Department ofReligious Studies


Faculty Update: David DeCosse

This fall saw two books published that were co-edited by David DeCosse. The first is called Conscience and Catholicism: Rights, Responsibilities, and Institutional Responses (Orbis) and was co-edited with Kristin Heyer, a former faculty member in Religious Studies who is now at Boston College. The book features work by, among others, Jesuit School of Theology scholars Bill O'Neill, S.J., and Lisa Fullam. The second book is called Pope Francis and the Future of Catholicism in the United States: The Challenge of Becoming a Church for the Poor and was published by the Lane Center at the University of San Francisco. DeCosse co-edited the book with Erin Brigham and Mike Duffy of USF. The book features essays by, among others, Bill O'Neill, S.J., Lisa Fullam, Jesuit School of Theology Dean Tom Massaro, S.J., Kristin Heyer, and DeCosse.

DeCosse also worked extensively in the last months on a number of efforts related to the recent encyclical of Pope Francis called Laudato Si. With Markkula Center for Applied Ethics colleague Brian Green, he developed a teaching module on the document that is available on the Ethics Center website. He also gave talks on the encyclical at the Social Capital Markets Conference in San Francisco and at the meeting of Pax Christi of Northern California in Oakland.

He was also the chair of the faculty-staff-student organizing committee of the November 3-4 conference held at Santa Clara University called “Our Future on a Shared Planet: Silicon Valley in Conversation with the Environmental Teachings of Pope Francis.” That conference featured a keynote address by Cardinal Peter Turkson, the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, as well as talks by top climate scientist Veerabhadran Ramanathan; San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo; ecologist Gretchen Daily; and former venture capitalist John Denniston.

During the visit of Pope Francis to the United States, DeCosse also published op-eds on the Serra canonization and on the reception of Pope Francis' speech to the US Congress by the millennial students in his Christianity and Politics class.

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