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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Religious Studies

Bernardin Annual Lecture 2017

Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Lectures in Moral, Ethical, and Religious Studies

Guest Speaker:  Kristin Heyer, Boston College


"Immigration Ethics in a New Era:

Embracing Cardinal Bernardin's challenge to be both
'prophetic and public' amid the contemporary
political climate with respect to migration"



Thursday, November 2
6:00 PM

Capstone Campus Room (map)


Kristin Heyer is professor of theological ethics at Boston College and author of "Kinship Across Borders: A Christian Ethic of Immigration" (Georgetown University Press, 2012). She also is author of “Prophetic and Public: The Social Witness of U.S. Catholicism” (Georgetown University Press, 2006) and is co-editor of “Conscience and Catholicism: Rights, Responsibilities and Institutional Responses,”  “Catholics and Politics: The Dynamic Tension between Faith and Power,”  and “Public Theology and the Global Common Good.”

She received her B.A. from Brown University and her Ph.D. in theological ethics from Boston College in 2003. Her research focuses on the ethics of immigration, Catholic political engagement, moral agency and Christian social ethics. She also serves as an editor for Georgetown University Press' Moral Traditions Series and on the board of Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church. She worked at Loyola Marymount University from 2003-2009 and at Santa Clara University from 2009-2015.

About her talk, Dr. Heyer says:

"Immigration has increasingly been framed in terms of crisis management, rather than by addressing underlying economic, political and cultural contributing factors. In the contemporary US context, political rhetoric has often masked complicity, abetted human rights violations and betrayed the nation’s founding principles. The lenses that shape the (quickly shifting) immigration debate in the United States can distort the realities that migrants face and become surrogates for other cultural and political concerns. Focusing solely on economics or fear-based approaches too often de-humanizes newcomers. In my Bernardin lecture I will explore contributions that Scripture and the Catholic social tradition offer the immigration dialogue in light of these realities. Resources from Christian ethics challenge the dominant, instrumentalist frameworks and offer a counternarrative of civic kinship with moral, spiritual and policy implications--and with implications for both "prophetic" and "public" responses, in the spirit of Cardinal Bernardin."





Joseph Cardinal Bernardin
Lectures in Moral, Ethical, and Religious Studies

Joseph Cardinal Bernardin left a profound legacy of service, social concern, and education. In his work as priest, archbishop of Chicago, author, and public servant, he addressed the most profound social and ethical issues of our times.

In honor of this Columbia, South Carolina native, former student of the University, and distinguished leader in the Roman Catholic Church, the Department of Religious Studies at USC is working toward establishing the Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Chair in Ethical, Moral, and Religious Studies.

The Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Lectures were inaugurated in 1999 and are offered annually by the USC department of Religious Studies.



Past lectures in this series:

2016 -- Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, CM, EdD, President of DePaul University

  • Topic:"The Challenge of a ‘Consistent Ethic’ in the 2016 Election Cycle"
  • Panel Conversation: "Cardinal Bernardin: Formed in South Carolina"
  • lecture summary – panel summary 

2015 -- Sr. Simmone Campbell, SSS,
Executive Director of NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby

  • Topic: “Bridge the Divides, Transform Politics:  A View From the Bus”
  • event summary 

2014 -- Sr. Joan Chittister, OSB
Executive Director of Benetvision

  • Topic: "The Common Good: An Uncommon Search For Common Ground"
  • event summary

2013 -- Dr. Massimo Faggioli Assistant Professor of History of Modern Christianity University of St. Thomas Department of Theology

  • Topic: "Bernardin's Common Ground Initiative: Can it Survive Current Political Cultures?"
  • Symposium: "A Model for Dialogue: Reflecting on Cardinal Bernardin’s Common Ground Initiative"
  • event summary

2012 -- The Most Reverend Wilton D. Gregory, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Atlanta

  • Topic: "Joseph Louis Bernardin: A Model for Civility in Public Discourse"
  • Symposium: "Civility, Democracy & Religion"
  • event summary

2011 -- E. J. Dionne, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, a syndicated columnist for the Washington Post, and University Professor in the Foundations of Democracy and Culture at Georgetown University

  • Topic: "Reweaving the Seamless Garment: Cardinal Bernardin's Living Legacy to American Public Life."
    event summary

2010 -- Father John Langan, Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Professor of Catholic Social Thought, Senior research scholar in the Kennedy Institute of Ethics; Professor of philosophy, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University

  • Topic: "Ethical Vision and Political Considerations: The Continuing Relevance of Cardinal Bernardin"
  • Respondent: Sister Judith Karam, President and CEO, Sisters of Charity Health System
  • Afternoon lecture: Sister Carol Keehan, CEO and President of the Catholic Health Association of the United States 
  • Topic: "21st Century Health Care Challenges and Catholic Hospitals"

2008 -- Dr. Ana Maria Diaz-Stevens, Professor of Church and Society, Union Theological Seminary, New York

  • topic: "Dissonance, Harmony, and Improvisation: The Challenge of Latinos to the Catholic Church"
  • Dr. Anthony Stevens-Arroyo (lead symposium presenter), Professor Emeritus of Puerto Rican and Latino Studies, Brooklyn College; Distinguished Scholar of the City University of New York
    topic: "Who's on First? What's on Second? Latino Christianity in the U.S."
  • Symposium Participants:
  • Ana Maria Díaz-Stevens, Professor Emeritus of Church and Society, Union Theological Seminary, New York City
  • Elaine Lacy, Professor History, USC Aiken; Affiliate, Consortium for Latino Immigration Studies, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina
  • The Rev. Sonia Ortigoza, Hispanic Congregational Specialist, South Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church; Director, South Carolina Hispanic Leadership Council
  • Brother Carlos Luis Parilla, Director of Hispanic Ministries, Catholic Diocese of Charleston

2007 -- Dr. Philip Jenkins, Distinguished Professor of History and Religious Studies, Pennsylvania State University

  • topic: "God's Continent: Christianity, Islam, and Europe's Religious Crisis"
  • Symposium in conjunction with Solomon-Tenenbaum lecture
  • Topic: "Secularism, Immigration, and Europe's Religious Crisis"
  • Participants: 
  • Charles Bierbauer, Dean, USC College of Mass Communications & Information Studies
  • Philip Jenkins, Pennsylvania State University
  • Prof. Jocelyne Cesari, Harvard University
  • Paula Hyman, Yale University

2006 -- John Allen, Award-winning Vatican correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter

  • topic: "Live From the Vatican: Recent Issues for the Church"
  • Symposium Participants: 
  • Charles Bierbauer, Dean, USC College of Mass Communications and Information Studies
  • Cecile Holmes, Asst. Professor, School of Journalism
  • Bobbi Kennedy, SCETV Vice-President for Education
  • Phil Linder, Dean of Trinity Cathedral
  • Brad Warthen, Editorial Page Editor, The State

2005 -- Sally Cunneen, Co-founder and Editor of the international, inter-religious quarterly, Cross Currents, and Professor Emeritus of English at Rockford Community College of the State University of New York

  • Sister Sharon Euart, President of the Canon Law Society of America and a former Associate General Secretary for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
    • Sister Sharon Euart:
      "Women in the Church: Changes, Challenges and Opportunities for Promoting the 'Genius of Women in the Life of the Church."
    • Sally Cunneen:
      "Mary: Our Common Ground"
    • Respondents: Dr. Stephanie Mitchem and Sister Pamela Smith respectively

2004 -- Father Thomas Keating, one of the architects of the Centering Prayer movement and Contemplative Outreach Ltd.

  • Topic: “Centering Prayer as a Preparation for Contemplative Prayer”

2003 -- Dr. Eugene J. Fisher, lecturer, is in charge of Catholic-Jewish Relations for the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.

  • Topic: “Covenant and Mission in the Catholic-Jewish Dialogue: the history of Catholic-Jewish relations”, recent developments in Catholic-Jewish relationships.
  • Respondent: Rabbi Sanford Marcus, of Tree of Life Congregation, respondant. Four facilitators, from Catholic and Jewish faiths, raised brief questions for Dr. Fisher and Rabbi Marcus.

2002 -- Father Donald Cozzens, lecturer

  • Theme:“"The Priesthood: Challenges and Opportunities"
    Books include: The Changing Face of the Priesthood: A Reflection on the Priest's Crisis of Soul, The Spirituality of the Diocesan Priest, and Sacred Silence: Denial and the Crisis in the Church. All have been published by Liturgical Press. Father Cozzens is a priest of the diocese of Cleveland, Ohio. lecture topic: “Dying and Rising: The Priesthood in Peril”

2001 -- joint project with the Solomon-Tenenbaum lecturship.

  • Rabbi Elliot Dorff, distinguished professor of Philosophy at the University of Judaism, Los Angeles, and a member of Conservative Judaism's committee on Jewish law and standards.
  • Dr. Mary Boys, Skinner and McAlphin Professor of Practical Theology at Union Theological Seminary, New York City, and a consultant to Christian and Jewish theological faculties on teaching and curriculum in the area of interreligious understanding.
  • Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, president of the Islamic Society of North America and adjunct professor of Islamic studies and world religions at California State University in Fullerton.

2000 -- Bud Welch, Advocate in opposition to the death penalty, Oklahoma City

1999 -- Reverend Monsignor Kenneth Velo, Eugene Kennedy, J.Bryan Hehir


Lecture summary – Panel summary