Reading Groups

FALL 2018:

Dear Colleagues,

Once again opportunity knocks. The theme for this year’s Catholic Heritage Lectures is “Spiritual Practice and…” and will kick off with a public lecture and discussion featuring Dr. Andrew Prevot, Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at Boston College. Dr. Prevot will speak on the topic of “Christian Prayer and the Intellectual Life” on Thursday, October 25, 2018 at 7:00pm in the LeRoux Room (Student Center 160). Dr. Prevot is the author of Thinking Prayer: Theology and Spirituality Amid the Crises of Modernity (Notre Dame, 2015) and co-editor of Anti-Blackness and Christian Ethics (Orbis, 2017).

To prepare for his visit to the university, we invite you to join a reading group that will discuss two chapters from Anti-Blackness and Christian Ethics, and two recent articles (a detailed reading schedule is listed below). These readings examine the role of spirituality in the intellectual life of liberation theologians James Cone and Ignacio Ellacuría, inviting us to consider how the work for justice is informed and supported by our spiritual lives. Together, these (and future CHL reading groups this year) will advance our theoretical and spiritual skills in the work for racial and social justice.

The group will meet two consecutive Fridays, October 12 and 19, 12:30-2:00pm. Fr. Peter Ely, SJ, will facilitate this reading group. Lunch will be served and meeting details will be sent out to participants. Space is limited; to join the reading group please RSVP to

With thanks,

Patrick J. Howell, S.J.
Interim Director, Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture


Andrew Prevot Readings:
October 12:
“Hearing the Cries of Crucified Peoples: The Prayful Witness of Ignacio Ellacuría and James Cone.” Chapter 4 in Witnessing Prophecy, Politics, and Wisdom (Orbis, 2017).
“Ignatian Spirituality, Political Effectiveness, and Spiritual Discernment: Dean Brackley’s Account of Liberation Theology.” Political Theology, Vol. 18 No. 4, June 2017, 309-324.

October 19:
“Sources of Black Self? Ethics of Authority in an Era of Anti-Blackness.” Chapter 2 in Anti-Blackness and Christian Ethics (Orbis, 2017).
“Divine Opacity: Mystical Theology, Black Theology, and the Problem of Light-Dark Aesthetics.” Spiritus 16 (2016): 166-188.


The reading selection of past Catholic Heritage Lecture Reading Groups make a great starting place for class readings discussion groups. 

2017-2018: That We May Be One: Racial Justice and the Catholic Church

The Most Rev. Edward K. Braxton, Bishop of Belleville, Illinois, Pastoral Letters on the Racial Divide

Laurie Cassidy, PhD, Editor of Interrupting White Privilege: Catholic Theologians Break the Silence (Orbis, 2007).

Jordan Denari Duffner, Finding Jesus Among Muslims: How loving Islam makes me a better Catholic (Liturgical Press, 2017)

2016-2017: Rooted in Tradition, Growing Towards the Future: Seattle University at 125

2016 marked the 125th anniversary of the founding of Seattle University in 1891. During this important moment, the Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture in partnership with the Center for Jesuit Education invites the community to a year-long examen of how the university is living out its Jesuit Catholic Mission. There were no reading selections this year.

2015-2016: Care for the Earth, Care for the Poor

Pope FrancisLaudato Si' - On Care for our Common Home

Christiana Peppard, PhD, Just Water: Theology, Ethics and the Global Water Crisis (Orbis, 2014).

Ilia Delio, OSFCompassion: Living in the Spirit of St. Francis (St. Anthony Messenger Press, 2011).

2014-2015: The Church Pope Francis Invites Us to Build 

Edward Hahnenberg, PhD, Theology for Ministry: An Introduction for Lay Ministry (Liturgical Press, 2014).

Kristin Heyer, PhD, Mark Potter and Patricia Repikoff, DMin.
Kinship Across Borders, A Christian Ethic of Immigration. (Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2012).

Jeanette Rodriguez, PhD, Ben Curtis, PhD, and Fr. Gary Zender

"A Big Heart Open to God"

Evangelii Gaudium  

2013-2014: Catholicism in a Religiously Plural World

Phillip Renczes, S.J.

The Society of Jesus, General Congregation 34, Decree 5, "Governance at the Service of Universal Mission" (January-March 1995).     

Philipp Renczes, S.J., "Grace Reloaded: Caritas in Veritate's Theological Anthropology," Theological Studies 71  (2010).  

Mary C. Boys. "What Nostra Aetate Inaugurated: Conversion to the "Providential Mystery of Otherness." Theological Studies 74  (2013): 73-104. 

Edward Kessler," "I am Joseph, Your Brother": A Jewish Perspective on Christian-Jewish Relations since Nostra Aetate No. 4," Theological Studies 74  (2013): 48-72.

Lawrence H. Shiffman and Joseph Sievers, "Learning About Ourselves While Learning About Each Other: Proposals for Jewish and Catholic Education," Studies in Jewish Christian Relations 4 (2009): 1-5.    

Robert W. Jenson and Eugen B. Korn (ed.), "The People Israel, Christianity, and the Covenantal Responsibility to History," New Frontiers in Christian- Jewish Theology Conference (October 2010): 1-38.                             

José Casanova, PhD

José Casanova, "From Modernization to Secularization to Globalization: An Autobiographical Self- Reflection," in Religion and Society: Advances in Research 2  (2012).

--"Church-State Relations in the World Today," presented at the 1st International Meeting of Chaplains on Mission to Parliaments, "Pastoral Care of Politicians, Spiritual Accompaniment and Promotion of the Common Good," Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Palazzo San Calisto, Rome, November 14-15, 2013.

--"Public Religions Revisited," in Religion: Beyond the Concept , ed. Hent de Vries (New York: Fordham University Press, 2008).

--"Religious Associations, Religious Innovations and Denominational Identities in Contemporary Global Cities," in Topographies of Faith: Religion in Urban Space s, eds. Irene Becci, Marian Burchardt and José Casanova (Boston: Brill, 2013). 

--"The Religious Situation in the U.S.: 175 Years after Tocqueville," in Crediting God: Sovereignty and Religion in Age of Global Capitalism , ed. Michael Vatter (New York: Fordham University Press, 2013).

--"Transformations in American Christianity and American Civil Religion," the 2013 Jarvis Lecture on Christianity and Culture, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, November 4, 2013.

Catherine Cornille, PhD

Catherine Cornille, "Conditions for Interreligious Dialogue in the World Today" in Wiley-Black Companion to Interreligious Dialogue , ed. Catherine Cornille (Malden: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., 2013): 20-33. 

-- "On Hermeneutics in Dialogue," in Interreligious Hermeneutics , ed. Catherine Cornille and Christopher Conway (Eugene:Cascade Books, 2010): iv-1. 

-- The Im-possibility of Interreligious Dialogue, (New York: The Crossroad Publishing Company, 2008). 

2012-2013: Vatican II: Achievement and Challenge

Joseph A. Komonchak,  “Novelty in Continuity:  Pope Benedict’s Interpretation of Vatican II,” America Magazine (February 2009):    


 -- “Recapturing the Great Tradition, In Memoriam: Henri De Lubac,” Commonweal (January 2001): 14-17.

 -- “The Church in Crisis: Pope Benedict’s Theological Vision,” Commonweal ( June 2005): 11-14.

Mary Ann Hinsdale, Women Shaping Theology, Madeleva Lecture in Spirituality (Paulist, 2006).

Peter Phan, In Our Own Tongues: Perspectives from Asia on Mission and Inculturation (Orbis, 2003).

2011-2013: Religion in "Secular" America

Patricia O’Connell Killen and Mark Shibley, Religion and Public Life in the Pacific Northwest: The None Zone (Altamira, 2004).

Robert D.Putnam and David E. Campbell, American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us (Simon & Schuster, 2012).

Peter Steinfels, A People Adrift: The Crisis of the Roman Catholic Church in America (Simon & Schuster, 2004).

2010-2011: Religion and Science

Kenneth Miller, Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul (Penguin, 2008).

Holmes Rolston III, Three Big Bangs: Matter-Energy, Life, Mind (Columbia University Press, 2011).

Ilia Delio, Christ in Evolution (Orbis, 2008).