Past Speakers

2019-2020 - Dr. Jacqueline deVries 

Dr. Jacqueline deVries delivered the 2019-20 Christian Culture lectures on March 9 and 10th, 2020. Dr DeVries spoke on  "The Evolution of Sex:  Science, Religion, and 19th c. Gender Debates" and "Religion and Women's Suffrage: A Centenary Perspective." 

Headshot of a woman with blonde hair

Dr. DeVries is an internationally-recognized academic and author, specializing on issues relating to the history of religion and gender. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts from Calvin College, she completed her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Illinois-Urbana. She has been Israel Wiener Research Fellow at the University of Tel Aviv, and taught in the Department of History at the University of Illinois-Urbana and Carleton College in Minnesota, before moving to Augsburg University, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she is Professor of History.

Professor deVries is the author of A Woman’s History of Religion, and the editor of Religion in Britain, 1800-1940, a 3-volume series of primary sources, and an editor of Women, Gender and Religious Cultures in Modern Britain, 1800-1940, co-edited with Sue Morgan (London: Routledge, 2010), as well as the author of a number of articles in scholarly journals, such as Feminist Studies and History Compass.

From early in her career, Dr DeVries was in the vanguard of contemporary historians who, beginning in the late 1980s recognized the importance of re-integrating belief into the study of religious and cultural institutions. She has brought the tools of feminism and broader critical cultural approaches to the study of Christianity in the history modern globalizing west.

2017-2018 - Dr. Eileen Schuller

The Christian Culture lectures for 2017-18 were given by Dr. Eileen Schuller, Professor Emerita and Senator William McMaster Chair in the Study of Religion at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

Headshot of Schuller

The lectures took place on Monday October 2 and Tuesday October 3 in the Schwartz School of Business. 

Dr. Schuller is one of the world's leading scholars on Dead Sea Scrolls, and she has made many scholarly contributions in authenticating the discoveries found in the caves of Qumran.

Dr. Schuller described her lectures as follows: "As we mark the seventieth anniversary of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, this is a time for evaluation and re-evaluation. These lectures will explore how this discovery has shaped our understanding of the beginnings of Judaism and Christianity. Particular attention will be given, especially in the second lecture, to how our interpretation of the Scrolls has changed in the last two decades, especially with regards to the people who wrote them (were they Essenes?), the archaeology of the site, and the presence and role". 

2016-2017 - Dr. Jim Parry
Headshot of Jim Parry

The Christian Culture Lecturer for 2016-17 was Dr. Jim Parry, formerly Head of the Department of Philosophy, University of Leeds, England, and currently Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic.

Dr. Parry spoke on “The Ethical And Spiritual Foundations Of Sport” and “Olympism And Sport As A Religion.”

Dr. Parry was the Chair of the British Philosophy of Sport Association (2011-13), International Professor of Olympic Studies, Autonomous University of Barcelona (2003), International Professor, Olympic Chair, University of Ghent (2009), Founding Director of the British Olympic Academy (1986), Former Chair of the British Universities Physical Education Association (1983-5).

He received the International Association for Philosophy of Sport Distinguished Scholar Award (2010-11), and is the Co-author of 'The Olympic Games Explained', 2005, and 'Sport and Spirituality', 2007.

2015-2016 - Dr. Reginald Bibby 
Headshot of Reg Bibby

Internationally renowned sociologist of religion, and co-author with pollster Angus Reid, Dr. Reginald Bibby gave the 2016-15 Christian Culture Lectures at St. Francis Xavier University on March 3 and 4, 2016.

On March 3, in “Canada’s Catholics: Vitality and Hope in a New Era,” Bibby shared insights revealed by a major new examination of the current and future state of the Catholic Church in Canada. On Friday, March 4, in “Resilient Gods: Religion’s Demise and Rise in Canada and Everywhere Else,” he will speak to the co-existence of pro-religious and no-religious inclinations in Canada and the rest of the world, as well as what its overall impact might be on personal and social wellbeing.

The lectures draw from two books by Bibby to be published in 2016. The first, coauthored with Angus Reid, is “Canada’s Catholics: Vitality and Hope in a New Era” The second, developing his earlier ground-breaking research, is “Beyond the Gods and Back: Religion’s Demise and Rise and Why it Matters.”

Bibby is an Officer of the Order of Canada (2006), Diamond Jubilee Medal recipient (2012), and Board of Governors Research Chair in the Department of Sociology at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta.

Beyond his many monograph contributions and some one hundred journal and magazine articles, Bibby is the author of fourteen books which, to date, have sold over 160,000 copies. He is routinely sought after for comment on religion in Canada today, and his work has received front cover treatment by Maclean’s magazine on four occasions. He has contributed articles to the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Edmonton Journal, Calgary Herald, and Ottawa Citizen, and hs appeared extensively on national television and radio stations. In the United States, his work has been featured by prominent news outlets including The New York Times, the USA Today, CNN, the Wall Street Journal, the Christian Science Monitor, the Chicago Tribune, and the Los Angeles Times.

Dr. William Sweet, Chair of the Christian Culture Lecture Series Committee, says that Dr. Bibby brings an exceptional combination of scholarship and real-world experience to his research, and that StFX is quite fortunate to be able to host a person of his standing in the Christian Culture lecture series. “Professor Bibby’s work bridges the scholarly and the practical, and his research exhibits a deep commitment to understanding religion in Canada today. He is an outstanding example of a scholar who can draw on both practical involvement and scholarly inquiry in the discussion of issues of interest to all Canadians.”

2014-2015 - Dr. Anne Leahy

The Christian Culture Lecturer for 2014-15 is Dr. Anne Leahy, Canada's former Ambassador to the Holy See, and an Adjunct Professor of Catholic Social Thought at McGill University.

Leahy standing in front of a screen while wearing a pink blazer

Dr. Leahy is a career diplomat, with some 40 years' service in Eastern Europe and Africa in addition to her ambassadorship at the Vatican. She received the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland in 1996.

Dr. Leahy will give two public lectures: on “Freedom of conscience abroad and human rights at home” and on “Diplomacy and the Vatican: a first-person account.” The lectures will take place in room 156 of the Schwartz School, on Wednesday March 4 and Thursday March 5, 2015, at 7.30 pm. The lectures are open to the public and are free of charge.

Dr. William Sweet, Chair of the Christian Culture Lecture Series Committee, says that the breadth and depth of Dr. Leahy’s interests and expertise are remarkable, and that StFX was very fortunate to have a person of her stature participate in the Christian Culture lecture series. "The Vatican and the work of the Holy See are rather mysterious to outsiders, and its role in international diplomacy virtually unknown to the public. An experienced diplomat, with postings in Eastern Europe and Africa, Dr. Leahy will be able to give a thoughtful and penetrating professional perspective on Vatican diplomacy as well as the role played by Catholic social thought in carrying out its diplomatic work. Dr. Leahy will lead us through some recent events in a way that is accessible to a broad audience. 

The Christian Culture Lecture Series is an annual set of lectures founded in 1992 by the President of St FX in order to bring internationally-established scholars in religion, science, and culture to the University. Past speakers in the series include Dr. Sarah Coakley, Dr. Alan Sell, Sr. Prudence Allen, Dr. Arthur Peacocke and Dr. Raymond Brown.

About Dr. Anne Leahy
A native of Quebec City, Anne Leahy is a political economist and specialist on Russia. She earned a bachelor of arts at Queen’s University and a masters in political economy at the University of Toronto before joining the Department of External Affairs in 1973. Her early postings were at missions to the European Community, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and in Russia. She has represented Canada as an ambassador in several countries including Cameroon, Chad, the Central African Republic, Poland, Russia, Armenia, Uzbekistan, and Belarus. In 2008, she was appointed the Ambassador of Canada to the Holy See, representing Canadian interests at the Vatican.

2011-2012 - Dr. Richard R. Gaillardetz 
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American theologian Dr. Richard R. Gaillardetz, the Joseph McCarthy Professor of Catholic Systematic Theology at Boston College, gave the 2011-12 Christian Culture Lectures at St Francis Xavier University on January 27 and 28, 2012.

Gaillardetz’s first presentation, held on Friday, January 27, was on the theme of “What Vatican II Still Has to Teach Us.” On Saturday, January 28, the subject of his talk was “Do We Need a New Council?” Gaillardetz also gave an informal presentation Friday at 3:30 p.m. on teaching authority in the Catholic Church and the investigation of theologians.

Gaillardetz is the president-elect of the Catholic Theological Society of America and has received numerous awards, including several from the Catholic Press Association. Among his recent books are A Daring Promise: A Spirituality of Christian Marriage and The Church in the Making.

After receiving a B.A. in Humanities from the University of Texas and an M.A. in Biblical Theology from St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Gaillardetz went on to complete a masters degree and a doctorate in Systematic Theology at the University of Notre Dame. Prior to moving to Boston, he taught at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas, and at the University of Toledo, where he held the Thomas and Margaret Murray and James J. Bacik Chair of Catholic Studies.

“Professor Gaillardetz’s interests engage central questions in the contemporary Catholic church, particularly concerning ministry, ecumenism, and the nature and limits of authority. His reputation as a scholar and as a teacher and his extensive knowledge of the applications of the documents of the Second Vatican Council make him an ideal speaker for the Lecture Series,” says Dr. William Sweet, StFX Chair of the Christian Culture Lecture Series Committee.

2008-2009 - Dr. Margaret Somerville 

Dr. Margaret Somerville, then Samuel Gale Professor of Law at McGill University, spoke at St. F.X. Jan. 27, 2009, as part of the Christian Culture Lecture Series. The topic of her lecture was "Religion in a Secular Society: Does It Have a Role?,"

Poster of Margaret Somerville















(story from the The Atlantic Catholic -  February 14 , 2009 - PAGE II)

Religion's Role in Secular Society

By Heather MacAdam

A packed house, which included a wide variety of ages, attended a lecture last week on the role of religion in today's society.

Internationally known ethicist Margaret Somerville spoke at St. Francis Xavier University Jan. 27 as part of the Christian Culture Lecture Series. Her talk, entitled "Religion in a Secular Society: Does It Have a Role?," focused on the influence that religion continues to have on our ethical decision-making.

Somerville said ethics play a role in a number of issues affecting society today, including stem cell research, use of animals in research, capital punishment, same sex marriage and polygamy.

"All those issues involve social, ethical, legal values in the public square," she said. "How we deal with each of them is important not only in itself, but in determining the values of our Canadian society."

All of these values are connected with life, birth or death, she said, and birth and death are where people share their most important society values and individual values.

"These values, together with our principles, values, beliefs, myths and so on, make up what we call . . . the societal cultural paradigm on which our society is based. All that is is the shared story that we tell each other or buy into in order to form the glue that can bind us together as a society."

Somerville said she wanted to focus on whether or not, in a secular society such as Canada, religion has any valid role to play in determining what our values around that wide-range of ethical issues should be.

"I believe that religion has a very important role - just one more thing that gets me into a great deal of trouble," she quipped.

In order to deal with those issues, Somerville said society must find a shared ethics, and that everyone -- people who are religious, no matter what religion, and those who are not religious - has a role to play in that search.

The two sides of these societal issues - the secular side as well as the religious side - disagree on some values, but often agree on some values, as well.

"That recognition is important because I believe that searching for a shared ethics is crucial in a pluralistic, multicultural, multi­religious, secular, post-modern democracy like Canada. We're a very complex society."

It's crucial to find a value system that allows individuals and society to flourish.

A shared ethics would establish a se t of shared ethical concepts and values already shared among society on which we can build, Somerville said.

"I'm not suggesting we will all agree on everything. I'm looking for limited areas where some of us can agree. The idea is to find what we have in common ethically so that we can experience ourselves as belonging to the same moral community."

Secularism is a belief system in itself, Somerville said, and it is unfair to ban religion from the public square.

"What I'm proposing is that all voices - including secular, secular-religious and religious voices - have a right to be heard in the democratic public square."

2006-2007 - Dr. Janet Smith
Headshot of Smith

Internationally known Christian moral philosopher, Dr. Janet E. Smith, is coming to Antigonish to give two talks on January 14th and 15th as the 2007 Christian Culture Lecture Series speaker at St Francis Xavier University. Dr. Smith’s first talk, “Our Bodies, Ourselves: A Catholic Perspective,” will focus on the Church’s teachings on sexuality and the importance of the body to understanding the human person. This lecture will take place on Sunday, January 14, at 8:00 pm, in Immaculata Hall. The second talk, “Designer Genes,” will focus on the ethics of reproductive technologies and the Church’s stance on them. This talk will be held in Nicholson Hall, room B 33, at 8:00 p.m. January 15.

Dr. Smith holds the Father Michael J. McGivney Chair of Life Ethics at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan, and is the author of Humanae Vitae: A Generation Later, and editor of Why Humanae Vitae Was Right: A Reader. She has published many articles on ethical and bioethics issues. She has taught at the University of Notre Dame and the University of Dallas. Professor Smith has received the Haggar Teaching Award from the University of Dallas, the Prolife Person of the Year from the Diocese of Dallas, and the Cardinal Wright Award from the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars. She is serving a second term as a consultor to the Pontifical Council on the Family. Over a million copies of her talk, "Contraception: Why Not," have been distributed.

Professor Smith has a new series of talks, "Sexual Common Sense." This series includes a new updated version of "Contraception: Why Not" and 11 additional talks on sexual issues and bioethical issues. The series is available from

Dr. Joseph Khoury, a member of the Christian Culture Lecture Series Committee, says that the breadth and depth of Dr. Smith’s interests and expertise are remarkable, and that StFX was very fortunate to have a person of Dr. Smith’s stature participate in the Christian Culture lecture series. "If we are to grasp the truth about human relationships and moral decision making, a sound understanding of the human person is necessary,” says Dr. Khoury. “Dr. Smith’s important work makes a significant contribution to scholarship, and yet is presented in a way that makes it accessible to a broad audience. Dr. Smith reminds us that sexuality is not an end to itself, that in fact it has a strong moral dimension that must not be forgotten.”

According to Dr. Khoury, Dr. Smith’s books have been favourably received. “In an age that, ironically, does not accept any position except the popular one, Dr. Smith has reinstituted the Church’s position in an articulate and fair manner. Dr. Smith’s - and the Church’s - views on all aspects of sexuality may not be regarded favourably in today’s popular culture, but they are well-articulated, and passionately defended.”

Dr. Smith’s columns appear in many newspapers, both Catholic and secular.

2005-2006 - Professor Hugh Silverman

Christian Culture Lecture at StFX on "Community and Responsibility"

The internationally known scholar in literary theory and philosophy, Professor Hugh J. Silverman, has been invited to StFX to give the 2005-06 Christian Culture Lecture.

Portrait of Hugh Silverman wearing a suit

Professor Silverman, who is Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Literature at Stony Brook University, New York, and Executive Director of the International Association for Philosophy and Literature, will speak on “Community and Responsibility” on Sunday, March 12 at 8:00 pm in The New Science Building, Room 1072. A reception will follow.

A graduate of Lehigh University and Stanford University, Dr Silverman also studied at the University of Paris-X (Nanterre), and is a past recipient of the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. He has taught at the State University of New York (Stony Brook) since 1974, where he is also an affiliated faculty member in the Departments of Art, of European Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, and of Hispanic Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. He has also been a Visiting Professor in France, England, Italy, Austria, Finland, Australia, Ireland, and Norway, and received the Award Medal of the University of Helsinki, Finland, in 1997.

Dr Silverman's lecture will touch on themes from a wide range of sources, such as the philosopher Plato, medieval art, contemporary architecture, and the film, The Matrix. He will also draw on his expertise in contemporary European thought and cultural-literary-art-film-and-aesthetic theory. Dr Silverman is the author or editor of some 20 books, including Inscriptions: After Phenomenology and Structuralism, Textualities: Between Hermeneutics and Deconstruction; Writing the Politics of Difference; The Textual Sublime: Deconstruction and its Differences. His work has been translated into several languages, including Italian and German.

The Christian Culture Lecture Series is an annual set of lectures founded in 1992 by the President of St FX in order to bring internationally-established scholars in religion, science, and culture to the University. Past speakers in the series include Dr. Sarah Coakley, Dr. Alan Sell, Sr. Prudence Allen, Dr. Arthur Peacocke and Dr. Raymond Brown.

Dr. William Sweet, Chair of the Christian Culture Lecture Series Committee, says that the breadth of Professor Silverman’s interests and expertise is remarkable, and that StFX is very fortunate to have a person of his stature here for the Christian Culture lecture series. "Professor Silverman’s interests bridge the literary and the philosophical, and his writing brings together themes and ideas from the classical, mediaeval, and contemporary worlds, including elements of modern popular culture. His scholarly research is an example of how the most profound themes of Christian culture can appear again and again in modern culture.”

2004-2005 - Rev. Dr. Sarah Coakley 

Internationally-known professor of church history and systematic theology, Rev. Dr. Sarah Coakley gave the 2004-05 Christian Culture Lectures at St Francis Xavier University on October 24 and 25, 2004. At the time of her Christian Culture lectures, the Rev. Dr. Coakley was Edward Mallinckrodt Jr. Professor of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Close up of a woman

The general title of her lectures was: "God, Sexuality and the Self: Re-engaging God as Trinity". She gave two talks: one, on Sunday October 24, 2004, and one on Monday, October 25. The first talk was 'The Trinity, Prayer and Sexuality'; the subject of the second talk was: 'Batter my Heart? Gregory of Nyssa and Augustine on Trinitarian Theology and Sexuality.'

A graduate of Cambridge and Harvard Universities, Dr. Coakely graduated with a PhD in 1982. She taught at the University of Lancaster in England and at Oriel College, Oxford (where she was the first woman Fellow of the College). She took up a position at Harvard Divinity School in 1993, and was appointed the Mallinckrodt Professor in 1995. A systematic theologian and philosopher of religion, her teaching also includes topics in feminist theory and theology, patristic thought, and applied theology.

Dr. Coakley was featured in Beyond the Glass Ceiling: Forty Women Whose Ideas Shape the Modern World (1996), and serves on the Editorial Boards of Modern Theology and Spiritus. She has lectured internationally in Britain, the United States, Germany, Italy, and Israel. She was the first woman appointee to the Church of England Doctrine Commission, and was ordained priest of the Church of England in 2000.

Her most recent books are Powers and Submissions: Spirituality, Philosophy and Gender (2002) and Re-Thinking Gregory of Nyssa (2003). She is currently completing a co-edited volume, Pain and Its Transformations (2005), a product of her work in the interdisciplinary “Mind, Brain, Behavior” group at Harvard. She is also at work on the first volume of a four-volume systematic theology, God, Sexuality and the Self: An Essay 'On the Trinity'.

Dr. William Sweet, Chair of the Christian Culture Lecture Series Committee, says that Dr Coakley brings a remarkable mixture of scholarship and practical experience to her theological work, and that StFX is very fortunate to have a person of her stature here for the Christian Culture lecture series. "Professor Coakley’s work bridges the scholarly and the practical, and her life shows a deep commitment to the people of God. She is an outstanding example of a person who can draw on both practical experience and scholarly research in her contribution to the church, and in the discussion of religious issues today.”

2003-2004 - Rev. Dr. Alan Sell 

Internationally known scholar of ecumenical studies and of the philosophy of religion, Rev. Professor Alan P. F. Sell, PhD, DD, DTh, FRHS, FSA, gave the 2003 Christian Culture Lectures at St Francis Xavier University on November 17 and 19, 2003.

Headshot of a man wearing a suit

Professor Sell, formerly Professor of Christian Doctrine and Philosophy of Religion at the United Theological College, Aberystwyth (Wales), and holder of the Jules Leger Chair in Studies in the Humanities at StFX, spoke on “The Holy Spirit and Ecumenism” on Monday, November 17 at 7:30 pm, and on “Christian Worship, Then and Now" on Wednesday, November 19 at 7:30 pm. Prof. Sell also gave a short presentation on Wednesday afternoon.

A graduate of the University of Manchester and the University of Nottingham, Professor Sell studied philosophy and divinity from 1953 to 1961, graduating with a PhD in 1967. From 1959 to 1964 he served in parishes in the United Kingdom, before becoming a lecturer in the West Midlands College of Higher Education in 1968. In 1983, he was appointed Executive Secretary for Theology for the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (Presbyterian and Congregational) in Geneva, where he served until 1988. He held the Chair of Christian Thought at the University of Calgary (1988-1992) and was Professor and Chair of Christian Doctrine and Philosophy of Religion at the United Theological College, Aberystwyth, Wales from 1992 until 2001. He has also been a Visiting Professor at Acadia Divinity College in Nova Scotia. Since 2001 he has continued to publish and lecture, and serves as a theological consultant with the World Alliance of Reformed Churches.

Professor Sell is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, the Royal Society of Antiquaries, and received a Doctorate of Divinity from the University of Manchester, based on his many published works. He holds Honorary Doctorates in Divinity from Ursinus College (Pennsylvania) and Acadia University (Nova Scotia), and an Honorary Doctorate of Theology from the University of Debrecen (Hungary).

Professor Sell’s main areas of expertise are intercultural and interfaith dialogue, the philosophy of religion, and philosophical theology. He is the author of some 25 books, including Confessing and Commending the Faith: Historic Witness and Apologetic Method (2002); Commemorations: Studies in Christian Thought and History (1993), Philosophical Idealism and Christian Belief (1995) and John Locke and the Eighteenth-Century Divines (1997).

Dr. William Sweet, a member of the Christian Culture Lecture Series Committee, says that the breadth and depth of Professor Sell's interests and expertise are remarkable, and that StFX is very fortunate to have a person of his stature here for both the Jules Leger Chair and the Christian Culture lecture series. "Professor Sell’s interests bridge the academic and the topical, and he is able to bring a wealth of practical experience and scholarly research to the discussion of modern and contemporary religious issues.”

2002-2003 - Sr. Prudence Allen
Headshot of Prudence

Department of Philosophy

St. John Vianney Theological Seminary, Denver, CO, USA and
Distinguished Professor Emerita, Concordia University, Montreal


I. The Philosophy of Relation in John Paul II's New Feminism
Sunday, October 6, 2002 at 7:30 pm in Immaculata Hall

II. Christian Philosophy in Dialogue with Secular Culture
Monday, October 7, 2002 at 4 pm in the Council Chambers, Bloomfield Centre

Models of Complementary Dialogue
Monday, October 7, 2002

2001-2002 - Rev. Dr. Charles E. Curran 

Rev. Dr. Charles E. Curran, the Elizabeth Scurlock University Professor of Human Values at Southern Methodist University (Dallas, Texas), was the speaker at the 2001-2002 Christian Culture Lecture Series.

Father Curran delivered public lectures on:

"Catholic Social Teaching"
Thursday, October 25

"Can There Be A Global Ethic?"
Friday, October 26.

A Roman Catholic priest of the Diocese of Rochester, New York, Father Curran has authored and edited more than forty books in the area of moral theology. He taught for over twenty years at the Catholic University of America and has also taught at Cornell University, The University of Southern California, and Auburn University. His most recent publications are: The Catholic Moral Tradition Today: A Synthesis (Georgetown University Press, 1999); Moral Theology at the End of the Century (Marquette University Press, 1999); Charles E. Curran and Richard A. McCormick, eds., John Paul II and Moral Theology (Paulist Press, 1998); The Historical Development of Fundamental Moral Theology in the United States (Paulist Press, 1999).

2000-2001 - Rev. Dr. Arthur Peacocke 

Internationally known British scientist and theologian, Rev. Dr. Arthur Peacocke (Oxford University) was the speaker at the 2001 Christian Culture Lecture Series.

Headshot of Dr. Peacocke

Rev. Dr. Peacocke spoke on:

The End of All Our Exploring - Paths from Science towards God?
Sunday, March 11, 2001

Science and the Future of Theology - Critical Issues
Monday, March 12, 2001

Dr. Peacocke also met more informally with students in the Arts 4 course (“Christianity and Science”) on Tuesday, March 13.

For over 25 years Arthur Peacocke followed an academic scientific career in the Universities of Birmingham and Oxford in the field of the physical chemistry of biological macromolecules (particularly DNA) and was awarded a D. Sc. degree by Oxford University in 1962. He was a Fellow of St Peter's College, Oxford, from 1959-73 and an editor of Biolpolymers, the Biochemical Journal and a series of monographs on physical biochemistry for Oxford University Press. His scientific publications include 126 papers and 3 books (inter alia The Molecular Basis of Heredity, 1965) and his most recent scientific work is The Physical Chemistry of Biological Organization (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1983, repr. 1989).

His principal interest for the last 25 years has been in the relation of science and theology and associated questions in the philosophy of science and theology. His first book in this area was Science and the Christian Experiment (Oxford Univ. Press, London, 1971), for which he was awarded the International Lecomte du Nouiy Prize in 1973. He was awarded a B.D. degree by the University of Birmingham in 1971 and a by the University of Oxford in 1982. In 1978 he gave the Bampton Lectures at Oxford, published as Creation and the World of Science (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1979, and University of Notre Dame Press). In 1984 he gave the Mendenhall Lectures at DePauw University, published as Intimations of Reality; critical realism in science and religion (University of Notre Dame Press, 1984) and in 1986 he published God and the New Biology (Dent, London, and Harper and Row, San Francisco, 1986; reprinted in 1994 by Peter Smith Publ. Inc., Magnolia, Mass.). His theological and philosophical publications consist of 63 articles/papers and 9 books. His latest book in this field is Theology for a Scientific Age (Blackwells, Oxford, 1990; 2nd enlarged edition published in 1993, incorporating his 1993 Gifford Lectures - Fortress Press, Minnesota, and SCM Press, London, 1993), for which he received A Templeton Foundation Prize in 1995 for "an outstanding book on Theology and the Natural Sciences", published in 1990-4. He was a recipient, with his fellow editors, of the same prize in 1995 for the volume Chaos and Complexity (from Univ. Notre Dame Press) published earlier that year. In the autumn of 1996, he published two new volumes; From DNA to Dean- reflections and explorations of a Priest-scientist (Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1996) and God and Science quest for Christian credibility (SCM Press, London, 1996). His forthcoming book (March, 2001, Oneworld, Oxford) is entitled Paths from Science towards God: the End of All Our Exploring.

He was ordained as a priest in the Church of England in 1971 and served on its Doctrine Commission, 1969-76. He was Dean of Clare College, Cambridge, 1973-84; and the founder-Director of the Ian Ramsey Centre (for the study of issues in the relation of theology to science, medicine and technology) at St Cross College, Oxford, from 1985 to 1988 and in 1995 he resumed this post to oversee the application of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation for the organising of training workshops on science and religion in Oxford. He is an Honorary Canon of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, where he was Honorary Chaplain from 1989 to 1996.

He has lectured extensively on science and theology in the United States where he has held, inter alia, visiting professorships at the Chicago Center for Religion and Science, at the Chicago Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences at Berkeley, at Tulane and Georgetown Universities; and also in other parts of the world, Japan in particular. In 1991 Georgetown University awarded him the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters and in 1993 he was made a member of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.

While still a scientist at Oxford he called together a group of scientists interested in the relation of their studies to religion in general and Christianity, in particular. This led to the formation of the Science and Religion Forum, which has met annually in Great Britain since 1972. By personally convening in Cambridge in 1984 an international group of those interested in the interaction of science and theology he was a prime mover in the process that led to the formation of the European Society for the Study of Science and Theology.

During the period 1985-6, in conversations with other priest-scientists in the Church of England, he gathered together a nucleus that decided to form a new dispersed Order in the church for those who are, or have been, practising scientists or technologists, and who are priests or ministers in the church. He was its first Warden. This order, the Society of Ordained Scientist (S.O.Sc.) now has about 70 members of five different Christian denominations in Britain and North America and has a devotional Rule to which its members are committed - as well as to serving the church by facilitating its interaction with science, medicine and technology.

1999-2000 - Dr. Rudolf Siebert 

1999-2000 Dr. Rudolf Siebert
Internationally known American sociologist of religion, Dr. Rudolf Siebert, Professor of Religious Studies and Director of the Center for Humanistic Future Studies at Western Michigan University, was the speaker at the 2000 Christian Culture Lecture Series at StFX University.

Headshot of Siebert

Dr. Siebert gave lectures on
"Personal Autonomy and Universal Solidarity: The Critical Theory of Society"
February 21, 2000

"Human Longing: The Critical Theory of Religion"
February 22, 2000

Dr. Rudolf Siebert was born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1927. He studied philosophy and theology at the University of Mainz and social work at the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. He received his doctorate from the University of Mainz in 1965.

Since 1965, Dr Siebert has been Professor of Religion and Society at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He has also taught at King's College [University of Western Ontario] St Jerome's College [Waterloo], St Thomas University [Fredericton], Mount St Agnes College [Maryland], the Interuniversity Center for Post Graduate Studies in Dubrovnik, Croatia and at the University of Rostock (Germany).

Dr Siebert is listed in Who's Who in America (Vol. XXI) and Who's Who in Religion, and has held the Pope John XXIII Chair in Catholic Theology at St Thomas University. In 1992 he was honoured with a "Festschrift" edited by A. James Reimer, entitled "The Influence of the Frankfurt School on Contemporary Theology: Critical Theory and the Future of Religion," and in 1994, he presented the Aquinas lecture at St Thomas University on "The Dialectic of Revelation and Autonomous Reason."

Dr Siebert's main area of expertise is the critical theory of society, culture and history, and he has been influential in the dissemination of the work of the Institute for Social Research at the Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Universität, Frankfurt a.M., Germany--the so called "Frankfurt School." He has worked particularly in the critical theory of religion as an integral part of the critical theory of modern society. He has also been very much involved in analysing the role of religion in recent central and eastern European history.

Dr Siebert's lectures at St FX drew on research related to his most recent work, his 4 volume book, The Longing for the Totally Other: the Rescue of the Hopeless and the Critical Theory of Religion.

Dr. William Sweet, the Chair of the Catholic Culture Lecture Series, noted that the breadth and depth of Dr Siebert's interests and expertise is remarkable, and that StFX was very fortunate to have a person of Dr Siebert's stature here for the Christian Culture lecture series.

Dr Siebert is the author of some 11 books (including

  • Hegel's Philosophy of History: Theological, Humanistic, and Scientific Elements;
  • Hegel's Concept of Marriage and Family: The Origin of Subjective Freedom;
  • Horkheimer's Critical Sociology of Religion: The Relative and the Transcendent;
  • From the Critical Theory to the Theology of Communicative Praxis;
  • Critical Theory of Religion: The Frankfurt School.
  • From Universal Pragmatic to Political Theology;
  • From Critical Theory to Communicative Political Theology: Personal Autonomy and Universal Solidarity;
  • Recht, Macht und Liebe. Georg W.Rudolphi's Prophetische Politische Theologie), and has another 6 near completion.

To get more information on Dr. Rudolf Siebert visit his website.

1998-1999 - Dr. Gregory Baum 
Close up of a man speaking with hand gestures.

"The Evolution of Catholic Social Teaching"
March 15, 1999
"The Contribution of the Canadian Bishops."
March 16, 1999

The 1999 Christian Culture Lecture Series was given by the internationally-known Canadian social theologian Dr Gregory Baum, o.c., then-Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at McGill University.

Born in Berlin, Germany, Dr Gregory Baum came to Canada from England in 1940. He received a B.A. in Mathematics and Physics from McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, in 1946, and his D.Th. (doctor of theology), from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, in 1956. He held honorary doctorates from Huron College (London, Ontario); St. Francis Xavier University (1965); Ohio Wesleyan University; Lafayette College (Easton, Pa.); Waterloo Lutheran University; and McMaster University. He was also an Officer of the Order of Canada. Dr Baum passed away, at the age of 94, on October 18, 2017.

From 1959 to 1986, Dr Baum was Professor of theology and religious studies at St. Michael's College in the University of Toronto, and was cross-appointed to the department of sociology there in 1975. From 1986 to 1994 he was a professor in McGill University's Faculty of Religious Studies. In 1987, he presented the CBC Massey Lectures on "Compassion and Solidarity/The Church for Others" In the Winter term of 1999, Dr Baum was the holder of the Fr Edo Gatto Chair of Christian Studies at St FX, and taught an honours seminar in political science.

In introducing the speaker, the Chair of the Catholic Culture Lecture Series, Dr William Sweet, said that St FX was "very fortunate to have a person of Dr Baum's stature at StFX for a semester. Although Dr Baum has been a very controversial figure within Catholic theology and the ecumenical movement, his influence as a spokesperson and a scholar on Catholic social teaching and social justice is unquestionable."

Dr Baum was the author of over 20 books, including That they May Be One (Newman Press, 1958), Progress and Perspective (Sheed and Ward, 1962), The Social Imperative (Paulist Press, 1979), Theology and Society (Paulist Press, 1986), Essays in Critical Theology, (Sheed and Ward, 1994), and Karl Polanyi on Ethics and Economics (McGill-Queen's University Press, 1996). Since 1962, he has has been Editor of The Ecumenist, an ecumenical review of critical theology.

1996-1997 - Dr. Mark R. Schwehn 

1996-1997 Dr. Mark R. Schwehn

Lecture: "Christianity and Two Cultures: Academic and Civic"
November 17, 1996

Seminar: "Love, Frienship, and Vocation"
November 18, 1996

Mark R. Schwehn is Professor of Humanities and Dean of Christ College, the honors college of Valparaiso University in Indiana.

Dr. Schwehn received his BA from Valparaiso University, and his MA and PhD in history and humanities from Stanford University.

His book about the relationship between religion and higher learning, Exiles from Eden: Religion and the Academic Vocation in America, was published in 1993 by Oxford University Press, and his Olin Lecture on the idea of a Christian university (University of Chicago, 1998) was published as "A Christian University: Defining the Difference" (First Things, May, 1999). His most recent book is entitled Everyone A Teacher (Notre Dame Press, 2000). Dr. Schwehn is Project Director of the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts.

1995-1996 - Rev. Dr. Raymond Brown 
Poster of Raybrown Callout with a quote included under his headshot

Rev. Dr. Raymond Brown was, at the time of his Christian Culture lectures, Auburn Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at Union Theological Seminary, New York.

A priest of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Fr Brown was a member of the Society of Saint Sulpice, a society of diocesan priests committed to academic and scholarly service. He was an international expert on the Johanine literature, and was the author of several volumes of the Anchor Bible Commentary. He also wrote on biblical ecclesiology, and his Birth of the Messiah remains the most comprehensive treatment of the subject.

Fr Brown was a co-editor of both the Jerome Biblical Commentary and its successor, The New Jerome Biblical Commentary. His achievement as a scholar and his tireless service to the Catholic Church were recognized in many ways, including appointments to the Pontifical Biblical Commission (by Pope Paul VI in 1972 and by Pope John Paul II in 1996). He also received an honorary doctorate from St FX in 1990.

Brown's last book, A Retreat With John the Evangelist: That You May Have Life (St. Anthony Messenger Press), was published just before he died of a heart attack, on 10 August 1998.

1994-1995 - Rev. Dr. Martin Marty 
Headshot of Martin Marty

At the time of his Christian Culture lectures, Dr. Martin E. Marty was the Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of the History of Modern Christianity at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago. One of America's foremost theologians and religious historians and the author of more than 45 books, Marty was one of the first 10 recipients of the National Humanities Medal bestowed by US President William Clinton in 1997. Marty is the director of the Public Religion Project Linking Religion and American Public Life--funded by Pew Charitable Trusts--the senior editor of the weekly Christian Century and the editor of the newsletter Context.

Marty was Project Director for the five-year Fundamentalism Project of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, which studied comparative fundamentalist religious movements around the world. He is a fellow of the two oldest scholarly societies of the United States, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, which awarded him its medal in 1995, and the American Philosophical Society. He is past president of the American Academy of Religion, the American Society of Church History and the American Catholic Historical Association. In 1972 he won the National Book Award for Righteous Empire. Marty received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1956.

1993-1994 - Dr. Mary Malone 

Dr. Mary T. Malone gave the Christian Culture lectures on January 16 and 17, 1994. Her lectures were entitled "'No more male and female': The Challenges of Discipleship for Christian Women" and "Ecumenism and the Laity: A Grassroots Revolution."

Dr Malone was Professor of Religious Studies at St Jerome's University and the University of Waterloo and later served as Professor of Theology at Toronto School of Theology. She retired after almost thirty years of university teaching in 1998.

1992-1993 - Rev. Dr. Stanley Jaki 

Rev. Stanley L. Jaki, OSB (1924-2009) gave the inaugural Christian culture lectures on scientific cosmology and creation.

Fr Jaki was a Hungarian-born Catholic priest of the Benedictine Order and Distinguished Professor at Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey.

With doctorates in theology (1950) and physics (1958), for more than forty years Fr Jaki taught and carried out research in the history and philosophy of science. The author of almost forty books and over a hundred articles, he served as Gifford Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh and as Fremantle Lecturer at Balliol College, Oxford. He lectured at major universities in the United States, Europe, and Australia. He was an honorary member of the Pontifical Academy of Science, membre correspondant of the Academe Nationale des Sciences, Belles-Lettres et Arts of Bordeaux, and the recipient of the Lecomte du Nouy Prize for 1970 and of the Templeton Prize for 1987.


Christian Culture Lecture Series

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