Skip to main content

Secondary navigation:

Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life

Prophetic Rhetoric in the Public Square

Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life

israeli soldiers praying

M. Cathleen Kaveny
Boston College

Date: Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Time: 12:00-1:15 PM
Location: Boisi Center, 24 Quincy Road


Abstract: BC theologian Cathleen Kaveny will speak about prophetic rhetoric in the public square at this Boisi Center lunch event. The topic is part of her larger book project, Prophecy without Contempt: An Ethics of Religious Discourse in the Public Square. She will aim to shed light on the culture wars by analyzing its characteristic rhetoric, both in terms of historical roots and logical structure. Many scholars have discussed the appropriate structure of deliberative rhetoric in the public square. Kaveny argues that we need to pay equal attention to the language of prophetic indictment, which has been used by social reformers of all types and political programs.

Kaveny head shot

M. Cathleen Kaveny is the Darald and Juliet Libby Professor of Boston College, a position that includes appointments in the department of theology and the law school. She previously served as the John P. Murphy Foundation Professor of Law and Theology at Notre Dame Law School. Kaveny is the author of Law’s Virtues: Fostering Autonomy and Solidarity in American Society. She has published over forty articles and essays in journals and books specializing in law, ethics, and medical ethics. She has served on several editorial boards, including the American Journal of Jurisprudence, the Journal of Religious Ethics, the Journal of Law and Religion, and the Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics. On March 1, 2012, Kaveny was the guest on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, where she discussed the legal and theological issues surrounding the Catholic Church's position on contraception. She is a blogger and columnist for Commonweal magazine, an independent journal of religion, politics and culture edited by lay Catholics. She earned a B.A. from Princeton University and a J.D. and Ph.D. from Yale University.



This page links to PDF files. Use this link to download Adobe Reader if needed.

readmore-textKathleen Caveny Bibliography
Kaveny recaprecap


In the News

A coalition of faith leaders recently took to the streets of New York for the People’s Climate March, using religious rhetoric to advocate for action on climate change. On Wednesday, October 1 at the Boisi Center, Cathleen Kaveny will discuss the use of such prophetic rhetoric to achieve change in the public square.

Related Events

"The Prophetic Minority"

April 2, 2014, interview with Russell Moore

"Prophetic Action & Imagination"

March 26, 2013, interview with Ernesto Cortes