Shannon Lecture Series

Transformation Through Encounter

The William H. Shannon Chair in Catholic Studies presents:

Mary C. Boys

Mary C. Boys

Extending the Borders of Our Care:

Why Interreligious Engagement Is an Ethical Imperative for Christians

September 20, 2018 ~ 7 – 8:30 p.m.

  • Our Ancestors Would Be Incredulous:
  • Jews and Christians in Our TimeSeptember 21, 2018 ~ 1:30 PM – 2:30 PMA pioneer in the field of Jewish/Christian relations, Mary C. Boys, S.N.J.M., critically examines the historical realities and theological beliefs that have shaped Jewish-Christian relations. Primed by Vatican II, she applies historical biblical scholarship to the field of religious education to produce groundbreaking insights into Christian-Jewish learning and dialogue. At the heart of these insights is an unshakeable commitment to “learning in the presence of the other.”

Boys’s most recent publications engage with clarity and candor what it means for Christians to learn in the presence of Jews and Judaism today: Seeing Judaism Anew: Christianity’s Sacred Obligation (2005); Christians and Jews in Dialogue: Learning in the Presence of the Other(2008), co-authored with Sara S. Lee; and Redeeming Our Sacred Story: The Death of Jesus and Relations between Jews and Christians (2014). She is currently the vice president of academic affairs and dean as well as the Skinner and McAlpin Professor of Practical Theology at Union Theological Seminary, New York City, and an adjunct faculty member of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.

Ruben L.F. Habito

Buddhist Wisdom and Christian Truth: Expanding Horizons of Catholic Faith and Understanding
October 18, 2018, 7 p.m.
Forum, Otto Shults Community Center

Can One Be Both Christian and Buddhist?
October 19, 2018, 1:30 p.m.
Linehan Chapel, Golisano Academic Center

Rita George-Tvrtković


Francis X. Clooney, S.J



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“At the beginning of dialogue there is encounter. This generates the first knowledge of the other. If, indeed, we start from the presumption of our common human nature, it is possible to overcome prejudice and falsehood, and to begin to understand the other from a new perspective.” ~ Pope Francis 

In a time when division leads to polarization and the mass migration of displaced and suffering people results in the building of border walls, we have chosen to focus on the transformative power of human encounters across and between religious traditions. Our theme also has a local source of inspiration: the dynamism of an unwavering commitment to interfaith relations here in Rochester, N.Y.

Pope Francis speaks directly to the transformative power of encounter with the other. He identifies it as a dynamic moment, offering clarity, insight, and truth—about ourselves and the other. Each of our speakers will address how this encounter has transformed her or his life’s work: the questions raised about one’s Catholic identity when dialogue with the other begins in earnest, the insights gleaned when one perceives that faith communities are organically interrelated in unexpected ways, and the understandings that demand to be integrated into one’s scholarly worldview.

Taken as a whole, this series invites us to experience theological method at its best: engaging human experiences, seeking the meaning of those experiences in light of our faith commitment, and challenging us to live our faith beliefs through practices that infuse our world with a hope that stands in spite of disappointment, tragedy, or injustice.