Reading Groups

2019-20 Catholic Heritage Lectures: Cultural Contributions and Contemporary Challenges to American Catholic Life

Fall 2019: One Church in Many Textures: the Cultural Diversity of Global Catholicism and its Potential Impacts for the Church in America with Dr. Tom Landy, College of the Holy Cross

Reading: Selections from the Catholics and Cultures website:

Fall 2019: Black and Catholic: Catholicism as Foundation and Inspiration with Dr. Cecilia Moore, University of Dayton


Reclaiming the Spirit: On Teaching Church History: Why Can’t They Be More Like Us? By Cyprian Davis, O.S.B

Being a Black Catholic by Sr. Thea Bowman

Winter 2020: Embracing American Catholicism’s Latinx Character in the Twenty-First Century with Dr. Hosffman Ospino, Boston College


Ospino, Hosffman, “Ten Ways Hispanics Are Redefining American Catholicism,” America (November 13, 2017): 18-23.

Ospino, Hosffman, “Latino Immigrants and the Redefinition of the U.S. Catholic Experience in the Twenty-First Century,” in Migration, Transnationalism and Catholicism: Global Perspectives, edited by Dominic Pasura and Marta Bivand Erdal. London, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017. 

Ospino, Hosffman, Hispanic Ministry in Catholic Parishes: A Summary Report of Findings from the
National Study of Catholic Parishes with Hispanic Ministry
. Bilingual edition. Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor Press, 2015. Also available online (only in English) at

2018-19 Catholic Heritage Lectures: Spiritual Practice and...

Fall 2018: Spiritual Practice and the Intellectual Life with Dr. Andrew Prevot, Boston College


 “Hearing the Cries of Crucified Peoples: The Prayful Witness of Ignacio Ellacuría and James Cone.” Chapter 4 in Anti-Blackness and Christian Ethics (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.

 “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.

Winter 2019: Spiritual Practice and Activism and Advocacy with Dr. Margie Pfeil, Notre Dame


 “A Theological Understanding of Restorative Justice,” from the Journal of Moral Theology

“Approaching Racialized Violence through the Lens of Restorative Justice,” Chapter 7 in The Scandal of White Complicity in US Hyper-Incarceration

 “Pacem in Terris and a Nonviolent Spirituality of White Resistance to Hyper-incarceration,” from the Journal of Catholic Social Thought

Spring 2019: Spiritual Practices and Working on the Margins with Fr. Greg Boyle, Homeboy Industries

Reading: Barking to the Choir, by Fr. Boyle


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).