Professor and alumnus honored

Professor of English Suzanne Matson’s novel Ultraviolet, which chronicles the disappointments and dilemmas of the women of one family across 80 years, was selected by the Massachusetts Center for the Book as a 2018 “Must Reads” fiction title. Areas of Fog, a debut non-fiction book by BC alumnus Will Dowd, Matson’s former student, was named a 2017 “Must Reads.” The authors were recently recognized at a Massachusetts Book Awards State House ceremony acknowledging significant works of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and children’s/young adult literature published by Commonwealth residents during the past two years. More from BC News.

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Helping teens thrive

A new book written by Boston College alumna Katie Hurley, a child and adolescent psychotherapist, is geared to help teens cope with symptoms of depression, low self-esteem, and stress. The Depression Workbook for Teens (Althea Press, 2019) is an interactive book designed specifically for teens to help them develop the skills they need to manage their emotional well-being. Hurley’s book touches upon topics such as social isolation, procrastination, low self-esteem, and other mood shifts. Hurley also is the author of The Happy Kid Handbook: How to Raise Joyful Children in a Stressful World and No More Mean Girls: The Secret to Raising Strong, Confident, and Compassionate Girls.

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Drawing God

After a trip to an art museum, a young girl named Emma is inspired to create a spectacular masterpiece of her own. She decides to draw God. So begins Drawing God (Paraclete Press, October 2019), a new children’s book written by Church in the 21st Century Center Director Karen Kiefer and illustrated by Kathy DeWit. When Emma shares her drawings with her classmates, none of them can see God in her artwork. Initially frustrated, Emma realizes that she doesn’t need their approval. Soon after, inspired by her faith, Emma’s classmates are drawing God too. More from BC News.

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Learning How to Hope

Hope is especially difficult to maintain in politically contentious times. In her talk on Oct. 9, philosopher of education Sarah Stitzlein will talk about what hope is, why it matters to democracy, and how it can be taught—all topics of her forthcoming book, Learning How to Hope. Her appearance on campus, sponsored by the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life and the Lynch School of Education and Human Development, is for the annual Wolfe Lecture on Religion and American Politics. It will be held in Fulton Hall, room 511, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Lynch School Associate Professor Christopher Higgins will serve as respondent. A RSVP is requested. Stitzlein is an award-winning professor of education and affiliate professor of philosophy at the University of Cincinnati. Her talk will offer ways to engage in hope that will help to revive democracy during and after the 2020 election. Stitzlein is the author of American Public Education and the Responsibility of Its Citizens: Supporting Democracy in an Age of Accountability and co-editor of the journal Democracy & Education.

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Bryan Stevenson: Just Mercy

Acclaimed public interest lawyer Bryan Stevenson will speak on his best-selling book, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption (Spiegel & Grau/Random House Penguin, 2014), on Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. in Conte Forum. Stevenson is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Ala., which has won major legal challenges eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, exonerating innocent death row prisoners, confronting abuse of the incarcerated and mentally ill, and aiding children prosecuted as adults. Just Mercy, about Stevenson and his work with the EJI, was named one of the 10 Best Books of 2014 by the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Esquire, and Time and winner of the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction, the NAACP Image Award for Nonfiction, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for nonfiction. Stevenson has been awarded a MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Prize and the National Medal of Liberty from the American Civil Liberties Union. Sponsor: Lowell Humanities Series. Co-sponsors: Winston Center for Leadership and Ethics and Boston College PULSE: Celebrating 50 Years of Service.

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Ambassador Susan Rice

Susan E. Rice, who served as National Security Advisor to President Barack Obama (2013-2017) and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (2009-2013), will speak at Boston College on Oct. 2 at 4 p.m. Her appearance is part of the Winston Center for Leadership and Ethics’ Clough Colloquium. A Rhodes Scholar, Rice is graduate Oxford University and Stanford University. In 2017, French President Francois Hollande presented her with the Award of Commander, the Legion of Honor of France, for her contributions to Franco-American relations. Rice’s new memoir, Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For (Simon & Schuster, 2019), details pivotal moments from her career on the front lines of American diplomacy and foreign policy, as well as the familial influences that shaped her. Rice’s talk will be held in the Heights Room of Corcoran Commons. Seating is first come, first served, with doors opening at 3:30 p.m.

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The catholicity of personhood

Traditional theological considerations of the human person presume a radically anthropocentric starting point. Yet, ongoing discoveries in the natural sciences and a renewed attention to the theological tradition pose challenges to this inherited way of thinking about personhood. In his latest book, Catholicity and Emerging Personhood: A Contemporary Theological Anthropology (Orbis Books, 2019), Boston College alumnus Daniel P. Horan, OFM, offers a constructive theological reflection on the meaning and identity of the human person through the lens of evolution and contemporary science. According to the publisher, “each chapter builds on a foundational reconsideration of the theological anthropological tradition to re-situate humanity within the broader community of creation while highlighting the true catholicity of personhood within Christian tradition.” Fr. Dan is a Franciscan friar who teaches at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. He is the author of several books, including The Franciscan Heart of Thomas Merton and Dating God: Live and Love in the Way of St. Francis.

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