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Past Events: 2019-2020

Fall 2019

Thursday, August 22, 20219
Faculty Book Discussion: The Uninhabitable Earth — Discussion of the First Year summer reading assignment, David Wallace-Wells' "The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming" (Penguin Random House, 2019) covers contents and issues laid out in the book as well as ideas on teaching and engaging students in purposeful discussions.

September 10, 2019
Killer Heat in the United States: Climate Choices and the Future of Dangerously Hot Days — Erika Spanger-Siegfried, a senior analyst in the Climate and Energy program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, reviews data from a recent report on the future of extreme heat in the United States. Co-sponsored with Sociology and Anthropology and Political Science.

September 17, 2019
Climate Change and the Role of the New Generation to Take Ethical Action —  Filmmaker Marcos Negrão shares stories and videos from his new documentary, "Child of Nature," of powerful actions taken by youth around the world. 

September 19, 2019
The Islam Question: Why Religious Freedom is the Answer — Daniel Philpott, professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame, draws on his newly published book, “Religious Freedom In Islam: The Fate of a Universal Human Right in the Muslim World Today” (Oxford University Press, 2019). One of the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity.

September 23, 2019
"Gay" and "Catholic": Evolving Identities — James Nickoloff, Holy Cross associate professor emeritus of religious studies, explores how the traditional Catholic understanding of the human person is being called into question by science and by the lived experience of real people, especially those whose sexuality is not exclusively heterosexual. Co-sponsored with the Office of College Chaplains.

September 26, 2019
Crowns of Transformation: How Vajrācāryas become Bodhisattvas — John Guy, Florence and Herbert Irving Curator of the Arts of South and Southeast Asia at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, describes the ritual use of Vajrācāryas crowns and the windows that their contemporary use provides into the medieval Indian origins of these key objects of Vajrayana practice. His talk is in conjunction with the Cantor Art Gallery exhibition Dharma and Puṇya: Buddhist Ritual Arts of Nepal. One of the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity.

October 9, 2019
Stranded Behind Bars: The Failure of Retributive Justice — Erin Kelly, professor of philosophy at Tufts University and author of “The Limits of Blame: Rethinking Punishment and Responsibility” (Harvard University Press, 2018), explains how retributive justice exaggerates the moral meaning of criminal guilt, normalizes excessive punishment, and distracts from shared responsibility for social injustice.

October 21, 2019
Fishbowl Discussion of "The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming" — Led by Holy Cross faculty Kendy Hess, Brake Smith Associate Professor of Social Philosophy and Ethics; Ellis Jones, assistant professor of sociology; Katherine Kiel, professor of economics; Renee LeBlanc '21, co-chair of Eco-Action; and Sara Mitchell, geologist and associate professor of biology. McFarland Center Director Thomas M. Landy moderates. Co-sponsored with Environmental Studies and the Class Deans.

October 23, 2019
Anne Frank, Otto Frank, and the Creation of Memory — A panel discussion featuring Roger Guenveur Smith following his performance of “Otto Frank,” with Thomas Doughton, senior lecturer in CIS; Edward Isser, W. Arthur Garrity, Sr. Professor in Human Nature, Ethics, and Society; and Theresa McBride, professor of history. Supported by the Kraft-Hiatt Fund for Jewish-Christian Understanding.

October 28, 2019
Civil Disobedience as a Moral Weapon for Inhuman Times — Pietro Ameglio, one of the most important teachers and practitioners of active nonviolence in Latin America today, is a key organizer in the Mexican Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity that emerged in 2011 in response to the spiraling toll of dead and disappeared in the so-called "war on drugs." Co-sponsored with Peace and Conflict Studies.

November 6, 2019
Wrestling with the Word: Moral Ambiguity in the Hebrew Bible — Andrew Davis, associate professor of Old Testament at Boston College, and Mahri Leonard Fleckman, assistant professor of religious studies at Holy Cross, assert that while reading the Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament, requires different rules of engagement than the New Testament, it seeks to immerse us in the most difficult issues of human nature, and that its lessons can speak to our world today. Supported by the Kraft-Hiatt Fund for Jewish-Christian Understanding.

November 7, 2019
Responding to the Opioid Epidemic — Dr. Andrew Kolodny, co-director of Opioid Policy Research at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University and the executive director of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing, provides an overview of the current state of the opioid crisis, and the role of prescription opioids, heroin and fentanyl on opioid-related morbidity and mortality.

November 9, 2019
Lunch Discussion with Journalist and Papal Biographer Austen Ivereigh — Pope Francis' foremost biographer, journalist and commentator Austen Ivereigh introduces his just released papal biography, Wounded Shepherd: Pope Francis and His Struggle to Convert the Catholic Church (Henry Holt and Co., 2019), a followup to the critically-acclaimed, The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope (Henry Holt, 2014).

November 11, 2019
Mary in Micronesia: Breadwinner, Protector, and Strong Model for Women — Juliana Flinn, professor of anthropology at the University of Arkansas Little Rock and author of "Mary, the Devil and Taro: Catholicism and Women's Work in a Micronesian Society" (University of Hawaii Press, 2010), describes how gender roles among Pollapese Catholics in Micronesia influence their strong image of Mary. Part of the McFarland Center’s initiative on Catholics & Cultures.

November 13, 2019
Memory as Protest: How and Why We Remember the Holocaust — A leading scholar of Holocaust literature, Alan Rosen, Kraft-Hiatt Scholar in Residence, explores the ethics of commemoration. Supported by the Kraft-Hiatt Fund for Jewish-Christian Understanding.

November 14, 2019
Believe in Belief: Looking at Religious Art — Holland Cotter, co-chief art critic of The New York Times, speaks on his approach to viewing and critiquing religious art. In connection with the Cantor Art Gallery exhibition, Dharma and Puṇya: Buddhist Ritual Arts of Nepal. One of the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity.

December 4, 2019
A New Way of Being Church: The Latin American Roots of Pope Francis Reforms — Rafael Luciani, a leading Latin American theologian and associate professor of the practice at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, discusses Pope Francis's Latin American theological vision. He is author of “Francis and the Theology of the People” (Orbis, 2017), winner of a 2018 Catholic Press Association Book Award.

Spring 2020

January 29, 2020
Hope in Time of CrisisInternational 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.

February 13, 2020
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, offers 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.

February 13, 2020
Vocation of the Writer: Joshua Wolf Shenk — Joshua Wolf Shenk is author of "Lincoln’s Melancholy," 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.

February 17, 2020
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 outlines the environmental and social justice goals of the Green New Deal and suggests why it responds better to the challenges of climate change than other current and prior administrations' policies.

February 19, 2020
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 involves sex, economic depression, fascism, Communism, and war. One of the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity.