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College lecture series focuses on justice

Haleigh Ehmsen | Wednesday, September 4, 2013


The Saint Mary’s Center for Spirituality (CFS) will kick off its 2013 fall lecture series titled “Justice and Its Many Facets,” sponsored by the Saint Mary’s College Annual Endowed Lecture Series Fund, on Sept. 12.

Michelle Egan, associate director for the Center for Spirituality, said because the college is focusing on its core value of justice this year, the decision to highlight this topic in the fall lecture series was easy.

“Justice is an important and timely theme to build three thought-provoking lectures around, and broad enough to explore some of the various facets of justice,” Egan said.

The first of these speakers will be Fr. Daniel Groody, associate professor of theology at Notre Dame, who will discuss immigration Sept 12. 

“In an era in which war, economic impoverishment and ecological degradation lead millions of people around the globe to migrate from their homeland, and at a time when the U.S. Congress is debating immigration reform legislation, Fr. Groody’s lecture will help the campus community to reflect on these realities from a Catholic perspective,” Egan said.

Emily Reimer-Barry, assistant professor of theology and religious studies at the University of San Diego will present a lecture Sept. 26 titled “Saying Yes to More than the Dress? Elements of a Pro-Woman Theology of Marriage.” 

“At a time when women feel social pressure to have weddings in a style that costs an average of $25,000,” Egan said, “Professor Reimer-Barry’s lecture will discuss a theology of marriage that ‘Says Yes to More Than the Dress.'”

The final lecture of the series will take place Oct 10. Mary Doak, associate professor of theology and religious studies
at the University of San Diego will present her lecture, “Consuming Women: Sex Slavery and the Body of Christ in a Market Dominated World.” 

“Professor Doak’s lecture will invite us to explore the meaning of our commitment to justice in a world in which millions of women and children are trafficked both within and across national boundaries for the sex industry or coerced labor,” Egan said.

Religious Studies Professor Margaret Gower said she advises all of her students to attend these lectures and believes the topics covered are very pressing and applicable to the core value of justice this year. Gower especially expects the students in her Catholic Social Thought class to attend the lectures. 

“Altogether, I hope that the talks will help us, to think about when our relationships, institutions and social, political and economic orders are just and unjust,” Gower said. “From there, we can talk together about what we can do to work for greater justice and more humane order.”

The tradition of the CFS lectures is important to the Saint Mary’s community in further educating the minds of the students, Egan said. 

“The Center for Spirituality has brought prominent scholars to campus since its inception in 1985,” she said. “They share their wisdom on contemporary religious issues and address broader issues of how faith and reason interact.”