Flannery Lecture in Catholic Theology

St. Ignatius statue in autumn

The Flannery Chair of Roman Catholic Theology is an endowed Chair gift of the late Maud and Milo Flannery of Spokane, to further excellence of theological study and teaching at Gonzaga University. The Religious Studies Department invites an outstanding theologian twice per year to deliver The Flannery Lecture in Catholic Theology.

Spring 2020 — Dr. Jennifer Beste

Envisioning a Just Response to the Catholic Clergy Abuse Crisis

February 25, 2020 | 5:30 PM
Hemmingson Center Ballroom
Gonzaga University

Lecture is free and open to the public.

In this lecture, Dr. Beste argues that Catholic communities seeking justice and healing must prioritize action on three issues that remain overlooked. First, as a body of Christ, we have not yet fully understood and acknowledged the severe traumatic effects of clergy sexual abuse on youths’ sense of self, their capacity for freedom, and their capacity to relate constructively to God, others, and themselves. Second, recognizing the ways in which survivors continue to suffer from traumatization, we need to forge an authentic way of being in solidarity with clergy sexual abuse survivors and supporting them in their pursuit of justice and healing. Third, we need to examine how Catholic assumptions about children and norms requiring children’s passivity and obedience contributed to the phenomenon of clergy sexual abuse. We need to develop a revised account of what constitutes justice for children.

About Dr. Beste

Portrait of Dr. Jennifer Beste
Jennifer Beste is Koch Chair in Catholic Thought and Culture and Professor of Theology at the College of Saint Benedict and St. John’s University. She received her Master’s Divinity degree from Vanderbilt Divinity School and her Ph.D. in Religious Ethics from Yale University. She is author of College Hookup Culture and Christian Ethics: The Lives and Longings of Emerging Adults (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018) and God and the Victim: Traumatic Intrusions on Grace and Freedom (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007). Her research interests include trauma theory and Christian theology; ethnography and Christian ethics; sexual ethics; feminist ethics; and children, justice, and Catholicism.



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