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“Prophecy, Civility & the Common Good”

Sept. 6, 2012
7 p.m. Lecture
Fort Howard Theater, Bemis International Center

Dr. Cathleen Kaveny
John P. Murphy Foundation Professor of Law and Professor of Theology 
Notre Dame Law School and columnist for Commonweal

Professor M. Cathleen Kaveny is ideally suited to address the theme for the 2012-13 Killeen Chair lecture series: “The Common Good.” A scholar who focuses on the relationship between law and morality, Professor Kaveny joined the Notre Dame Law School faculty as an associate professor in 1995 and was named the John P. Murphy Foundation Professor of Law in 2001. She earned her A.B. summa cum laude from Princeton University in 1984, and holds four graduate degrees from Yale University including her M.A. (1986), M.Phil (1990), J.D. (1990) and Ph.D. (1991). A member of the Massachusetts Bar since 1993, Professor Kaveny clerked for the Honorable John T. Noonan Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and worked as an associate at the Boston law firm of Ropes & Gray in its health-law group.

Professor Kaveny has published over forty articles and essays, in journals and books specializing in law, ethics and medical ethics. She has served on a number of 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. She has been a Senior Fellow at the Martin Marty Center at the University of Chicago (2002-2003) and the Royden B. Davis Visiting Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Georgetown University (1998). Professor Kaveny is a member of the Steering Committee of the Catholic Common Ground Initiative, which was founded by the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin to help overcome polarization within the Catholic Church. She also serves on the advisory board of the University’s Erasmus Institute, created in 1997 to focus on reinvigorating the role of religiously based intellectual traditions in contemporary scholarship.

In a thoughtful and stimulating presentation, Dr. Kaveny will discuss how Catholics in a pluralistic society such as our own should frame their public discussion of controversial issues. Committed Christians often experience a tension from two conflicting demands of truth in service of the common good: the prophetic demand to "speak truth to power" about controversial moral issues, and the demands of civility, which recognize the equal dignity of our fellow citizens. She will suggest various ways in which that tension can be identified and managed in the context of our national elections.

You may search the Mulva Library catalog for a selection of books available by Cathleen Kaveny. Books are also available to purchase after the lecture and at the St. Norbert College bookstore.