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Holy Cross Scholar to Highlight Pivotal Moments of Modern Papacy

November 1st, 2010 by 

WORCESTER, Mass. – Rev. Thomas Worcester, S.J., professor of history at the College of the Holy Cross, with Rev. James Corkery, S.J., associate professor of theology at the Milltown Institute, Dublin, will give a lecture titled “The Modern Papacy: Five-hundred years of change” on Wednesday, Nov. 10, at 7:30 p.m. in the Rehm Library at Holy Cross. The lecture, sponsored by the Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture, is free and open to the public.

Worcester and Corkery are co-editors of The Papacy since 1500: From Italian Prince to Universal Pastor (2010, Cambridge University Press), a collection of essays illuminating the complex evolution of the papacy in the last 500 years. The book features pontificates from that of Julius II, warrior as well as patron of the arts, to the era of the French Revolution and Napoleon, to Paul VI’s pleas for peace during the Cold War, and to John Paul II’s model of a pastoral papacy in the age of television and the internet.

The idea for the book evolved from a popular class Worcester was teaching at Holy Cross on 500 years of the papacy, as well as a course Corkery taught on the theology of Benedict XVI as Joseph Ratzinger and its influence on his present papacy.

“People might think at first glance that the papacy is something that was always the same and that it’s a very fixed and final essence, whereas in reality it has been quite different at different times in history,” Corkery said. “This is a sort of freeing message, because it does mean that the papacy can always be improved, it can always grow, it can always develop in ways which actually better serve the entire Church.”

To learn more about events at the Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture and to listen to lectures online, visit www.holycross.edu/crec.

About The Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture:

Established in 2001 and housed in Smith Hall, the Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture provides resources for faculty and course development, sponsors conferences and college-wide teaching events, hosts visiting fellows, and coordinates a number of campus lecture series. Rooted in the College’s commitment to invite conversation about basic human questions, the Center welcomes persons of all faiths and seeks to foster dialogue that acknowledges and respects differences, providing a forum for intellectual exchange that is interreligious, interdisciplinary, intercultural, and international in scope.  The Center also brings members of the Holy Cross community into conversation with the Greater Worcester community, the academic community, and the wider world to examine the role of faith and inquiry in higher education and in the larger culture.

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