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We Remember, One Year Later

A conversation considering the thought and lives of three distinguished thinkers at a remembrance of the year’s anniversary of their deaths:

The Catholic theologian Edward Schillebeeckx (died December 23, 2009) will be remembered by Sr. Kathleen Dolphin, Director of the Center for Spirituality at Saint Mary’s College. The feminist theologian Mary Daly (died January 3, 2010) will be remembered by Prof. Stacy Davis of the Religious Studies Department at the College. The social historian and activist Howard Zinn (died January 27, 2010) will be remembered by Jan Pilarski, Director of the College’s Justice Education Program.

The public and college community are invited to participate in this conversation. [read more]

In the Catholic tradition, it is customary to remember those who have died, especially at the first year anniversary of their deaths. So, it is proper for Saint Mary’s to remember three distinguished, if not controversial, thinkers who contributed much to the intellectual and scholarly life of the Church in the twentieth century.

Fr. Edward Schillebeeckx, O.P., was one of the most important theologians of contemporary times. His contributions to the Second Vatican Council were necessary if not universally approved. His theological career frequently saw him tweaking the nose of the Vatican, yet his bold and innovative theological writings were never condemned. He continued teaching and writing into his nineties and up to the time of his death. A man of a vibrant and creative intellectual life, Schillebeeckx is singularly worthy of continued study.

Mary Daly, who graduated from the Saint Mary’s College School of Sacred Theology in 1954, was a radical feminist philosopher, academic and theologian. Daly, who described herself as a "radical lesbian feminist", taught at Boston College, a Jesuit-run institution, for 33 years. Daly moved away from her Catholic and Christian origins and created her own theological anthropology based around the context of what it means to be a woman. She was, and continues to be, a controversial thinker in both traditional and feminist intellectual circles.

Howard Zinn was an American historian, author, activist, playwright, public intellectual, and Professor of Political Science at Boston University from 1964 to 1988. He wrote more than 20 books, which included his best-selling and influential A People’s History of the United States. Zinn wrote extensively about the civil rights, civil liberties, and anti-war movements. His memoir, You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train, was also the title of a 2004 documentary about Zinn's life and work.

The afternoon’s remembrance and conversation is sponsored by the Cushwa-Leighton Library and the Center for Spirituality.