2022-2023 Event Archive

2023 Koch Lecture

Racial Justice & LGBTQ Inclusion:
The Threat of White Christian Nationalism

Presented by Dr. Bryan Massingale
Tuesday, September 12, 2023
Gorecki Dining and Conference Center, College of Saint Benedict

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Bryan Massingale

In Catholic discourse, concern for racial justice and LGBTQ inclusion are often treated in isolation. This presentation offers an intersectional approach to racial and sexual justice by exploring the challenge that white Christian nationalism poses to both our democracy and to vulnerable populations. It argues that “seeing and loving the world as God does” requires an uncompromising rejection of the idolatry of Christian nationalism and creating a society where the dignity of all is respected.

Dr. Massingale is a leading African American scholar on racism and social justice. His lecture will focus on the current manifestation of Christian nationalism and envisioning and building a spirituality of resistance against racism. In his teaching, Dr. Massingale specializes in social ethics and focuses upon the impact of religious faith as both an instrument of social injustice and a catalyst for social transformation.

Dr. Bryan Massingale:

This event is sponsored by the Koch Chair in Catholic Thought and Culture in collaboration with Saint John’s School of Theology and Seminary, the Multicultural Center, Eugene J. McCarthy Center for Public Policy, Department of Political Science, Department of Theology, Department of Gender Studies, and Intercultural LEAD & QPLUS Student Organizations.


2022 Koch Workshop:
Happy Hour and Pedagogical Workshop on the Common Good
Monday, April 25, 2022
4:30-6 p.m., Gorecki 204, College of Saint Benedict

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Kristin HeyerDr. Kristin Heyer

In this workshop, Kristin Heyer will discuss the common good tradition in Catholic social thought with special attention to its ‘growing edges’ and curricular implications. She will suggest several virtues and practices for pursing the common good in a Catholic university curriculum in this particular historical moment and in the face of perceived or real tensions with commitments to difference, diverse perspectives, structural power differentials, and injustices. Finally she will offer some questions for discussion to prompt participants’ reflection on connections to their own work personally (vocationally) and more broadly (collectively as a CSB/SJU community).

Dr. Heyer is a professor of theological ethics and the director of graduate studies in the theology department at Boston College.

2022 Koch Luncheon:
God’s Involvement in Events that Cause Great Suffering
Wednesday, April 6, 2022
12-1 p.m., Gorecki President’s Room, College of Saint Benedict
SouthgateChristopher Southgate

Dr. Christopher Southgate joins faculty and staff to discuss with us the perennial question: How do we understand divine presence in the context of extreme suffering? We will read a chapter written by Chris entitled “God’s Involvement in Events that Cause Great Suffering.” If there is interest, we can discuss the wider sub-discipline of the practical theology of trauma. This subject may be especially of interest to us due to our two-year experiences of living in a pandemic.

If you would like to attend this luncheon, please sign up here and additional information will follow. Space is limited, so please RSVP promptly. Co-sponsored as part of faculty development for the common good learning outcome.

Originally trained as a biochemist, Christopher Southgate has been teaching the science-religion debate at the University of Exeter, UK, since 1993. He is best known for his study of suffering in evolution, The Groaning of Creation. More recently he has worked on the natural theology of glory and the practical theology of trauma. He is also a much-published poet.

Christopher Southgate will deliver the annual Nicholas and Bernice Reuter Professorship of Science and Religion lecture, “Glory and Longing in a Suffering World,” on Thursday, April 7 at 7:45 p.m. in Quad 264, Saint John’s University.
2022 Koch Luncheon:
Advocacy to Advance the Common Good in the Classroom and in Research: Redrawing Line(s) in a Post-Truth Empire where the Bad Guys are Winning
Tuesday, March 1, 2022
12-1 p.m., Gorecki 120, College of Saint Benedict

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John PahlDr. Jon Pahl

Globally, authoritarian regimes have increasingly employed religion to reinforce nationalism – in Russia, India, Turkey, Brazil, and the United States, for just a few examples. Locally, scientific expertise (and traditional authority in classrooms and other public venues) is under siege from partisan cadres. How does what some describe as a “post-truth” cultural climate necessitate redrawing lines of advocacy, democratic debate, and the common good? In this workshop, employing cases from both research and teaching, Jon Pahl will invite conversation that includes attention to advocacy along lines of age, race, and gender to explore how some surprising new possibilities emerge when the science-based social construction of society meets the enduring wisdom of indigenous and historic traditions and their practices.

John Pahl is the Peter Paul and Elizabeth Hagan Professor of the History of Christianity at United Lutheran Seminary (ULS) Philadelphia/Gettysburg. He’s the author of seven books, include Fethullah Gulan: A Life of Hizmet (2021) and Empire of Scarifice: The Religious Origins of American Violence (2012). He has taught a Valparaiso, Temple, and Princeton in addition to his tenure at ULS.

College of Saint Benedict
Saint John’s University

Jennifer Beste
Koch Chair in Catholic Thought and Culture
Professor of Theology
320-363-5934

Catherine Rupp
Department Coordinator
SJU Quad 355A
320-363-3552