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Santa Clara Lecture

In 1994, through the generosity of the Bannan Institute of the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education and the Department of Religious Studies, Santa Clara University inaugurated the Santa Clara Lectures.

This series brings to campus leading scholars in theology, offering the University community and the general public an ongoing exposure to debate on the most significant issues of our times. Santa Clara University publishes these lectures and distributes them throughout the United States and internationally.

  • 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.

  • The Pope, the Poor, and the Planet: Overcoming Insularity in an Integral Ecology

    Fr. Jose Ramon "Jett" Villarin, S.J., 6 April 2016

    Given the ecological risks that face us and the uneven distribution of responsibilities, how can we overcome a sense of fragmentation and insularity? Reflecting on how Pope Francis’ call for an integral ecology resonates with those of us who live in more vulnerable parts of the world, we can discern pathways of hope, inspiring us all to care for our common home.

  • Looking at Vatican II with Pope Francis' Eyes

    Leadership and Spirituality

    John O'Malley, S.J., 5 Feb 2015

    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?

  • Grace in Shakespeare

    Marilynne Robinson, 26 Feb 2014

    Marilynne Robinson, author Gilead, which won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the 2004 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, shares on the depth of experience present in Shakespeare's work that sheds light on Grace.

  • To Recognize and Develop the Spiritual Bonds that Unite Us

    A Reflection on Christian-Muslim Relations Since Vatican II

    Archbishop Michael L. Fitzgerald, 25 Apr 2013

    This Santa Clara Lecture wishes to assess the progress of this dialogue since Vatican II in four areas: harmonious living, cooperation in the service of others, theoretical foundations, and sharing of religious experience.

  • Multiple Religious Belonging and Christian Identity

    Catherine Cornille, 15 Feb 2012

    In this lecture, we discuss the different types of multiple religious belonging, while also attempting to understand the logic of single and exclusive religious belonging which remains the ideal for most religious traditions.

  • Cross-Racial Solidarity

    Insights from and Challenges to Catholic Social Thought

    Bryan N. Massingale, 11 Nov 2010

    In the 2010-2011 Santa Clara Lecture, Professor Bryan Massingale will seek to address these questions and reflect on the the kind of virtues and spirituality needed for cross-racial solidarity today.

  • Evangelization and Inter-religious Dialogue

    Compatible Parts of Christian Mission?

    Peter C. Phan, 23 Feb 2010

    The lecture addressed the theme of Christian mission (evangelization as part of Christian calling) in the context of religious pluralism.

  • Prophetic Discourse in the Public Square

    M. Cathleen Kaveny, 11 Nov 2008

    This lecture will examine the ethics of using prophetic discourse with respect to morally and politically controversial issues in a pluralistic society.

  • Church Leadership, Ethics and the Future

    James Keenan, S.J., 7 Mar 2006

    Most Roman Catholic clergy and bishops receive little if any professional ethical training. While they are taught how to govern and make ethically accountable the members of their congregations, they are not taught by what reasoning, insights, or norms, they should govern themselves ethically.

  • On Being a Catholic Feminist

    Lisa Sowle Cahill, 27 April 2003

    U.S. Catholic women growing up at the time of the Second Vatican Council have a different experience of Catholicism and society than that of young adults today. While Vatican II women have strong roots in a cohesive Church, they also came of age in a more repressive society and in a religious community with separate, hierarchical gender roles. While these two groups of women have different experiences of sexuality, gender, and the home-work conflict, they can share a feminism based on Catholicism’s strong traditional commitment to social justice and to a sacramental understanding of faith, reappropriated for a newly global and participatory Church.