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Bannan Stories

Not a Road Map but a Trail: Environmental Justice in the Commons

Pedro Walpole, S.J.

Ecology and economy share the same word origin and should be supportive of the whole of humanity and our common home and ‘oikos’ when both are balanced. But ecology and economy are becoming mutually exclusive. The commons is now in the hands of corporate extraction and pollution. The tollgates of technological intervention too often restrict the basic access of the most vulnerable to any form of sustainability. The path forward is not simply a flip-over of the present economic model. The path begins with every person and with every community so that we change from within and discover anew what we value and are willing to commit to in solidarity and in reconciliation.

The Moral Margins of Poverty and Prosperity

Nicholas Santos, S.J.

What are fair and just business practices when engaging with impoverished populations? This lecture will explore the integrative justice model (IJM), an ethical framework that provides guidelines for “fair” and “just” business involvement that can result in a win-win for all parties but particularly for the poor, counteracting the prevailing exploitation of impoverished and vulnerable groups.

Racial Justice, Theologically

Vincent Lloyd, 16 February 2017

Recent years have seen the largest protests against anti-Black racism since the civil rights movement a half century ago. Sometimes protesters invoke religious ideas, such as “beloved community,” but other times these protests seem decidedly secular. My talk locates the current struggle for racial justice in a long – but often forgotten – tradition of religiously-motivated social justice organizing that is oriented by appeals to God’s law.

I am climate change, I am the cause, I am the solution

Carolyn Woo, 15 October 2015

In Laudato Si, citing both Science and Theology, Pope Francis establishes the climate crisis as real, urgent, moral, and spiritual. He links the cry of the earth to the cry of the poor and casts it as expressions of the same underlying dynamics. The pope calls for a conversion of heart so that we can cherish the earth as God’s creation and gift to us and to lift up the dignity of people above profits, technology and globalization.

Is There a Common Good? Exploring the Politics of Inequality

Recent decades have seen an unprecedented decline in global poverty. Yet this progress has been accompanied by an increase in economic and social inequality, both internationally and domestically. What are the implications of this trend? What does it mean to pursue the common good today? This lecture will draw on recent social science scholarship and Catholic social teaching to chart the promises and pitfalls facing global and local communities today.

Sacred Dialogues Across the Qur'an

During the period of revelation, believing men and women raised questions about the fairness of certain practices, and even about the way in which the Qur'an spoke about them. The fact that many of these concerns were addressed by the ongoing revelation is part of the Qur'anic message that needs to be better understood. The Qur'an is not just a collection of instructions to passive believers, but a responsive engagement with people created by God with intellects and consciences.

Looking at Vatican II with Pope Francis' Eyes - Leadership and Spirituality

From the moment Pope Francis appeared on the balcony of St. Peter's after his election, he caught the attention of the world and soon became acknowledged as one of the great leaders of our times. However, unlike his immediate predecessors he rarely speaks about Vatican II. Why? How, if at all, do his sometimes dramatic gestures relate to the council? The lecture will address such questions.

Interreligious Dialogue and Leadership - Building Relationships as Persons

The 20th century saw the displacement of the traditional religions in occident by new anthropocentric pagan doctrines, Fascism, Nazism, Stalinism, being among the most conspicuous examples of them. Since the seventies of the last century, and after the fall of those regimes, a return to the traditional religions occurred. But it was not a return to the tradition through a renew of the religiosity of its spirit, but a return, in many cases, to their fanatic expressions. The challenge of this lecture is to enhance a deep interreligious dialogue in order to build up a different reality in which the dramatic failures of the last century will not repeat in this century and forever.

A View from the Bus - Reflecting on the Axles of Faith and Justice

Sr. Simone Campbell, public advocate for peace-building, immigration reform, healthcare and economic justice will reflect on the integral relationship between faith and justice within her own vocation and share her journey as a “Nun on the Bus” to ignite social change.

Citizens and Leaders - The Public Role of the Humanities

People sometimes dismiss liberal arts education as useless. But any country needs citizens who can think critically, discuss world issues knowledgeably, and understand the point of view of someone whose background and interests differ from their own. These abilities are nourished by the humanities and the arts, so they play a vital role in education at all levels.

Encountering Jesus: Who Do You Say that I Am?

What does it mean to meet the Christ of faith and the Jesus of history? Can we come to know Jesus through the Gospels? Father Jim Martin, S.J., author of the New York Times bestseller Jesus: A Pilgrimage helps us to understand what the Son of God has to do with the carpenter from Nazareth.

Encounter, Engage, Create - Moral Imagination and Ignatian Leadership

Catholic Social Teaching was developed by Roman Catholic church leaders seeking to respond to the demands of justice in the 20th century. The three-step methodology of Catholic Social Teaching: “see->judge->act” offers an effective tool for responding to what popes and bishops call “the signs of the times” and have helped Catholics face everything from the industrial revolution and the Cuban Missile Crisis to economic development and presidential elections. But what if our 21st century context — with growing social inequality, debilitating racism and sexism, people on the move across borders, economies fueled by violence, polarized political debate and paralyzed political processes — necessitates a different praxis? What if we need a praxis that moves all people of good will, and not simply

Pearls, Prodigals, and Samaritans

Story telling is a basic form of human communication, and the parables of Jesus -- brief narratives designed to challenge, to indict, and to inspire, and to do so often in humorous or satirical ways -- are among the best examples. Hearing the parables through first-century Jewish ears allows us to recover their original provocation and punch, and so to understand better what they might say to listeners today from various religious traditions.

The Universal Declaration as Sacred Text

The ongoing emergence of international human rights in the period from the end of the Second World War to the present can and perhaps should be understood as the emergence of a religion--albeit a profoundly ecumenical religion: one that religious believers of different faith traditions, and also nonbelievers, can and do embrace. On this understanding, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) functions as a sacred text: the sacred foundational text of the religion of human rights.

The Fragility of Faith - How Can a Thinking Person Still Believe in God?

Good people of many persuasions wonder how a thinking person can still believe in God. Still others wonder whether a university, as an academic institution, is a place where "God" should be openly discussed at all. Often enough, such questions make presumptions about faith that are frequently untrue. Attention to the real fragility of faith can open spaces for different kinds of discussions entirely.

Why Is God for Christians Good for Nothing?

Atheists tend to claim that God is entirely pointless, and so does the doctrine of Creation. Here, at least, is some common ground between Richard Dawkins and Pope Francis. This talk will try among other things to spell out why God is pointless and why this is the whole point about God. It will also seek to remind us that when we claim that God is good, we have very little clue as to what we are talking about.

Earth and the Heavens - Contemplating the Cosmos

Jennifer Wiseman is an American astronomer. She received her bachelor's degree in physics from MIT and her Ph.D. in Astronomy from Harvard University in 1995. Wiseman discovered periodic comet 114P/Wiseman-Skiff while working as an undergraduate research assistant in 1987. She currently directs the Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion for the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She also serves as a senior astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard space flight center. She enjoys giving talks about the beauty and excitement of science, astronomy, and discovery.

Unknowable Reality - Science, Mathematics, and Mystery

This lecture will address the way modern science portrays physical "reality", and will highlight some key differences between the current paradigm and the more intuitive (but ultimately incorrect) Newtonian world view. The fact that complex processes are characterized by a mix of order and irreducible uncertainty suggests that the notion of a Cosmic Mystery is not at odds with recent scientific discoveries (quite the contrary, in fact). This recognition opens the door to a constructive dialogue between science and religion, which is capable of transcending the simplistic arguments of religious fundamentalists and proponents of radical secularism.

My Bright Abyss - Thoughts on Modern Belief

Moving among a variety of writings—poetry, prose, theology, biography—as well as experiences from his own life, Christian Wiman will examine what a credible Christian faith might look like at the beginning of the 21st century.

Well, I’ll be Damned! Considering Atheism in the United States Today

In recent years a cultural space for public expressions of atheism and other forms of irreligion has opened up within American society. Both advocates of the so-called “new atheism” and its detractors have been enormously vocal, but we still know very little about everyday atheists beyond the popular – and very misleading – stereotypes about them. This presentation aims to get beyond those by taking a more considered, sociological look at American atheism, its connection to other nascent modes religious identification (the “nones,” the “spiritual but not religious,” agnostics, etc.), and its prospects for helping to engender a more thoughtful public conversation about the sacred and secular within contemporary society.


    Summit Success

    The first Latino Education Summit: Silicon Valley started a conversation about the challenges, opportunities, and promises of the educational pipeline for Latino children, parents, and the working poor.

    Diversity in STEM Education

    In celebration of National Engineers Week and Black History Month, we asked bioengineering senior Nnaoma Agwu to share his thoughts on diversity, convergent STEM education, and how the two support the Jesuit mission to “educate the whole person.” Nnaoma Agwu is a mentor in the TNI After-School Program. Following is his response.

    A Thriving Community

    The mural, an explosion of colors, covered one wall of a portable classroom at Washington Elementary school in San Jose. A group of children—3rd and 4th graders—excitedly gathered around it. The mural had been designed by them and to see it come to life through the volunteer painting efforts of local artists brought a smile to their faces.

    Serving Locally, Serving Globally

    Entering SCU as a baseball player and finance major, Anthony Hascheff didn't expect his Santa Clara education to lead him to the Peace Corps. But the experiences he had at SCU— including work as a Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative intern in the Washington neighborhood— opened his eyes to a new path.

    Finding Her Voice: Stephanie Molina

    Stephanie didn’t like to speak up in class. She's a bright kid who does well in school, but she typically preferred to keep to herself in her early years at Washington Elementary. So it was a surprise when she spoke up one day and said she intended to go to Santa Clara and become an engineer.

    San Jose Project Brings SCU Community into Contact with Poverty

    The Santa Clara, Vol 64 No 13 3 April 1986



      Winter Break Immersion Experiences

      Seventy students head to seven locations to listen, learn, laugh, and deepen their sense of self and role in the world on the Ignatian Center's Winter Break Immersions.

      Spring Break Immersion Experiences

      Sixty SCU students spring break on immersion trips in Appalachia, Arizona Border, Los Angeles, San Jose, Oakland, and Puebla, Mexico.

         General Stories

        First Year students eating ice cream
        Class of 2022 First Year Immersion

        While San Jose is known as a thriving, multicultural hub of the region, it is also a place of large-scale homelessness, marginalization, food scarcity, and escalating tensions around immigration. This year's First Year San Jose Immersion introduced 13 incoming students to the realities of urban life within this Silicon Valley boom-town.

        Partnering for Prosperity

        The Ignatian Center's Thriving Neighbors Initiative (TNI) and the Leavey School's My Own Business Institute (MOBI) are launching a joint program aimed at supporting new businesses within the economically-disadvantaged neighborhoods of San Jose.

        Maria El Salvador Trip
        Jesuit Education in Action

        Former Community Development Fellow and Jean Donovan Fellow, Maria Muñoz Yepez '19 is the embodiment of her Jesuit education.

        Cross Country Runners
        Going Off Track

        The regimen of being a student athlete leaves little room for much else; but that didn't stop Associate Coach Pete Cushman, from taking his team on an Immersion trip?

        Sowing the Seeds of Social Justice

        Bronco Urban Garden Educator Lisa Martinez considers Arrupe Weekly Engagement to be a unique and inspiring educational endeavor.

        Expanding the Definition of Community

        After graduating, Lena Eyen '17 chose to join the Jesuit Volunteer Corps to continue fostering her interest in environmental studies. She credits her immersion trip experiences in Appalachia for playing an essential role in shaping her education and postgraduate pursuits.

        Sri & ECF Team
        Reflections of a Self-Proclaimed Talker

        Sri Ramesh, 2017 SCU graduate, finds herself in a place of reflection. It’s a surprising place to be, for this self-proclaimed “talker,” but it’s where she often lives since going on her first immersion trip the summer after her freshman year.

        Seeing the World Through A New Lens

        SCU senior Jenna Salinas never considered herself a spiritual person. A double major in Political Science and Spanish, she grew up in Chico, California and attended public school her entire life. It wasn’t until she attended SCU and traveled on her first Immersion trip that Jenna began to see spirituality – and the world – through a new lens.

        An Accounting Powerhouse and Thriving Neighbors Team Up for a Day of Mentorship and Fun

        The annual event, held Oct. 6 this year, rallies thousands of EY employees across the Americas to participate in community-outreach activities in their local schools and other nonprofit organizations. Garret Jensen '14 leads this one for SCU every year.

        Hal and Yolanda Tilbury's Impactful Gift

        The Ignatian Center is very grateful for the financial generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Tilbury. More importantly, however, we are humbled by their commitment, their passion, and their partnership with the Ignatian Center and Santa Clara University.

        Childhood Promise

        Jean Donovan Fellow Sergio Olmedo-Ramirez writes of returning to his hometown in Puebla, Mexico

        Sri in Pune: Reflections of a Jean Donovan Fellow

        Srisruthi Ramesh reflects during her time as a Jean Donovan Fellow in Pune, India

        André Delbecq - Rest in Peace

        The Ignatian Center and the SCU community mourn the passing of Andre Delbecq, longtime member of the SCU community, Senior Fellow in the Ignatian Center, and an Ignatian companion on the journey.

        The Welsh Jesuit

        The Ignatian Center welcomes a new director whose influence reaches Los Angeles to London.

        Greater Washington - Voices de la Comunidad

        The release of “Voices of the Community” – The Greater Washington Report

        Is There a Common Good in Our Common Home?

        Santa Clara University’s Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education will present lectures, speakers, and podcasts exploring the “common good” in today’s racial, economic, gender, and environmental concerns.

        Drenched in Rain and Culture

        SCU students experience full immersion into Indian realities.

        Big News for Breakthrough: Announcing our Partnership with Santa Clara University

        Just down the road from our headquarters lies a world-class university with a socially conscious mission – Santa Clara University. Breakthrough Silicon Valley is pleased to announce an innovative partnership with this 165-year-old institution.

        Santa Clara University Names Welsh Theologian and “World Citizen” as Executive Director of Ignatian Center

        SANTA CLARA, Calif., May 19, 2016 –Welsh theologian Dorian Llywelyn, S.J., has been named to lead the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education at Santa Clara University. Fr. Llywelyn will begin his appointment on August 1, 2016.

        Summit Success

        The first Latino Education Summit: Silicon Valley started a conversation about the challenges, opportunities, and promises of the educational pipeline for Latino children, parents, and the working poor.

        Why I Took Refuge in a Subway Station

        Former Donovan Fellow Tanya Schmidt, '12, shares a recent life experience. "I went to a subway station and found shelter on a bench, next to a homeless man who either had the same thought or had no other option.

        Laudato Si' as a “Charter Document” for Santa Clara University

        From the moment it was issued last year, Laudato Si' has served as a sort of charter document for elevating and moving Santa Clara University forward across all disciplines in our commitment to climate justice. It continues to be a great unifying document for our University: offering a wisdom to us that this commitment must be truly inclusive of every unit at the University, in the same way that Pope Francis’ call for an integrated ecology speaks not just to those engaged in sustainability, but to each and every human inhabitant of our common home.

          • EY and TNI Connect Day

            The annual event, held Oct. 6 this year, rallies thousands of EY employees across the Americas to participate in community-outreach activities in their local schools and other nonprofit organizations. Garret Jensen '14 leads this one for SCU every year.