The Hank Center's 2018 Living Tradition Award honors Dr. Jon Nilson

2018 Living Tradition Award [Nilson]

Every year the Hank Center presents the Living Tradition Award to a Loyola University Chicago emeritus faculty member who has exemplified the integration of Catholic thought into their work, research, and teaching.

The 2018 Living Tradition Award honors Dr. Jon Nilson, Professor Emeritus of Theology, Loyola University Chicago.

About Jon Nilson ‌

Jon Nilson is Professor Emeritus of Theology at Loyola University Chicago. After attending the minor and major seminaries of the Archdiocese of Chicago, he received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Theology from the University of Notre Dame. Before coming to Loyola in 1975, he taught at St. Procopius College (now Benedictine University) and the University of Dallas. He has held visiting professorships at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and the General Theological Seminary (Protestant Episcopal) in New York.

He was appointed to Loyola’s Graduate Faculty in 1977 and was a member of many ad hoc and standing committees in the college and the university, including the Faculty Council, which he chaired from 1979-1983. He collaborated with his colleagues in the Theology Department in various ways, including service as Graduate Programs Director, membership on the Advisory Committee, and Department Chair.

His academic research and publications fall roughly into two periods. In the first period, his primary interest was ecclesiology and, more specifically, issues of authority in the Roman Catholic Church and its relationships with other Christian churches. The second period began in December 2000 when Theological Studies published a special issue entitled “The Catholic Reception of Black Theology.” It contained an article by his friend and colleague Jamie Phelps, O.P., that awakened him to the enduring, systemic, and destructive power of racism in the United States as a reality which demanded the attention of all Christian theologians. His 2003 presidential address to the Catholic Theological Society of America, “Confessions of a White Catholic Racist Theologian,” became the basis for his most recent book, Hearing Past the Pain. Why White Catholic Theologians Need Black Theology.

Much of his work has been made possible only by the love, support, and wisdom of his wife, Merle Taber. He is close to his three children, all Loyola graduates: Julie Chyna, married to Brent; Amy Connery, married to Matt; and Dan Nilson, married to Rebecca. Merle and Jon always enjoy being with their six grandchildren: Megan, Lindsay, Ella, Conor, Teague, and Eamon, who range from fourteen to six years of age. 

Ramonat Lecture: “Perceiving the Other: Visual Counterpoints in Blackfeet Country, 1846”

Ramonat Lecture: “Perceiving the Other: Visual Counterpoints in Blackfeet Country, 1846”

Tuesday, 14 November 2017
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
McCormick Lounge, Coffey Hall
Lake Shore Campus, LUC

We often hear “seeing is believing,” but what of the underlying influences that shape our perception? Dr. Sally Thompson provides an opportunity for us to explore this subject through the visual record created by a French Jesuit priest and a Blackfoot man in the 1840s.  Paintings from a fur trade fort and hunting camps provide an extensive visual record of life on the Upper Missouri during that decade. The presenter has learned from Blackfeet elders about their understanding of both artists’ records. The audience will be invited to consider how an individual’s background and beliefs shape his or her perception. Discussion will follow the slide presentation.

Dr. Thompson has spent over thirty years working with the native tribes of the West. Trained as an anthropologist (Ph.D., CU, Boulder, 1980), she has worked as an archaeologist, ethnographer, and ethnohistorian, with a particular interest in the period just before and at the time of contact with Europeans.

Since 2001, Thompson has traveled widely in search of information on tribes of the Rocky Mountain Mission through Jesuit records. She collected reports and correspondence from the Society of Jesus (ARSI) in Rome, and eclectic correspondence about the Mission from priests, government officials, and other observers, in addition to maps, unpublished illustrations, and contextual information from Jesuit Archives in St. Louis, Montreal, Leuven, Belgium, and Gonzaga Universities, Universities of Oregon and Washington, Washington State, British Columbia Provincial Archives, the U.S. National Archives (NARA) and the Library of Congress. She is currently working on a book that follows Jesuit journeys along ancient trails of the Interior Northwest during the era when the power base shifted from Native to White.

G.K. Chesterton: Prophetic Voice in the Public Square

G.K. Chesterton

Thursday, November 2nd

3:30 - 5:30 PM
McCormick Lounge, Coffey Hall

Loyola University Chicago, Lake Shore Campus
1032 W. Sheridan Rd.
Chicago, IL 60660

Known as "the prince of the paradox," G.K. Chesterton is renowned among Catholic thinkers for his prolific and diverse output including philosophy, ontology, poetry, plays, journalism, public lectures and debates, literary and art criticism, biography, Christian apologetics, and fiction. Having been translated into many languages, his writings continue to be the subject of contemporary study and analysis, reaching new generations of readers. While his writing is well known for its humor and insights, Chesterton's work also includes calls to action for social justice that represent his resounding importance. In this lecture, Fr. Ian Boyd will discuss the relevance of these works and Chesterton's prophetic voice in a modern context, showing how Chesterton is deeply resonant with social and religious issues today.

Fr. Ian Boyd, C.S.B., is a distinguished Professor of Catholic Studies, President of the G.K. Chesterton Institute for Faith & Culture, and Editor of "The Chesterton Review.”  He is also the author of many books, including The Novels of G.K. Chesterton.

This Event is Free and Open to the Public.

Recommended Reading

Recommended Reading

The image above depicts American Catholic writer Flannery O'Connor reading as a child. In the spirit of cultivating the Catholic intellectual and artistic tradition, CCIH will recommend new and notable books several times a year that integrate, interrogate, and celebrate Catholicism in dialogue with the world. 


November/ December 2018 Recommended Reads

Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander (1968)
By Thomas Merton

December 10, 2018 marked the 50th anniversary of Thomas Merton's death. In this series of notes, opinions, experiences, and reflections, Merton examines some of the most urgent questions of our age. With his characteristic forcefulness and candor, he brings the reader face-to-face with such provocative and controversial issues as the "death of God," politics, modern life and values, and racial strife--issues that are as relevant today as they were fifty years ago.

One in Christ: Chicago Catholics and the Quest for Interracial Justice (2018)
By Karen J. Johnson

Karen J. Johnson tells the story of Catholic interracial activism from the bottom up through the lives of a group of women and men in Chicago who struggled with one another, their Church, and their city to try to live their Catholic faith in a new, and what they thought was more complete and true, way. Black activists found a handful of white laypeople, some of whom later became priests, who believed in their vision of a universal church in a segregated city. Together, they began to fight for interracial justice, all while knitted together in sometimes-contentious friendship as members of the Mystical Body of Christ. In the end, not only had Catholic activists lived out their faith as active participants in the long civil rights movement and learned how to cooperate, and indeed lvoe, across racial lines, but they had changed the practice of Catholicism. They broke down the hierarchy that placed priests above the laity and crossed the parish boundaries that defined urban Catholicism.

Theologies of Guadalupe: From the Era of Conquest to Pope Francis (2018)
By Timothy Matovina

Our Lady of Guadalupe, whose feast day is December 12th, is the only Marian apparition tradition in the Americas- and indeed in all of Roman Catholicism- that has since inspired a sustained series of published theological analyses. In Theologies of Guadalupe, Timothy Matovina explores the way theologians have understood Our Lady of Guadalupe and sought to assess and foster her impact on the lives of her devotees since the seventeenth century. He examines core theological topics in the Guadalupe tradition, developed in response to major events in Mexican history: conquest, attempts to Christianize native peoples, society-building, independence, and the demands for justice of marginalized groups. This book tells how, amidst the plentiful miraculous images of Christ, Mary, and the saints that dotted the sacred landscape of colonial New Spain, the Guadalupe cult rose above all others and was transformed from a local devotion into a regional, national, and then international phenomenon. Matovina traces the development of the theologies of Guadalupe from the colonial era to our own time, revealing how Christian ideas imported from Europe developed in dynamic interaction with the new contexts in which they took root.

99 Poems: New & Selected (2017)
By Dana Gioia

Gioia, who will be part of the 2019 Catholic Imagination Conference at Loyola in the fall, has long been celebrated as a poet of sharp intelligence and brooding emotion with an ingenious command of his craft. 99 Poems: New & Selected gathers for the first time work from across his career, including many remarkable new poems. Gioia has not arranged this selection chronologically but instead has organized it by theme in seven sections: Mystery, Place, Remembrance, Imagination, Stories, Songs, and Love. The result is a book that reveals and renews the pleasures, consolations, and sense of wonder that poetry bestows.


October 2018 Recommended Reads

The Art of the Wasted Day (2018)
By Patricia Hampl 

The Art of the Wasted Day is a compelling celebration of the purpose and appeal of letting go. Hampl's own life winds through these pilgrimages, from childhood days lazing under a neighbor's beechnut tree, to a fascination with monastic life, and then to love--and the loss of that love which forms this book's silver thread of inquiry. Finally, a remembered journey down the Mississippi near home in an old cabin cruiser with her husband turns out, after all her international quests, to be the great adventure of her life. As Maureen Corrigan notes, "It's impossible to do justice to the cumulative power of Hampl's dream-weaver writing style by just quoting a few lines. You have to go on the whole voyage with her . . . by wasting some of your time with Hampl, you'll understand more of what makes life worth living." 

And-- in the Spirit of our Global '68 Symposium...

Introduction to Christianity (1968)
by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
One of Cardinal Ratzinger's most important and widely read books, Introduction to Christianity was born out of the days immediately following Vatican II and becomes a touchstone for the subsequent development of his ecclesiology of continuity. The future Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Tubingen in 1966 at the request of his friend, Hans Kung; he left this prestigious position in late in 1968. So many changes and significant events occurred in the world as he gave his lectures and the students at Tubingen, fully engaged in the signs of the times, often tested their professors on serious questions. In many ways, Ratzinger's text is a reaction to this. His approach puts the question of God and the question about Christ in the very center, which leads to a "narrative Christology" that both insists on eschatological care and demonstrates that the place for faith is in the Church-even in the context of radical social change. His approach is not without controversy. On the one hand, supportive readings applaud his treatment of Christianity's basic truths, combining a spiritual outlook with a deep knowledge of Scripture and the history of theology; critical readings lament the absence of pastorally meaningful engagement with the many injuries to justice that characterize the age.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1984)
by Milan Kundera
The Unbearable Lightness of Beinggrows out of the dramatic political, spiritual, and cultural convulsions of the Prague Spring of 1968 and is a major achievement from one of the world's truly great writers. Milan Kundera's magnificent novel of passion and politics, infidelity and ideas, encompasses the extremes of comedy and tragedy, illuminating all aspects of human existence. The story at its root is of a young woman in love with a man torn between his love for her and his incorrigible womanizing and one of his mistresses and her humbly faithful lover. But the novel is so much more-juxtaposing geographically distant places (including theological and philosophical places), brilliant and playful reflections about art and life, and a variety of styles to take its place to form a late modern masterpiece.

From Revolution to Ethics (2008)
By Julian Bourg
Our Global '68 Symposium: Days of Past Present keynote speaker, Julian Bourg, argues that during the subsequent decade the revolts led to a remarkable paradigm shift in French thought-the concern for revolution in the 1960s was transformed into a fascination with ethics. Challenging the prevalent view that the 1960s did not have any lasting effect, From Revolution to Ethics shows how intellectuals and activists turned to ethics as the touchstone for understanding interpersonal, institutional, and political dilemmas. In absorbing and scrupulously researched detail Bourg explores the developing ethical fascination as it emerged among student Maoists courting terrorism, anti-psychiatric celebrations of madness, feminists mobilizing against rape, and pundits and philosophers championing humanitarianism. From Revolution to Ethics provides a compelling picture of how May 1968 helped make ethics a compass for navigating contemporary global concerns.


September 2018 Recommended Reads

The Five Quintets (2018)
By Michael O'Siadhail
The Five Quintets is both poetry and cultural history. It offers a sustained reflection on modernity - people and movement - in poetic meter. Just as Dante, in his Divine Comedy, summed up the Middle Ages on the cusp of modernity, The Five Quintets takes stock of a late modern world on the cusp of the first-ever global century. O'Siadhail will be our guest at CCIH on October 17.

Man and the State (1951)
By Jacques Maritain
The lectures that were the basis for Man and the State were delivered at the University of Chicago at a time when Maritain was still in the first enthusiasm of his participation in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Maritain provides an ingenious and profound theory as to how natural law and natural rights can be complementary-- a topic that piques the interest of so many political theologians. For this reason alone it remains a fundamental contribution to political philosophy, but it is filled with other gems as well. Was Maritain too optimistic in his appraisal of modernity? Or have we unjustly lost the optimism that was his? Man and the State is an invitation to rethink the way we pose the basic questions of political philosophy.

The Mystery of Evil: Benedict XVI and the End of Days (2017)
By Giorgio Agamben
In 2013, Benedict XVI became only the second pope in the history of the Catholic Church to resign from office. In this brief but illuminating study, Giorgio Agamben argues that Benedict's gesture, far from being solely a matter of internal ecclesiastical politics, is exemplary in an age when the question of legitimacy has been virtually left aside in favor of a narrow focus on legality. This reflection on the recent history of the Church opens out into an analysis of one of the earliest documents of Christianity: the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, which stages a dramatic confrontation between the "man of lawlessness" and the enigmatic katechon, the power that holds back the end of days. In Agamben's hands, this infamously obscure passage reveals the theological dynamics of history that continue to inform Western culture to this day.


Summer 2018 Recommended Reads

The House of Broken Angels (2018)
By Luis Alberto Urrea
"All we do, mija, is love. Love is the answer. Nothing stops it. Not borders. Not death."
Pulitzer Prize finalist, Luis Alberto Urrea, presents the quintessential American story in this powerful and poignant novel about the American dream as experienced by the Mexican American de La Cruz family. Urrea artfully crafts a narrative that takes readers on a multigenerational journey spread across two countries and one border, calling forth the dreams, disappointments, and hopes common to all families.

In This House of Brede (2005)
By Rumer Godden (Edited by Amy Welborn, with an Introduction by Phyllis Tickle)
This extraordinarily sensitive and insightful portrait of religious life centers on Philippa Talbot, a highly successful professional woman who leaves her life among the London elite to join a cloistered Benedictine community. This edition of the book includes an introduction by best-selling Christian writer Phyllis Tickle, as well as discussion questions designed to help deepen the reading experience for both individuals and reading groups.

A Confederacy of Dunces (1987)
By John Kennedy Toole (with a Foreword by Walker Percy)
In this comic masterpiece, John Kennedy Toole introduces one of the most memorable characters in American fiction, Ignatius J. Reilly, a "flatulent frustrated scholar deeply learned in Medieval philosophy and American junk food... in violent revolt against the entire modern age." Set in New Orleans, A Confederacy of Duncesis filled with unforgettable characters and zany plot twists bound to dazzle any reader with its originality and true-to-life portrayals.


April 2018 Recommended Reads

Ethics in the Conflicts of Modernity: An Essay on Desire, Practical Reasoning, and Narrative (2016)
By Alasdair McIntyre
In this wide-ranging discussion of ethics and moral philosophy, Alasdair MacIntyre explores central philosophical, political, and moral claims of modernity. Challenging readers to rethink the relationships between philosophical theories and every-day practice, MacIntyre argues that a proper understanding of human good requires a rejection of some of common central claims. Using case studies from the contemporary world and drawing on thinkers as wide-ranging as Thomas Aquinas and David Hume, MacIntyre proposes a contemporary politics and ethics that subvert modernity from within it.

A Political Companion to Flannery O'Connor (2017)
Edited by Henry T. Edmondson III
Although Flannery O'Connor did not pursue political philosophy formally in her writing, her various renowned novels, short stories, and essays frequently addressed important questions about human nature, social change, and ethics. In this collection, leading scholars explore pieces of O'Connor's fiction, prose, and correspondence that reveal her central ideas about political and cultural themes in America. Addressing topics such as O'Connor's attitude toward civil rights and thoughts on the eugenics controversies, these essays highlight the valuable insights to be found in O'Connor's interplay between fiction, faith, and politics.

Night at the Fiestas: Stories (2016)
By Kirstin Valdez Quade
Winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize, this unforgettable collection of short stories will plunge you into the hearts of characters who are defined by their desire to either escape or uncover significant past events. Writing with emotional intensity and insight, Quade offers her readers stories that plumb the depths of human passions, spirituality, cultures, and family life, exposing the best and worst human inclinations in the process. Betrayal and desire abound in these narrative journeys of self-definition, as do hope and redemption.


February 2018 Recommended Reads

Thérèse (2016)
By Dorothy Day (with a Foreword by Robert Ellsberg)
Dorothy Day struggled to write this short biography of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, which has been put back in print only recently. Originally designed for non-believers or those unfamiliar with the "Little Flower", and emphasizing why Thérèse's simplicity and humility are so vital for modern life, this unpretentious account of St. Thérèse's life illustrates how Day herself came to deeply appreciate and embrace the simple, yet profound "Little Way", inviting readers down a similar path of spiritual conversion.

Why Liberalism Failed (2018)
By Patrick J. Deneen
In this provocative book, Patrick Deneen poses the challenging question of whether liberalism, the champion ideology of the twentieth century (having conquered both fascism and communism) has, in fact, failed. Deneen develops his thesis by revealing the inherent contradictions in which liberalism is grounded (such as trumpeting equal rights while also fostering incomparable material inequality) and warns that the centripetal forces now at work on our political culture are not superficial flaws but inherent features of a system whose success is generating its own failure.

Beyond Apathy: A Theology for Bystanders (2015)
By Elisabeth T. Vasko
In this important and timely book, Elisabeth Vasko seeks to expand theological conversations about violence, which typically focus narrowly on victim-perpetrator dichotomies. Arguing that this focus, while important, only addresses part of the problem, Vasko advocates for a more comprehensive theological and pastoral response to violence that directly addresses the complex issue of collective passivity in the face of human denigration. Giving special attention to the social issues of bullying, white racism, and sexual violence, Vasko utilizes resources within the Christian tradition to offer both a critical examination of, and a theology of redeeming grace for bystanders to violence.

Love Alone is Credible (2005)
By Hans Urs von Balthasar (Translated by D.C. Schindler)
In his master work, The Glory of the Lord, Hans Urs von Balthasar used the term "theological aesthetic" to describe what he believed to be the most accurate method of interpreting the concept of divine love. In this book, newly translated from its original German edition (1963), von Balthasar delves deeper into explorations of what love means, how the divine love of God is distinct, and how we must all become lovers of God in the footsteps of saints like Francis de Sales, John of the Cross, and Thérèse of Lisieux. Bringing a fresh perspective on an oft-explored subject, Love Alone is Credible, offers a profound theological meditation that serves to both inform and deepen one's faith.


December 2017 Recommended Reads

Incarnadine: Poems (2013)
By Mary Szybist
Leading her readers through an array of richly imagined encounters, Szybist creatively expresses poetic sentiment through diverse mediums, including a diagrammed sentence, an abeccedarium, annunciations, and lines of dialogue. Blending conventional and innovative aesthetics, Szybist's poems boldly recast the Blessed Mary, offering alternative visions through lyrical yearning. This restless and inventive collection of poems is perfect Christmas reading. Incarnadine was named to Best Book of the Year lists by NPR, Slate, Oregonian, Kansas City Star, Willamette Week, and Publishers Weekly, and named Amazon's Best Book of the Year in Poetry 2013.

Mr. Ives' Christmas (2003)
By Oscar Hijuelos
Another solid read for the Christmas season is this gem from 2003. In no way a sentimental work, Hijuelos' novel presents the perennial issue of faith in the face of tragedy. Weaved into the narrative of Mr. Ives, whose life and faith in God and humanity is thrown into question when a terrible tragedy befalls him at Christmas. Part love story and part meditation on how a person can find spiritual peace in the midst of crisis, Mr. Ives' Christmas is a compelling story of one man struggling to put his life in perspective. In the expert hands of Oscar Hijuelos, the novel speaks eloquently to the most basic and fulfilling aspects of human existence-- a Christmas story if there ever was one.

Building the Human City: William F. Lynch's Ignatian Spirituality for Public Life (2016)
By John F. Kane (with a Foreword by Kevin F. Burke)
Kane's text provides a first rate overview of the work of Jesuit philosopher William F. Lynch. Writing from the 1950s to the mid-1980s, Lynch was not only a literary theorist, but a pioneering "social critic," and one of the first to warn against the fierce cultural and political polarizations that are prevalent in our society today. In his diverse works, Lynch calls for transformation and encourages healing discernment through imagination, while also addressing critical ironies of an Ignatian (and Socratic) spirituality. Kane's presentation in this collection brings to the forefront, perhaps for the first time, Lynch's unified vision of transformation, which is arguably more necessary now than when it was first written. A masterly study of a great Jesuit and scholar who more readers should know.

The Intellectual Life: It's Spirit, Conditions, Methods (1946, 1992)
By A. G. Sertillanges, OP (Translated by Mary Ryan, with a Foreword by James V. Schall, SJ)
A perfect stocking stuffer, A.G. Sertillanges's book is equal parts romantic evocation of the spiritual dignity of the life of scholarship and practical advice to the aspiring young intellectual. Do you want to do intellectual work? This is the central question to which Fr. Sertillanges orients his book of timeless teachings. First published in 1920, The Intellectual Life has been acclaimed for its practical approach to both scholarly habits of mind and vocation discernment. Providing generations of scholars with robust foundation in intellectual practices and sensibilities, this book is a must read for any young (or even not-so-young) scholar.


October/November 2017 Recommended Reads

To Overcome Oneself: The Jesuit Ethic and Spirit of Global Expansion, 1520-1767 (2013)
By J. Michelle Molina
This study examines practices of Catholic missionaries in Europe and New Spain from the 1520s through the 1760s in order to demonstrate how the emergence of the Western concept of the "modern self" was enmeshed in the process of early modern Catholic missionary expansion. Emphasizing the centrality of embodied Catholic spiritual practices--such as Jesuit practices of meditation, narrative self-reflection, confession, and the spiritual exercises-- in the development of the idea of "self", Molina also investigates the importance of the relationship between spiritual directors and their subjects. Throughout this original retelling of the emergence of the concept of modern "selfhood," Molina poses two important questions: Why does the effort to know and transcend self require so many others? And what can we learn about the inherent intersubjectivity of missionary colonialism?

We Are Not Ourselves: A Novel (2015)
By Matthew Thomas
Named to New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2014, Washington Post Top 50 Fiction List for 2014, and Entertainment Weekly Ten Best Fiction Books of 2014, among many other accolades, this novel traces one family's pursuit of the American Dream in New York in the 1940s & 50s. Through the lives of his characters, Thomas charts the movements of an American century, in the process exposing our greatest desires, as well as our greatest failures. The Washington Post praises Thomas for his superb ability to capture "both an individual's life and the universality of that person's experience"-- with a solid eye fixed on Catholic spirituality-- in this stunning piece of literature.

A Course in Christian Mysticism: Thomas Merton (2017)
Edited by Jon M. Sweeney (with a Foreword by Michael N. McGregor)
This collection of Merton's lectures to young monastics at the Abbey of Gethsemani provides a valuable look at Merton the scholar. Covering sixteen centuries of central Christian mystical thinkers, this book is complete with a helpful introduction, which provides background historical and thematic information, as well as study materials at the back of the book, which offer additional reading sources and reflection questions. This compact volume displays the relevance of Merton's thought for any student of Christian mysticism and other spiritual seekers today.

Do Guns Make Us Free?: Democracy and the Armed Society (2015)
By Firmin DeBrabander
A crucial examination of the political and philosophical arguments undergirding possibly the most emotionally charged debate taking place in the United States today. In this insightful and eye-opening analysis, DeBrabander interrogates the major claim made by guns rights supporters, led by the National Rifle Association, that the right to unchecked gun ownership safeguards all other citizen rights. As the title indicates, this book offers an alternative viewpoint, demonstrating several reasons why an armed society is, in fact, not a free society-- but one locked in a kind of servility that harms the safety of the citizens and the health of the common good.


September 2017 Recommended Reads 

Age of Anger: A History of the Present (2017)
By Pankaj Mishra
In this thought-provoking book, Pankaj Mishra takes a long look at the origins of the great wave of paranoid hatreds that bewilder and terrify us in today's world. Exposing how the promises of modernity-- freedom, prosperity, stability-- represent broken promises for all but global elites, Mishra explores how those excluded have become increasingly susceptible to demagogues. While not a text in the Catholic intellectual tradition, Mishra takes the religious dimension seriously and questions secularism with insight and alacrity.

Faith and Resistance in the Age of Trump (2017)
Edited by Miguel A. De La Torre
Featuring an essay by LUC's own Miguel Diaz, John Courtney Murray University Chair in Public Service, this book offers reflections from notable religious leaders and scholars about the political and confessional crises that currently threaten not only our republic, but also our most deeply held religious claims and values.

The Jesuits and Globalization: Historical Legacies and Contemporary Challenges (2016)
Edited by Thomas Banchoff & José Casanova
What do the Jesuits tell us about globalization, and what can globalization tell us about the Jesuits? Banchoff and Casanova present a multidisciplinary exploration into what we can learn from the historical and contemporary experiences of the Society of Jesus.

The Ninth Hour: A Novel (2017)
By Alice McDermott
Set in 1940s/50s Catholic Brooklyn, this novel weaves the story of one Irish immigrant family through three generations. Revealing along the way a wholly individual and universal understanding of the human condition, the story tests the limits of love and sacrifice, of forgiveness and forgetfulness. Alice McDermott is not only a gifted novelist, but a leading practitioner of the Catholic Imagination.

Rebel in the Ranks: Martin Luther, the Reformation, and the Conflicts That Continue to Shape Our World (2017)
By Brad S. Gregory
Just in time for the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, Notre Dame Historian Brad Gregory examines the complicated legacy of Martin Luther and how his unintended yet epochal movement continues to shape the world today.


The 2017 Hank Center's Living Tradition Award Honors Dr. Francis Fennell

2017 Living Tradition Award [Fennell]

Friday, 31 March 2017
12:00PM - 2:30PM
McCormick Lounge, Coffey Hall
Lake Shore Campus, LUC

This event is by invitation only!

Every year the Hank Center presents the Living Tradition Award to a Loyola University Chicago emeritus faculty member who has exemplified the integration of Catholic thought into their work, research, and teaching.

This year, the 2017 Living Tradition Award honors Dr. Francis Fennell.

Frank Fennell joined the Loyola faculty as an Assistant Professor of English in 1968. Like other faculty in those days, teaching was his first priority: he would teach ten courses a year (three each semester and two in each summer session) to a total of over 400 students. Soon he added scholarly responsibilities in his field of Victorian literature, eventually publishing six books, three dozen articles, and numerous reviews, notes, and conference papers.

With the publications came promotions, to Associate Professor in 1974 and Professor in 1982, and also opportunities to serve the university in other ways (Chair of Undergraduate Admissions Committee, Member of the Board of Undergraduate Studies, Member of Faculty Council, Member of Committee on Academic Review and Planning, etc.). In the 1980s he also began his involvement with administrative positions outside the department, becoming Assistant Dean for the Humanities in CAS and serving for six years. He later returned to administration as CAS Associate Dean (1996-2001), Chair of English (2001-2008), and Dean of Arts and Sciences (2008-2012).

For his final three years, before retirement in 2015, Frank returned to what attracted him to Loyola in the first place: teaching Loyola’s students, finding in them the desire to become “persons for others” which has always been at the heart of Loyola’s teaching mission.

Andalusia in Andalucía: An International Conference on Flannery O'Connor

22-25 June 2017
Universidad Loyola Andalucía
Seville, Spain

New: Visit our conference website for the conference schedule, registration, and lodging recommendations.

In June 2017, Universidad Loyola Andalucía, in conjunction with the Joan and Bill Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage at Loyola University Chicago, will host an international conference on the American short story writer and novelist Flannery O'Connor (1925-1964). This conference will focus on engaging the literary vision of O’Connor’s stories and the critical reception of her work in light of Spanish Baroque aesthetics, the literary grotesque, and the Catholic imagination.

The conference will feature plenary addresses by Mexican-American author Richard Rodriguez and Spanish novelist, poet, and critic Andrés Trapiello, a roundtable discussion on translation with Gretchen Dobrott, Esther Navío and Cristina Sánchez-Andrade, and paper and panel presentations from international O'Connor scholars.

In addition to the conference itself, participants will have the opportunity to get to know their conference colleagues through conference receptions, visits to local historical sites in Andalucía (including Sevilla and Córdoba), and encounters with local culture (including flamenco dancing)! While housing hotel accommodations and room blocks are still being negotiated, accommodation will be located in the city center.

America Magazine Welcomes Hank Center Alumnus: Angelo Jesus Canta

America Magazine Welcomes Hank Center Alumnus: Angelo Jesus Canta

This past week, America Magazine welcomed the latest O'Hare Fellows to its team. Among the three college graduates selected for this highly competitive program was Loyola University Chicago and the Hank Center's own Angelo Jesus Canta (pictured right).

Angelo was selected for the program last March, while finishing his final semester at LUC. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor's of arts degree in theology, with minors in visual communication and Catholic studies. In addition to this, Angelo was a Ricci Scholar, a part of the Jesuit honors society, Alpha Sigma Nu, as well as Loyola's interdisciplinary honors program. He spent two years as the Hank Center's research undergraduate research assistant and graphic designer, doing incredible work for the center. 

As an O’Hare Fellow for America Magazine, Canta will spend one year at America Media working on print, digital, audio and film projects while benefiting from mentoring and professional development opportunities. Fellows spend the year living at Fordham University Lincoln Center, where they can engage in a dynamic community in the heart of New York City, the media capital of the world.

Joining Angelo are Antonio De Loera-Brust from Loyola Marymount University (pictured left), Colleen Dulle from Loyola New Orleans (center). As Fr. James Martin S.J. joked in his post to Facebook, “it helps to go to a school named after St. Ignatius Loyola.”

The Hank Center congratulates and celebrates Angelo as he pursues the Catholic intellectual tradition and the intersection of theology and culture at America Magazine. We wish him the best in this exciting new adventure!


The picture is courtesy of Fr. James Martin, S.J.


Evangelical Fundamentalism and the Catholic Right: Dr. Michael Murphy, Dr. Miguel Díaz, and many others respond

Current Affairs-Antonio Spadaro-Marcelo Figueroa

“We have expressed our opinion on a phenomenon,” that of “a strange form of ecumenism” uniting “fringe groups of Catholic integralists and some groups of evangelical fundamentalists” in the political field. That is what Antonio Spadaro, S.J., one of the co-authors of “Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism,” an article that has sparked much discussion in the United States and elsewhere, told America Magazine in an exclusive interview in Rome, the day after its publication.

Many responses have arisen to comment on this controversial article that links the Catholic right to Evangelical Fundamentalism, which is what Fr. Spadaro and Marcelo Figueroa suggest explain the 2016 support of Donald Trump. The Hank Center's director, Dr. Michael Murphy, was recently featured on NPR's Worldview to weigh in on the article, the environmental impact of the boarder wall, and the fear-based theologies that have emerged from the presidency.

Dr. Miguel Díaz, Loyola's own John Courtney Murray S.J. Chair in Public Service also wrote on the article in CRUX, arguing that Pope Francis's vision of political life and leadership are in sharp opposition to the challenges of the Trump administration. Dr. Charles C. Camosy, Associate Professor of Theological and Social Ethics at Fordham University, also weighed in on CRUX, addressing Trump's ideology of "America First" and its tensions with orthodox Christianity. 

Many other leading theological voices have provided insight into the article and its implications, both negative and positive. Commonweal Magazine published a critique that looks at what the article got right and wrong. Massimo Faggioli, Church historian, Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at Villanova University, looked at the importance of the piece and its examination of how American Catholics vote in yet another article published in Commonweal. Dr. Samuel Gregg, Research Director at the Acton Institute, called the article outright "disturbing" in his criticism of the piece. P.J. Smith in First Things also pushes back against the article, writing that “the organic link between culture, politics, institution and Church” is necessary. Each of these articles provide important positions to consider for Catholics in the age of Trump, as well as the challenges that his administration pose to all Americans. 

Cardinal Bernardin Common Cause Lecture: Called to Witness

Cardinal Bernardin Lecture-Cupich

18 April 2017
Lecture - 4:00PM-5:30PM
Reception - 5:30PM - 6:00PM

McCormick Lounge, Coffey Hall
Loyola University Chicago
1032 W. Sheridan Rd.
Chicago, IL 60660

The Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage, in collaboration with the Loyola University Jesuit Community, sponsors its inaugural Cardinal Bernardin Common Cause lecture on April 18. The lecture offers a Catholic prelate each year a platform to engage Loyola’s community in common cause with the Church on issues facing us today.

The Common Cause Lecture is named after Joseph Bernardin, Cardinal Archbishop of Chicago from 1982 to 1996, for his influential work toward Church reform after the Second Vatican Council through his Catholic Common Ground Initiative. Bernardin further sought to address social issues, especially in developing his “Seamless Garment Ethic of Life.” He also worked toward ecumenism and interfaith dialogue throughout his life.

In honor of Cardinal Bernardin’s legacy, Cardinal Blase Joseph Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago, will address our common ground in a time of division. How do we bear witness to hope and encourage others to live and defend the faith?

Cardinal Cupich is the current Archbishop of Chicago, installed in 2014, after previously serving as Bishop of Rapid City and Spokane. He received his doctorate in Sacred Theology at the Catholic University of America. Pope Francis elevated Cupich to Cardinal this past fall. He has upheld Cardinal Bernardin’s call for a “consistent ethic of life” for all people.

Co-sponsored by the Loyola Jesuit Community. This event is free and open to the public.

Catholic Q&A: Why do Catholics think this way? The Hardwiring of the Catholic Imagination

Catholic Q&A-Bosco S17
Tuesday, March 28
The Den, Damen Student Center
Loyola University Chicago
1032 W. Sheridan Rd.
Chicago, IL 60660
Does Catholic culture and theology shape the way a person thinks, feels, and judges reality? Does the pedagogy of Catholic faith form the way people imagine themselves, their relationships with God and one another? Join Fr. Mark Bosco as he sorts out some of the tendencies of the Catholic imagination today.
Event is open to Loyola students only.

Spiritual and Cultural Pilgrimage to Spain

Spain Pilgrimage

June 26 - July 6, 2017
$5,399 from Chicago; Land Only: $4,299

Join Loyola University Museum of Art on a Spiritual Cultural Pilgrimage to Spain. Follow in the footsteps of St. Ignatius of Loyola under the Leadership of Fr. Mark Bosco, S.J., Ph.d, director of the Center for Catholic Intellectual Heritage at Loyola University of Chicago, Dr. Natasha Ritsma, Curator of the Loyola University Museum of Art, and Kathleen Beaulieu, Board Member of the Loyola University Museum of Art.

Visit to learn more about the travel itinerary, prices, and to book your travel.

Faith in Focus Film Screening: Ignacio de Loyola

Faith in Focus: Ignacio de Loyola

Friday, January 20th, 2017

Film Screening
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Damen Student Center Cinema

Post-Screening Discussion with Jesuit CLC Leaders
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Damen Student Center Cinema

Ignacio de Loyola, directed by Paolo Dy and starring Andreas Muñoz is a thrilling look at the life of the founder of the Society of Jesus. We follow Ignacio’s transformation from a brash, impulsive youth obsessed with women and sword-fighting to the masterful, charismatic leader of an order that would change the face of Christendom forever. Please join the Jesuit leaders of Loyola’s CLCs for a post-screening discussion. More information can be found at the film's official website: Ignacio de Loyola

Black History Month Lecture: The Jesuit Choice: Religious Freedom before Ecumenism and Slave Emancipation

Black History Month Lecture: The Jesuit Choice: Religious Freedom before Ecumenism and Slave Emancipation

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
McCormick Lounge, Coffey Hall, Lake Shore Campus

Beginning in colonial times, the Jesuits in Maryland owned slaves as part of their belief that their Roman Catholic faith did not exclude them from an English subject's right to possess all forms of legal property.  Despite the passage of the Bill of Rights by the recently independent United States in 1791, Jesuits remained insecure about the recognition of their American citizenship.  They feared that advocating the removal of the protection of slavery from the Constitution would lead to their freedom of worship being removed from it too.  They also began to see abolitionism as a Protestant heresy that they must reject.  The result of these forces was that in 1838 they sold their slaves rather than set them free. Dr. Thomas Murphy S.J., department of history, Seattle University, will examine the legacy of these events for Jesuit ministries today.

Event is free and open to the public.

Revolution of the Heart: A Symposium on Dorothy Day

Dorothy Day Symposium

‌‌‌‌Thursday, February 16 - Friday, February 17

View a printable version of the Dorothy Day Symposium Program here. This event is free and open to the public.

Golf carts will be available to those seeking assistance traveling between the parking garage and the event.

Golf Cart Schedule
Thursday, February 16
4:30-5:30 Shuttle from Parking Garage to McCormick Lounge
6:45-7:30 Shuttle from from McCormick Lounge to Parking Garage

Friday, February 17
8:15-9:15 Shuttle from Parking Garage to Information Commons
5:00-6:00 Shuttle from Information Commons to Parking Garage

Event Schedule

Thursday, February 16
McCormick Lounge, Coffey Hall

5:30: Welcome—Loyola President, Dr. Jo Ann Rooney

5:40: Plenary—Robert Ellsberg, “Dorothy Day: A Saint for Today”
Robert Ellsberg was a member of the Catholic Worker community in New York from 1975 to 1980, and served as the managing editor of The Catholic Worker newspaper from 1976 to 1978. He is now editor-in-chief of Orbis Books.

Friday, February 17
4th Floor, Klarchek Information Commons

9:00: Welcome—Dr. Mark Bosco, SJ

9:10-10:45: "Charting A Prophetic Vision: Dorothy Day and the 21st Century," featuring Francis Sicius, Michael Schuck, Martin Tomszak, and Michael P. Murphy.

11:00-12:15: Keynote—Kate Hennessy, "The World Will Be Saved By Beauty: Dorothy Day's Message of Hope"
Kate Hennessy is the granddaughter of Dorothy Day.

12:15-1:30: Catholic Worker Roundtable Soup Lunch, featuring David Mueller with an update on the Dorothy Day Cause for Canonization

1:30-3:00: "The Catholic Worker since Dorothy: Doing the Work in the Midwest” featuring Molly Greening, Frank Bergh, Michelle Byrne, and Rosalie Riegle

3:30-5:00: Play, Haunted by God, a production by Still Point Theater

5:00: Concluding Remarks

Catholicism and Vietnam

Catholicism and Vietnam

Thursday, March 2, 2017

McCormick Lounge, Coffey Hall
Loyola University Chicago
1032 W. Sheridan Rd.
Chicago, IL 60660

George Dutton, author of A Vietnamese Moses, will deliver a lecture about his book. Dr. Linh Hoang, OFM will deliver a lecture about The Virgin Mary and Vietnamese-Catholic Identity. These talks will be followed by responses on Vietnamese Catholic life by Jesuit Scholastics, Loyola faculty, and Chicago community members.

Dr. George Dutton: A Vietnamese Moses
Dr. Linh Hoang, OFM: Embracing Mother Mary as Vietnamese:  Catholic, Racism, and Identity
Panel and Q&A
  • Dr. Michelle Nickerson:  Vietnam in the American Psyche of the 1970s
  • Mr. Dzao Vu, S.J.:  The Immigrant and Jesuit Experience
  • Mr. Minh Le, S.J.:  The Immigrant and Jesuit Experience, Take 2
  • Ms. Binh Keefey:  The Joys and Challenges of Serving My People
  • Fr. Ambrosio Phi H. Nguyen:  Pastoring the Vietnamese Catholic Community in Chicago
  • Dr. Kathleen Adams:  Catholicism in Asia Today


George Dutton

A Vietnamese Moses is about a Vietnamese Catholic priest, Philiphê Bỉnh, who in 1796 endeavored to persuade the Portuguese court in Lisbon to appoint a bishop for his community of former Jesuits in Vietnam. Dutton argues that Bỉnh's efforts were representative of broader Vietnamese-Catholic agency to defend their Portuguese-shaped Catholic heritage.

Click here to learn more about Dutton and his research.

Dr. Linh Hoang, OFM

Dr. Hoang is a Franciscan Friar of the Holy Name Province in New York. He is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Siena College in New York where he teaches and researches about world religion, globalization, and the Asian American religious experience.


Event is free and open to the public.

The 2017 Cardinal Newman Lecture: Chris Haw

Cardinal Newman Lecture [Chris Haw]

Rust Belt Apocalypse and the Eucharist

Thursday, March 23, 2017

4th Floor, Information Commons
Loyola University Chicago
1032 W. Sheridan Rd.
Chicago, IL 60660

After a week in jail following an Iraq War protest in 2003, Chris Haw, as a disaffected evangelical, moved into "America's most dangerous city" to start a small community in an abandoned house and work with a Catholic church. He worked there for a decade as a teacher, reclaimed woodworker, community organizer, potter, and carpenter. Joining with the church's liturgy, theology, and service with the poor, Haw came to see Catholic faith and practice more starkly against the backdrop of societal decay, war, despair, and abandonment. In his lecture, "Rust Belt Apocalypse and the Eucharist," Haw will share how a poetic mixture of myth and logic, an active patience amidst godlessness, and the drama of scapegoating as symbolized in the Mass all permeate his ongoing conversion and research.

Ignacio de Loyola

Ignacio de Loyola

7 November 2016, 6:00 PM

9 November 2016, 11:30 AM

9 November 2016, 3:00 PM

Damen Student Center Cinema, Lake Shore Campus

This event is free and open to the public.

In honor of Ignatian Heritage Month, the Hank Center, in cooperation with Campus Ministry, is sponsoring three showings of a major recent release. Ignacio de Loyola is a thrilling look at the life of founder of the Society of Jesus. We follow Ignacio's transformation from a brash, impulsive youth obsessed with women and sword-fighting to the masterful, charismatic leader of an order that would change the face of Christendom. Post film conversation to follow.

Tracking the Catholic Literary Tradition in the 21st Century with Dr. Randy Boyagoda

Catholic Literary Imagination (Spring 2016)

Thursday, 11 February 2016
3:00PM - 5:00PM
4th Floor, Klarchek Information Commons
Lake Shore Campus, LUC

This event is free and open to the public.

CCIH welcomes a man of letters, Dr. Randy Boyagoda, to Palm Court on Thursday, February 11th for a public lecture.  The goal of this event is to explore the current state of the Catholic literary tradition and to situate the tradition as it is unfolding against other aesthetic and critical approaches to arts and fiction. Professor Boyagoda, who is a novelist, essayist, critic, and biographer, has titled his paper “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Flannery O’Connor: The Politics of Catholic Literature Today.” After he presents his remarks, four scholars will then briefly respond—LUC doctoral students Lydia Craig and Lyle Enright; and Professors Farrell O’Gorman (Belmont Abbey College, North Carolina) and Jasper Cragwall (LUC). The floor will then be open to all for what promises to be a rousing and substantive conversation.

Dr. Soharn Randy Boyagoda is Professor of English at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario in Canada. He is best known for his novels Governor of the Northern Province (2006) Beggar's Feast (2011), and his biography Richard John Neuhaus: A Life in the Public Square (2015).

For more information on this event, please contact Dr. Michael Murphy (

Black Lives Matter Conference: The Building Blocks of Activism: Purpose. Action. Justice.

Black Lives Matter Conference [S16]

Saturday, 2 April 2016
8:00AM - 5:30PM
Corboy Law Center (25 E. Pearson)
Water Tower Campus, LUC

This event is open to the public, but there is a small registration fee. Please see the conference website for details.

On Saturday, April 2, 2016  Loyola University Chicago will be hosting the first Black Lives Matter Conference (BLMC). We are inviting faculty, staff, and students of our campus as well as the Chicagoland community to engage in this important conversation. The mission of the BLMC is to bring people together to raise consciousness, to empower people, promote healing and to form solidarity.  This conference will explore the status of Black Lives in America from an intersectional framework and making sure that we acknowledge and honor that All Black Lives Matter.

For more information on this conference, please see the following links:

Black Lives Matter Conference Website

BLM Facebook Page

BLM Conference Event Page (on Facebook)

Conference Twitter Handle: @BLMCLUC

E-Mail Contact:

“Teología del Pueblo”: The People of God in the Theology of Pope Francis

JCM Chair Event [S16]

Friday, 8 April 2016
3:30PM - 5:30PM
Palm Court, Mundelein Center
Lake Shore Campus, LUC

This event is free and open to the public.

Carlos María Galli on the Pope’s Ecclesiological Vision

On April 8, 2016 Loyola University Chicago will host Fr. Carlos María Galli for a panel discussion on the Pope’s ecclesiological vision. Fr. Galli, a personal friend of Pope Francis and a priest of the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires, is full professor of Theology at the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina. In 2007, he served at the Fifth General Conference of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean at Aparecida. In 2012 Pope Francis appointed him to the International Theological Commission. Fr. Galli will discuss the Pope’s Teología del Pueblo (The Theology of the People of God).

Joining the conversation will be Dr. Massimo Faggioli, Director of the Institute for Catholicism at the University of St. Thomas, Dr. Marian K. Díaz, Associate Professor at the Institute of Pastoral Studies at Loyola University Chicago, and Dr. Miguel Díaz, the John Courtney Murray, SJ University Chair in Public Service at Loyola University Chicago.

The Challenge of God: Continental Philosophy and the Catholic Intellectual Heritage

Challenge of God Conference

14-16 April 2016
Beane & Regents Halls
Lewis Towers, Water Tower Campus
Loyola University Chicago

In the past decade or more we have seen a number of significant continental thinkers engage with religious themes in ways both productive and insightful.  Yet, and in a more focused manner, what can continental philosophy teach us about the Catholic intellectual heritage? How can Catholic teachings – especially those associated with the Ignatian tradition – contribute to the further development of continental thought?  This international and interdisciplinary conference aims to address these questions from a variety of angles, hoping to produce a deeper and sustained engagement with both continental philosophical discourses and the Catholic intellectual heritage.

In addition to the paper and panel presentations from scholars in the fields of continental philosophy and the Catholic intellectual tradition, this conference will feature keynote addresses from some major figures in these fields: Jean-Luc Marion, Adriaan Peperzak, John Caputo, Richard Kearney, Robyn Horner, and Thomas J.J. Altizer.

Registration for the conference is now closed.
For more information, please contact:

To view the conference program, please click on the following link: Challenge of God Conference Program

For further information on the conference, please check out any of the following links to conference social media:

Conference Tumblr Page

Conference Twitter Feed

Conference Facebook Page

Hank Center Fall 2017 Events Calendar

Catholicism: Called to Tradition of Revolution?

Catholic Q&A-Called to Tradition or Revolution? (Martinez F17)


Wednesday, November 29
7:00-8:30 PM
The Den, Damen Student Center
Students Only

On November 29, 2017, Jesuit scholastic, Michael Martinez spoke to over 70 students about what it means to be a young adult and practicing Catholic in the 21st century. His talk focused on how, "as Catholics,” practicing the Tradition “does not allow us to forget the Truth that the love of God and love of neighbor are one.” Martinez proposed that the “Revolutionary part” of the Catholic faith is that the truth must not remain some "philosophical principle" taught long ago, but an invitation to Christian action. The “tradition” is that this truth becomes a responsibility, by the grace of God, for us to incarnate this truth in our daily lives. Martinez, in both traditional reflection and rousing hip-hop performance, proclaimed what the Christian tradition always does: the beautiful call of “Christ's Revolution.”

America Magazine Welcomes Hank Center Alumnus: Angelo Jesus Canta

America Magazine Welcomes Hank Center Alumnus: Angelo Jesus Canta

This past week, America Magazine welcomed the latest O'Hare Fellows to its team. Among the three college graduates selected for this highly competitive program was Loyola University Chicago and the Hank Center's own Angelo Jesus Canta (pictured right).

Angelo was selected for the program last March, while finishing his final semester at LUC. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor's of arts degree in theology, with minors in visual communication and Catholic studies. In addition to this, Angelo was a Ricci Scholar, a part of the Jesuit honors society, Alpha Sigma Nu, as well as Loyola's interdisciplinary honors program. He spent two years as the Hank Center's research undergraduate research assistant and graphic designer, doing incredible work for the center. 

As an O’Hare Fellow for America Magazine, Canta will spend one year at America Media working on print, digital, audio and film projects while benefiting from mentoring and professional development opportunities. Fellows spend the year living at Fordham University Lincoln Center, where they can engage in a dynamic community in the heart of New York City, the media capital of the world.

Joining Angelo are Antonio De Loera-Brust from Loyola Marymount University (pictured left), Colleen Dulle from Loyola New Orleans (center). As Fr. James Martin S.J. joked in his post to Facebook, “it helps to go to a school named after St. Ignatius Loyola.”

The Hank Center congratulates and celebrates Angelo as he pursues the Catholic intellectual tradition and the intersection of theology and culture at America Magazine. We wish him the best in this exciting new adventure!


The picture is courtesy of Fr. James Martin, S.J.


Thank You and Farewell, Fr. Bosco

Thank You and Farewell, Fr. Bosco

Farewell to Fr. Mark Bosco

The John and Bill Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage says farewell to Fr. Mark Bosco, S.J., who has served as director of the center for the last five years. Fr. Bosco is a scholar of 20th-century Catholic theology, culture, and aesthetics, and an expert on Catholic writers Graham Greene and Flannery O’Connor. In his time at the center, he spearheaded numerous conferences and events for students and faculty alike.

In his final year with the Hank Center, Fr. Bosco led an initiative to create LUC’s first faculty seminar, All Things Ignatian:  Catholic Intellectual Life and the Common Good, a course designed to deepen understanding of the institution’s Catholic mission and Jesuit heritage. Most recently, Fr. Bosco produced and co-directed (with Loyola colleague Elizabeth Coffman) the feature-length documentary, Flannery O’Connor: Acts of Redemption. The film is in post-production and is being considered by PBS for its American Masters series.

In commenting on his years at the center, Bosco explains that “The Hank Center was already a presence at the university. What I’ve done in my term as director is to make it a more integral part of the university, a place where we hold conferences, film and lecture series, symposiums and get students involved with faculty research in the field.”

At Loyola, Fr. Bosco also held a joint faculty position in the Theology and English departments, where he taught such courses as The Catholic Literary Tradition, Sacramental Theology/Theological Aesthetics, and Art and Religious Imagination and 20th Century American. Living in a student residence hall at Loyola, he often cooked Italian dishes for students and hosted them for fellowship and conversation.

In pursuing his new position at Georgetown University, Fr. Bosco comments that he was attracted to Georgetown "because of the sense that it not only represents and nurtures its own faith tradition, but engages in interreligious dialogue and reaches out to people of all faiths." Fr. Bosco will also become a full-time lecturer in Georgetown’s English department.

Fr. Bosco was (and remains) a superb friend, mentor, colleague, and director to many in his 14 years at Loyola University Chicago. His presence on campus will be greatly missed, but CCIH takes solace in the fact we have excellent future collaborations planned. The Hank family and the center's staff and faculty wish to thank Fr. Bosco for his excellent service and wish him the best in his exciting new leadership role at Georgetown.


I Was a Stranger: Student Stories of Religious Hospitality

I Was a Stranger: Student Stories of Religious Hospitality

Thursday, 28 September 2017
3:00PM - 5:00PM
McCormick Lounge, Coffey Hall
Lake Shore Campus, LUC

This fall, CCIH shifts the focus of its Catholicism in Dialogue event toward the contemporary challenge of living together in a multicultural and interfaith setting, and combines forces with Campus Ministry and the Department of Theology & Religious Studies to offer students a yearlong experience of hospitality through many events.

I Was a Stranger: Student Stories of Religious Hospitality, taking place on Wednesday, September 28th, kicks off this week of hospitality events. At this event, student representatives from Loyola’s major faith communities will share experiences in which they were welcomed into their own faith communities through initiation rites, conversion experiences, and times of support in the midst of the everyday trials and challenges that are part of an authentic religious life. After the presentations, students will be available to discuss their respective traditions in more detail during a time of casual conversation and refreshments.

Emphasizing the point that practice is the bedrock of religious reflection and experience, the rest of this week will be filled with opportunities to participate in enacted religious welcome practices. Opening their doors to all members of our campus community, various faith communities will sponsor actual religious practices that are central to their traditions in order to share lived ritual experiences that shape faith communities and the unique ways that each religious tradition understands the nature of embracing of others. The week will hopefully reveal not only the diversity of religious experience and thought at Loyola, but also the value in acknowledging, preserving, and enriching this religious diversity for our whole community, nation, and world.

Sacred Sustainability: Life Hacking a Living Tradition

Sacred Sustainability: Life Hacking a Living Tradition

Wednesday, 4 October 2017
3:30PM - 5:30PM
McCormick Lounge, Coffey Hall
Lake Shore Campus, LUC

Social entrepreneur, speaker and author of Y on Earth, Aaron William Perry will lead the audience in an interactive, and educational discussion titled: “Sacred Sustainability: Life Hacking a Living Tradition”. In the spirit of Pope Francis’s Laudato Si, Perry will discuss the connection between health, sustainability and well-being. Having founded and grown companies in the recycling, renewable energy and natural food spaces, Perry has a particular expertise in agriculture, energy, supply chain transparency, management, financial modeling, capital raising, and leadership. His background in philosophy, literature, sustainable development, and permaculture makes Perry a deeply perspicacious and thoughtful leader, mentor, and student at this point of inflection we face as a culture and species on planet Earth.

For more information on Aaron Perry and his work please visit:

Fall 2017 Faculty Reading Group: Orthodoxy and Fr. Brown by G.K. Chesterton

Faculty Reading Group Fall 2017

FIRST MEETING (Cuneo Hall, Room 425)
Group A: Monday, Oct. 2nd, 10:00AM to 11:30PM
Group B: Tuesday, Oct. 3rd, 2:00PM to 3:30PM
SECOND MEETING (Cuneo Hall, Room 425)
Group A: Monday, Oct. 23rd, 10:00AM to 11:30PM
Group B: Tuesday, Oct. 24th, 2:00PM to 3:30PM

This reading group is open to Loyola University Chicago faculty from all campuses. Please contact with any inquiries.

The Joan and Bill Hank Center for the  Catholic Intellectual Heritage is pleased to announce our Faculty Reading Group for this upcoming semester. The Fall 2017 reading group will be dedicated to the seminal work Orthodoxy, and the mysteries of Fr. Brown, from English journalist, novelist, short story writer, cartoonist, Catholic apologist, and social activist, G.K. Chesterton. This group will explore what this strange and singular 20th century British writer knows about faith and culture, and what he can teach contemporary readers. His work has been revitalized over the past few years, signaling to audiences the wisdom and timelessness found in his witty and prophetic voice. His work looks to explore and find Orthodoxy in a climate of heterodoxy. 

All faculty are invited to join.

Reformation Symposium Speakers Featured on NPR

Reformation Symposium Speakers Featured on NPR: How the Protestant Reformation Still Drives Western Civilization 500 Years Later

The Hank Center's Featured Speakers, Aana Marie Vigen, Susan Ross, and Craig Muller, with Fr. Don Senior and David Goa, recently spoke on NPR about the Protestant Reformation’s 500th anniversary and the Hank Center's upcoming Symposium. 

A podcast of this discussion, "How the Protestant Reformation Still Drives Western Civilization 500 Years Later", can be found on WBEZ's website.

Around the globe, the Protestant Reformation’s 500th anniversary will be commemorated this month. The Hank Center will lead a day-long Symposium on Wednesday, October 18.

On October 31, 1517, Catholic priest Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenburg, Germany. His revolutionary ideas challenged the Roman Catholic Church and touched off religious and social changes still apparent today. 

Many historians credit the Protestant Reformation with providing the undergirding for capitalism, Western democracy, and accelerating the growth of the modern secular state. 

NPR discussed the past 500 years with a number of religious experts who will be featured at the Hank Center's upcoming Symposium: 

  • Fr. Don Senior, president emeritus, chancellor, and professor of New Testament Studies at Catholic Theological Union
  • Susan Ross, professor of Theology and faculty scholar at Loyola University Chicago
  • Reverend Craig Mueller, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Chicago and author of the book Any Body There?: Worship and Being Human in a Digital Age
  • David Goa, a former Lutheran, now Eastern Orthodox Christian, who is a philosopher, ethicist and founding director emeritus of the University of Alberta’s Chester Ronning Centre for the Study of Religion and Public Life

That We May All Be One: Reformation and the Spirit of Christian Unity


October 18th, 2017
4th floor, Information Commons
Loyola University Chicago, Lake Shore Campus
6501 N Kenmore Ave, Chicago, IL 60660

This Event is Free and Open to the Public

On October 18th, the Joan and Bill Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage will mark the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther's 95 Theses with a day-long symposium that looks at ecumenical dialogue through the years and the legacy of the Reformation. 

Christian thinkers and leaders will discuss historic divisions emerging from Reformation controversies as well as points of shared theological, cultural, and pastoral concerns among Christian churches.

Among the many scholars and religious leaders speaking and presenting are Martin Marty, Jon Sweeney, Susan Ross, Robin Lovin, Aana Marie Vigen, Jon Nilson, Fr. Thomas Hickey, John Armstrong, Craig Mueller, Ellen Wondra, John Paul Salay, and more. The full schedule for the day is listed below:

Event Details

8:15: Hospitality

9:00: Welcome

9:10-10:15: Keynote: Martin Marty, October 31, 1517: Martin Luther and the Day that Changed the World
Interviewed by Jon Sweeney


10:30-11:45: Susan Ross and Robin Lovin, In Conversation: Martin Luther’s On Christian Liberty
Moderator: Hille Haker

11:45-12:45: Lunch on your own. A list of recommended restaurants can be found here.

12:45-1:30: Aana Marie Vigen, “A Lutheran Love Letter to Pope Francis”

1:45-3:00: Craig Mueller, John Paul Salay, and Fr. Thomas Hickey, “Ecumenical Chicago: Lutheran-Catholic Pastoral Dynamics"
Moderator: Lauren Schwer


3:30-4:45: Jon Nilson, Ellen Wondra, and John Armstrong, “Longing for Unity: Three Stories”
Moderator: Shane Gormley

5:00-5:30: Vespers (located at Madonna Della Strada Chapel, one building south of the Information Commons)

Golf Cart Shuttle Available
8:00am-9:00am: Shuttle from Parking Garage to Information Commons
12:00pm-1:00pm: Shuttle Available
5:00pm-6:00pm: Shuttle from Information Commons to Parking Garage

Faith in Focus Film Series: The Ultimate Sacrifice

Faith in Focus Film Series: The Ultimate Sacrifice

Tuesday, 24 October 2017
6:00PM - 8:00PM
Damen Student Cinema, Damen Student Center
Lake Shore Campus, LUC

The Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage will present a unique opportunity to view the documentary: The Ultimate Sacrifice (2017). This film is about Juozas Vitkus, a legendary Lithuanian Colonel who led a resistance movement against Soviet occupation in the 1940s and 50s. Post film discussion will be led by special guest, grandson of Colonel Vitkus and former Jesuit Provincial of Lithuania and Latvia, Fr. Gintaras Vitkus, SJ.

The Lithuanian resistant movement, or guerrilla war, is not a very well-known event in European history. After the end of WWII, when major political players started to rebuild their own countries, Lithuania was annexed to the Soviet Union. Lithuanian soldiers, doctors, teachers, engineers and peasants who opposed Soviet rule retreated into the forests where they started a war against the Russian occupants, who greatly outnumbered them. Resistance soldiers, also known as Forest Brothers, obstructed the establishment of Soviet government institutions and pro-Soviet farms, and minimized the influence of Communist propaganda. Their ultimate goal was to recreate an independent Lithuania. However, as time passed, it became obvious that Western European countries were not going to aid the Lithuanians, and without their support the fighters had no chance of success against the more powerful Soviet enemy. Eventually, resistance soldiers made an explicit decision not to accept any new members. Lithuanian resistance lasted from 1945 to 1953.

Colonel Juozas Vitkus was the head of the resistance group that was fighting in southern Lithuania. He had been trained as a military engineer in Belgium, and was a Lieutenant-Colonel by 1940 during the first Soviet occupation. Luckily, he was not deported by the Soviet government to Siberia like many Lithuanian military officers at that time.

During the German occupation, unwilling to work in an army subservient to the Nazis, he went into civilian life and helped to create an underground military school with the intention of training volunteer soldiers. He was the highest ranking officer from the formerly independent army in the resistance movement.

After one massive “forest soldiers” execution, Soviet collaborators stumbled across Vitkus while he was washing his clothes by a stream. He defended himself with a pistol, wounding two soldiers, but was wounded in turn by a grenade and captured alive. He died from wounds while being transported to prison. His burial place remains unknown.

Colonel Vitkus’ grandson Rev. Vitkus, SJ also has a life story that is marked by unconventional choices and courage to follow the heart. Fr. Vitkus is a graduate of the Medical School at Vilnius University and for several years had a successful medical practice. However he left his career to become a priest underground in the Soviet society where religious people were persecuted, Christian holidays were forbidden and churches were turned into sport gyms or warehouses.

The evening will provide an opportunity to learn about two destinies, where individual choices and sacrifices made to honor the highest ideals become symbolic and inspirational examples of determination to defend freedom and identity.

This event is free and open to the public.