News and Notes


So far, the year 2013 has been a year of surprises for the Catholic Church. With the first resignation of a pope in over 600 years followed by the election of the first pope from outside of Europe and the first Jesuit to be elected pope. What does this mean for the Church, both in terms of how it understands its past and what can be hoped for in the future?

Catholic Studies co-sponsored the following events that considered the meaning and implications of these multiple surprises:

A Lecture by Fr. Patrick Howell, SJ opened a conversation on "Resignation of Benedict XVI leads to the surprising election of the first Jesuit pope," on March 14, 2013, 12:30-1:30p at Wyckoff Auditorium.

A continuation of the conversation on the papacy and the new pope on April 11, 2013, 5:30-6:30p at Wyckoff Auditorium featuring Fr. Thomas Murphy, SJ as he considers the rise and fall of power in the papacy and the new possibilities opened up by the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and the election of Pope Francis.

The theme for the 2012-13 Catholic Heritage Lectures, presented by the Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture, is Vatican II: Achievement and Challenge . The series celebrates the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Council. Come hear Peter Phan's lecture "What will the Church Look Like in 2050? A Prognostication from Asia," on April 18, 2013 at 7:00p at Pigott Auditorium, a theme made more timely by the election of Pope Francis.

Lecture, entitled "Catholic Higher Education: a Culture in Crisis," Presented by Melanie M. Morey, Ph.D., Senior Director for Research and Consulting at NarrowGate Consulting, and John J. Piderit, S.J., President of the Catholic Education Institute.

Read the article by Kevin Birnbaum in the November 15, 2007 issue of the Northwest Catholic Progress. Catho5764


Exciting New Courses in Catholic Studies in 2012-13

ART 392.02: Art of the Counter Reformation
Dr. Monica Bowen
W13: MWF 2:05-3:30

Drama! Emotion! Spectacle! Grandeur! Such words are often used in conjunction with the Baroque art of the Catholic Church. ART 392 will explore why Catholic art was created to look this specific way, due to the efforts of the Catholic Counter-Reformation. Along these lines, this course will also examine how art and spectacle were used as a type of propaganda for the Catholic Church.

PHIL 429: Topics in Ethics, Law and Justice: Catholic Ethics through Film
Dr. Paulette Kidder
W13: MW 3:40-5:45 

From On the Waterfront (1957) to The Lives of Others (2006), international and popular cinema has dramatized issues that are of central concern to Catholic ethical philosophy. Taking a combined historical and thematic approach, this course will explore the ways that philosophical texts and films mutually illuminate key ethical questions. We will explore key issues in Catholic philosophy beginning with readings from the Patristic and medieval periods, during which the Catholic synthesis of Greek and Hebrew traditions took shape. We will continue with an exploration of the role of virtue ethics and natural law theory in forming Catholic approaches to ethics, and we will conclude with a study of key texts in Catholic Social Thought of the 19th and 20th centuries as well as with an examination of new directions in Catholic philosophy in the wake of contemporary philosophical movements such as existentialism, feminism, analytic philosophy, and postmodernism.

THRS 391.01: Catholicism and Science (To be offered in the new Core as UCOR 2100: Science and the Church)
Dr. Catherine Punsalan-Manlimos
S13: TTH 1:30-3:35

Can you say those two words without evoking the image of conflict between progressive science and archaic religion? If not, then join this class as we explore the intersection of science and the Catholic Church from the period of the early church to contemporary discourse around the theological challenges and possibilities presented by evolutionary cosmology. Learn more about the complex historical factors that form the contours of the interaction between religion and science while examining the impact of science on theology.

Some Courses in the Works:

Cultural Psychology of Religion: Practice and Research
Dr. Le Xuan Hy

Greco-Roman and Judaic World 200 BCE-200CE
Dr. David Madsen

Holocaust and the Christian World
Dr. Jeanette Rodriguez

Designated courses that are approved for Catholic Studies

ENGL Special Topics Courses

  • Catholic Themes in Literature
  • Literature and Christianity
  • Theology and Literature
  • Spiritual Autobiographies

PHIL Special Topics Courses:

  • Catholic Social Philosophy

THRS 324 Religion and Ecology
THRS 341 Ignatian Spirituality
THRS Special Topics Courses:

  • Theology and Literature
  • Spiritual Autobiographies
  • Theology of Peace
  • Religion and Science
  • Catholic Worker Movement

PHYS 480 Cosmology and Culture


Contact Us

Le Xuan Hy
Director, Associate Professor

Kate Reynolds
Administrative Assistant