The Jesuit Institute was established in 1988 to support the Jesuit, Catholic character of Boston College precisely as a university. Initially funded by the Jesuit Community and then by subsequent generous donations, the Institute works in collaboration with existing schools, programs and faculties primarily at Boston College to promote research and collaboration on issues that emerge at the intersection of faith and culture.

James Keenan, SJ

Message from the Director

Welcome to the web page of the Jesuit Institute at Boston College. The Jesuit Institute seeks to serve the Boston College community as an intellectual resource that encourages dialogue and discussion around the areas of faith and culture. While many of our programs (faculty seminars, lectures, important disputed questions of the day, and short colloquia addressing a particular issue) relate immediately and directly to the intellectual life here on campus, the Institute also intends an outreach to the larger scholarly community both in the United States and abroad. In past years the Jesuit Institute has also supported a number of national and international conferences. These meetings have produced a host of publications of almost every type. Our vision is to communicate the Catholic and Jesuit identity of Boston College, but precisely through the intellectual life, always emphasizing and continuing the reflection on the ancient yet ever new Catholic intellectual tradition. Earnest and honest dialogue, broadly fixed around the great and central issues of human identity, and especially in the context of faith and culture is the goal of the Jesuit Institute at Boston College.

—James F. Keenan, S.J.

curriculum vitae


Advisory Board

Jean Bartunek, RSCJ
Robert A. and Evelyn J. Ferris Chair
Carroll School of Management

John Butler, S.J. *
Haub Vice President 
Division of Mission and Ministry

Mary Crane

Mary Crane *
Thomas Rattigan Professor of English
Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

Michael Davidson, S.J.
Thea Bowman AHANA and Intercultural Center

Gregory Kalscheur, S.J. *
Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

M. Cathleen Kaveny *
Libby Professor of Law and Theology
Boston College Law School

Gustavo Morello, S.J.
Associate Professor of Sociology
Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

 Juliet Schor
Professor of Sociology
Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

Thanh Tran

Thanh Tran
Professor, Health & Mental Health
School of Social Work

Gautam Yadama

Gautam Yadama *
School of Social Work


* Executive Committee

Mission Statement

The Catholic Jesuit university is founded upon the conviction that the religious and the academic are intrinsically related. The movement of the mind towards meaning or truth initiates a process of questioning that naturally reaches the ultimate questions that engage religion. Similarly, the experience of Catholic faith gives rise to disciplined inquiry as it calls for knowledge of itself and of its relationship to every dimension of human life. The mission of Boston College is rooted in this dynamic integrity of the academic and the religious, a coherence of the divine and the human that reaches its fullest expression in Jesus Christ and extends to all forms of human culture and knowledge.

The Jesuit Institute exists to aid Boston College in its endeavors to attain this coherence, in its identity and growth as a Catholic Jesuit university. The purpose of the Institute is to foster the Jesuit, Catholic character of Boston College precisely as a university. The university should be more a university because it is Catholic and Jesuit. Founded in 1988 through an initial gift of the Boston College Jesuit Community and a matching gift from the University, the Institute sponsors personal research, academic exchange and collective inquiry about the issues that emerge at the intersection of faith and culture.

Working principally in cooperation with Boston College's schools, programs and faculties, the Institute funds a number of interdisciplinary seminars, public debates about "disputed questions," lectures by visiting scholars, international conferences, luncheon colloquia and discussions, and other special projects. In keeping with the mission of a university as a true community of scholars, the faculty of Boston College is the principal focus of the Institute's service.