Church’s Role to Be Reviewed
The role of the Roman Catholic Church in the modern world, and in comparison with other religious traditions, will be examined in a Department of Religious Studies conference at UCSB on May 4 and 5. Free and open to the public, the conference is the first in a series of community events sponsored by the Cordano Endowment in Catholic Studies at UC Santa Barbara.
Scholars from a variety of disciplines will examine the distinctive structure of the Catholic Church as a global institution and its impact on international affairs, women’s reproductive rights, and more.
“The Catholic Church as Global Actor” is both the title of the conference and of the keynote address by Thomas J. Reese, S. J., a visiting scholar at Santa Clara University. Rev. Reese will open the conference on Thursday, May 4, at 8 p.m. in Corwin Pavilion. It will continue on Friday at 9 a.m. in HSSB 6020.
Trained as a political scientist, he has written widely on the way the church works at the national and international levels. From 1998 to 2005 he was editor-in-chief of “America,” a weekly magazine published by the Jesuit order. Frequently quoted in the secular media, Rev. Reese was a CNN commentator during its coverage last year of the funeral of Pope John Paul II and the election of Pope Benedict XVI.