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Santa Clara Lecture

Prophetic Discourse in the Public Square

2008 Santa Clara Lecture

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Martin Luther King. Daniel Berrigan, SJ. Pope John Paul II. Jeremiah Wright. When does prophetic speech in the public square on issues such as racism, war, and abortion count as a laudable effort to “speak the truth to power?” And when should it be regarded as socially divisive and counter-productive? This lecture will examine the ethics of using prophetic discourse with respect to morally and politically controversial issues in a pluralistic society.

M. Cathleen Kaveny, John P. Murphy Foundation Professor of Law and Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, focuses her scholarly work on the relationship between morality and law. Much of her scholarship has focused on questions in health care ethics, such as assisted suicide, cloning, and managed care. Her current projects include one book on complicity with evil, and another on the relationship between justice and mercy. She graduated from Princeton University, and completed four graduate degrees, including her M.A., M.Phil., J.D. and Ph.D, at Yale University. She serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Law and Religion, Christian Bioethics, and the Society of Christian Ethics’ Annual. She teaches courses on contracts and constitutional interpretation, as well as a seminar exploring many perspectives on assisted suicide, a topic on which she frequently lectures across the country.

Santa Clara Lecture