Democracy

April 21, 2022
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Considering its history and wartime experience, what possibilities do we see for the democratic future of Ukraine? For Eastern Europe? Part of a presidential series on Defending Democracy, this fishbowl discussion will feature Holy Cross student Viktor Lutsyshen '23, a native of Kherson; Nina S. Barzachka, Assistant Professor of Political Science; Roman Zaviyskyy, Dean of Philosophy and Theology at Ukrainian Catholic University, who will be zooming from Lviv; and Markian Dobczansky, a historian of the Soviet Union, Russian-Ukrainian relations and urbanization and associate of the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute. Learn more.

Vocation of the Writer Lecture: Rigoberto González

Thursday, April 21, 2022
7:30 p.m., Rehm Library
Rigoberto González

Rigoberto González describes himself as a man of many identities: Chicano, gay, immigrant, artist. He brings them all to his role of professor in the creative writing program at Rutgers University. His 12 books show the breadth of his creative talents: two bilingual children's books, three collections of poetry, a novel, two young adult books, a memoir, a book of short stories, a 300-page anthology of Latino literature which he edited, Camino del Sol: 15 Years of Latino and Latina Writing (University of Arizona Press, 2010), and his latest, Retablos: Self-Portraits, Studies, Speeches (University of Arizona Press, 2012 ). González writes a monthly book column for the El Paso Times, and is a contributing editor to Poets and Writers Magazine. Co-sponsored with the Creative Writing Program's Working Writers Series.

Canceled: 2021 Nobel Peace Laureate Maria Ressa

Monday, April 25, 2022
Journalist, author and freedom advocate Maria Ressa was awarded the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize "for [her] efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace." The first Filipina Nobel Prize laureate, she is the co-founder and CEO of Rappler, the Philippines' leading digital media company.
A journalist for over 35 years, Maria has been arrested on 10 charges related to exposing the Duterte government’s corrupt practices and was convicted of cyber-libel in June. She is out on bail pending her appeal but true to form, Ressa, vows to keep fighting. Learn more.

College Address
4:30 p.m.: What are you willing to sacrifice for the Truth?

Public Forum
7:30 p.m.: Defending Democracy: A Conversation with Maria Ressa and Holy Cross President Vincent Rougeau