Lectures and discussions at the College of the Holy Cross this fall will take on trending topics such as the Pope’s encyclical on climate change, the abolition of weapons of mass destruction, and ways to teach justice and create equal opportunity for underprivileged children.
Presented by the College’s Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J. Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture, the events are held in Rehm Library and are free and open to the public. Many events are recorded and accessible on the McFarland Center’s website. For information, visit holycross.edu/mcfarlandcenter.
The McFarland Center’s fall events include:
Sept. 21, 4:30 p.m.
Pope Francis on the Globalization of Environmental Responsibility: Perspectives from Holy Cross Faculty — Delve into passages of the Pope’s Encyclical on climate change, Laudato Si’, and consider their implications to a number of disciplines. Holy Cross political science professor Loren Cass moderates panelists Matthew Eggemeier, assistant professor of religious studies; Daina Harvey, assistant professor of sociology; Kathy Kiel, professor and chair of economics; Kelly Wolfe-Bellin, director of the biology laboratories; and Rev. Thomas Worcester, S.J., professor of history.
Sept. 24, 4:30 p.m.
Against Empathy — Paul Bloom, professor of psychology and cognitive science at Yale University, draws upon his research into psychopathy, criminal behavior, charitable giving, infant cognition, cognitive neuroscience and Buddhist meditation practices to argue that empathy is a poor moral guide and we are better off without it.
Sept. 28, 4:30 p.m.
Abolition of Weapons of Mass Destruction: Building a Secure and Sustainable World — Paul Walker ’68, the International Director of Environmental Security and Sustainability for Green Cross International, talks about the build-up of weapons of mass destruction — nuclear, chemical, and biological — and the decades of national and international efforts to abolish them. He also raises environmental and public health considerations and the need to establish global, enforceable norms for peaceful resolution of conflict.
Sept. 29, 7:30 p.m.
Fleshy Passages: How Feminist Biblical Studies Can Contribute to Rethinking Health and Illness — Denise Buell, professor of religion at Williams College, draws from recent studies in microbiology and early Christian texts to offer contemporary ways of thinking about health and environmental responsibility.
Oct. 5, 4:30 p.m.
Miraculous Images and Votive Offerings in Mexico — Frank Graziano, professor of Hispanic studies at Connecticut College, gives an illustrated talk on the religious statues known to perform miracles and the offerings left in gratitude, as featured in his forthcoming book, “Miraculous Images and Votive Offerings in Mexico” (Oxford University Press, November 2015).
Oct. 26, 4:30 p.m.
Jesuit Kaddish: Encounters between Jesuits and Jews and Why These Might Matter to Us— Rev. James Bernauer, S.J., professor of philosophy and director of the Center for Christian-Jewish Learning at Boston College, highlights the relations between Jesuits and Jews in the 20th century, giving special attention to the historical context of the Holocaust.
Oct. 28, 4:30 p.m.
Comics as Documentary: Words, Images, and War — Hillary Chute, associate professor of English at the University of Chicago, discusses why drawing can be an ethical practice of creating images of witness to war, with a focus on the Japanese Hiroshima survivor cartoonist Keiji Nakazawa, and the American Jewish cartoonist Art Spiegelman, son of Holocaust survivors.
Nov. 10, 4 p.m.
Educational Justice — Meira Levinson, professor of education at Harvard Graduate School of Education and author of “No Citizen Left Behind” (Harvard University Press, 2012), combines philosophical analysis and school-based case studies to illuminate the complex dimensions of evaluating, achieving, and teaching justice in schools.
Nov. 12, 4:30 p.m.
Cultures of Capital Enhancement: Who is the Neoliberal Subject and What Does It Know of Democracy? — Wendy Brown, professor of political science at the University of California Berkeley, explores neoliberal reason and its influence on democratic practice and imagination.
Nov. 18, 4:30 p.m.
Bringing Equal Opportunity for Children to an Unequal Society — Mary Jo Bane, professor of public policy and management at Harvard Kennedy School and former assistant secretary for children and families with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, talks about what governments, the private sector, civil society and churches should do to make sure that all children can grow up to lead productive and fulfilling lives.
About the Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J. Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture:
Established in 2001 and housed in Smith Hall, the McFarland 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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