University of Notre Dame Professor M. Cathleen Kaveny to deliver Fairfield University's 3rd Annual Commonweal Magazine Lecture on the "conservative culture warriors"

Cathleen KavenyMuch of University of Notre Dame Professor M. Cathleen Kaveny's scholarship has focused on questions in health care ethics, such as assisted suicide, cloning, and managed care. On Wednesday, March 24 at 8 p.m., she will turn her attention to the nation's polarizing conservative political pundits when she delivers Fairfield University's 3rd Annual Commonweal Magazine Lecture.

Dr. Kaveny, Notre Dame's John P. Murphy Foundation Professor of Law and Professor of Theology, will employ St. Thomas Aquinas' theory of law to critique "the conservative culture warriors" in a talk entitled, "Law, Morality and the Culture Wars."

"Cathleen Kaveny is a strong voice for common sense in the Catholic intellectual tradition," said Paul Lakeland, Ph.D., Fairfield University's Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J. Chair in Catholic Studies. "Her talk on Catholics and the culture wars will surely examine the activity of more conservative American Catholic leaders, bishops and others, relative to the grand tradition of seminal thinkers. I cannot believe she will not find them lacking."

The event, free and and open to the public, is sponsored by Fairfield University's Center for Catholic Studies in partnership with Commonweal, an independent journal of opinion edited and managed by lay Catholics that is based in New York City. It will take place in the Dolan School of Business Dining Room. For more information, visit

Dr. Kaveny's current projects include a book on complicity with evil, and another on the relationship between justice and mercy. In addition to teaching contracts to first-year law students, she also teaches interdisciplinary classes in both the law school and the theology department.

She serves on the steering committee of the Catholic Common Ground Initiative founded by the late Cardinal Bernardin, and is also a member of the advisory board for the University's Erasmus Institute.  

Prior to joining the faculty at Notre Dame, Dr. Kaveny worked as an associate at the Boston law firm of Ropes & Gray in its health-law group and clerked for the Honorable John T. Noonan Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

She earned four graduate degrees from Yale University, including a J.D. and a Ph. D. She earned a bachelor's degree from Princeton University.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726,

Posted on March 8, 2010

Vol. 42, No. 226

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