Thirty Years Beyond the Genocide

 Lessons for the Global Church

Thursday, April 18 - Friday, April 19, 2024

April 7, 2024, marks the 30th commemoration of the genocide against the Tutsis in Rwanda. In solidarity with Rwandans, this two-day symposium gathers international scholars to unpack the complex role of the Catholic church in the genocide and its aftermath, as well as explore broader implications for the global church today.

This Catholics & Cultures conference is organized by Audrey Seah, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies. The talks will result in an upcoming issue of the Journal for Global Catholicism. Unless otherwise noted, all events are open to the public.


Conference Keynote: Theology and Ecclesiology from Wounds of the Genocide 

7:00 p.m., Rehm Library, Smith Hall

Rev. Marcel Uwineza, SJ

How does a compromised church rise from the wounds of the genocide? Rev. Marcel Uwineza, SJ, a genocide survivor, considers the historical, social, political, and theological circumstances that led to the genocide and proposes a different way forward. Uwineza is the Principal of Hekima University College in Kenya, a Jesuit School of Theology and Peace Studies. 

Unless otherwise noted, all talks will take place in Rehm Library. 

8:30-9:00 AM: Breakfast and Coffee, Moran Lounge 

9:00-9:50 AM: After the Rwandan Genocide: Lessons for the Global Church

  • Presenter: Bryan Froehle
  • Respondents: Dawid Stelmach and Sarah Kathleen Johnson

10:00-10:50 AM: Christophe Munzihirwa, S.J. and the Impact of the Rwandan Genocide in Congo

  • Presenter: John Kiess
  • Respondent: Audrey Seah

11:00-11:50 AM: Comparing Reconciliation Policies in Post-genocide Rwanda and Post-communist Poland

  • Presenter: Dawid Stelmach
  • Respondents: John Kiess, Erik Sorensen

12:00-1:15 PM: Lunch (By registration)

1:15-2:00 PM: Break

2:00-2:50 PM: The Cow and the Canoe: Ritual Responses to Crisis in Canada and Rwanda

  • Presenters: Audrey Seah, Erik Sorensen, and Sarah Kathleen Johnson
  • Respondent: Bryan Froehle

3:00-3:50 PM: The Mortal Danger of Epistemic Vices: Pastoral Responsibilities in Light of Genocidal Complicity

  • Presenter: Paul Kollman
  • Respondents: All participants