In his newest book, historian and Notre Dame Provost John McGreevy examines the Church’s complex role in modern history as it both shaped and followed the politics of nation-states. Through a series of compelling vignettes and detailed analyses, McGreevy traces the events and trends that gave rise to the modern-day Catholic Church, one marked by an unwavering concern for social justice, unprecedented vibrancy in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia and increasing global connections — and one that has significantly expanded the organizational and symbolic reach of the papacy.
Latest News » Catholicism
Even the most effective poverty alleviation programs in low-income countries can leave some people behind. Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies have a big idea on how to bridge that gap. The new Building Inclusive Growth (BIG) Lab, led by Notre Dame economists Taryn Dinkelman, Lakshmi Iyer, and Joseph Kaboski, will bring some of the world’s best researchers together to develop innovative, long-lasting solutions to help vulnerable populations in developing countries.
Notre Dame historian Sarah Shortall’s debut book, Soldiers of God in a Secular World: Catholic Theology and Twentieth-Century French Politics, which chronicles an influential French theological movement that reimagined the Church’s role in the public sphere, has now earned four awards in the 10 months since it was published. The assistant professor of history has received the Giuseppe Alberigo Junior Scholar Award from the European Academy of Religion, the Best Book Award from the College Theology Society, the Laurence Wylie Prize in French Cultural Studies from New York University, and the first place Book Award for History from the Catholic Media Association.
Ulrich L. Lehner, a leading expert on early modern Catholicism and the William K. Warren Foundation Professor in the Department of Theology, has been elected a member of Academia Europaea, also called the Academy of Europe. He’s in excellent company — 75 Nobel Prize recipients are among its members, including the three 2021 laureates in physics. The academy promotes research, advises governments and international organizations, and furthers interdisciplinary and international research.
In March 2019, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., announced that the University would provide funding to support research projects that address issues emerging from the Church sexual abuse crisis. Since that announcement, 10 grants have been administered through the Church Sexual Abuse Crisis Research Grant Program to researchers in the College of Arts and Letters, the Institute for Educational Initiatives, the Keough School of Global Affairs, the Law School, and the Mendoza College of Business.
The University of Notre Dame, in partnership with Catholic universities in Italy and Lebanon, has established a consortium for the study of Muslim-Christian relations.
The Illinois resident became interested in studying Chinese when her aunt moved to Beijing to report on the 2008 Olympics. Margaret Rauch thrived in her ND Chinese language classes, completing the highest level in her sophomore year. She then took Classical Chinese and designed an independent research project—three semesters of directed readings that examined Su Xuelin, a May Fourth Intellectual who converted to Catholicism and wrote horny Heart.
Michel Hockx, Timothy Matovina, Jason Ruiz, and James Rudolph won grants from Notre Dame Research for their respective projects involving Foreign Office files for India, the Gustavo Gutiérrez, O.P. Papers, materials documenting Native American and Catholic encounters, and advancing the cross-disciplinary user experience lab: equipment restoration and renewal for faculty and graduate level research in the Design Department.
Congratulations to the Class of 2022! This video, screened at the Arts and Letters Diploma Ceremony, features several seniors reflecting on their time at Notre Dame and in the College of Arts and Letters. “Your peers, your professors, everybody wants you to be the best version of yourself that you can be,” said political science and Latino studies major Matheo Vidal. “There is no place like Notre Dame, and I'm just so thankful that I was blessed to be able to experience it.”
Notre Dame theologian James VanderKam, a renowned scholar of the Dead Sea Scrolls, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers. VanderKam, the John A. O’Brien Professor Emeritus of Hebrew Scriptures in the Department of Theology, was among the 261 members in the newest AAAS class, which includes actor Glenn Close, novelist Salman Rushdie, painter Sam Gilliam, New York Times critic Wesley Morris, and mRNA technology pioneers Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman.
Joseph Blenkinsopp, the John A. O'Brien Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at the University of Notre Dame, died March 26 in South Bend. He was 94. Although he retired from Notre Dame in 1999, he continued to pursue academic research until nearly the end of his life. His last book, Luke’s Jesus: Between Incarnation and Crucifixion, was published in October 2021.
A love of language led Mary Agnes “M.A.” Laguatan ’85 to Notre Dame. Four years later, that interest had blossomed into a curiosity about the rest of the world — and a calling to live out her values in the service of others. Now an executive with the global office of Ronald McDonald House Charities, Laguatan’s time at Notre Dame allowed her to discover her place and purpose in the world, one defined by helping others and offering dignity to those in need at home and abroad.
In a show of solidarity with Ukraine, a prayer service for the people of Ukraine was held Monday evening at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. The Basilica was filled to capacity for the vigil, led by Father Andrij Hlabse, S.J., a theology doctoral candidate and Ukrainian Byzantine Catholic priest. Father Hlabse welcomed the congregation in English, Ukrainian, and Russian, expressing solidarity with the people of Ukraine. He then reflected on his time as an undergraduate at Notre Dame when he would look to the Golden Dome and pray. He noted the numerous golden domes that likewise adorn many churches in Ukraine.
The U.S. Senate today confirmed the nomination of University of Notre Dame alumnus and former senator Joe Donnelly as ambassador to the Holy See. A 1977 graduate of Notre Dame with a bachelor’s degree in political science, Donnelly went on to earn his law degree from the University four years later. He represented Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District, which includes Notre Dame, for three terms and served one term in the U.S. Senate.
Many associate philosophy with the study of abstract theories of logic, human nature or the universe. But for Notre Dame philosophers Meghan Sullivan and Paul Blaschko it is also a practical approach to the issues of everyday life. Philosophy, they say, offers a sustainable, holistic and battle-tested approach to setting goals and finding meaning. In their new book, The Good Life Method: Reasoning Through the Big Questions of Happiness, Faith, and Meaning, Blaschko and Sullivan examine how the tenets of philosophy can help readers chart their course and ultimately determine what it means to live a good life.
The University of Notre Dame has been awarded nearly $1 million from Lilly Endowment Inc. to equip students in the Master of Divinity Program (M.Div.) and Master of Arts in Theology program to better serve in and learn from a diverse, ever-changing world. The grant will support cultural immersion programs and Spanish proficiency courses for 13 to 18 lay and seminarian students, as well as opportunities to meet with and learn from peers at other colleges.
Notre Dame senior Trevor Lwere will pursue a Master of Global Affairs in Beijing next year as a member of the Schwarzman Scholar Class of 2023. A native of Kampala, Uganda, he is one of 151 Schwarzman Scholars from a pool of nearly 3,000 applicants from around the globe. He is Notre Dame’s first Schwarzman Scholar since the program was established in 2016. Lwere is an economics major and philosophy, politics and economics minor, with a supplementary major in global affairs. He is a member of the Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars Program, the Glynn Family Honors Program and the Kellogg Institute International Scholars Program.
On her first day teaching at Notre Dame in the late 1990s, then-doctoral student Kathleen Sprows Cummings asked her undergraduates in Ethnicity and American Identity to share why they were taking the course. “Nothing else was open,” was the first reply. It wasn’t the only one.
Times change. Cummings, now the Rev. John A. O'Brien Collegiate Professor of American Studies and History and director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism, is the winner of the 2021 Sheedy Excellence in Teaching Award, the highest teaching honor in the College of Arts & Letters. “She has shaped me into a better student, Catholic, woman, and member of society,” one senior wrote in her letter recommending Cummings for the award. “I strive to become the type of woman and professional that she is.”
In an academic convocation at the University of Notre Dame’s Basilica of the Sacred Heart on Thursday evening (Oct. 28), His All-Holiness Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch, received an honorary degree from the University and offered an address on environmental sustainability and the COVID-19 pandemic.
For nearly 1,000 years, there has existed a sad division between two branches of the Christian family. Another step on the long path toward reconciliation between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches will be taken this month, when His All-Holiness Bartholomew, Orthodox Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome, visits the University of Notre Dame. “His coming here is, first and foremost, a sign of solidarity among Christians, between East and West,” said Alexis Torrance, the Archbishop Demetrios Associate Professor of Byzantine Theology. “And because Notre Dame is a global university, it is also an indication of how members of the academy, across disciplines, want to address the crises we all face — at the level of human relationships, economic injustice and environmental tragedy — in solidarity.”
Yury Avvakumov, an associate professor in the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Theology and a faculty fellow in the University’s Medieval Institute, has been appointed by Pope Francis to the Vatican’s International Theological Commission. The commission, established under Pope Paul VI in 1969, is tasked with examining doctrinal questions of great importance and advising the pope and the Holy See through the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
The University of Notre Dame will host the 31st annual meeting of the Black Catholic Theological Symposium on Oct. 7-9, featuring two public lectures and an inculturated Mass led by Cardinal Wilton Gregory, archbishop of Washington, D.C. Sponsored by the Department of Africana Studies and Department of Theology, the event also includes two days of private meetings for symposium members and an invitation-only listening session for Black Catholic students, community members, faculty, and staff.
Sept. 13 marks the 700th anniversary of Dante Alighieri’s death. The great Italian poet is being celebrated around the globe and especially in Italy where gala concerts, exhibits, and dramatic readings are underway. In this interview with the University of Notre Dame Press, Theodore J. Cachey — a Notre Dame professor of Italian, the Ravarino Family Director of Italian and Dante Studies, and the founder and co-editor of the William and Katherine Devers Series in Dante and Medieval Italian Literature — discusses the Devers series' contribution to the study of medieval Italian literature and Dante studies, its new publications, and what's ahead in the future.
Throughout the College of Arts & Letters — and across Notre Dame’s campus — faculty and staff are launching podcasts to share engaging conversations with audiences everywhere. From the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture’s Ethics and Culture Cast to the Department of Theology’s Minding Scripture show to the Notre Dame International Security Center’s speaker series podcast, many programs have found the form to be an effective way of inviting the world into Notre Dame’s vibrant intellectual community. “I feel really committed to delivering content to a broad audience, especially to people who wouldn’t get it otherwise,” said Gabriel Said Reynolds, the Jerome J. Crowley and Rosaleen G. Crowley Professor of Theology. “It’s a gift to teach Notre Dame students, so I’m really grateful for the opportunity and I don’t take that for granted, but there are many people who will never have access to institutions like Notre Dame.”
Nina Glibetić, an assistant professor in the Department of Theology, and Gabriel Radle, the Rev. John A. O’Brien Assistant Professor of Theology, have been appointed by Pope Francis as consultors for the Congregation for the Eastern Churches. The congregation assists in the development and protects the rights of the Eastern Catholic Churches, while maintaining the heritage of the various Eastern Christian traditions alongside the liturgical, disciplinary and spiritual patrimony of the Latin rite.
O. Carter Snead, professor of law at Notre Dame Law School and director of the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture, will receive the 2021 Expanded Reason Award in Research for his book What It Means to Be Human: The Case for the Body in Public Bioethics. Now in its fifth year, the Expanded Reason Award is administered by the University Francisco de Vitoria, in conjunction with the Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation, and recognizes excellence in efforts to “broaden the horizons of rationality, based on the dialogue of sciences and disciplines with philosophy and theology.”
The degree, conferred at CTU’s virtual commencement ceremony on May 20, was given in recognition of Hilkert’s teaching and research that deepens in others an awareness and understanding of the mystery of our loving God. “Professor Hilkert’s work resonates deeply with the mission of Catholic Theological Union, which is to prepare effective leaders for the church, ready to witness to Christ’s good news of justice, love, and peace,” said Rev. Robin Ryan, an associate professor of systematic theology at CTU. “This is particularly evident in three areas of her research and writing — preaching, feminist theology, and the mystery of suffering.”
The University of Notre Dame has long traditions in the research and teaching of Dante and is considered one of the leading centers in the world for the study of the great Catholic poet. As we approach the 700th anniversary of his death, Dante’s work still speaks powerfully, says Ted Cachey, professor of Italian and the Ravarino Family Director of Italian and Dante Studies. “I am often asked how Dante is relevant for today,” he said. “The answer is very simple: Dante confronted a world that was culturally, politically, and spiritually in profound crisis.”
A new installation by Sacred Music at Notre Dame’s Concordia choir is currently set up in the O’Shaughnessy Great Hall and accessible through May 20. Featuring 16 speakers arranged in a surround-sound pattern, each playing the voice of one singer, listeners are able to stand in the center of the room and feel as if they are on stage, or walk around the room to hear each voice in isolation. Each song represents a unique perspective from which to view the pandemic — with enough variety that a listener could find their own meaning in the pieces.
How does one find meaning and a mission in our restless world? How can we make decisions that help ourselves and others? How do we find the path that leads us to discover the deepest desires of our hearts and aspirations to make the world a better place? “The Heart’s Desire and Social Change,” a new podcast series and online community produced at Notre Dame, helps us explore these issues and navigate these big questions in our lives. Rev. Dan Groody, C.S.C., vice president and associate provost at Notre Dame, will host the program, which is based on the popular theology course of the same name that he teaches to undergraduates and students in the Inspired Leadership Initiative, which sponsors the podcast.