The Cushwa Center Lecture

The Cushwa Center Lecture, first held in 1984, has grown from an occasional event to an annual opportunity for students, faculty, and community members beyond the University to hear from a distinguished individual about the relationship between religion and public life.


2023–24

Garry Sparks, Princeton University
“Five Hundred* Years of Mayanized Christianity An Ethnohistory of the Americas’ First Theology, the Theologia Indorum

2022–23

Maureen H. O’Connell, La Salle University
“Finding Mom in a St. Patrick’s Day Minstrel Show: A Family’s Legacy of Irish American Catholic Anti-Blackness”

2021–22

Rebecca L. Davis, University of Delaware
“The Woman: Clare Boothe Luce and the Politics of Religious Conversion”

2020–21

Leslie Woodcock Tentler, Catholic University of America (emerita)
“What Does It All Mean? Writing a History of American Catholicism”

2019–20

Sergio M. González, Marquette University
“Practicing Radical Hospitality: Sanctuary in the American Midwest”

2018–19

R. Marie Griffith, Washington University in St. Louis
“Sex and American Christianity: The Religious Divides that Fractured a Nation”

2017–18

Rev. Thomas Blantz, C.S.C., University of Notre Dame
“Father John Zahm, C.S.C., in the Founding of the University of Notre Dame”

2016–17

Colm Tóibín, Columbia University
“Lecture, Film Screening, and Discussion: Brooklyn (2015)”

2015–16

Thomas Sugrue, New York University
“Beyond the Catholic Ghetto: Integrating Catholicism and Modern American History”

2014–15

John T. McGreevy, University of Notre Dame
“The Jesuits, Father Sorin, and the 19th-Century Catholic Revival”

2013–14

John L. Allen, Jr., Author and Journalist
“Seeing the Church with Global Eyes: The Rise of a World Church and What It Means for American Catholics”

2012–13

Thomas A. Tweed, University of Texas
“America’s Church: The National Shrine and Catholic Presence in the Nation’s Capital”

2011–12

Diane Batts Morrow, University of Georgia
“The Experience fo the Oblate Sisters of Providence During the Civil War Era”

2010–11

Sally M. Promey, Yale University
“Hearts and Stones: Material Transformations and the Stuff of Christian Practice in the United States”

2009–10

Michael E. Lee, Fordham University
“Ignació Ellacuría, Martyred Professor: A Catholic University Confronts El Salvador’s Reality.”

2007–08

Joseph Chinnici, O.F.M., Franciscan School of Theology
“American Catholicism in a World Made Small: The Fusion and Fracturing of Global Identity, 1945-1989”

2006–07

Rev. Francis Sullivan, S.J., Boston College
“Catholic Tradition and traditions”

2005–06

Patrick Allitt, Emory University
“Ellis and the Intellectuals: Fifty Years Later”

2004–05

Paul Elie, Author
“Tales from the Crypt:The Secret Life of American Catholic Writing”

2003–04

Elizabeth Johnson, C.S.J.Fordham University
“Truly Our Sister: A Theology of Mary in the Communion of Saints”

2002–03

Joseph A. Komonchak, Catholic University of America
“Vatican II: The Experience and the Event”

2001

Laurence Moore, Cornell University
“Tocqueville, American Catholics, and American Democratic Culture”

Ron Hansen, Santa Clara University
“Hotly in Pursuit of the Real: the Catholic Writer”

2000

Ronald Numbers, University of Wisconsin
“The History of Religion and Health Care in America”
(Co-sponsored with the Erasmus Institute, the History of Philosophy and Science Program, and the Reilly Center for Science, Technology and Values)

Kathleen Kish Sklar, State University of New York at Binghamton
“Integrating Catholic-American History and American History”
(In conjunction with the Cushwa Center’s conference on “Catholicism in Twentieth Century America”)

Robert Goizueto, Boston College
“American Catholicism at the Dawn of the Twenty-First Century: Neither American nor Catholic?”
(In conjunction with the Cushwa Center’s conference on “Catholicism in Twentieth Century America”)

Kenneth Heinman, Ohio University
“A Catholic New Deal? Some Historical Heresies from the Great Depression”

1998

Richard Fox, Boston University
“Trials of Intimacy: Love and Loss in the Beecher-T. Hon Scandal”

1997

James Carroll, Author
“American Catholicism: War and Peace in the Sixties”

1995

Fr. Andrew Greeley, University of Chicago
“The Spousal Image of God”

1994

José Casanova, New School for Social Research
“Transnational Catholicism and Globalism”

1991

Margaret O’Brien SteinfelsCommonweal
“The Return of the Catholic Liberal”

1987

Paul Simon, U.S. Senator of Illinois
“Religion and Political Life: A Partnership of Convenience or Conviction?”

1985

Rembert G. Weakland, Archbishop of Milwaukee
“The Church and Economics”

1984

Martin E. Marty, University of Chicago
“From Personal to Private, From Political to Public Religion”