The Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J. Center for Religion, Ethics and Cultures is launching an ambitious scholarly initiative on Catholics and Cultures, understanding the religious lives and practices of Catholics worldwide.
Catholics and Cultures will draw scholars from around the world to explore how Catholic practices, beliefs, trends, and ethical concerns are manifest in very different cultural settings. As part of its program offerings, the initiative will offer web-based resources, scholarly conversations, international conferences, and publications, including a scholarly e-journal. It will also sponsor postgraduate or visiting fellows who will develop their scholarship at Holy Cross, offer a wide array of new courses to students, and create summer immersion and research opportunities for students in church settings worldwide.
No other program with this scope currently exists, giving Holy Cross the opportunity to take the lead in the scholarly study of Catholic life and practice around the world.
Catholic Cultures, Indian Cultures
A workshop on rites, religiosity, and cultural diversity in Indian Catholicism
Monday, January 12, 2015 to Thursday, January 15, 2015
India is a multicultural society and home to three rites (Roman, Syro-Malabar, Syro-Malankara) within the Catholic Church. This unique combination has created a particularly rich and diverse context for Catholic religious life. This workshop will examine how Catholic life is practiced in India’s different cultural and Catholic contexts. Among the questions to be considered are:
What makes each rite liturgically unique?
What practices differ in Syro-Malabar, Syro-Malankara and Latin communities? Are there special devotions, feasts or fasts? Distinctive ways of mourning the dead, celebrating marriage or fulfilling obligations to the poor?
Within each rite, are there variations in practice according to gender, caste, or regional location?
In what ways do the rites creatively overlap and complement one another?
How do the rites relate to the experience and cultures of non-Christian Indians?
The intent of the workshop is to move away from the often contentious jurisdictional issues surrounding the rites and instead focus on the perspectives gained from considering the lived experience of ordinary Catholics. There will be plenary and panel sessions, along with break out groups for more informal discussion. Presentations will be recorded and posted on the Catholics and Cultures website. Participants will also be invited to revise their presentation for inclusion in the Journal of Global Catholicism or Asian Horizons. Sponsored by Dharmaram Vidhya Ksetram and the College of the Holy Cross.
CATHOLICS & CULTURES IN THE CLASSROOM
Students create colorful sand carpets in Latin American tradition to herald Holy Week at Holy Cross
Interpreting a Catholic tradition popular in Latin America, art students at Holy Cross created a carpet of colored sand leading to the steps of the St. Joseph Memorial Chapel for Palm Sunday. Their intricate designs feature "creatures with wings" — angels, insects, a phoenix, dove and other birds, along with crosses and abstract patterns. Learn more and view photos of the project.
CATHOLICS & CULTURES LECTURES ONLINE
Our Lady of the Good Death: Afro-Catholicism in Brazilian Cultural Heritage - Stephen Selka, associate professor in American studies and in religious studies at Indiana University, talks about the Sisterhood of Our Lady of the Good Death (Boa Morte) in Bahia, Brazil, and their week-long Feast of the Assumption. The festival is a blend of Catholicism and Condomblé, an Afro-Brazilian religion, that has become part of the heritage tourism of the African diaspora. October 23, 2013
Journeys of Transformation: Isthmus Zapotec beliefs and rituals surrounding death, healing and pilgrimage - Anya Peterson Royce, Chancellor's professor of anthropology and comparative literature at Indiana University, is author of "Becoming an Ancestor: The Isthmus Zapotec Way of Death" (SUNY Press, 2011), which looks at the intricate blending of Catholicism and indigenous spiritual tradition in the death rituals of Zapotecs in southern Mexico.
Living in China's Highly Politicized Church Today - Rev. Paul Mariani, S.J., assistant professor of history at Santa Clara University, talks about religious policy and conflict in the People's Republic of China since 1950 and how Catholics in China understand their faith today. He is author of "Church Militant: Bishop Kung and Catholic Resistance in Communist Shanghai" (Harvard University Press, 2011).
WASHINGTON POST ON FAITH
Is this what a Catholic feminist looks like?
Mathew Schmalz, associate professor of religious studies and director of the College Honors program at Holy Cross, writes for the Washington Post blog On Faith. In this post, he offers readers a global perspective on what it means to be Catholic and a feminist.
The Contours of Catholic Life and Practice Today: Challenges and opportunities in the study of global Catholicism
December 9, 2011
Welcome and Introduction:
A Vision for the Study of Catholicism Around the Globe
Thomas M. Landy, Director, Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J. Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture, College of the Holy Cross
Through the Looking Glass: Indian Catholicism observed
Rowena Robinson, Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay
Respondent: Mathew Schmalz, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, College of the Holy Cross
Real Presences and the Study of Lived Religion
Robert Orsi, Professor of Religion and the Grace Craddock Nagle Chair in Catholic Studies, Northwestern University
Respondent: Justin Poché, Alexander F. Carson Faculty Fellow in the History of the United States and Assistant Professor of History, College of the Holy Cross
Note: At the speaker's request, this session was not recorded.
Holy Cross students including Andrew DeVivo '12, Brendan Kennedy '12, Andrea Koris '12, Amanda Marello '12, Michael Rogers '12 and Diego Terrero '12 will share their immersion and study abroad experiences in Catholic cultures around the globe and will describe how their experiences and observations have helped to shape their Holy Cross education.
Reimagining Catholic Theology in the Light of Catholic Belief and Practice Worldwide
Rev. Thomas Casey, S.J., Dean of the Faculty of Missiology, Gregorian University, Rome
Respondent: Joanne M. Pierce, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, College of the Holy Cross