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Sponsored Lectures

Each year, the Office for Mission and Ministry sponsors insightful lectures that explore a breadth of contemporary issues and timeless truths. Many of these talks have been recorded and archived here for quick access. Watch, listen and learn at your ease and on your schedule. 

2020 Video Archive

Native American Environmentalism in an Age of Ecological Crisis

Paul Rosier, PhD, Mary M. Birle Chair in American History at Villanova

Birth of a Dancing Star: My Journey from Cradle Catholic to Cyborg Christian

Ilia Delio, OSF, PhD, discusses her memoir, Birth of a Dancing Star: My Journey from Cradle Catholic to Cyborg Christian (2019, Orbis Books), She holds the Josephine C. Connelly Endowed Chair in Theology at Villanova.

A Black Suffragist's Story from the Jim Crow South

Historian and author Adele Logan Alexander, PhD, discusses her 2019 book, Princess of the Hither Isles (Yale University Press). The book tells the story of Alexander’s grandmother, Adele Hunt Logan, who dedicated herself to advancing political and educational opportunities for the African American community.

The Catholic University and the Culture of Encounter

Bishop Paul Tighe, secretary of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Culture, presents the talk at Villanova.

Holiness and Prejudice: The Black Catholic Legacy

The Most Rev. Joseph N. Perry, an auxiliary bishop of Chicago, addresses Villanovans as part of Black History Month. The event is co-sponsored by the Africana Studies Program.

St. Thomas’ Views on the Economy and Human Happiness

Mary Hirschfeld, PhD, an associate professor of economics and theology at Villanova, presents the 2020 St. Thomas Aquinas Lecture, based on her 2018 book, Aquinas and the Market: Toward a Humane Economy (Harvard University Press).

2019 Video Archive

Who's in Charge? Past, Present and Future of Church Governance

Villanova presents the 2019 Civitas Dei Medal to John W. O’Malley, SJ, PhD, one of the most important scholars in the field of Church history, for his outstanding achievements in the Catholic and global scholarly communities. A university professor in theology at Georgetown, Father O'Malley has built his expertise over a career that spans more than six decades. 

Reform and Resistance: What Pope Francis Asks and Why Not Everyone Likes It

Austen Ivereigh, PhD, a London-based Catholic writer, journalist and commentator on religion and politics, and co-founder of Catholic Voices, discusses his 2019 book, Wounded Shepherd: Pope Francis and the Struggle to Convert the Catholic Church.

More Than a Hashtag: Missing Murdered Indigenous Women and a Call to Action

Cheryl Redhorse Bennett, Arizona State University

The Council after Auschwitz Cannot Fail to Speak of the Jews: Congar and Vatican II

Church historian Massimo Faggioli, PhD, explores the influence at Vatican II of the French Dominican priest Yves Congar, a compelling voice in the drafting of the document on non-Christian religions, Nostra Aetate, and, in particular, the section on Judaism.

From Just War to Peacebuilding: Lessons for US Racial Justice

Ethicist Lisa Sowle Cahill, PhD, the J. Donald Monan Professor of Theology at Boston College, presents a talk drawn from her book Blessed Are the Peacemakers: Pacifism, Just War, and Peacebuilding (Fortress Press, 2019).

Who Is Left Out of the Image of God? Comparative Reflections from Hindu and Christian Theology

Michelle Voss Roberts, PhD, principal and professor of theology at Emmanuel College (Toronto), explores this question: Christians understand humans to be created in the image of God, but, historically, that image has often been defined in ways that exclude women, children and many persons with disabilities from full humanity. How might Hindu wisdom help contemporary Christian theologians take account of embodiment, difference and limitation, not only as descriptions of the human condition, but also as part of the imago Dei itself?

The Rise of Antisemitism

Billie Murray, PhD, a Villanova professor of communication, describes how antisemitism is coded in images and language; and Paul Steege, PhD, a Villanova professor of history, speaks about the history and legacy of antisemitism in Germany—and why it's familiar today.

The God of the Bible and the God of the Philosophers

In this 2019 St. Thomas Aquinas Lecture, Eleonore Stump, PhD, Robert J. Henle Professor of Philosophy at St. Louis University, argues that, for Aquinas, the God of classical theism is maximally present, responsive and personal to human beings.

2018 Video Archive

Speaking of Truth: Is There Anything in Between Absolute and Relative?

John Caputo, PhD, the former David R. Cook Chair of Philosophy at Villanova, addresses the question of the inescapability of the interpretation of truth. Truth, he says, is neither absolute nor relativistic, but interpretive, and some interpretations are better than others. (The lecture was part of Augustinian Heritage Month.)

#Me Too, #Church Too: Sexual Violence and Social Justice

The #MeToo movement, which took off in fall 2017, has changed the conversation on sexual violence. Catholics have not been major contributors so far, but Catholic social thought and feminist theology offer important resources for diagnosing the problem and moving forward. Julie Hanlon Rubio, PhD, Professor of Social Ethics at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University, explains how.

From Podium to Press

book cover for "Pope Francis: A Voice for Mercy, Justice, Love, and Care for the Earth"

Key talks from several lecture series and conferences have been published in book form, offering students and scholars a wealth of perspectives.

Pope Francis: A Voice for Mercy, Justice, Love, and Care for the Earth
(Orbis Books, 2019)

Virtue and the Moral Life: Theological and Philosophical Perspectives 
(Lexington Press, 2014)

Celebrating Paul: Festschrift in Honor of Jerome Murphy-O'Connor, O.P., and Joseph A. Fitzmyer, S.J. 
(Catholic Biblical Association of America, 2011)

The Experience of God: A Postmodern Response
(Fordham University Press, 2005)