Santa Clara University

Religious Studies department

News & Events


Religious Studies News & Events

Religious Studies News & Events

  •  Scriptural Politics of Immigration: Subversive Hospitality and Kinship

    Wednesday, Sep. 26, 2012


    Kristin Heyer

    Scriptural Politics of Immigration: Subversive Hospitality and Kinship

    October 9, 2012 | 4:00 - 5:15 pm
    St. Clare Room, Library and Learning Commons

    The Hebrew and Christian scriptures are replete with examples of persons and families uprooted and migrating.  The sacred texts' injunctions about hospitality to strangers do not readily resolve complex questions about competing goods driving contemporary immigration debates.  Scriptures do have a key role to play in shaping our dispositions, imagination and moral reasoning. The lecture will explore the potential for scriptural narratives and themes to reveal migrant realities anew and inform an ethic of immigration.


    Kristin Heyer holds the Bernard J. Hanley Chair in Religious Studies at Santa Clara University. She received her B.A. from Brown University and her Ph.D. in theological ethics from Boston College in 2003.  Her research focuses on the ethics of immigration, Catholic political engagement, moral agency and Christian social ethics.  Her books include Kinship across Borders: A Christian Ethic of Immigration (Georgetown University Press, 2012), Prophetic and Public: the Social Witness of U.S. Catholicism (2006) and the edited volume Catholics and Politics: Dynamic Tensions between Faith and Power (2008). She serves as an editorial consultant for Theological Studies and as a member of the planning committee for Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church.  She taught at Loyola Marymount University from 2003-2009 and joined the Santa Clara faculty in 2009.  She also serves as the 2012-2013 Community-based Learning Faculty Fellow in the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education at Santa Clara.

  •  Screening of Sun Come Up

    Wednesday, Sep. 26, 2012


    Hello RS Faculty and RS Majors & Minors,
    Prof. Teresia Hinga invites you to attend a viewing and discussion of the film, "Sun Come Up," a documentary featuring the deadly impact of climate change and global warming on the people of the Cartret Islands. This viewing is one of several such screenings of the film organized nationwide by the Catholic Coalition for Climate Change during the first week of October.
    Date: Monday, October 1
    Time: 5-7 pm
    Place: Kenna Hall 104
    Panelists will include: Prof. Keith Warner,OFM, Prof. David Gray, and student representatives.
    Light refreshments will be served.
    Event will be co-sponsored by Religious Studies, Campus Ministry and Office of Sustainability.
    Please see attached flyer for more details.


  •  Class of 2012 Award Recipients

    Wednesday, Jun. 20, 2012

    We would like to congratulate the award recipients of class 2012. The St. Clare Medal was awarded to Tanya Schmidt and the Nobili Medal was given to Drew Hodun. Also in recognition of their outstanding contributions to serve through their work with marginalized and under-served populations outside of the University community the Richard J. Riordan Award was presented to Jahayra Molina and Zena Andreani.

  •  Summer '12 Course Offerings

    Wednesday, Jun. 20, 2012

    Please Consider: RSOC 54: Comparative Religion, Social Theory, & Film and other great summer sessions courses!

    RSOC 54
  •  Do Most Catholic Theologians Support Same Sex Marriage?

    Tuesday, Jun. 19, 2012

    Prof. Frederick Parrella was recently featured in "The Daily Beast" for his views on same sex marriage. Parrella said he sees growing support for same-sex marriage among his Catholic students, and that he himself finds “nothing in the Gospels” that should lead the church to oppose its legalization.

    Click here to view the entire article.

  •  Transubstantiation Is Not a Train in Russia

    Sunday, Jun. 10, 2012

    RS Spring Speaker Series Presents:

    Transubstantiation Is Not a Train in Russia

    Speaker: Professor Gary Macy

    Wednesday, May 16, 12:00pm

    Kennedy Commons

  •  Save the Date: Religious Studies Reception

    Wednesday, May. 23, 2012

    Religious Studies majors and minors will be honored and celebrated at the annual Religious Studies reception held in the Adobe Lodge on May 24 at 5:30pm.

  •  Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church

    Wednesday, May. 9, 2012

    On Friday May 11th, 2012, the Religious Studies department will co-sponsor the event "Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: A Conference Examining the Abuse Crisis."

    The conference brings to campus a remarkable group of interdisciplinary leading professionals who recently contributed to a book project on sexual abuse and the clergy edited by Kathleen McChesney, Ph.D. (former FBI and U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Office of Child Protection executive) and Dr. Thomas Plante (of Santa Clara University's Psychology Department) that was recently published. If interested, details about the book can be found at

    Keynotes addresses will be presented by Thomas Reese, SJ (from Georgetown University and former editor of America magazine) and Karen Terry, PhD (from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice who was the lead author for both the 2004 and 2011 John Jay Studies on clergy abuse).

    The conference will be held in the California Mission Room in the Benson Memorial Center from 9am to 5pm on May 11th.

    More information can be found here:

  •  Reclaim and Celebrate St. Clare of Assisi

    Friday, May. 4, 2012


    St. Clare 800 Years Later: The Fascinating Namesake of Santa Clara University, Santa Clara County, and Santa Clara the City

    Monday, Mar. 26, 2012

    SANTA CLARA, Calif., March 26, 2012— For centuries, Clare has been depicted as a demure follower of St. Francis. Recent research, however, is revealing an extraordinary woman, who was both a visionary and a leader.

    For instance, 800 years before the recent tensions between the Vatican and nuns in the United States, the woman who would one day be known as St. Clare had struggles of her own with the Pope. Clare wanted to define an authentic way for females to pursue a life that included radical poverty and close collaboration with Francis of Assisi and his Brotherhood.

    Today, more than 20,000 women throughout the world follow the Form of Life Clare established. 

    Daughter of a noble family in Assisi, she became devoted to the journey of St. Francis and the way he “loved the Poor Christ.” In 1212, at the age of 18, she gave away her dowry and ran away from home to join him.

    At San Damiano, the small church near the Franciscan brothers where Clare settled, she opened a way for women to live contemplative lives in radical poverty, in mutual respect and love, and in an interdependent community of equals. After Francis’ death, she held firm before Church authorities on the San Damiano sisters’ right to continue to live that way. In the last years of her life Clare composed her own forma vitae, the first female-authored prescription for Christian religious life to receive papal sanction. 

    This Palm Sunday (April 1) will mark the 800th anniversary of when Clare di Offreduccio de Favoroni made her escape through a window in her parents’ home to join Francis and the brothers in radical poverty, and celebrates the beginning of the community of Poor Clares.

    To mark the anniversary and shed new perspectives on the fascinating namesake of the school, city, and county of Santa Clara, Santa Clara University is holding a series of events.  

    Events will include:

    * Exhibits which feature artifacts from St. Clare’s life including a replica of the tavola, the medieval wood panel painting depicting the saint and a narrative cycle of her life; a digitalized copy of her Form of Life, which laid out the tenets of the order that she founded. Displays also document collaborative efforts at SCU over the last four years to address the question: “How can Clare of Assisi be a light to us here at Santa Clara University?” 

    The exhibit will run in the St. Clare Room and on the Second Floor Learning Commons of the Harrington Library from March 30–June 29, 2012.

    * Two plenary lectures as centerpieces of the annual meeting of the Medieval Association of the Pacific:

    * Fri., March 30, 1:15 to 2:30 p.m., Professor William Short, OFM (Franciscan School of Theology, Berkeley) will present "Medieval Francis in Modern America: From Assisi to Manhattan."

    * Sat., March 31, 2:15 to 3:15 p.m., Professor Catherine Mooney (Weston Jesuit School of Theology, Boston) will present “Clare of Assisi’s Multiple Lives: In History, Hagiography, and Current Scholarship.”

    Seating is limited and RSVP to or 408-554-4930 is required.

    * Osher Lifelong Learning Institute class, St. Clare and the Poor Clares, taught by Jean Molesky-Poz, Ph.D., SCU Religious Studies Department, Sat., April 26, from 10 a.m. to  3 p.m. 

    * A day to Reclaim and Celebrate St. Clare of Assisi, Thursday, May 10. Activities include an afternoon lecture followed by a panel, a reception and an evening concert.

         > Professor William Short, OFM, internationally recognized Franciscan scholar, will speak on recent research that provides new understandings of Saint Clare of Assisi. His talk will be entitled, "Mirror, Mirror on the Cross: Clare of Assissi and her Modern Revival.” A panel of faculty and alumnae respond. St. Clare Room of the Harrington Learning Commons, 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

         > Reception, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

         > St. Clare Vespers Concert. To celebrate Clare's centennial, music director and composer, Leslie La Barre, a SCU alumna, presents the world premiere of her work, St. Clare Vespers Concert, inspired by Saint Clare’s Letters to Agnes of Prague (1234–1253). The orchestral chamber work, conducted by Elisse La Barre ’09, will be performed by Bay Area musicians as well as SCU faculty and students with soloists Nancy Wait-Kromm and Lilliane Crommer (both SCU faculty). The concert at the Mission Church begins at 7:30 p.m.

    Media Contact:
    Deborah Lohse | | 408-554-5121 (o) | 408-768-6898 (c)


  •  Apocalyptic Economics: The Bible and the 99%

    Thursday, Apr. 19, 2012




    Professor Catherine Murphy will give a lecture entitled "Apocalyptic Econimcs: The Bible and the 99%" as part of the SCU Religious Studies Speaker Series.

    The event will be held in OCONNOR 205 on May 2, 2012 from 5:30pm to 6:30pm. Past speaker series have been standing room only, so please arrive early to ensure a seat.

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