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A Jesuit Tragicomedy in Two Acts and an Interlude: The Suppression and Restoration Controversy
October 21, 2014 | 4:00-5:15 p.m.
St. Clare Room, Library and Learning Commons
In an engaging, visually rich presentation, Fr. Tom Lucas S.J., Rector of the Jesuit Community and University Professor of Art at Seattle University, will detail the cultural, political, and religious context of some of the least understood and most controversial moments in Jesuit history, when the Society of Jesus was officially closed down by the papacy and reconstituted almost three decades later. Residual echoes of this remarkable intervention were still heard in Jesuit institutions throughout the twentieth century.
Thomas Lucas S.J., University Professor and rector of the Jesuit Community at Seattle University, received his doctorate in Theology and the Arts at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA, in 1992. He also holds degrees from the Pontificia Università Gregoriana, Rome; Fordham University, New York; The Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, and Santa Clara University, California. Lucas is an internationally recognized expert in Jesuit art history, and is well known as a liturgical designer and artist with an international portfolio.
As a graduate student, Lucas designed and directed the restoration of the sixteenth century rooms of St. Ignatius in Rome, and curated an exhibit on Jesuit architecture at the Vatican Library. In the course of that work, he also edited, contributed to, and designed the exhibit catalogue Saint, Site, and Sacred Strategy, (Vatican City: Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana Press, 1990). His book Landmarking: City, Church, and Jesuit Urban Strategy (Chicago: Loyola Press, 1997) won an Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) National Book Award in 2000. He has also edited a festschrift and is the author of a dozen articles.
After serving for three years as the National Secretary for Communications at the US Jesuit Conference, Washington D.C., Lucas joined the faculty at the University of San Francisco in 1995. There he was founding chair of the Fine and Performing Arts and founding director of the Thacher Gallery at USF (1998) and the Kalmanovitz Sculpture Terrace (2008). He curated more than 80 exhibits on campus. Lucas has also lectured at more than 20 universities in the U.S., Europe, Mexico, and Asia. A tenured full professor, he was named USF’s first University Professor in 2010. Lucas' work as a liturgical designer has been recognized with an award from the American Institute of Architects, and his projects range from glass and liturgical furnishing designs for more than a dozen churches and chapels to service as design and technical consultant for the restoration of the St. Ignatius Cathedral, Shanghai, PRC. In 2013 he was named Rector of the Jesuit Community at Seattle University, where he also serves as University Professor and Curator of the University Art Collection.