James J. Tracy, PhD
"Faith, Doubt, Mystery: A Catholic Journey"
Location: Pigott 101
Time: Session 1: 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
Themes: Religion, Faith and Ethics, Spirituality and Wellness
Description of Presentation
In his memoir Faith, Doubt, Mystery: A Catholic Journey (2015), psychologist James J. Tracy shares his trek in Catholicism. He started out as a sickly first-grader in parochial school, where he daydreamed about God and infinity. As a teenager, he confronted sex and faced guilt. As a Jesuit, Tracy struggled in a whirlpool of devotion, doubt, and a desire to know. The arc of his memoir, which was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2016, reminds readers that each of us is on a journey that calls for self-reflection and a humble pursuit of wisdom.
James J. Tracy is a Seattle native who, as a Jesuit, earned his bachelor’s degree at Gonzaga University. After leaving the Order, he was awarded a PhD in Psychology at the University of Connecticut, where his dissertation focused on morality and choice, a combination that had permeated his life as a Catholic. Tracy held academic appointments at Bryn Mawr College and in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Washington Medical School before he chose full-time clinical work in independent practice. For over 30 years, he worked with a wide range of clients—pilots, police officers, and politicians. He also worked with couples grappling with the challenge of commitment. Tracy came to believe that each person’s life is a journey filled with choices. Those choices, he asserts, can be understood and used as a springboard to achieve greater awareness and wisdom in living day-to-day and in preparing to leave the planet.