Ethics/Religion and Society Lecture Series

Is there a Jesuit Ethics?

Discourse at Jesuit universities often seems to assume that there is a “Jesuit ethics,” but can there be a distinctively Jesuit ethics?  If so, what is Jesuit ethics?  If there is not a Jesuit ethics, is there a uniquely Jesuit approach to ethics?   The question whether there is a Jesuit ethics can be divided into many relevant areas.  What is the relationship between ethics and Jesuit spirituality?  What is the Jesuit understanding of justice, and how is it unique?  What is the relationship between Jesuit education and ethics? What is the relationship between ethics and the history of Jesuit involvement in politics?  What is the relationship between the Jesuit order and the history of ecclesial moral teaching?  Is there a uniquely Jesuit content to “men and women for others.” 


All lectures are at 7:00 pm in the Conaton Board Room,
with the exception of the 4:00 pm lecture on September 23

  1. Rev. Joe Koterski, SJ (September 10, 2014) received an H.A.B from Xavier University; his S.T.L is from Weston School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and his doctorate in philosophy from St. Louis University.  He is an associate professor of philosophy at Fordham University and editor-in-chief of The International Philosophical Quarterly.  He is the author of more than 90 articles and An Introduction to Medieval Philosophy: Basic Concepts (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009); he is coeditor of Medieval Education (Fordham University Press, 2005), Culture and Creed (St Joseph's University Press, 2004), The Two Wings of Catholic Thought: Essays on Fides et Ratio (The Catholic University of America Press, 2003), Karl Jaspers on Philosophy of History and History of Philosophy (Humanity Press, 2003), and Prophecy and Diplomacy: The Moral Teaching of Pope John Paul II (Fordham Univ. Press, 1999).
  2. Prof. Lisa Fullam (September 23, 2014) received her A.B. and D.V.M. from Cornell University; her Th.D is from  Harvard Divinity School.  She is an associate professor of moral theology at The Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley (Santa Clara University).  She is the author of The Virtue of Humility: A Thomistic Apologetic. (Mellen, 2009),  Virtue: Readings in Moral Theology No. 16 [with Charles E. Curran] (Paulist Press, 2011) and “Juana, SJ: The Past (and Future?) Status of Women in the Society of Jesus” in Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuit 31 (Nov., 1999).
  3. Prof. Kathleen Smythe (October 1, 2014) received her B.A. from The College of Wooster and her PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A professor of history at Xavier University, she is also Senior Administrative Fellow for Sustainability and the Environmental Imagination.  She is the author of Fipa Families: Reproduction and Catholic Evangelization in Nkansi, Ufipa, 1880-1960 (Praeger, 2006).
  4. Rev. Jim Keenan, SJ (October 16, 2014) received his B.A. from Fordham, an MDiv. from Weston Jesuit School of Theology, and his doctorate in theology from the Gregorian University in Rome.  He holds the Founders Professorship in Theology at Boston College.  He is on the Board of Directors for the Catholic Theological Society of America and for Society of Christian Ethics; he is chair of Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church and the Catholic Theological Coalition on HIV/AIDS Prevention; he is an editor of Moral Traditions (Georgetown University Press) and Theological Studies; he has been a consultant to the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.  Among his many publications are: Catholic Theological Ethics, Past, Present, and Future: The Trento Conference (Orbis, 2011), Paul and Virtue Ethics (Rowman and Littlefield, 2010), The Ethics of the Word: Voices in the Catholic Church Today (Rowman and Littlefield, 2010), A History of Catholic Moral Theology in the Twentieth Century: From Confessing Sins to Liberating Consciences  (Continuum, 2010), The Works of Mercy: The Heart of Catholicism  (Sheed and Ward, 2005), Commandments of Compassion (Sheed and Ward, 1999), Virtues for Ordinary Christians (Sheed and Ward, 1996), and Goodness and Rightness in Thomas Aquinas’s Summa Theologiae (Georgetown University Press, 1992).
  5. Rev. Kevin Burke, SJ (Oct. 22, 2014) received a B.A. and B.S. from Rockhurst College and his doctorate from the Weston School of Theology.  He is a professor of theology in the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, where he has served as dean.  He is the author of Introduction to Catholic Theology (New York Media, 2012), The Ignatian Tradition (Liturgical Press, 2009), Love that Produces Hope: The Thought of Ignacio Ellacuria (Liturgical Press, 2006), Pedro Arrupe: Essential Writings (Orbis, 2004), The Ground Beneath the Cross: The Theology of Ignacio Ellacuria (Georgetown University Press, 2000).
  6. Rev. David Meconi, SJ (November 12, 2014) received a B.A.from Hope College and M.A.’s in philosophy and theology from Marquette; he received a licensate in Patristics from the University of Innsbruck and a doctorate in Church History from Oxford.  He is an assistant professor of theology at St. Louis University and general editor of Homiletic and Pastoral Review.  He is the author of The One Christ: St. Augustine's Theology of Deification (The Catholic University of America Press, 2013) and he has more than 200 publications, including editions, translations, chapters, articles and reviews.


  1. Rev. Stefano Bittasi, SJ (Feb. 5, 2015) received a B.A. in theology from the University of Bologna, a M.A. in Biblical Sciences and Oriental Languages from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome and a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies from the University of Naples.  He has an extensive record of biblical scholarship in Italian and currently teaches at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Jerusalem.
  2. Rev. David Hollenbach, SJ (Feb.12, 2015) received a B.S. from St. Joseph’s University in Physics and a M.A. and Licentiate from St. Louis University in Philosophy; he received a M.Div. from Woodstock College and a Ph.D. in religious studies from Yale.  He is currently University Chair in Human Rights and International Justice at Boston College.  His publications include: Claims in Conflict: Retrieving and Renewing the Catholic Human Rights Tradition. (1979), Nuclear Ethics: A Christian Moral Argument" (1983), Justice, Peace, and Human Rights: American Catholic Social Ethics in a Pluralistic World (1990), Catholicism and Liberalism: Contributions to American Public Philosophy (With R. Bruce Douglass) (1994), The Common Good and Christian Ethics (2002), The Global Face of Public Faith: Politics, Human Rights, and Christian Ethics (2003), Modern Catholic Social Teaching: Commentaries and Interpretations (2005), Refugee Rights: Ethics Advocacy, and Africa (2008), Driven from Home: Protecting the Rights of Forced Migrants (2010).  In 1998, he received the John Courtney Murray Award from the Catholic Theological Society of America.  He serves on the editorial boards of The Journal of Religious Studies, Political Theology, The Journal of American Catholic Social Thought, and The Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics.
  1. Rev. Christopher Collins, SJ (March 11, 2015) received an M.A. in history from St. Louis University and an MDiv and an STL from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He served as a pastor on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.  Presently he is an assistant professor of theology at St. Louis University.  His publications include, The Word Made Love: The Dialogical Theology of Joseph Ratzinger / Benedict XVI (Liturgical Press, 2013).
  1. Rev. John Paris, SJ (March 16, 2015) received a B.S. in history from Boston College, and M.A. in Government from Harvard University, a B.D. in Theology from Boston College, a Ph.L. from Weston College, and a M.A. and Ph.D. in Social Ethics from the University of Southern California. He is Michael P. Walsh Professor of Bioethics at Boston College.  Father Paris has served as a consultant to the President's Commission for the Study of Ethics in Medicine, the United States Senate Committee on Aging, and the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment. He has published over 100 articles on the area of law, medicine, and ethics; and has served as a consultant and expert witness in many of the landmark biomedical cases, including Quinlan, Brophy, Jobes, Baby K, and Gilgunn.
  1. THIS LECTURE IS CANCELED DUE TO ILLNESS. Rev. Drew Christiansen, SJ (March 27, 2015)  received his B. A. from Fordham University, a M.Div. and S.T.M. from Woodstock Theological College, and a Ph.D. from Yale University.  He is Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Global Development in Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and co-director of the Program on the Church and the World at the Berkley Center. A former editor of the Jesuit weekly America and director of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Office of International Justice and Peace, he has also taught social ethics and peace studies at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley and the University of Notre Dame, where he was a founding staff member of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.  He has authored hundreds of articles and been published in more than a dozen foreign journals.

  1. Prof. Eleonore Stump (April 9, 2015) received her B.A. in Classical Languages from Grinnell College a M.A. in Biblical Studies from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Cornell University.  She is the Robert J. Henle Professor of Philosophy at Saint Louis University. Her many books include her major study Aquinas (Routledge, 2003) and her extensive treatment of the problem of evil, Wandering in Darkness: Narrative and the Problem of Suffering (Oxford, 2010).  She has given the Gifford Lectures (Aberdeen, 2003), the Wilde lectures (Oxford, 2006), and the Stewart lectures (Princeton, 2009). She is past president of the Society of Christian Philosophers, the American Catholic Philosophical Association, and the American Philosophical Association, Central.