Santa Clara University



President's Speaker Series

Sponsored by the Office of the President, the President’s Speaker Series is a forum that brings eminent leaders to Santa Clara, providing our students, faculty, and the community an opportunity for intellectual rigor, critical thinking, reflection, and dialogue.

Santa Clara Lecture Series

The Santa Clara Lecture Series is sponsored by the Bannan Institute, which is committed to examining Catholic identity and Jesuit character.

Ethics at Noon

The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics sponsors the Ethics at Noon lecture series. These lunch-hour programs provide a forum for SCU faculty members and other experts to explore ethical issues in many fields.

de Saisset Museum

The museum offers several lectures and programs based on current exhibitions.

Bannan Institutes

Nov 12, 2013
4:00 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.
Learning Commons and Library, St. Clare Room

William Cavanaugh | Violent Religion or the Sacred State? Violence, Idolatry, and Religion in Civil Society

Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education

A common notion in Western countries is that religion is prone to violence, so we must privatize religion and give our loyalty to the neutral and secular nation-state.   What happens when loyalty to the nation becomes a kind of religion?  In this lecture, Professor Cavanaugh will sort through these different claims and argue that there is no essential difference between “secular” violence and “religious” violence. 

William Cavanaugh is Senior Research Professor and Director of the Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology at DePaul University.  He received a B.A. in theology from Notre Dame in 1984 and an M.A. from Cambridge University in 1987. After working as a lay associate with the Holy Cross order in Santiago, Chile, he began working at the Center for Civil and Human Rights at the Notre Dame Law School. He then studied at Duke University, where he received a Ph.D. in religion in 1996. He has published numerous articles and five books, most recently The Myth of Religious Violence: Secular Ideology and the Roots of Modern Conflict (Oxford, 2009) and Migrations of the Holy: God, State, and the Political Meaning of the Church (Eerdmans, 2011).  His books have been published in six different languages.

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Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education
(408) 554-6917
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