Santa Clara University


Lisa Sowle Cahill

January 15, 2009
Mayer Theater, 7:30 p.m.

How does a feminist Catholic view today’s political landscape? How will future medical innovations shape debate within the Catholic church? How can the Church thrive and adapt amid the evolving values of 21st century America?

Lisa Sowle Cahill ’70 writes about difficult topics: Catholic feminists raising families, peacemaking in the 21st century, stem cells and the Roman Catholic Church, religion and homosexuality. A Santa Clara University graduate, Cahill earned her doctorate at the University of Chicago and has taught at Boston College since 1976, where she is the J. Donald Monan, S.J., Professor of Theology.

Cahill has advised U.S. bishops on issues surrounding AIDS, presented at the Vatican about women’s healthcare, and is an advisor to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.

The recipient of the 2008 John Courtner Murray Award from the Catholic Theological Society of America for her “outstanding and influential contributions in diverse areas of Christian ethics,” Cahill is the author of eight books and editor of five others, including 'Love Your Enemies’: Discipleship, Pacifism and Just War Theory; Theological Bioethics: Participation, Justice, and Change; and Genetics, Theology, Ethics: An Interdisciplinary Conversation. She has also written more than 150 scholarly articles on ethics and religion.

Cahill frequently grapples with competing points of view; as she writes, “Key both to sexist traditions and to feminist theology is the person of Jesus Christ.” As an academic, she has been articulating a vision of a more inclusive Church for many years: “Resistance and redemption are possible, but only if we tell the story honestly and commit ourselves to doing things differently, albeit with the missteps and failings that are practically unavoidable,” she has said.

She is a former president of the Catholic Theological Society of America as well as of the Society of Christian Ethics.

Please join us for a conversation on ethics, politics, and the Church.