The tensions inherent in being at once Catholic and American have been palpable and familiar features in the life of the University of Notre Dame from sporadic outbreaks of fisticuffs on campus in the years preceding the Civil War to the controversy which swirled about the 2009 Commencement ceremony at which President Obama received an honorary degree.
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In November 1960, John F. Kennedy defeated Richard M. Nixon in what is considered one of the closest elections of the 20th century. The election is also noted in the history books because it ushered into the White House the first Roman Catholic to hold the nation’s highest office. To look at what this meant—and still means today—to American politics, the University of Notre Dame’s Francis and Kathleen Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy has invited a group of leading political scholars and authors to join in a panel discussion titled Shattering the Stained Glass Ceiling: 50 Years After the Election of America’s First Catholic President.
International investment advisor Terrence Keeley, who received a philosophy degree from Notre Dame in 1981, is a founding director of a new movement to promote higher ethical standards in the world of finance. He spoke about the Financial Hippocratic Oath as part of the 2010-2011 Notre Dame Forum, a campus-wide discussion on the role of ethics, values, and morals in the rebuilding and reshaping of the global economy.
The University of Notre Dame, in partnership with scholars and educators from around the world, is inaugurating a major cross-cultural research project: Contending Modernities: Catholic, Muslim, Secular.
Notre Dame Political Scientist David Campbell and Robert Putnam, co-authors of American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us will discuss their new book at 7 p.m., Wednesday, October 13 in Washington Hall at the University of Notre Dame. The presentation is free and open to the public
One of the world’s leading Dante scholars, Zygmunt G. Baranski, is slated to join the faculty next fall as the University’s first Notre Dame Professor of Dante and Italian Studies. He also serves as a distinguished visiting professor this semester.
Three panel discussions will be presented at the University of Notre Dame in September and October as part of the 2010-11 Notre Dame Forum, “The Global Marketplace and the Common Good.” The Forum is a yearlong discussion on the role of ethics, values, and morals in the rebuilding and reshaping of the global economy.
The University of Notre Dame has established a Ph.D in theology and peace studies to educate and train scholars in both theology and interdisciplinary peace research. The program is a partnership between Notre Dame’s Department of Theology and Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.
R. Scott Appleby, Notre Dame history professor and John M. Regan, Jr., Director of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, dispels misconceptions spread by people caught up in a wave of suspicion fueled by the mosque controversy in New York City, a Florida church’s plan to burn copies of the Qu’ran, and Muslims’ worries over the 9/11 anniversary coinciding with Ramadan celebrations.
In recognition of the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s historic speech on the separation of church and state, the University of Notre Dame will present “Remind Me: Why Did Anyone Care if JFK was a Catholic?” on Sept. 10 (Friday) from 4 to 6 p.m. in the auditorium of the Hesburgh Center for International Studies. The presentation is free and open to the public.
Forty of the nation’s best and brightest rising high school seniors converged on the University of Notre Dame campus recently for a week of intellectual engagement and a glimpse of academic and student life. Since 2000, Notre Dame’s Seminar for African American Scholars (SAAS) has exposed students to the vibrant intellectual life and Catholic character of the University.
Given the secular nature of many aspects of society, scholars often neglect the role that religion has played—and still plays—in the development of virtually every aspect of civilization. It is impossible to look at world history, politics, or culture without taking into consideration the impact religion has had over the centuries. Now, with a $657,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for a project called “Religion Across the Disciplines,” faculty and graduate students at Notre Dame, along with other leading scholars from around the world, will “examine and report on how religious knowledge can be integrated into the study and teaching of their academic disciplines.”
Turning the pages of Assistant Professor Erika Summers-Effler’s new book, Laughing Saints and Righteous Heroes: Emotional Rhythms in Social Movement Groups, it won’t be long before readers notice they are not working their way through a typical sociology text. Summers-Effler’s lively storytelling veers off into three different directions at once, and it’s loaded with stories, comments, and vibrant details from real life that would be quite at home in a piece of narrative journalism.
John P. O’Callaghan, director of the University of Notre Dame’s Jacques Maritain Center, has been appointed a permanent member of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas. Established in 1879 by Pope Leo XIII to promote the study of the thought of St. Thomas and to bring it into engagement with contemporary culture, the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas has 50 members. O’Callaghan, an associate professor of philosophy at Notre Dame whose scholarship concerns medieval philosophy and Thomistic metaphysics, is one of four academy members from the United States.
The University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) conducted its 15th Commencement exercises July 10 with one of the nation’s most distinguished leaders in the field of education addressing the 106 graduates who received master’s degrees.
In 2008, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) asked the University of Notre Dame for help in reaching out to the African Church. The Church was growing, but with the growth came the need for better leadership skills to manage the human and financial resources.
Two Notre Dame faculty—Robert Dowd, C.S.C, assistant professor of political science and director of the Ford Family Program in Human Development, and Paul Kollman, C.S.C, associate professor of theology—have been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Pentecostal and Charismatic Research Initiative (PCRI) of the University of Southern California (USC). Their project was one of only 21 to receive funding, selected from more than 500 applications. The grant will support Dowd and Kollman’s study of the Roman Catholic Charismatic Movement (RCCM) in sub-Saharan Africa.
The Department of Sociology’s Center for the Study of Social Movements has adopted a strategy that brings together young scholars and seasoned professionals to help the flow of ideas flourish across academic generations. It’s an approach that’s also enriching the experience of Notre Dame graduate students while bearing witness to that old adage about imitation and flattery.
In the midst of one of the most challenging economic climates colleges and universities have ever faced, the University of Notre Dame has announced significant additional internal funding to support nine research initiatives during the second phase of the University’s $80-million Strategic Research Investments (SRI) process. Projects selected for second-round SRI funding represent significant research undertakings in such areas as sustainable energy, environmental change, HIV treatment, nanotechnology, hurricane impact mitigation, and religious scholarship.
The University of Notre Dame will be the principal sponsor of “Women and Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America,” a traveling museum exhibit on the history of Catholic women religious in the United States, when it visits northern Indiana in fall 2011. A project of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), the exhibit began a three-year nationwide tour last May in Cincinnati and is now at the Smithsonian Institution. It will be at the Northern Indiana Center for History from September 2 to December 31, 2011. “Women and Spirit” includes photographs and items contributed by more than 400 communities of women religious, many of which have never before been placed on public display.
Katie Washington, a biological sciences major and Catholic social teaching minor from Gary, Ind., has been named valedictorian of the 2010 University of Notre Dame graduating class and will present the valedictory address during Commencement exercises on Sunday, May 16, 2010, in Notre Dame stadium.
Two faculty in the College of Arts and Letters’ Center for Philosophy of Religion have received more than $1.7 million in grant funding to continue their research into the problem of evil, a central issue for scholars who study the philosophy of religion. Michael Rea, professor of philosophy and the center’s director, and Samuel Newlands, assistant professor of philosophy and the center’s associate director, were recently awarded a grant of more than $339,000 from the John Templeton Foundation. The grant supplements an earlier $1.4 million grant the foundation awarded the two University of Notre Dame scholars.
Two titans of the religious spectrum – atheist Christopher Hitchens and Catholic writer Dinesh D’Souza – will engage in a public debate at the University of Notre Dame. The debate, titled “Is Religion the Problem?”, will take place Wednesday, April 7, at 7:30 p.m. in the Leighton Concert Hall of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.
Oxford University Press has just published Strategies of Peace, a collection of provocative essays that explore innovative models for building peace after genocide, civil war, and terrorism. The book features the writing of eight faculty members of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and seven other scholars of peace and conflict from around the country.
Rev. Michael Driscoll, associate professor of theology, was elected an officer and president-elect of the Catholic Academy of Liturgy at its annual meeting in Milwaukee last month.
John C. Cavadini, associate professor and chair of theology and McGrath-Cavadini Director of Notre Dame’s Institute for Church Life, has been appointed to the International Theological Commission by Pope Benedict XVI.
On Dec. 12, a national task force commissioned by the University of Notre Dame released a report and launched a campaign to improve educational opportunities for the next generation of American Latinos by expanding their access to Catholic schools.
Notre Dame theologian Gary Anderson’s book Sin: A History, recently published by Yale University Press, examines how understandings and descriptions of sin have changed over two millennia of biblical tradition.
John Cavadini, associate professor and chair of the theology department and McGrath-Cavadini Director of the Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame, has been named by Pope Benedict XVI a member of the Order of the Knights of St. Gregory the Great.
Notre Dame’s Center for Ethics and Culture is hosting its 10th annual fall conference, “The Summons of Freedom: Virtue, Sacrifice, and the Common Good,” from Nov. 12 to 14 (Thursday to Saturday) in McKenna Hall.