Department ofReligious Studies


Religious Studies and the Bannan Institute

Over the last three years, faculty members throughout the university, including several Religious Studies faculty members, have partnered with the Bannan Institute in building courses around the Bannan Institute quarterly lecture series or incorporating select Bannan lectures into their course schedules. For example, in Fall 2012, Mick McCarthy, S.J. offered a course designed around the six-week Bannan Institute series: “Sacred Politics: So Help Me God? Scriptural Authority and Public Conscience.” Students were able to engage with speakers directly following each linked public lecture. In Winter 2014, David Pleins and Oliver Putz each designed courses in conjunction with the Bannan Institute lecture series: “God and Reality: Emergent Scientific, Technological, and Religious Paradigms” and the related symposium: “Science and Seeking: Rethinking the God-Question in the Lab, Cosmos, and Classroom.” Both Pleins and Putz were able to collaborate with the Bannan Institute in the selection of speakers and the framing of the corresponding public lectures and symposium linked with their courses.

This quarter, Theresa Ladrigan-Whelpley offered a Religious Studies course, TESP 183 (Ignatian Spirituality), in conjunction with the Winter 2015 Bannan Institute series: “Ignatian Leadership and Faith: Discernment, Dialogue, and Freedom.” Throughout the course, students were invited to explore Ignatian notions of freedom and indifference, Ignatian resources for intercultural and interreligious dialogue, Ignatian encounters with Jesus, Ignatian commitments to justice, and Ignatian practices of discernment not only through class lectures/discussions and their integrated Arrupe placements, but also through the contributions of living exemplars such as Jim Martin, S.J., Simone Campbell, S.S.S., John O’Malley, S.J., and Rabbi Abraham Skorka. The wisdom and witness of these “guest lecturers” significantly enhanced the way in which students critically engaged and appropriated the living tradition of Ignatian spiritualty throughout the class. Also this quarter, Akiba Lerner and Jean Molesky-Poz (among others) incorporated select Bannan Institute lectures into their courses and hosted Bannan Institute speakers for more integrated class.

If you are interested in linking your course with select Bannan Institute speakers, or collaborating with the Bannan Institute to co-design a future quarterly lecture series in conjunction with a course, please contact Theresa Ladrigan-Whelpley, Director of the Bannan Institutes, or (408) 554-4383.

religious studies
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