The Tenth Annual John R. Portman Lecture in Roman Catholic Theology will be delivered on Thursday, February 11, 2010, by Lisa Sowle Cahill, Ph.D., the J. Donald Monan, S.J., Professor in the Department of Theology, Boston College. The topic of Professor Cahill's lecture, which will begin at 7 p.m. in the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice Theatre, University of San Diego, will be "The Common Good and Health Care: Justice, Faith, and Hope."
Cahill is a leading figure in contemporary Roman Catholic moral theology, and indeed a central figure in the broader field of Christian Ethics. Her research interests include history of Christian ethics, the New Testament and ethics, Catholic social ethics, feminist theology and sex and gender ethics, bioethics, and the ethics of war and peace. Cahill has advised U.S. bishops on issues such as the role of the laity, HIV-AIDS, and the implementation of the Vatican's Apostolic Constitution on Catholic Universities, and has presented at the Vatican about women’s health care.
The recipient of the 2008 John Courtney Murray Award from the Catholic Theological Society of America for her “outstanding and influential contributions in diverse areas of Christian ethics,” Cahill is the author of eight books and editor of five others. Her books include Sexuality and the U.S. Catholic Church: Crisis and Renewal (Crossroad, 2006); Genetics, Theology, Ethics: An Interdisciplinary Conversation (Crossroad, 2005); Theological Bioethics: Participation, Justice and Change (Georgetown Univ. Press, 2005); Bioethics and the Common Good (Marquette Univ. Press, 2003); Family: A Christian Social Perspective (Fortress, 2000); Sex, Gender, and Christian Ethics (Cambridge University Press, 1996); and "Love Your Enemies": Discipleship, Pacifism and Just War Theory (Fortress, 1994). She has also written more than 150 scholarly articles on ethics and religion.
Cahill, who received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, has taught at Boston College since 1976. She has been a visiting professor at Georgetown and Yale Universities and has received eight honorary degrees from institutions such as St. Mary's College, Moraga; Santa Clara University; the Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley; Regis College, University of Toronto; and the Catholic Theological Union, Chicago. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Past President of the Catholic Theological Society of America (l992-93) and the Society of Christian Ethics (l997-98), the two pre-eminent professional associations in her field.
Cahill's talk is sponsored by the Department of Theology and Religious Studies and is funded by an endowment donated in honor of Msgr. John R. Portman, the founding chair of the department. Admission is free; the public is warmly invited. Following the talk, there will be a reception with refreshments in the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice Rotunda.