Author John T. McGreevy, University of Notre Dame scholar, to deliver Fairfield University's Commonweal Lecture: "The Ellsworth Outrage (1854)"

Image: John McGreevyJohn T. McGreevy, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Letters at the University of Notre Dame, will deliver Fairfield University's 5th Annual Commonweal Lecture, on Wednesday, April 11, at 8 p.m.

Dr. McGreevy, author of "Catholicism and American Freedom," will give a lecture entitled: "The Ellsworth Outrage (1854), or How the Tarring and Feathering of a Jesuit Priest Helps Us Understand the Relationship Between Catholicism and the Modern World." The public is welcome and admission is free to the event, which will take place in the Dolan School of Business Dining Room. The annual lecture features speakers associated with "Commonweal," a journal of opinion edited and managed by lay Catholics that reviews religion, politics, and culture. It is sponsored by Fairfield University's Center for Catholic Studies in partnership with "Commonweal."

"The lecture is an examination of the 1854 tarring and feathering of John Bapst, a Jesuit priest," said Dr. McGreevy. "I use this incident to explore Catholic/Protestant tensions in the United States and elsewhere, as well as reflect a bit on the importance of global religions in the modern world."

Dr. McGreevy is the author of the books: "Parish Boundaries: The Catholic Encounter with Race in the Twentieth Century Urban North," published by the University of Chicago Press in 1996, and "Catholicism and American Freedom: A History," published by W.W. Norton in 2003. His current project is a study of the 19th century Jesuits and what they tell us about religious controversy, the "Catholic revival," and the transatlantic dimensions of American religion. He is also interested in the intersection of religion and politics in the United States, from the 1960s to the present.

As dean of the College of Arts and Letters at the University of Notre Dame, Dr. McGreevy is responsible for the overall vision and strategy of the College. He joined the faculty of Notre Dame in 1997.  

For more information, please contact the Center for Catholic Studies Administrative Coordinator at (203) 254-4000 ext. 3415, or visit

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

Posted on March 26, 2012

Vol. 44, No. 243

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