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Loftus Lecture

  • Thomas J. and Mary H. Loftus Lecture on Catholic Thought and Action

    Speaker Series

    Are Horror Films Catholic?

    7 P.M., Wednesday, October 4, 2023
    Yehl Alumni Room

    Why is it that horror films can engage human fear and assuage it at the same time?  Do horror films carry a deeper meaning than merely wanting to "scare the hell out of us" as the great film director Alfred Hitchcock used to say? Award-winning film critic and writer Sister Rose Pacatte, F.S.P. will explore the theological and symbolic relationship between Catholicism, horror films, and our deepest fears and social concerns as well as critical and spiritual ways to engage in film-watching in her upcoming lecture. 

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    Sister Rose Pacatte, FSP
    Award-winning film critic and writer

    Daughter of St. Paul Sister Rose Pacatte has a master's in education in Media Studies from the University of London (UK) and a doctorate in pastoral ministry from the Graduate Theological Foundation. She is a media literacy education specialist and has co-authored two books on the subject as well as multiple books on film and scripture and two biographies, including one on the actor Martin Sheen. Sister Rose grew up in Southern California and since joining the convent has lived and carried out the communications mission of her community in the US, Guam, the UK, and Italy and has traveled to 28 countries to train parents, youth, teachers, and clergy about being critical consumers of media.


    Living Laudato Si': The Climate Crisis and the Cosmic Common Good

    7 P.M., Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022
    Yehl Alumni Room

    Daniel Scheid, Ph.D.
    Associate Professor, Duquense University

    Daniel ScheidDaniel P. Scheid, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Theology at Duquesne University and is currently the director of Undergraduate Studies. Prof. Scheid received his M.A. in Systematic Theology from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and his Ph.D. in Theological Ethics from Boston College. He has published numerous articles and frequently presents on comparative theology and ecological ethics across the country. Scheid’s book, The cosmic Common Good: Religious Grounds for Ecological Ethics (Oxford University Press, 2016), sees humans as an intimate part of the greater whole of the cosmos, emphasizes the simultaneous instrumental and intrinsic value of nature and affirms the integral connection between religious practice and the pursuit of the common good. Scheid’s current projects include Love Reconciles All Things: Trauma, Hope, and Reconciliation in Harry Potter, a contribution to the forth-coming volume Theological World of Harry Potter, and a book Cosmic Belonging: Ecological Ethics and Theologies of Creation in Thomas Aquinas and Vedanta Desika through Fordham University Press.

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    Discarded Worlds: Astronomical Ideas that were Almost Correct

    6:30 P.M., Wednesday, Mar. 3, 2021

    Br. Guy Consolmagno, SJ,
    Director of the Vatican Observatory

    Daniel ScheidAn astronomer needs to blend a knowledge of what’s been observed with a good imagination to help understand what they are seeing... and no fear of being wrong. Ptolemy in ancient Rome, the medieval bishops Oresme and Cusa, the 19th century astronomers Schiaparelli and Pickering, all rose to the challenge; and they were all almost correct. Which is to say, they were wrong... sometimes hilariously, sometimes heartbreakingly so. What lessons can we take from these discarded images of the universe?