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Past Events: 2016-2017

Fall 2016

September 12, 2016
Christianophobia: A Neglected Genocide in the Church's Biblical Heartlands? — Rupert Shortt, religion editor and writer for The Times Literary Supplement talks about cases of oppression and genocide against Christians in the Middle East and beyond. Co-Sponsored with the W. Arthur Garrity Sr. Professorship in Human Nature, Ethics and Society and the Department of Economics and Accounting.

September 13, 2016
Introducing the Journal of Global Catholicism — This reception debuts a new twice-yearly e-journal, edited by Religious Studies Professor Mathew Schmalz, part of the McFarland Center's Catholics & Cultures initiative. The event celebrates the premier issue, previews future issues, and offers an update on Catholics & Cultures.

September 14, 2016
Kinship with Migrants in the Year of Mercy — Kristin Heyer, professor of theological ethics at Boston College and author of "Kinship Across Borders: A Christian Ethic of Immigration" (Georgetown University Press, 2012), suggests reframing the immigration debate from one based on fears about threats to our security, economy and culture to one focused on human rights, worker rights and family ethics. Her talk is one of the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity.

September 15, 2016
Faculty Scholarship Lunch: Yeats, Joyce, Beckett...and Who?: New Work on Modern and Contemporary Irish Literature — Paige Reynolds, professor of English, discusses her collection “Modernist Afterlives in Irish Literature and Culture” (Anthem, 2016).

September 19, 2016
How Catholicism Changed: From Official Approval of Slavery to Prohibiting It — Bernadette Brooten, American religious scholar and Kraft-Hiatt Professor of Christian Studies at Brandeis University, traces the Church's changing position on slavery, from references in the New Testament and early canon law that fully tolerate slavery to the current teachings which prohibit it.  Co-sponsored by the Class of 1956 Chair in New Testament Studies.

September 29, 2016
You Can't Say That: Teaching Controversy in the Age of Trump — Jonathan Zimmerman, professor of the history of education at the University of Pennsylvania, traces the history of teaching controversial topics in public schools and the restrictions placed on teachers' First Amendment rights. Co-sponsored with the Education Department.

October 5, 2016
Faculty Scholarship Lunch: The Dodo: Lessons from an Icon of Extinction — Leon Claessens, associate professor of biology, discusses his work on the dodo, the giant flightless pigeon-relative that once lived on the island of Mauritius.

October 18, 2016
Supply and Demand in the U.S. Firearms Industry: A Data-Based Exploration — Jurgen Brauer, professor of economics at Augusta University, shares his own statistics on gun violence, the new and used domestic and foreign supply of firearms in the country, and the demand, adjusted for changes to state laws and background checks. He also shows correlations between talk of gun legislation and a rise in gun sales.  Co-sponsored with the W. Arthur Garrity Sr. Professorship in Human Nature, Ethics and Society and the Department of Economics and Accounting.

October 18, 2016
Raise the Roof: Film Screening and Panel Discussion — This film documents artists Rick and Laura Brown of Handshouse Studio as they reconstruct the elaborate roof and painted ceiling of an 18th-century synagogue that was destroyed by Nazis in Poland. Co-sponsored with Visual Arts and the Cantor Art Gallery and supported by the Kraft-Hiatt Fund for Jewish-Christian Understanding.

October 19, 2016
Expressive Individualism, the Cult of the Artist as Genius, and Milton’s Lucifer — Patrick Madigan, S.J., editor of the Heythrop Journal, offers an 'intellectual genealogy' for the currently fashionable term of ‘expressive individualism', tracing it back to its historical antecedents and suggests that expressive individualism as an ethic for our time might be a toxic model.

October 20, 2016
Classics, the Culture Wars, and Beyond — Eric Adler, associate professor of classics at the University of Maryland, traces the role of the classics in higher education from early America through the post-bellum era including the culture wars. He considers what is lost when a culture no longer believes in the perfection of the human being as education's goal, preferring a skills-based approach to knowledge. Co-sponsored with the Department of Classics.

October 26, 2016
An Ottoman Tableau of Faith: A Lecture-Demonstration — The DÜNYA ensemble presents a historical tableau of different religious musical practices in Islam, Christianity and Judaism, especially centered in Ottoman Istanbul. Co-sponsored with Arts Transcending Borders. Supported by the Kraft-Hiatt Fund for Jewish-Christian Understanding.

November 1, 2016
Faculty Scholarship Lunch: Making Sense of Mark’s Silent Ending: Reading a Gospel as Traumatic Haunting — Tat-siong Benny Liew, Class of 1956 Professor in New Testament Studies, discusses how psychoanalytic theory may mediate between Marxist and postcolonial understandings to inform a different reading of Mark’s Gospel.

November 1, 2016
Fishbowl Discussion: Making Marijuana Legal — Explore the science, ethics and outcomes at stake in legalizing recreational marijuana in Massachusetts. Featured participants are: Daniel Bitran, professor of psychology; Gregory DiGirolamo, associate professor of psychology; Paul Irish, associate dean of students and director of student conduct and community standards; and students Pooja Patnaik '17 and Michael Andre '17.

November 9, 2016
After the Holocaust the Bells Still Ring — A child survivor the Holocaust, Joseph A. Polak, rabbi emeritus of Hillel House at Boston University and chief justice of the Rabbinical Court of Massachusetts, shares from his memoir "After the Holocaust the Bells Still Ring," winner of a 2015 National Jewish Book Award. Supported by the Kraft-Hiatt Fund for Jewish-Christian Understanding.

November 14, 2016
In Pursuit of Global Religious Freedom — United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom David Saperstein talks about the United States' role in advising and negotiating with governments to protect religious minorities and in defending those groups from governments and terror groups that discrimate, persecute and commit genocide against them. Supported by the Kraft-Hiatt Fund for Jewish-Christian Understanding.

November 16, 2016
A Latinx Political Ethics for the Hopelessness of Our Community — Miguel De La Torre, professor of social ethics and Latino/a studies at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado, argues that to show solidarity with the Latinx community, we must adopt a political ethics that embraces hopelessness, and he explores why such a move is more salvific for the oppressed than Eurocentric Christian thought. One of the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity, this event is co-sponsored with Latin American and Latino Studies and Peace and Conflicts Studies.

November 17, 2016
Film Screening: Trails of Hope and Terror —Miguel De La Torre’s documentary explores the historical and economic reasons for the current immigration crisis, and how politicians have used this issue to garner votes.

November 29, 2016
American Jesuits and the World: How an Embattled Religious Order Made Modern Catholicism Global — John T. McGreevy, I.A. O'Shaughnessy Dean of the College of Arts and Letters and professor of history at the University of Notre Dame, speaks about his newest book, which tracks Jesuits who left Europe for America and places the Jesuits at the center of the worldwide clash between Catholics and liberal nationalists. One of the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity.

November 30, 2016
Finding Pope Francis on Mount St. James — Mark K. Shriver ’86, president of Save the Children Action Network in Washington, D.C., talks about his latest book, “Pilgrimage: My Search for the Real Pope Francis” (Random House, 2016) in which he retraces Pope Francis’ personal journey in Argentina, and in the process revitalizing his own faith and renewing his commitment to the Church.

Spring 2017

February 2, 2017
Farmworker Justice Discussions with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers — In classroom and public sessions, Oscar Otzoy of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and Yaissy Solis of the Student/Farmworker Alliance spoke with students, faculty and staff about their worker-based human rights organizations and efforts to protect farmworker rights.

February 2, 2017
Forgotten by the Food Movement? — Margaret Gray, associate professor of political science at Adelphi University and author of "Labor and the Locavore" (University of California Press, 2013), focused on low-wage, non-citizen workers in the agro-food industry and their civic, cultural, and economic opportunities.

February 6, 2017
Lessons from the Field: Kinship as an Intervention — Rev. Gregory Boyle, S.J., founder and executive director of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles and author of "Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion" (Free Press, 2010), along with homies Ruben Ruiz and David Vasquez, shared stories about gang intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry.

February 14, 2017
Faculty Scholarship Lunch: Returning to the Roots of Mathematics — John Little, professor of mathematics, considers if the history of mathematics should try to "explain" ancient mathematics using the concepts of the present? Or should it try to understand the mathematics of the past on its own terms?

February 14, 2017
God: Idea and Experience — Rev. George Karuvelil, S.J., International Visiting Jesuit Fellow for the Spring 2017 semester, focused on a universally available kind of experience known as “nature mysticism” to show how the theistic understanding of God can be rejuvenated.

February 16, 2017
Understanding the Islamic State — Daniel Byman, professor in the Security Studies Program in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and a senior fellow at the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, investigated the roots of ISIS, the geopolitical implications of terrorism in the Middle East, and the consequences of various policy options. Co-sponsored with CIS/Peace and Conflict Studies.

February 21, 2017
St. John Paul II on the Free and Virtuous Society: Democracy, the Market, and Culture — Papal scholar and Catholic theologian George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellow and William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, highlighted teachings of Pope John Paul II that connected culture, economics and politics. Co-sponsored by the Department of Political Science’s Charles Carroll Program and the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity.

February 23, 2017
Vocation of the Writer — Ander Monson, author of six books of fiction, nonfiction and poetry, most recently "Letter to a Future Lover" (Graywolf, 2015), discussed what it means to be a writer and a reader. Co-sponsored with the Creative Writing program.

March 1, 2017
What is College For? — Andrew Delbanco, Alexander Hamilton Professor of American Studies at Columbia University and author of "College: What it Was, Is, and Should Be" (Princeton University Press, 2012), spoke about liberal education — its past, present and future. The Thomas More Lecture on the Humanities.

March 2, 2017
The Word According to Rihanna: The Bible after The Book — Timothy Beal, the Florence Harkness Professor of Religion at Case Western Reserve University, explored how our present media revolution is changing the ways we interact with and think about Bibles, the Bible, and the biblical. Co-sponsored with the Dean’s Office.

March 15, 2017
Faculty Scholarship Lunch: Troubling Visions of the Past: The Visual Culture of Slavery in the Dominican Republic — Rosa Carrasquillo, an associate professor of history who teaches in Latin American and Latino Studies, introduces research on the visual culture of slavery in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, by analyzing three historical sites and how they inform what Dominicans know, shape and believe about slavery.

March 21, 2017
Theatre as a Form of Resistance to Oppression and Genocide — Joshua Sobol, a prolific and award-winning playwright, director and author, explored the role of theatre in ghettos and camps during World War II. Supported by the Kraft-Hiatt Fund for Jewish-Christian Understanding.

March 23, 2017
The Crusades and Crusaders: History and Historiography — Kevin Madigan ’82, Winn Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Harvard Divinity School, offered a historical perspective on what the Crusades were and reflected on the historiography of the Crusades from the late 19th century onward. One of the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity.

March 24-25, 2017
Conference: Globalization of Science in the Middle East and North Africa, 18th-20th Centuries — This conference brought together scholars to explore important issues related to the history of science in the Middle East and North Africa region during the 18th-20th centuries — a critical period of change and modernization when Middle Easterners were concerned about rising power of European states and societies and the relative weakness of Islamic ones. Carla Nappi, Canada Research Chair in Early Modern Studies and associate professor of history at the University of British Columbia, give the keynote address, “Look at the Fish: Decomposing Global Histories of Science.” Supported by the Rehm Family Fund.

March 27, 2017
Bhutanese Refugees: Navigating Exile, Encampment, and Resettlement — Kamryn Warren, a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at the University of Connecticut and a Fulbright Fellow, investigated the end of the refugee cycle and the transitions that occur when a forced migratory crisis is deemed to be over. Co-sponsored with Religious Studies.

April 3, 2017
Does the Bible Really Say That? Reading Religiously in Bible-Thumping, Bible-Tweeting Culture — Danna Nolan Fewell, the John Fletcher Hurst Professor of Hebrew Bible at Drew University, offered a virtual cross-cultural trip into the ancient city of Sodom (Genesis 19) to provide the testing ground for how the Bible might contribute to contemporary social and political discourse. Co-sponsored with the Dean's Office.

April 5, 2017
Time Capsules in the Rubble: The Secret Archive of the Warsaw Ghetto — Samuel Kassow, the Charles H. Northam Professor of History at Trinity College and author of "Who Will Write Our History?" (Indiana University Press, 2007), shared the story of Emanuel Ringelblum and his secret Oyneg Shabes organization who studied and documented Jewish life in Nazi-occupied Warsaw and buried the archive for posterity. Supported by the Kraft-Hiatt Fund for Jewish-Christian Understanding.

April 6, 2017
The Gift of Modernity — Cyril O’Regan, the Huisking Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, spoke to the ambiguity of modernity from a Catholic theological and philosophical point of view. One of the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity.

April 11, 2017
Calling Ourselves Crusaders: What’s in a Name? — Faculty panelists drew from their respective fields to help us think about questions of identity, meaning, memory, belonging, and history wrapped up in the use of the Holy Cross moniker, Crusaders. Panelists were Rev. John Baldovin, S.J., ’69, professor of historical & liturgical theology at Boston College School of Theology & Ministry, and Holy Cross professors Vickie Langohr (political science), Mathew Schmalz (religious studies), Mark Freeman (psychology), Kendy Hess (philosophy), and Sahar Bazzaz (history).

April 19, 2017
Faculty Scholarship Lunch: Open Scholarship: Ethical and Practical Considerations — Neel Smith, associate professor of classics, discusses how digital information technology changes our scholarship: not only the kinds of questions we can explore, but how we conduct our work in relation to the narrow circle of our peers and to society more broadly. This has important implications for disciplines like archaeology, where the consensus on the ethical obligations of working with cultural property  unambiguously requires open scholarship.

April 20, 2017
What Does Jesus Have to Do with Wall Street? — Joerg Rieger, Cal Turner Chancellor’s Chair in Wesleyan Studies and Distinguished Professor of Theology at Vanderbilt University, considered how the structures of dominant economies influence religion and what contributions religion might make in turn.

April 21-22, 2017
Tolstoy and Spirituality — This conference examined Leo Tolstoy's works of fiction and nonfiction to assess the viability and fruitfulness of his approach to Christianity. Speakers included acclaimed Russian writer Mikhail Shishkin, author of "Maidenhair" and "The Light and the Dark"; cultural historian Rosamund Bartlett, author of the biography "Tolstoy: A Russian Life" and translator of Tolstoy’s "Anna Karenina"; and Liza Knapp, professor of Slavic languages at Columbia University and author of "Anna Karenina and Others: Tolstoy’s Labyrinth of Plots." Supported by the Rehm Family Fund.

April 21, 2017
Concert: Beethoven’s Kreutzer and Tchaikovsky’s In Memory of a Great Artist — Victor Santiago Asuncion, piano; Markus Placci, violin; and Jan Müller-Szeraws, cello performed works of Beethoven and Tchaikovsky in connection with the Tolstoy and Spirituality conference.

April 24, 2017
Why Luck Matters More than You Might Think — Robert Frank, the Henrietta Johnson Louis Professor of Management and professor of economics at Cornell University and author of "Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy" (Princeton University Press, 2016), argues that luck — in addition to hard work and talent — plays a significant role in achieving individual success.