Mary Ellen Konieczny, the Henkels Family Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame, died Feb. 24 as a result of complications from cancer. She was 58. A faculty fellow of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, she studied religion and conflict, the family and public politics.
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Rev. Daniel G. Groody, C.S.C. is associate professor of theology and global affairs and the director of the Kellogg Global Leadership Program. His research interests include migration and the US-Mexican border, international migration, and refugees.
Michael Feijoo loves finding ways his everyday life relates to big-picture questions. That’s one of the many reasons the junior finds value in majoring in theology and Arts and Letters pre-health. His combination of academic passions also brought him twice to Ecuador, where served with Timmy Global Health, a nonprofit organization that provides sustainable medical care to South American countries.
“At the heart of the mission of a Catholic university is service to the Church,” said Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of Notre Dame. “John Cavadini, whether through his leadership of the McGrath Institute for Church Life or his work as a theologian, has been tireless in seeking ways in which Notre Dame can better serve the Church.”
The legacy of Notre Dame philosopher Alvin Plantinga will continue on for years thanks to support from the John Templeton Foundation. He was named the 2017 Templeton Prize Laureate this spring — joining the ranks of previous winners Mother Teresa, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Charles Taylor, Jean Vanier, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama — and his work will now be chronicled in a series of 10 short, animated videos, which will present many of his central arguments in a visually captivating style designed to appeal to a wide audience. With funding from the Templeton Foundation, the project will be led by two Notre Dame philosophy professors.
The conference titled “The Whole is Greater than its Parts: Christian Unity and Interreligious Encounter Today” will be held at the University’s Rome Global Gateway Jan. 8-10. This is the second such international gathering hosted by Notre Dame’s World Religions World Church program.
Four students in Notre Dame’s Ph.D. program in theology have received 2017-18 research grants from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. Ashley Edewaard, Stephen Long, Andrew O’Connor, and Joseph Riordan, SJ, are among 30 students from the College of Arts and Letters to receive awards in another record-breaking year for the University and the College.
For his entire academic career, Sean Reardon ’86 has sought to use his passions — the humanities and quantitative research — to make a difference in the field of education. One of the nation’s leading experts on educational inequality, Reardon researches how opportunities and outcomes vary in the United States for students of different racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic backgrounds. Reardon’s path to his current position, Professor of Poverty and Inequality in Education at Stanford University, is long and sprawling. It includes stops on a South Dakota Indian Reservation, a New Jersey Quaker school, and further academic work at Harvard and Penn State — but it all began at Notre Dame.
More than 750 scholars and guests are gathering at the University of Notre Dame for the Center for Ethics and Culture’s 18th annual interdisciplinary fall conference, “Through Every Human Heart,” November 9–11. The conference features 112 presentations that consider the perennial problem of good and evil in our world.
Working to advance the mission of the Church in service of development, peace, and disarmament, attendees will address such topics as the July 2017 United Nations treaty banning nuclear weapons, nuclear weapons and the environment, and the role of Church and civil society in promoting disarmament. The speakers and panelists include Nobel Prize winners, senior diplomats, and leaders from the United Nations and NATO, as well as academic experts and religious leaders.
Informally, the 175-seat LaBar Family Recital Hall inside Notre Dame’s O’Neill Hall is known as the “jewel box” because of its elegant, classic design and intimate size. But in fact, all of O’Neill Hall is a jewel box — expertly and beautifully designed as a home to the students and faculty, the artists and instruments in the University’s Department of Music and Sacred Music at Notre Dame (SMND) program. The 100,000-square-foot, seven-story building on the south side of Notre Dame Stadium was made possible by a gift to the University from Helen Schwab and her husband Charles, in honor of her brother, Notre Dame alumnus and trustee Joseph I. O’Neill III.
Brad S. Gregory, the Dorothy G. Griffin Professor of Early Modern European History at the University of Notre Dame, explains how Martin Luther's 95 Theses eventually, but unintentionally, led to a world of modern capitalism, polarizing politics, and more.
“What difference can faith make for morality when people today recognize that people of various or no faith can live a virtuous, honorable, moral life?” asked William Mattison, associate professor of theology in the College of Arts and Letters. Mattison is a Catholic moral theologian with particular interest in virtue. His latest book, The Sermon on the Mount and Moral Theology: A Virtue Perspective (Cambridge University Press, 2017), examines the approach to morality that Jesus presents in Chapters 5-7 of the Gospel of St. Matthew and compares it to conceptions of happiness found in the works of classical philosophers such as Cicero and Aristotle.
Therese Cory, an associate professor of philosophy, has been awarded a Philip L. Quinn Fellowship by the National Humanities Center, a private institute of advanced study in North Carolina. Cory is one of 34 fellows chosen from among 630 applicants and the fourth Arts and Letters faculty member to receive an NHC fellowship since 2010. It will allow her to spend the year working on her book manuscript, Aquinas’s Metaphysics of Intellect: Being and Being-About.
In his opening remarks for “Land O’Lakes and Its Legacy,” on September 5, Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., suggested that among the essential activities of a university is to engage in discussion and debate about what its proper activities are. The examination included a lecture and panel discussion with four other Catholic university presidents in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the drafting and signing of the Land O’Lakes Statement. Arts and Letters Dean John T. McGreevy opened the event with a talk on the historical contexts of Land O’Lakes. He pointed to the impact of Vatican II, shifts in university and faculty governance, and a more global Church as essential backdrops for understanding the intentions of Land O’Lakes.
The University of Notre Dame’s Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism, in collaboration with the Office of the President, will host five Catholic university presidents on Sept. 5 for a lecture and panel to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the drafting and signing of the Land O’Lakes Statement.
The University of Notre Dame will premiere Sorin: A Notre Dame Story, a one-person play about the life and work of the University’s founder, Rev. Edward Sorin, C.S.C., on Aug. 30 (Wed.) at 6:42 p.m. in the Patricia George Decio Theatre of the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. This production celebrates the 175th anniversary of the University through the collaborative creative work of four notable alumni of Notre Dame's College of Arts and Letters: director Patrick Vassel '07, playwright Christina Telesca Gorman '91, performer Matthew Goodrich '09, and projection designer Ryan Belock '11.
To preserve and share the history of political upheaval that ultimately changed the Latin American Catholic Church, Notre Dame researchers are collecting a variety of audio recordings, handwritten documents, and texts to develop a digital library of critical events that took place throughout Latin America over more than 60 years and ultimately changed the Catholic Church.
The largest construction project in the 175-year history of the University of Notre Dame – an 800,000-square-foot integration of world-class space for teaching, research, performances, faith, multimedia, student life and athletics – is nearing completion, with several components now open or opening over the next two weeks and most of the other facilities ready for occupancy in January. The buildings include the new homes of the Deparment of Anthropology, Department of Psychology, Department of Music, and Sacred Music at Notre Dame.
Meghan Sullivan, a University of Notre Dame professor of philosophy, has won a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to support a two-week NEH Summer Institute on teaching philosophy as a way of life. The program will gather 25 faculty from across the country who are interested in developing courses that explore the concrete recommendations that various philosophical movements propose for achieving the good life. Sullivan teaches the introductory philosophy course God and the Good Life at Notre Dame.
The University of Notre Dame has received a $1.6 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to support the Sacred Music at Notre Dame (SMND) program and its transformative work with graduate students and the community. This is the program’s second grant from the Lilly Endowment — a private, philanthropic foundation that supports the causes of religion, education, and community development — following a $1.9 million grant in 2012 that helped launch SMND.
Ernest Morrell’s passion to better serve at-risk youth and their families and help break the cycle of poverty led him to embark on a prolific academic career, where he has formed a generation of future teachers, scholars, and leaders dedicated to improving the lives of marginalized urban youth. Morrell joins Notre Dame’s faculty this summer, as he assumes the Coyle Professorship in Literacy Education, with appointments in the Department of English, the Department of Africana Studies, and the Institute for Educational Initiatives.
Rev. Daniel Groody, C.S.C., associate professor of theology, will address the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on the theology of migration during the bishops’ annual Spring General Assembly, June 14-15, in Indianapolis. Groody’s talk, “Passing Over: Migration, Theology and the Eucharist,” draws on his research around the world mapping the many sides of the current conversation on migration.
John Cavadini, University of Notre Dame professor of theology and McGrath-Cavadini Director of the McGrath Institute for Church Life, will deliver a theological reflection to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) during its annual Spring General Assembly, June 14-15 in Indianapolis.
J.J. Wright, University of Notre Dame doctoral candidate in sacred music and Grammy award-winning composer, will premiere his five-part composition “Drama and Devotion” on June 1 (Thursday) at Chiesa Nuova in Rome.
An examination of one of the 20th century’s most important Catholic theologians has garnered a significant honor for Jennifer Newsome Martin, an assistant professor in the Program of Liberal Studies. She is one of 10 people worldwide to receive the 2017 Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise, presented by the University of Heidelberg’s Forschungszentrum für Internationale und Interdisziplinäre Theologie for outstanding doctoral or first post-doctoral works in the area of God and spirituality.
Alvin Plantinga, the John A. O’Brien Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at the University of Notre Dame, was named the 2017 Templeton Prize Laureate on Tuesday (April 25) by the John Templeton Foundation. Over his 50 years of research in philosophy of religion, epistemology and metaphysics, Plantinga has advanced landmark arguments for the existence of God, returning the questions of religious belief to the common discourse of academic philosophy.
The collaborative global research project, Under Caesar's Sword, is co-directed by political scientist Daniel Philpott. “In Response to Persecution,” a report on the UCS project’s findings, was launched April 20 in a day-long symposium at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
Fr. Emmanuel Katongole, a Notre Dame associate professor of theology and peace studies, will spend a year studying three predominant forms of violence in sub-Saharan Africa after being named a Henry Luce III Fellow in Theology for 2017–2018, one of six scholars selected from members of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. Katongole will begin a yearlong study in January aimed at looking at ethnic, religious, and ecological violence in African countries south of the Sahara.
Gabriel Said Reynolds, professor of Islamic studies and theology at the University of Notre Dame, is one of 15 Catholic delegates invited by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID) to participate in a bilateral conversation with 15 Muslim counterparts at Al-Azhar al-Sharif Center for Dialogue (ASCD) Feb. 22-23 in Cairo, Egypt. Reynolds, whose research centers on the Quran and Muslim-Christian relations, believes the greatest opportunities for progress come from emphasizing what Christians and Muslims have in common — the shared stories, history and values.