Past Conversations Video Archive


"The Catholic Church and the Racial Divide in the United States”

October 17, 2017

Bishop Edward K. Braxton of the Diocese of Belleville has a long-standing reputation as a scholar whose writings on a wide range of theological and pastoral topics spark meaningful dialogues among the Catholic faithful.

Bishop Braxton studied and taught at a variety of institutions, including the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium, the Divinity School of the University of Chicago, Harvard University Divinity School, the University of Notre Dame and the North American College in Rome.

A sought-after speaker focusing in the past few years on racial tension in the U.S. and Black Lives Matter movement, Bishop Braxton has been invited to preach in major Catholic and Protestant pulpits, such as the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco, the Sage Memorial Chapel at Cornell University, the Memorial Church at Harvard University, and the Rockefeller Chapel at The University of Chicago. 

Tyrone Brown is assistant director for the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) at Seattle University. As an Assistant Director, Tyrone is responsible for the Diversity, Equity, and Education Program (DEEP), advising OMA Alliance (student clubs and organizations), focusing on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Queer students (LGTBQ), military veterans, and social justice development.Previously, Tyrone spent five plus years as the administrative coordinator for the Office of the President, Vice President for Student Development, and Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). He is a Seattle University alumni, having received his MFA in Arts Leadership in 2010 and is the founder of MORAL MONDAYS at SU, the #BlackLivesMatter initiative on campus. Brown is the 2016 Spirit of Community Award (Staff) for exceptional commitment to service with a nonprofit agency or to coordinating or sustaining projects that make a positive difference in the community. 

Tyrone is a Seattle native, First Gulf War veteran, and a theatre director / producer.




"An Ultimate Concern": The Life & Work of Flannery O'Connor

June 1, 2017

Organized by Crossroads Seattle Cultural Center and featuring Image editor Gregory Wolfe, this multi-media presentation will offer insights into the life and art of American writer Flannery O’Connor.

A collage made up of film and audio clips—including O’Connor’s own voice—dramatic readings, and narrative background, “An Ultimate Concern” will delve into this Southern writer’s enigmatic stories and their provocative use of violence and the grotesque.

This event is an opportunity to encounter Flannery O’Connor through her own words, in order to enter into the heart of her thought, her stories, her personality, and her brief but intensely fulfilled life.

Sponsored by Crossroads Seattle. Co-sponsored by Image & The Institute for Catholic Thought & Culture, Seattle University.


What Out Future Needs Today: The Uncommon Goods of Jesuit Education

May 8, 2017

featuring Mark Ravizza, SJ, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Santa Clara University

Dr. Ravizza will help the community look to the future, reminding us of the characteristics of Jesuit education that invite us to “go forth and set the world on fire.” Exploring ideas of prophetic inclusion and the common good, Dr. Ravizza will invite us to consider where SU finds itself at this 125th anniversary.  
Ravizza is a Senior Fellow of the Bannan Institute for Jesuit Education and Christian Values. He was a delegate from the California Province for the Society of Jesus’ General Congregation 36 and earned his PhD from Yale University. He has been involved with grassroots accompaniment work at Santa Clara University's Casa de la Solidaridad in El Salvador and is currently Director of Mission and Ministry at Casa Bayanihan at Ateneo de Manila in the Philippines. Presented in partnership with the Center for Jesuit Education.


Israel Among the Angels: Angels from the Bible to Judaism and Christianity With Mika Ahuvia, PhD, University of Washington

May 4, 2017

Mika Ahuvia is Assistant Professor of Classical Judaism in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington. She received her PhD in religion from Princeton University in 2014. She specializes in Late Antique Jewish history, working with Rabbinic sources, liturgical poetry, magical texts, early mystical literature, and archaeological evidence.
What are angels? Why have angels have attracted and repelled religious peoples from antiquity to the present? In this presentation, Prof. Mika Ahuvia will discuss how angels became a part of Jewish and Christian life in the ancient world and how ancient controversies about angels may linger today. 


The Relationship Between Theology and Religious Studies in the 21st-Century Catholic University

with ICTC Fellow Donna Teevan, PhD, Seattle University

May 2, 2017

Dr. Donna Teevan is an Associate Professor in the Theology and Religious Studies Department at Seattle University. She is a systematic theologian who teaches Core courses on God; Christology; women and theology; and science and religion. She also teaches courses in historical and contemporary theology for majors. Her primary research interest is theological method.

Dr. Teevan's research focuses on the present and future of theology and religious studies in the context of undergraduate education at Catholic colleges and universities.


Contemplation, Science and the Arts

April 10, 2017

Featuring Naomi Kasumi, MFA, Associate Professor, Art & Art History; Paul Fontana, PhD, Associate Professor, Physics; Wesley Lauer, PhD, Director, Environmental Science Program

Dr. Kasumi works in installation art, mixed media, book art and digital design and researches the role of memory and memorial rituals in artistic temporary monuments, including and Tsunami memorial & relief projects. Dr. Fontana’s research focuses on experimental fluid dynamics and plasma physics; he recently set up a 2D lab at SU to enable further student research. Geomorphologist and engineer Dr. Lauer is currently studying implications of long-term changes in environmental conditions on river systems and has worked on research and consulting projects around the world.


ICTC Fellows Presents:

Meena Rishi, PhD: "Laudato Si’, Ecological Debt, and Carbon Pricing: An Empirical Exploration" 

Robert Efird, PhD:  “Effective pedagogy: Responses to Laudato Si' and Pope Francis’ Call for Ecological Education”

March 7, 2017

Rishi is a professor in Economics at Seattle University. She teaches International Political Economy, Asian Economic Development and Macroeconomics. Her scholarly work focuses on capital flight, institutional approaches to development, International finance and pedagogy. She is frequently invited by academic institutions in India to present her research and engage in scholarly collaborations.

Efird is an associate professor in Anthropology, Sociology and Social Work. He is an applied cultural anthropologist with a special interest in environmental education and collaborative research with community partners. His current research focuses on environmental learning in China and in the Pacific Northwest. 

Sharon Suh, PhD: "Occupy this Body: Meditation as Political and Recuperative Strategy."

Michael Jaycox, PhD: “Sustaining the Movement for Black Lives: Intersectional Narratives of Resistance”

March 1, 2017

Suh is assistant professor of Theology and Religious Studies and Pigott McCone Chair at Seattle University. Her presentation, “Occupy this Body: Meditation as Political and Recuperative Strategy,” is also the title of a book she is working on to examine mindfulness and meditation as social justice praxis and reparative political strategies.

Jaycox is assistant professor of Theology and Religious Studies at Seattle University. His presentation, “Sustaining the Movement for Black Lives: Intersectional Narratives of Resistance,” will examine how critical perspectives on class, race, gender and sexuality might offer a basis for reconstructing the natural law methodologies that characterize the Catholic moral tradition.


Only Amazement Knows: An Astrophysicist on the Beauty of the Cosmos

February 16, 2017

Dr. Maria Elena Monzani is a Staff Scientist at the Kavli Institute for Astroparticle Physics and Cosmology at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. She received her PhD from University of Milano and University of Paris 7, working on Solar Neutrinos. Her research field is astroparticle physics, which focuses on the intersection between particle physics and astrophysics/cosmology. As a manager of the LUX-Zeplin collaboration, she is building an innovative Dark Matter detector, which will be deployed in the former Homestake mine in South Dakota. She also leads the Science Operations Team for the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope. To view, please contact the ICTC at

Sponsored by: Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture in partnership with Crossroads Cultural Center


Catholics Called to Accompaniment: An Immigration Summit

in partnership with the Archdiocese of Seattle & St. James Immigrant Assistance

February 11, 2017

An opportunity for parishioners, service providers, community leaders, and interested volunteers to gather, discuss the current state of refugee/immigrant/migrant affairs locally and nationally, and explore the ways in which our shared faith inspires leadership and community engagement. The day will include panel discussions, breakout sessions, and opportunities for networking, closing with a mass with Auxiliary Bishop Eusebio Elizondo in the Chapel of St. Ignatius.


Flannery O’Connor: Documenting a (Catholic) Life of an American Master

November 17, 2016

Fr. Mark Bosco, SJ, PhD, is Director of the Hank Center for Catholic Intellectual Heritage at Loyola University Chicago, where he also teaches English and Theology, and he is on the Boards of Trustees at Seattle University. His teaching and research interests include the intersection of theological discourse and literature, especially in light of the 20th century Catholic literary tradition. He has written on Graham Greene, Flannery O'Connor, and the aesthetics of Hans Urs von Balthasar.

Co-sponsored by: Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture, Image journal, and the English Department at Seattle University


Tapping the Tradition: Sensemaking and Imagination for the Future of Jesuit Education

October 12, 2016

2016 marks 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.

Sponsored by: Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture



Dana Gioia: Image Journal’s 13th Annual Denise Levertov Award

May 11, 2016

A reading and reception for Image journal to present Dana Gioia with the 13th annual Denise Levertov award.

For twenty-five years, the literary journal Image has been a showcase of contemporary art inspired by faith. Image and its suite of programs (including an annual seven-day workshop for artists, writing fellowships, and seminars) deepen the wisdom, compassion, and cultural engagement in our world by enabling communities to draw more fully on the virtues of art and imagination.

Dana Gioia is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning poet. Former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, Gioia is a native Californian of Italian and Mexican descent. He received a B.A. and a M.B.A. from Stanford University and an M.A. in Comparative Literature from Harvard University. Gioia currently serves as the Poet Laureate of California. An influential critic as well, Gioia’s 1991 volume Can Poetry Matter?, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award, is credited with helping to revive the role of poetry in American public culture. To view, please contact the ICTC at

Sponsored by: Image journal, Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture


Postmodern Icons? The Catholic Imagination in the Visual Arts Today

April 26, 2016

Are there aspects of the Catholic imagination that can still shape the way we make culture, form public policy, and pursue justice and peace?

Gathering in Wyckoff Auditorium with three visual artists—Trung Pham, SJ; Laura Lasworth; and Melissa Weinman—who share slides and original art works, discussing how their vision has been shaped by the Catholic imagination and how they relate to a contemporary audience. Gregory Wolfe, editor of Image, moderates the discussion. To view, please contact the ICTC at

Sponsored by: Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture, Image journal


Tilling the Earth, Caring for the Poor: Musings on Stewardship and Sustainability

April 7, 2016

Given the ecological risks that face us and the uneven distribution of responsibilities, how can we overcome a sense of fragmentation and insularity? Reflecting on how Pope Francis’ call for an integral ecology resonates with those of us who live in more vulnerable parts of the world, we can discern pathways of hope, inspiring us all to are for our common home.

In the third installment of the 2015-16 Catholic Heritage Lecture Series, keynote Fr. Jose Ramon Villarin, S.J., and panelists Jessie Dye and Patty Bowman, invite us to reflect and consider our place in the processes for climate justice.

Sponsored by: Institute for Catholic Thought of Culture, Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability


Pope Francis: The Reform Pope - Can it Last?

March 15, 2016

A continuation of the series of talks given by ICTC distinguished scholar in residence, Fr. Patrick Howell, S.J., on the papacy of Francis and the significant shifts in image and culture that the Church has experienced.

America media frequently describes Pope Francis in terms of advertising. “The Pope is restoring the Catholic brand.” “The Pope is popular, but can he bring back Catholics to fill the pews?’ All this hype misses the point. The Pope is calling for an authentic living of the Gospel—one of simplicity, compassion for others, and above all mercy.

After three years, the pope continues his urgent call: simplicity, compassion for others, and above all mercy. He is changing the culture. He is decentralizing the Church. He’s building bridges? How’s He Doing? What’s He up to Now?

Sponsored by: Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture, Seattle University Office for Jesuit Mission and Identity


Integral Ecology: Pope Francis & Planetary Thinking

February 4, 2016

How does Catholic social thought draw connections between ecological destruction and social injustice? What does Laudato Si' say about the realities and dynamics of ecological sin, and what does this mean for human relationships with the Earth and with each other in the twenty-first century?

Christiana Peppard, PhD will deliver the keynote, which will be followed by a panel discussion. Christina Roberts, PhD will examine the rhetoric used to discuss climate change, highlighting voices and perspectives which are often marginalized, and Wesley Lauer, PhD will discuss the health of water systems in Nicaragua as an example of the ways in which water rights, indigenous rights and engineering intersect. To view, please contact the ICTC at


Stories from the Middle East: An Afternoon with Fr. David Nazar, S.J.,

January 28, 2016

Fr. David Nazar, S.J., Rector of the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome as he shares stories of refugees from the Middle East and the challenges faced by Eastern Churches in the region. To view, please contact the ICTC at

Sponsored by: Seattle University Campus Ministry, Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture (Interreligious Dialogue Initiative), Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry, Seattle University Theology and Religious Studies Department


Are We at Home in the Cosmos? Challenges and New Directions

October 15, 2015

In this, the first installment of the 2015-16 Catholic Heritage Lecture Series, Care for the Earth, Care for the Poor. Sr. Ilia Delio, O.S.F., discusses the call to conversion that Pope Francis articulates in Laudato Si’. She articulates this conversion as the entrance to a new level of consciousness that sees the whole earth as a cosmic family, following the example of St. Francis of Assisi. Together with panelist Jason Wirth, PhD, Sr. Delio explores the ways in which it may be possible to reach a new level of consciousness even in our postmodern, scientific context, taking cues from the insights of Laudato Si’ and Teilhard de Chardin, S.J.

Sponsored by: Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture, Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability


Committing to Our Common Home: An Interfaith Response to Laudato Si'

September 24, 2015

An evening of interfaith ritual, word and song as we join Pope Francis in renewing our commitment to care for our common home. Leaders representing Catholic, Buddhist, Sufi and Jewish traditions, as well as civic leaders, guide us in reflection and a shared ritual of commitment in the Chapel of St. Ignatius at Seattle University.



Our Global Problem: Human Trafficking from a Philippine Perspective

May 18, 2015

This is a public forum event featuring a talk from notable Filipina feminist activist, Sr. Mary John Mananzan, O.S.B.. This gathering also includes representatives and activists from Seattle-based community organizations with space for discussion of Seattle University's place in the issue of human trafficking. To view, please contact the ICTC at

Sponsored by: Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture, Center for Global Justice, Wismer Center for Gender and Diversity, Center for the Study of Justice in Society, Women and Gender Studies Department of Seattle University, Criminal Justice Department of Seattle University, Gabriela Seattle, The Filipino Community of Seattle


Think Globally, Act Locally: Pope Francis' Invitation to the Whole People of God

April 23, 2015

In his first words as pope, the Argentinian Jorge Bergoglio joked that the cardinals had to go to the ends of the earth to find Rome a bishop. In that one line, Pope Francis signaled his vision of a global church whose mission is lived out in local communities—whether that be Rome, Manila, Lagos, or Seattle. In this final segment of the 2014-15 Catholic Heritage Lecture Series, The Church Pope Francis Invites Us to Build, keynote speaker Edward Hahnenberg, PhD, explores how Pope Francis’ hope for a “poor church, for the poor,” demands consultation, collaboration, and commitment on the part of all those “missionary disciples”—bishops, clergy, and laity—who together constitute the local church. To view, please contact the ICTC at

Panelists Sr. Linda Haydock, SNJM, and Joe Orlando, EdD, continue a dialogue on what it means to view the Church as the people of God, a human embodiment of the Gospel that spans an array of cultures and classes.

Sponsored by: Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture


Ignatius and Zen: Spiritual Exercises

April 10, 2015

Habito has been a pioneer, both in practice and theory, of the interrelation and mutual illumination between the Spiritual Exercises and Zen meditation. This talk is a rare dialogue between these two venerable practices.

Ruben L.F. Habito is a former Jesuit priest turned master practicing in the Sanbo Kyodan lineage of Zen.

Sponsored by: Ecosangha, Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture


Field Hospital on the Border(s): A Church in Kinship with Migrants

February 19, 2015

This is the second of the 2014-15 Catholic Heritage Lecture Series, The Church Pope Francis Invites Us to Build, centering how Pope Francis has offered a compelling model of church as “field hospital,” calling Catholics to engage those who suffer wherever they may be found. Keynote speaker Kristen Heyer, PhD, examines this model, one which calls Catholics to engage not only with personal issues but with social issues as well, particularly the exploitation, violence and family separation faced by migrants in America.

Panelists Mark Potter, PhD, and Patty Repikoff, DMin, explore how local faith-based and community organizations—specifically the Kino Border Initiative and ministry to Latino communities on the eastside of Seattle—serve as “field hospitals” for migrants in Washington and California.

Sponsored by: Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture



The Church in a Global, Pluralistic World: Challenges and Opportunities

February 14, 2014

In the second installment of the 2013-14 annual catholic Heritage Lectures, José Casanova, PhD, introduces the audience to a historical tension within the Catholic Church between orthodoxy and universalism. Using the Jesuit order as an example and the reforms of Vatican II as support, he argues for Catholicism that emphasizes its catholic, universal, truth, one enriched but not undermined by its multiplicity of material and cultural forms.

Sponsored by: Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture


A Vision Meant to Stay "Centered": Cardinal Augustin Bea, S.J., Vatican II and the Cardinal Bea Centre

October 8, 2013

In the first segment of the 2013-14 Catholic Heritage Lectures, Philipp Renczes, S.J., retraces the historical posture and engagement of the Catholic Church with Judaism and the Jewish People, with specific emphasis on growth since the publication of Nostra Aetate at Vatican II. Highlighting the underlying challenge to Jewish-Christian relations, Fr. Renczes describes issues of independence and contingency that arise from varying views of Jewish and Christian traditions. He posits an image of fraternity between church and synagogue, one in which each tradition is tasked with finding the meanings of sacred scripture in the contemporary world.

Sponsored by: Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture



What Will The Catholic Church Look Like in 2050: A Prognostication from Asia

April 18, 2013

As this year’s Catholic Heritage Lecture series celebrated the 50th anniversary of Vatican II by revisiting the event of the council, Peter Phan, PhD, delivers the final installment as a reflection on his experiences emigrating as a refugee from Vietnam in 1975 and as the first non-Anglo to be elected President of the Catholic Theological Society of America. This lecture considers that while Christianity in Asia remains a minority religion "by any measure (it) has been vibrant, especially after Vatican II, and exerts a great influence on the countries in which it is rooted." After a brief historical survey the lecture explores aspects in which Asian Christianity can offer ways to revitalize Christianity in the next fifty years.

Sponsored by: Seattle University Division of Mission and Ministry, Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture


Vatican at 50: Toward a Dynamic Understanding of Conciliar Reception

January 24, 2013

Pigott Auditorium, Seattle University

In the second installment of the 2012-13 Catholic Heritage Lecture Series, Maryann Hinsdale, PhD, will respond explore the implications of myriad questions in the wake of the Second Vatican Council. What does it mean to say that an ecumenical council's teaching has been "received"? As an ongoing process by which "the faithful" acknowledge that a church teaching or practice is a genuine expression of the Gospel and builds up the community's life of faith, "reception" is an essential element in the Catholic understanding of Tradition. Neither blind obedience, nor a matter of "the majority rules," this lecture will explore how a dynamic understanding of conciliar reception must involve dialogue, participation and even "re-invention.” To view, please contact the ICTC at

Sponsored by: Seattle University Division of Mission and Ministry, Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture


Vatican II as an Event

October 11, 2012

The first lecturer in the 2012-13 Catholic Heritage Lecture Series is Fr. Joseph Komonchak, one of the leading scholars on Vatican II and its reception over the past 50 years. In this lecture he discusses how the Second Vatican Council was followed by greater changes in the Catholic Church than had been seen for centuries. What about the Council’s deliberations and final documents accounts for these, often dramatic, developments? What is the relationship between the experience of the Council and its character as an historic event?

Sponsored by: Seattle University Division of Mission and Ministry, Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture



Catholicism and Politics: Secularization and Secularism

May 8, 2012

Widely-respected journalist and current co-director of the Fordham Center on Religion and Culture, Peter Steinfels, PhD, offers an examination of issues at the heart of the vigorous public debate that has been the subject of this year’s Catholic Heritage Lectures: Religion in ‘Secular’ America. Specifically, Steinfels comments on the profile of Catholicism and religion more generally within the public sphere of journalism and political discourse.

To view, please contact the ICTC at

Sponsored by: Division of Mission and Ministry, Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture


Religion and Public Life in the Pacific Northwest: The None Zone

October 27, 2011

In keeping with the overarching theme for the 2011-12 Catholic Heritage Lecture Series, Religion in ‘Secular’ America, Patricia O’Connel Killen, PhD, examines a fact that we all know but do not understand very well, that the Northwest is the most un-churched part of the United States. She expands upon this theme within the context of a specific understanding that mutual suspicions between religion and science is a manifestation of a deeper phenomenon: the progressive separation of the sacred and the secular in modern culture. She asks, “Is the Northwest a backwater or bellweather?” Is the Northwest untypical of the American scene or a microcosm of it?

Sponsored by: Division of Mission and Ministry, Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture



Theology After Darwin: Towards A New Religious Future

April 14, 2011

Ilia Delio, Ph.D., OSF
. Senior Research Fellow, Woodstock Theological Center 
Georgetown University


To view, please contact the ICTC at