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Encounter, Engage, Create: Moral Imagination and Ignatian Leadership
Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education
October 9, 2014 | 4:00-5:15 PM
Catholic Social Teaching was developed by Roman Catholic church leaders seeking to respond to the demands of justice in the 20th century. The three-step methodology of Catholic Social Teaching: “see->judge->act” offers an effective tool for responding to what popes and bishops call “the signs of the times” and have helped Catholics face everything from the industrial revolution and the Cuban Missile Crisis to economic development and presidential elections. But what if our 21st century context — with growing social inequality, debilitating racism and sexism, people on the move across borders, economies fueled by violence, polarized political debate and paralyzed political processes — necessitates a different praxis? What if we need a praxis that moves all people of good will, and not simply church leaders or even those who identify as Catholics, to tap the new millennium’s potentials for social change?
Maureen O’Connell recently returned to her native city of Philadelphia to Chair the Department of Religion at LaSalle University in Philadelphia where she is also an Associate Professor of Christian Ethics. Previously, she served for eight years as Associate Professor in the Theology Department at Fordham University. She holds a BA in History from Saint Joseph’s University and a PhD in Theological Ethics from Boston College. She authored Compassion: Loving Our Neighbor in an Age of Globalization (Orbis Books, 2009) and If These Walls Could Talk: Community Muralism and the Beauty of Justice (The Liturgical Press, 2012), which won the College Theology Book of the Year Award in 2012 and the Catholic Press Association’s first place for books in theology in 2012. Her current research project, tentatively titled “Spiritual but Not Racist: Religion and Racism on Catholic College Campuses,” explores racial identity formation, racism, and racial justice in Catholic institutions of higher education. She serves on the board of the Society for the Arts in Religious and Theological Studies and is the Vice President of the College Theology Society.