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Elms College to Host Inaugural Distinguished Lecture in Ethics on March 24

CHICOPEE — The St. Augustine Center for Ethics, Religion, and Culture (CERC) at Elms College will hold its inaugural Distinguished Lecture in Ethics on Wednesday, March 24 from 6 to 8 p.m. Due to COVID-19 protocols, this event will be held virtually via Zoom.

The highlight of the event will be the keynote speech by the Rev. James Keenan, vice provost for Global Engagement, Canisius professor of theology, and director of the Jesuit Institute at Boston College.

The title of Keenan’s lecture is “Finding God in the Twin Pandemics: Theological Reflections on the Role of the University in the Age of COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter.”

“The inaugural Distinguished Lecture in Ethics will examine the role that colleges and universities play in healing the various infections — viral and social alike — affecting the health and dignity of the communities they serve,” said Peter DePergola II, executive director of the CERC and Shaughness Family chair for the Study of the Humanities at Elms.

The St. Augustine Center for Ethics, Religion, and Culture was launched in October 2020 to increase engagement and discourse on the most pressing and complex questions related to ethics, religion, and culture in today’s society, and to lead the regional community in thoughtful, engaging dialogue.

“Since its founding in 1928 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield, Elms College has served as a scholastic clearinghouse that unites individuals together in the common pursuit of addressing fundamental ethical, religious, and cultural issues related to identity, responsibility, and meaning,” DePergola said.

A Jesuit priest since 1982, Keenan received a licentiate and a doctorate from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He has edited or written 25 books and published more than 400 essays, articles, and reviews. Currently, he is writing another book, A Brief History of Catholic Ethics.

This free event is open to the public. Visit www.elms.edu/events/cerc-lecture to register. A Zoom link will be sent to all participants prior to the lecture.

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