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.

2023-2024 Lecture Series

Spring Flannery Lecture Series: Guadalupe, Mestizaje, and Las Castas by Nancy Pineda-Madrid, Ph.D.

Monday, February 12, 2024
4:30-6 pm Cataldo Globe Room

Dr. Stephen Pope

This lecture will interrogate the interpretation of Our Lady of Guadalupe (1) in relation to the notion of “mestizaje,” the mixing of the Spanish and Indigenous blood lines, and (2) in relation to the well-known 1750 painting, Castas, by Luis de Mena, among the many other paintings delineating and ordering las castas. In these paintings, Guadalupe appears to give her blessing to various forms of intermarriage and to a racially based hierarchical ranking of intermarriages. These paintings and how they were used require an analysis and critique in a theological key. Because Guadalupe is a theological symbol, this symbol must be interpreted in a manner that mediates and affirms the that all human beings are fully imago dei.

About the Spring 2024 Flannery Lecturer

Nancy Pineda-Madrid is the T. Marie Chilton Chair of Catholic Theology at Loyola Marymount University and President-Elect of the Catholic Theological Society of America. Previously, she was Associate Professor of Theology and Latina/o Ministry at Boston College (2005-2019). She holds a Ph.D. in Systematic and Philosophical Theology from the Graduate Theological Union (Berkeley, California), and a M.Div. degree from Seattle University. She is the first theologian to publish a book on the evil of feminicide arguing that this tragedy demands a fresh interpretation of what salvation means in her Suffering and Salvation in Ciudad Juárez (Fortress Press, 2011), a reflection she has deepened in her recent Theologizing in an Insurgent Key: Violence, Women, Salvation (Paulist Press, 2022). She has published numerous articles addressing questions of salvation, suffering, religious symbols, popular Catholicism, and Latina feminist theology.


Fall Flannery Lecture Series: Should Christians Forgive the Church for Clerical Sexual Abuse?

Monday, October 16, 2023
4:30-6 pm Cataldo Globe Room

Dr. Stephen Pope

Catholics who love the church might want to forgive the church for its terrible history of clerical abuse, but should we? To answer this question, we need to distinguish the wrongdoing of particular clerics (both abusers and their enablers) from the injustice perpetrated by the institution as a whole (particularly in the culture and structures of clericalism). Repentance is not simply contrition, but a whole process through which the wrongdoer expresses remorse, expresses an apology, makes amends for the damage that has been caused, and undertakes a commitment to personal reform. If we are convinced the church has not adequately fulfilled these requirements, how are we called to respond?

About the Fall 2023 Flannery Lecturer

Stephen J. Pope, Ph.D. (GU Class of 1977) is a Professor in the Department of Theology at Boston College, where he teaches courses on social justice, the virtues, and the intersection of science and theology. He received his B.A. in philosophy from Gonzaga University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in theological ethics from the University of Chicago. His publications include The Ethics of Aquinas (editor, Georgetown University Press, 2002), Human Evolution and Christian Ethics (Cambridge University Press, 2007), and A Step Along the Way: Models of Christian Service (Orbis, 2015). He is currently working on a book project entitled, God’s Love and Ours: A Christian Ethic of Forgiveness. He has worked for over ten years as a volunteer for Catholic chaplaincies in several Massachusetts prisons, and presented in a variety of workshops focused on the contribution of faith communities to restorative justice and political reconciliation for Catholic Relief Services and the Jesuit Refugee Service.


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