The cost of racism

McGhee_sumEconomic and social policy expert Heather McGhee, author of the best-selling book The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together, will present a Lowell Humanities Series Lecture on October 26 at 7 p.m. in Devlin Hall, room 110. The Sum of Us is a powerful exploration of inequality and the idea that racism has a cost for everyone—not just for people of color. An analysis of how the U.S. arrived at this divided point in time, The Sum of Us illuminates how racism is at the root of some of American society’s most vexing public problems. McGhee tallys what the country loses when its people buy into the zero-sum paradigm—the idea that progress for some of us must come at the expense of others. The Sum of Us also offers a hopeful message about a vision for a better America. The Sum of Us was longlisted for the National Book Award and the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction. It was named one of the best books of the year by Time, The Washington Post, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Ms. magazine, BookRiot, Library Journal. McGhee’s opinions, writing, and research have appeared in numerous outlets, including the Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Politico and National Public Radio. Her BC appearance is cosponsored by the Winston Center for Leadership and Ethics, Park Street Corporation Speaker Series, the PULSE Program for Service Learning, and the Forum on Racial Justice in America.

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The centenary of the Irish Civil War

Aiken_spiritual woundsThe Irish Civil War of 1922-1923—a wrenching, destructive run-up to the establishment of an independent Ireland—has long persisted in the national Irish memory, despite efforts to downplay or outright erase it from official discourse. Irish historian Síobhra Aiken has written a book, Spiritual Wounds: Trauma, Testimony and the Irish Civil War (Irish Academic Press, 2022), that unearths published testimonies by pro- and anti-treaty men and women, written in both English and Irish. Most of the testimonies discussed were produced in the 1920s and 1930s, and nearly all have been overlooked in historical study to date. This wealth of published testimony reveals that the silence of the Irish Civil War was not necessarily a result of revolutionaries’ inability to speak, but rather reflects the unwillingness of official memory makers to listen to the stories of civil war veterans. Aiken will present “Forgetting the Irish Civil War (1922-23)? One Hundred Years of Silence Breakers,” at a BC Irish Studies lecture on October 25 at 4 p.m. in Connolly House. Copies of Spiritual Wounds will be available for purchase at the event. Read more on BC News.

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Tragic dilemmas

jackson-meyer_dilemmasKate Jackson-Meyer, who graduated from Boston College with a Ph.D. in theological ethics, will discuss key themes from her new book, Tragic Dilemmas in Christian Ethics (Georgetown University Press, 2022), at Boston College’s Boisi Center on October 21. [See link for time and registration details.] Jackson-Meyer is a John and Daria Barry Postdoctoral Fellow at the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University and the assistant program director of the Harvard Catholic Forum. Her research focuses on issues at the intersection of fundamental moral theology and social ethics. In Tragic Dilemmas in Christian Ethics, Jackson-Meyer recognizes and develops a new theological understanding of tragic dilemmas (moral dilemmas that involve great tragedy) rooted in moral philosophy, contemporary case studies, and psychological literature on moral injury.

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Insights from an ambassador to the Holy See

hackett_vatican codeBoston College graduate Kenneth Hackett looks back on his time as United States ambassador to the Holy See (2013-2017) in his new book, The Vatican Code: American Diplomacy in the Time of Francis (Paulist Press, 2022). The Vatican Code offers an insider’s perspective on the role of an American ambassador to the Holy See as well as on the personalities and inner workings of the U.S. Embassy in the Vatican. Hackett graduated from BC in 1968. He had a 40-year career with Catholic Relief Services, including 19 years as president. In 2006, the University awarded him an honorary doctorate of humane letters. BC’s Church in the 21st Century Center will host a conversation with Hackett on October 20 at 6:30 p.m. in Devlin Hall, room 110. He will talk about his global humanitarian work and his book. Copies of The Vatican Code will be available for purchase.

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Ocean Vuong

time is amotehrThe Lowell Humanities Series will host best-selling writer Ocean Vuong on October 19 at 7 p.m. in Gasson Hall, room 100. Vuong’s latest work is Time is a Mother, deeply intimate poetry collection in which Vuong searches for life among the aftershocks of his mother’s death. Vuong is also author of the acclaimed novel On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, an evocative coming-of-age epistolary and lyrical work of self-discovery and diaspora, and the poetry collection Night Sky with Exit Wounds. Vuong’s writing has been featured in The AtlanticHarper’s, The NationNew RepublicThe New YorkerThe New York TimesThe Village Voice, and the American Poetry Review. An associate professor in the MFA Program for Poets and Writers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Vuong is a recipient of the T.S. Eliot Prize, a MacArthur “Genius” Grant, and many other honors. His appearance is cosponsored by the Boston College Fiction Days Series, Poetry Days Series, American Studies Program, Literature Core Program, Asian American Studies Program, and the English Department.

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Digital Mindset

Neeley-digitalThe digital revolution is here, changing how work gets done, how industries are structured, and how people work, behave, and relate to each other, according to the co-writers of the new book The Digital Mindset (Harvard Business Review Press, 2022). Award-winning researchers Paul Leonardi and Tsedal Neeley demonstrate how readers can develop the digital skills needed to thrive in a world driven by data and powered by algorithms. Neeley received a bachelor’s degree from Boston College in 1991. She is the Naylor Fitzhugh Professor of Business Administration and Senior Associate Dean of Faculty Development and Research Strategy at the Harvard Business School. Recognized by Business Insider as one of the top 100 people transforming business, Neeley also is the author of Remote Work Revolution.

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The future of priesthood and ministry

priestly ministryA fresh conversation is needed around the formation of priests in order for ordained ministry to flourish going forward, according to the new book Priestly Ministry and the People of God (Orbis Books), co-edited by Boston College theologians Richard Gaillardetz, Thomas Groome, and Rev. Richard Lennan. Priestly Ministry and the People of God presents a collection of essays from a variety of voices—a cardinal, bishops, seminary rectors, ordained and lay ministers, and academic theologians—who have put forth their best hopes for the future of the priesthood. The essays are faithful to the teaching of the Second Vatican Council and the best of Catholic tradition, while also responding to the needs of the Church today, say the co-editors. Read more in BC News.

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Shadows and Stars

abdella-shadows and starsBoston College graduate Chuck Abdella has published Shadows and Stars, a suspenseful, action-packed sequel to his fantasy novel The Sun and the Moon. In Shadows and Stars, high school sophomores Katelyn and Jena have a world to save—two worlds, to be exact—in time for softball playoffs and the spring semi-formal. Abdella is a history teacher and indie writer. He is the author of a four-book fantasy series, The Outcasts: The Lies of Autumn, The Darkest Forests, Whispers of Spring, and A Flicker of Hope.

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Why Structural Racism Persists

settler colonialismLegal scholar Natsu Taylor Saito will talk about her book Settler Colonialism, Race, and the Law: Why Structural Racism Persists on October 6 at 7 p.m. in Gasson, room 100. Saito is Regents’ Professor Emerita at Georgia State University’s College of Law. Her scholarship focuses on the legal history of race in the United States, the plenary power doctrine as applied to immigrants, American Indians, and U.S. territorial possessions, and the human rights implications of U.S. governmental policies, particularly with regard to the suppression of political dissent. This lecture is also the keynote address for the symposium, “Structural Racism in the United States: Engaging the Interstices of Migration, Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, and the Legacies of Settler Colonialism,” which continues the following day. Saito’s lecture is presented by the Lowell Humanities Series and cosponsored by the Center for Human Rights and International Justice and the Forum on Racial Justice in America.

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Luciani-synodalityPope Francis has described synodality as the new model of Church. He said that “a synodal Church is a Church that listens…in which everyone has something to learn.” In this model, bishops should listen to the people of God, and what is heard should then find ecclesial channels and structures that link it to ecclesial reforms. Boston College School of Theology and Ministry Associate Professor of the Practice Rafael Luciani has written a new book about this approach titled, Synodality: A New Way of Proceeding in the Church (Paulist Press, 2022). It explores a new way of proceeding in the Catholic Church at all levels. This path calls for a reconfiguration in the relations, communicative dynamics, and structures of the current institutional model of the Church. Luciani’s book presents the new phase of deepening the ecclesiology of the people of God that began with the Second Vatican Council. Luciani has been appointed as an expert on the theological commission of the General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops. He also serves as a theological expert on CELAM (Latin American Bishops Council) and CLAR (Latin American Confederation of Religious men and women).

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