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Maeve Heaney

by Maeve Heaney |

Beauty and Beast: The Role of the Arts in Jesuit Higher Education

This Lecture will be offered once at Santa Clara University, and once at the Jesuit School of Theology:

Santa Clara University

When: April 19, 2012, 4 pm

Where: Williman Room, Benson Center (map)
Download the flier here.

Jesuit School of Theology

When: April 24, 2012, 7 pm

Where: TBD


With the collaboration of faculty and students from the Jesuit School of theology and the Music, Religious Studies and Theatre and Dance departments of the Santa Clara campus, this lecture will aim to blend music, performance and reflection on how the arts are an indispensable form of creative thought, with a privileged role to play in Jesuit Universities.

The Lecturer:

Dr. Maeve Heaney VDMF is an Irish missionary of a young catholic community. Her area of research is theological aesthetics, particularly in relation to music. A musician and composer, she works in the overlapping fields of academic reflection, teaching and musical praxis at the service of Christian spirituality, with the intention of bringing music and the performing arts into the heart of creative and critical theological formation.

Maeve Louise Heaney, V.D.M.F., S.T.L., S.T.D. was born in Dublin, Ireland, and is a consecrated missionary of the Institute of consecrated life, Verbum Dei Missionary Fraternity. She studied music before entering the community in 1984, completing her formation and her initial studies in philosophy and theology in Madrid Spain, in 1992.

She then worked in various countries in apostolic capacity for the next twelve years:

    •    From 1992 – 1995 in Madrid, collaborating with Diocesan pastoral work for university students, as well as leading
retreats, spiritual exercises and schools of evangelization for the formation of lay people.

    •    From 1995 – 1996 in Valencia collaborating with the formation of missionaries of her community.

    •    From 1996 – 2004 in England, as Catholic university chaplain to Solent University (then Southampton Institute), as well as in various other apostolic initiatives in Southampton and London. During this time in England, she worked extensively with music at the service of pastoral work and outreach, organizing Music and Word events and retreats with composers and musicians, as well as recording two CDs, called I Believe in You, and Stand, respectively.

    •    In 2004 she went to Rome to study at the Pontifical Gregorian University, where she completed a Licentiate in Sacred Theology, in the area of Fundamental Theology, writing a dissertation on the theme of Theology at the Service of Evangelization: Verbal and Non-verbal Dimensions. She completed her doctorate in June 2010, in the areas of Fundamental Theology and Theological Aesthetics, defending a thesis on Music as Theological Praxis: Dimensions of Contemporary Music as a Means of Mediation of Faith.
Since 2009, she has been teaching part time at the Gregorian University, giving courses on “Introduction to Thinking Theologically” and “Jesus of Nazareth: Fundamental Christology and Credibility”, and in this semester is also teaching at the Rome base of the Catholic University of Dallas a course on the “Western Theological Tradition”.
As a musician and composer, she develops her ministry and theological work together in the areas of both evangelization and liturgy. Here lies one of her strongest interests: that of bringing together both theologically and in praxis, music, theology and spirituality, at the service of lived faith and outreach to future generations.

Within the 2011-2012 Bannan Fellowship, Professor Heaney will:

    •    Teach two graduate courses at the Jesuit School of Theology in the area of theology, aesthetics, and music

    •    Offer one presentation on the main Santa Clara University campus in 2012 on the topic of her current research: the hermeneutics of music and musical meaning within a theological context, particularly Ignatian theology/spirituality

    •    Facilitate a faculty colloquium in 2012 on theology, justice, aesthetics, and music with Santa Clara University and community colleagues

    •    Develop her research and writing towards on the hermeneutics of music and musical meaning within a theological context, particularly the context of Ignatian theology and spirituality

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