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St. Augustine Center for Ethics, Religion, and Culture at Elms College to Host Inaugural Distinguished Lecture in Ethics on March 24

Portrait of James F. Keenan SJ in his office in Stokes Hall photographed for the 5/24 issue of Chronicle.
Jim is the recepient of the Phi Beta Kappa Teacher of the Year Award for 2018.

CHICOPEE, Mass. — The St. Augustine Center for Ethics, Religion, and Culture (CERC) at College of Our Lady of the Elms will hold its Inaugural Distinguished Lecture in Ethics on Wednesday, March 24, from 6 to 8 p.m. Due to COVID-19 protocols, this event will be held virtually via Zoom.

The highlight of the event will be the keynote speech by Rev. James F. Keenan, S.J., S.T.D., Vice Provost for Global Engagement, Canisius Professor of Theology, and Director of the Jesuit Institute at Boston College.

The title of Keenan’s lecture is “Finding God in the Twin Pandemics: Theological Reflections on the Role of the University in the Age of COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter.”

“The Inaugural Distinguished Lecture in Ethics will examine the role that colleges and universities play in healing the various infections – viral and social alike – affecting the health and dignity of the communities they serve,” said Peter A. DePergola II ‘07, Ph.D., MTS, executive director of the CERC and Shaughness Family Chair for the Study of the Humanities at Elms.

The St. Augustine Center for Ethics, Religion, and Culture was launched in October 2020 to increase engagement and discourse on the most pressing and complex questions related to ethics, religion, and culture in today’s society, and to lead the regional community in thoughtful, engaging dialogue.

“Since its founding in 1928 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield, Elms College has served as a scholastic clearinghouse that unites individuals together in the common pursuit of addressing fundamental ethical, religious, and cultural issues related to identity, responsibility, and meaning,” DePergola said.

A Jesuit priest since 1982, Keenan received a licentiate and a doctorate from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He has edited or written 25 books and published over 400 essays, articles, and reviews. Currently, he is writing another book, A Brief History of Catholic Ethics.

The free event is open to the public. to register. A Zoom link will be sent to all participants prior to the lecture.

About Elms College

Elms College is a co-educational Catholic college offering a liberal arts curriculum that prepares students holistically for a purposeful life in a diverse and interconnected world. Founded in 1928 by the Sisters of St. Joseph, Elms College has a tradition of educating reflective, principled and creative learners, who are rooted in faith, educated in mind, compassionate in heart, responsive to civic and social obligations, and capable of adjusting to change without compromising principle.