Fairfield University's Christopher F. Mooney, S.J. Lecture to be delivered by Boston College professor Lisa Sowle Cahill, an expert in theological ethics; ethics of sex and gender; bioethics; just war theory and pacifism


CahillLisa Sowle Cahill's expertise in ethics has led to such key assignments as serving on the Catholic Advisory Committee to then presidential candidate Barack Obama and testifying before a national commission on fetal tissue research and cloning.

Dr. Cahill, the J. Donald Monan, S.J., Professor of Theology at Boston College, will turn her attention to the importance of hope in today's troubled world when she delivers Fairfield University's annual Christopher F. Mooney, S.J. Lecture in Theology, Religion and Society, on Wednesday, Nov. 10 at 8 p.m. Presented by the Center for Catholic Studies, the event is free, open to the public, and will take place in the Charles F. Dolan School of Business Dining Room.

"Wars go on and on, crimes against women continue to be made at an alarming rate, and the environmental movement loses traction as so many countries fail to support it," said Dr. Cahill, former president of the Catholic Theological Society of America and the Society of Christian Ethics. "These examples and more of human suffering and lack of progress will be used as a point of departure for examining the ideals of Catholic Social Teaching... Why is it even realistic that progress will be made in the world? What are other ways we can hope and work for change?"

In a talk entitled, "Global Evils or the Common Good: Is There Any Hope?"she will explore the daunting task of maintaining hope and the importance of  Catholic Social Teaching in the face of a discouraging reality. Weaving in stories from her trips to Colombia and Burundi, Dr. Cahill will discuss social justice, her work with the Catholic Peacebuilding Network, and the Letters of St. Paul. "Real hope can come from engaging in our own circumstances," she said.

The event coincides with the University's Year of Global Citizenship, a time for students, staff and faculty to consider their place in the world and how they can make it a better place.

Cahill grew up primarily in northern Virginia, was educated in California at Santa Clara University and at the University of Chicago, and has taught theology at Boston College since 1976. She has also been a visiting professor at Georgetown and Yale Universities.

Her areas of special interest are fundamental theological ethics; ethics of sex and gender; bioethics; just war theory and pacifism. Current research interests are global health access; peacebuilding theologies and strategies; New Testament and ethics; and Christology and ethics.

A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Cahill has held office in the American Academy of Religion. She has been a member of the Catholic Health Association Theology and Ethics Advisory Committee, the National Advisory Board for Ethics in Reproduction, and the March of Dimes National Bioethics Committee. She is a member of the Catholic Common Ground Initiative; the Advisory Board of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good; and of the Catholic Peacebuilding Network, sponsored by the University of Notre Dame and Catholic Relief Services.  

A prolific author and editor, Cahill's most recent works are "Theological Bioethics: Participation, Justice and Change," (Georgetown, 2005); and "Sexuality and the U.S. Catholic Church: Crisis and Renewal," edited with John Garvey and T. Frank Kennedy (New York: Herder and Herder, 2006).

The lecture is an annual event sponsored by the Office of the Academic Vice President and the Department of Religious Studies. It honors Fr. Mooney, an award-winning author and a former Fairfield University academic vice president who died in 1993.

For more information, call (203) 254-4000, ext. 3415 or visit www.fairfield.edu/catholicstudies.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on October 27, 2010

Vol. 43, No. 92

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