Interdisciplinary Faculty Seminars
A university is a place where scholars talk to one another. A university is as vital as these conversations. Hence the Institute sponsors a considerable number of interdisciplinary faculty seminars and international seminars. The interdisciplinary faculty seminars meet regularly to address from a variety of disciplines the issues that emerge in the encounter between faith and culture. The seminars continue for some three to four years and have typically resulted in a volume of essays or a scholarly journal or an international conference or a set of lectures. Examples of these seminars follow.
Professors of the Practice
This seminar provides an important cross-disciplinary opportunity for Professors of the Practice to meet, discuss the joys and challenges of teaching, and share in purposeful fellowship as we consider the big questions facing our undergraduate students today and how we can best serve to guide them to constructive solutions and to open doors to campus-wide conversations. At the same time, we learn more about each other’s work and how we can support each other in our research, writing, and service. In the best of the Ignatian tradition, we seek to respond generously to God's call that has led us to our own professions in order to love and serve our students and each other in concrete ways. This year they are reading James F. Kennan’s University Ethics.
Treseanne Ainsworth, English Jeremiah McGrann, Music
Elizabeth Bagnani, Accounting Erik Owens, Theology
Kathleen Bailey, Political Science Tara Pisani-Garea, Earth & Env. Scie
Tiziana Dearing, Social Work Meghan Sweeney, Co-Chair, Theology
Natana Delong-Bas, Theology Mary Troxell, Philosophy
David DiPasquale, Poltical Science Holly Vandewall, Philosophy
James Keenan, Co-Chair, Jesuit Institute Celeste Wells, Communication
Fang Lu, Slavic & Eastern Languages
Michael Martin, A&S Honors
JUNIOR SCHOLARS IN CONVERSATION
A seminar, designed to integrate junior faculty members into the BC academic community by providing a forum for them to discuss their own work in progress. The idea is to demonstrate how research and collaborative interchange are possible in a modern university, and how it is valuable for us to have opportunities to talk about the interconnections between our lives, our teaching, and our research and writing projects, sharing our work even across the disciplinary boundaries that define the modern university.
Aspen Brinton, Philosophy David Johnson, Philosophy
Andre Brouillette, SJ, School of Theology & Ministry Peter Krause, Political Science
Daniel Callahan, Music Adam Lewis, English
Andrew Davis, School of Theology and Ministry Laura Anne Lowery, Biology
Nicole Eaton, History Gustavo Morello, SJ, Sociology
Joyce Edmonds, Nursing Christopher Polt, Classical Studies
Jennifer Erickson, Political Science Andrew Prevot, Theology
Douglas Finn, Theology Tam Nguyen, Nursing
Holly Fontenot, Nursing Eric Weiskott, English
Charles Gallagher, SJ, Chair, History Yaguang Zheng, Nursing
Kyung Hee Lee, Nursing
OUR COMMON HOME WORKING GROUP
Starting as a response to Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si’: On Care For Our Common Home, a working group of faculty across the university developed a four day conference in September 2015 entitled Our Common Home. Among speakers were Cardinal Peter Turkson, Senator Edward Markey and Dr. John Holdren (see www.bc.edu/commonhome). Given its success, the Working Group now seeks to sponsor a variety of events and programs to raise university consciousness about the issues of Our Common Home.
Tiziana Dearing, GSSW James Keenan, Co-chair, Jesuit Institute
David Deese, Political Science Gail Kineke, Earth & Envi. Sciences
John Ebel, Earth & Envi. Sciences Erik Owens, Boisi Center
Brian Gareau, Co-chair, Sociology Noah Snyder, Co-chair, Earth & Envi. Sciences
Tara Pisani-Gareau, Earth & Envi. Andrea Vicini, School of Theology & Ministry
Laura Hake, Biology David Wirth, Law School
Mary Ann Hinsdale, Theology
Religion and the Modern State: Mutual Accomodation
This seminar aims to support the many excellent scholars thinking about religion and politics on our faculty by assembling them from the far corners of the university into an interdisciplinary community. As the name implies, we hope to bring together not just experts on the relationship between religion and the state, broadly construed, but also experts on the ways in which the two “sides” have adjusted to one another. We will take an expansive view of these questions and want to include a variety of scholarly and intellectual approaches.
Natana Delong-Bas, Theology Jonathan Laurence, Chair, Political Science
David DiPasquale, Political Science James O'Toole, History
Charles Gallagher, History Erik Owens, Theology
Gregory Kalscheur, Dean Morrissey College Alan Rogers, History
James Keenan, Theology Susan Shell, Political Science
SPIRITUAL PRACTICE, COMPASSION, AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF DESIRE (Fall 2016 - Spring 2017)
This faculty seminar conducts an interdisciplinary investigation into the dynamics of human desire and the spiritual practices that allow human persons to become more free and compassionate. With attention to a variety of ascetical, contemplative, aesthetic, and ethical practices that have as their aim the discernment and transformation of human desire, the seminar also draws upon the distinctive contributions that scientific and humanistic disciplines can make to understanding the barriers to and cultivation of compassion.
Fall 2016: Aug., 29, Sept., 19, Oct., 17, Nov., 14, Dec., 12
Spring 2017: Jan., 23, Feb., 20, Mar., 20, Apr., 24
ECONOMIC INEQUALITY (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)
The seminar is examining the phenomenon of economic inequality from an interdisciplinary perspective with faculty representing five of the university's schools. There is a dual focus on when does economic inequality become pernicious and what strategies might be employed to alleviate the worst consequences of the growing gap between rich and poor in the U.S.
MENTAL HEALTH, SUFFERING AND STIGMA (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)
As both researchers on and off campus as well as professionals on campus, we address these three issues. We are hoping to look interdisciplinarily at both how stigma, suffering and mental health play out on our campus and how we investigate it in our research. We are currently each presenting our interests and work and from there will decide on projects for the University community.
ALIENATION OF INTELLECTUALS FROM RELIGION WITHIN AMERICAN CULTURE
The seminar explores the widespread alienation from religion among American intellectuals and professional elites in media. It addresses a cultural climate that has rendered many in these communities hostile, skeptical, or indifferent to religious claims and has fostered a dismissal of religious discourse or institutions. This seminar attempts to gauge this situation, i.e., to explore its originating influences, the various forms in which it exists, and its present consequences within American culture.
JEWISH / CHRISTIAN RELATIONS (1998 - 2015)
On April 23, 1998, the Jesuit Institute sponsored a public discussion entitled "The Holocaust: Remembering for the Future," an event which generated widespread interest. Faculty members from various departments within the University formed a seminar to continue the discussions with a collaborative analysis of the present state of Jewish / Christian relations and of the theologies by which each community understands itself and its relationship the the other.
MEANING AND TRANSCENDENCE
This seminar addresses the questions surrounding the apparent absence of meaning inherent in the 20th Century's loss of traditional ethics and belief systems. The participants in this seminar strive to find the value still available in the narrative of the new millennium by exploring the forms of meaning, transcendence and ethical value to be found in the arts and thought of the 21st century and beyond.