Past Events - Spring 2012

Contemporary Ireland and the Northern Ireland Peace Process

H.E. Michael Collins, Ambassador of Ireland to the United States

Monday, May 21, 2012, 12:30-1:30 p.m.

Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice Room AB

Sponsored by The Irish Network of San Diego, Frances G. Harpst Center for Catholic Thought and Culture,

Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice.

Faculty Travel Immersion Seminar 2012: Exploring Celtic Christianity in the Land of Saints and Scholars

June 11-18, 2012, Ireland

Each year the Frances G. Harpst Center for Catholic Thought and Culture takes a small group of inter-disciplinary USD Faculty to a place connected in a broad sense with the Catholic intellectual and/or cultural and social traditions. The program is set around a specific theme each year which brings past, present and future discourse into relation. The theme can embrace a wide variety of foci, such as historical, ethical, social, theological, cultural and aesthetic.

The theme for the 2012 seminar will be Celtic Christianity and the location will be Ireland, which, from the time of St Patrick’s mission and the country’s embracing of Christianity in the 5th Century, soon came to be known a land of ‘saints and scholars’. Christianity in medieval Ireland blended with the unique cultural and social traditions of that land and developed into a very distinctive and progressively inculturated form of the Christian faith, indeed into something quite distinctive from the character of ‘Roman Christianity’ of the era.

Explorations in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition Lecture Series

“Faith in the Public Arena"

Mary Doak, Associate Professor, Theology and Religious Studies, USD

Thursday, May 10, 2012 from 12:00-1:30 p.m.

UC Forum A

*Free and open to the public

Assisi 2012 Where We Dwell in Common: Pathways for Dialogue in the 21st Century

April 17 – 20, 2012 in Assisi, Italy

In April 2012, the CCTC is playing a lead role in the organization of an international and ecumenical gathering exploring the theme of dialogue from the perspectives of the past, present and future. The overall aim is to discern new ways, means and methods of advancing the ecumenical cause in the wake of the ‘ecumenical winter’ and with renewed energy for a new century. It is intended to be not so much a conference, as the beginning of a process or series of ongoing processes. This gathering will seek to identify, share and shape, as well as to put into practice, productive pathways for dialogue in these times. It wishes to encourage ecumenical ‘thinking outside the box’ and to gather together a richly diverse array of voices from around the globe in order to help make this happen. CCTC Director, Gerard Mannion is chair of the Assisi 2012 Organizing Committee and a delegation of USD Faculty will be present and participating throughout.

The venue of Assisi has been chosen because of its long and instinctive association with openness, charity, dialogue, peace, harmony and communion – with the particular charisms of the orders founded by Francis and Clare alike having helped inspire countless ventures in promoting dialogue and openness amongst peoples.

In all, we hope to discuss, to enhance and to promote the ‘science of bridge-building’ for our contemporary communities and for their shared tomorrows. Naturally the challenge of dialogue today spreads far beyond the intra-Christian world and so inter-faith and still wider dialogue amongst faith communities and the wider ‘world’ will naturally also feature at our gathering as important themes. We will also seek to learn from those with experience in peace-building and conflict resolution and to discern how the methods, strategies and sheer resilience of such initiatives might be adaptable to the ecumenical and inter-faith situations we seek to address.

The venue of Assisi has been chosen because of its long and instinctive association with openness, charity, dialogue, peace, harmony and communion – with the particular charisms of the orders founded by Francis and Clare alike having helped inspire countless ventures in promoting dialogue and openness amongst peoples.

Please visit for more information.

"Is there such a thing as a Catholic Imagination? Asking Augustine, Francis, and Hopkins"

Robert Kiely, PhD, Donald P. and Katherine B. Loker Professor of English, Emeritus at Harvard University

Wednesday, March 21, 2012 from 12:15-1:45 p.m.

Solomon Lecture Hall

This lecture is part of the "Explorations in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition" lecture series.  These are intended to be at an accessible and introductory level and designed for students, staff, faculty and guests who are not experts in the field. Classes are always most welcome.

Professor Kiely discussed some of what he has learned teaching courses on Christian literature at Harvard.  He explored some of the ways in which the work of the imagination— especially in literature— addresses scripture and theology; and bears witness to the experience of God.

“The Art of Faith”

Thursday, March 22, 2012 at 4:00 p.m. Robert and Karen Hoehn Family Galleries, Founders Hall

Reception to follow

A Display of 16th and 17th Century Religious Prints from USD's Hoehn Collection, featuring works by Dürer, Rembrandt, Beham, Goltzius, Jordaens and Ribera.  Introduced by Victoria Sancho Lobis and followed by a brief talk by Professor Kiely, on discerning the theological meaning behind religious works of art.

Followed at 5:00 p.m. by a lecture in the Galley Talk Series by Professor Sally Yard, Department of Art, Art History + Architecture together with Megan Walter ('12), Humanities and Art History

In collaboration with the Hoehn Print Study Room and University Design

Blessed and Beautiful: Picturing the Saints in Italian Renaissance Art

Robert Kiely, PhD, Donald P. and Katherine B. Loker Professor of English, Emeritus at Harvard University

Tuesday, March 20, 2012 from 6:00-7:45 p.m.

Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice Theatre

With a reception to follow KIPJ Room D

Robert Kiely, a distinguished scholar of modernist literature and a historian and critic of exceptional sensibility, discussed his latest book, Blessed and Beautiful: Picturing the Saints.   This book offers a powerful and searching meditation on the lives of the saints and the images of them painted by Renaissance artists in Italy. Through word and image, Professor Kiely shared with us his researches into how renaissance artists in Italy went about reflecting in and refracting through their works the lives, legends and meaning drawn from traditions surrounding Saints Francis of Assisi, Mary Magdalene, the lesser known Louis of Toulouse and Mary the Mother of Jesus. Professor Kiely then unpacked the theological meaning behind these great works and spoke of their enormous and enduring impact and significance.

The talk was an aesthetic experience in multiple ways, featuring images of the amazing works of art in question.

Religion and Science Forum

"The Genetic Revolution: Can Ethics Keep Pace?"

Monday, March 12, 2012 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. in the Mother Rosalie Hill Hall Executive Classroom

A Faculty Seminar featuring perspectives from the disciplines of philosophy, science, law, ethics, theology and from the biotech industry itself discussing the ethical and social implications of some of the most recent developments in stem cell research.


Keynote expert guest: Antonio Autiero, PhD, Professor of Moral Theology of the Faculty of Catholic Theology of the University of Münster. He was also Director of the Centre for Religious Studies of the Fondazione Bruno Kessler in Trento, Italy from 1997 until 2011.

John Evans, PhD, Professor and Chair of Sociology, UCSD

Jeffrey Janus, CEO of Lifeline Cell Technology; Senior Vice President of Operations, International Stem Cell Corporation

Lawrence Hinman, PhD, Professor of Philosophy and former director of the Center for Ethics in Science & Technology , USD

Chair: Gerard Mannion, DPhil, Director, Center for Catholic Thought and Culture and Professor, Theology and Religious Studies, USD

Vatican II @ 50

“Vatican II Fifty Years On: What Would the Four/Fore Fathers Say Now?”

Paul Lakeland, PhD, Aloysius P. Kelley S.J. Chair in Catholic Studies and Professor of Religious Studies at Fairfield University, CT

Thursday, February 23, 2012 from 6:00-7:30 p.m.

Mr. and Mrs. Douglas F. Manchester Theater

With reception to follow in the Manchester Conference Center Lobby

Paul Lakeland is Director of the Center for Catholic Studies and the undergraduate academic minor program in Catholic Studies at Fairfield University, CT.   Dr. Lakeland received his Licentiate in Philosophy from Heythrop Pontifical Athenaeum, an M.A. from Oxford University in English Language and Literature, a Bachelor of Divinity degree from the University of London, and his Ph.D. in religion from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.  He is the author of some 35 scholarly articles and 8 books, the most recent of which are, Catholicism at the Crossroads: How the Laity Can Save the Church (Cotinuum, 2007), which also won an award from the Catholic Press Association and Church: Living Communion (Liturgical Press, 2009). He will be the first speaker in our Vatican II @ 50 series. The four "forefathers" in question are those giants of 20th century Catholic theology and especially of the Council who were all born in 1904: Yves Congar, Karl Rahner, Bernard Lonergan and John Courtney Murray.

The Art of Contemplation

Faculty/Staff Workshop with Fr. William Meninger

Monday, February 6, 2012 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Center for Catholic Thought and Culture (Maher Hall, 253)

Sponsored by the Frances G. Harpst Center for Catholic Thought and Culture and the Center for Educational Excellence

With an introduction by Louis Komjathy, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Theology and Religious Studies, Program Director, Contemplative Studies and member of the Contemplative Pedagogies Professional Learning Community. A light dinner will be served.

Co-Sponsored Events

Becoming Who You Are: Wisdom from African American Catholicism

Fr. Freddy Washington, CSSp

Monday, March 26, 2012

Institute for Peace & Justice, Room C

12:15 pm - 1:15 pm

A native of Charleston, South Carolina, and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit , Fr. Freddy Washington, CSSp, is pastor of St. Mary Magdalene and St. Ambrose Parishes in Chicago. Prior to his work in Chicago, Fr. Freddy was a Hospital Chaplain at Harlem Hospital in New York City, a high school religion teacher, a director of Religious Education, an associate professor of Pastoral Theology at Xavier University in New Orleans and an adjunct instructor of Pastoral Theology at Loyola-Marymount University in Los Angeles. His many years of working in multicultural settings has offered him unique insight into the opportunities and challenges of discovering our true selves, drawing on all of our cultural gifts, to become who we most authentically are.

In collaboration with University Ministry, the Center for Educational Excellence and the Center for Inclusion and Diversity

Events of Interest in 2012

Poetry Conference June 9, 2012

Downtown San Diego

Do you write poetry?  St. Joseph Cathedral in downtown San Diego is hosting a conference, Poetry in the Cathedral , for Christian poets (age 18 and up,) to be held on Saturday, June 9, 2012. The conference will feature workshops combining writing and Christian Spirituality for beginning and advanced poets, as well as an evening reading featuring locally and nationally known Christian poets.  Well known poet, Paul Willis, will be a workshop leader and featured poet at the evening reading. Other session leaders include prominent San Diego poets and writing teachers. $25 fee covers workshops, and a simple lunch and dinner. Complete information is at

Contact Information

Frances G. Harpst Center for Catholic Thought and Culture
Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice 213
5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110

Phone: (619) 260-7936
Fax: (619) 849-8316