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Lectures

Upcoming Lectures

The nature of woman and her place in the scheme of things is an ancient question, one that has been under dispute since the pre-Socratic period. Somewhere in this long history, the sacred meaning of the feminine was lost – subsumed into political squabbles and the quest for power. This presentation will explore the nature of the feminine principle and consider anew the significance of its defining characteristic, that of receptivity, and its implications for the salvation of the world.


Free and open to the public. Click here for event details. 


The Ireland Library lecture series showcases the scholarship of the faculty and invited guests of The Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity. Transcripts and recordings of these presentations are available through the Institute for Catholic Theological Formation.

The lecture will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Oct. 11, 2021, at a location to be determined. Check back later for details.


The Ireland Library lecture series showcases the scholarship of the faculty and invited guests of The Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity. Transcripts and recordings of these presentations are available through the Institute for Catholic Theological Formation.

Past Lectures

On October 12, 2020, Mr. Jason Adkins, Executive Director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference and Visiting Scholar, presented “Progressivism, Patriotism, and Patriarchy: Competing Identities in Post-Liberal America.” Adkins noted that identity politics is increasingly dominant in our fractured republic, and that the competing identities are often irreconcilable and have sometimes led to violent conflict. How has respect for genuine pluralism and the common good continued to wane? On what basis can we establish social peace and potentially re-invigorate the American experiment in ordered liberty? Adkins argued that the answer to these questions is at the heart of the Catholic faith and its social doctrine: rediscovering our common identity as children of our heavenly Father.

This presentation is part of the Archbishop Ireland Memorial Library Lecture series.

Recorded lecture available here. (YouTube) 

On October 14, 2019, Dr. David G. Hunter, Margaret O’Brien Flatley Chair of Catholic Theology at Boston College, presented "Between Discipline and Doctrine: Augustine's Response to the Problem of Clerical Misconduct," which addressed how, as an active bishop, St. Augustine of Hippo often had to deal with cases of clergy misconduct, sometimes sexual in nature, sometimes financial in character. Dr. Hunter addressed both Augustine’s practice in dealing with specific cases of clergy abuse of power and position, as well as his doctrinal convictions on the question of the holiness of the Church and its clergy.

This presentation is part of the Archbishop Ireland Memorial Library Lecture series.
Lecture video on YouTube. 

Dr. William Stevenson, Associate Professor of Dogmatic Theology, presented the spring Archbishop Ireland Memorial Library Lecture on April 8, 2019. His talk, entitled, Listening Up: Music and Cosmos in Plato’s Timaeus, examined how Plato’s dialogue, the Timaeus, teaches us about the relationship between cosmology and the way we think about our souls, and he especially addressed how one might contemplate the dialogue’s claim that music is the source of both the world and the soul. 

This presentation is part of the Archbishop Ireland Memorial Library Lecture series.
Lecture video on Panopto.

On November 8, 2018, Dr. Russell Hittinger presented the intersection of education, church and state, and how Archbishop John Ireland, the first archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, conceived of this relationship. To mark the 100th anniversary of Archbishop Ireland’s death, Dr. Hittinger addressed the current situation of the three “necessary societies.” Francis Russell Hittinger is the Warren Chair of Catholic Studies and Research Professor of Law at the University of Tulsa. The fall Archbishop Ireland Memorial Library Lecture was co-sponsored by The Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity, The University of St. Thomas’ Center for Catholic Studies and Office for Mission, and the Office for the Mission of Catholic Education at the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.

This presentation is part of the Archbishop Ireland Memorial Library Lecture series.
Lecture video on YouTube.

Dr. Christopher Thompson presented his book entitled The Joyful Mystery: Field Notes Toward a Green Thomism (October 2017) on Monday, April 9, 2018. The Joyful Mystery seeks to revive the Church's practice of integral ecology and encourages a deeper awareness of the presence of God, the Creator and Lord of the universe. Dr. Thompson, associate professor of moral theology and director of the Center for Theological Formation at The Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity, draws from the wisdom of St. Thomas Aquinas and the "Green Thomism" he inspires in contemporary life.

This presentation is part of the Archbishop Ireland Memorial Library Lecture series.
Listen to streaming audio of the lecture

Sr. Katarina Schuth, O.S.F., Ph.D., Professor Emerita/Endowed Chair for the Social Scientific Study of Religion, presented the fall Archbishop Ireland Memorial Library Lecture on October 16, 2017. She shared insights from her most recent book, Seminary Formation: Recent History-Current Circumstances-New Directions (Liturgical Press 2016). She explored the evolution and development of seminaries and anticipated challenges and principles to guide the future.

This presentation is part of the Archbishop Ireland Memorial Library Lecture series.

Instead of holding a fall Ireland Lecture, The Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity collaborated with the University of St. Thomas Institute for Catholicism and Citizenship, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Office for Mission, the Theology Department,  the Center for Catholic Studies, the History Department, the Sociology Department, the Justice and Peace Studies Department, and the GALE Office of Community Engagement to sponsor a presentation by Archbishop Joseph Tobin, C.Ss.R., who had been recently named a Cardinal of the Church by Pope Francis.  Topic:  "Welcoming the Stranger While Challenging the Fear: The Response of the Catholic Church to the Polemic Around Refugee Resettlement in the United States."

This presentation is part of the Archbishop Ireland Memorial Library Lecture series.

2010
“The Child in the Family of God”
Dr. John Martens, UST Theology Professor and Program Director for the School of Divinity's Master of Arts program, presented “The Child in the Family of God.”

“From Reformation to Counter-Reformation and Reconciliation: Approaching the Ninety-Five Theses with an Ecumenical Perspective”
Msgr. John Radano, Scholar in Residence, the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity. “From Reformation to Counter-Reformation and Reconciliation: Approaching the Ninety-Five Theses with an Ecumenical Perspective.” 

"Dead Sea Scrolls"
Rev. Juan Miguel Betancourt, S.E.M.V., from the seminary’s department of sacred Scripture, lectured on Sept. 22, 2010. The Quinn Endowment sponsored this lecture on the Dead Sea Scrolls for the seminary community, in preparation for a visit to the Science Museum of Minnesota’s exhibit.


2011
"A Red Hat for Newman"
Rev. Marvin O’Connell, a 1956 graduate of the St. Paul Seminary, Professor Emeritus of History (University of Notre Dame) and a former member of UST's History Department, presented “A Red Hat for Newman.” 

"Sin: A History"
Dr. Gary A. Anderson, an Old Testament scholar of the University of Notre Dame, lectured on the topic of his book, Sin: A History (Yale University Press, 2010), on Sept. 26, 2011. The Quinn Endowment cosponsored this lecture with the Center for Catholic Studies.

"‘Hierarchy’ as a Pervasive Feature of the World"
Dr. Stephen Hipp, Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity, presented “‘Hierarchy’ as a Pervasive Feature of the World.”


2012
"In Defense of Natural Philosophy"
Rev. Brian Mullady, O.P., presented “In Defense of Natural Philosophy.” Mullady is a nationally-known Dominican priest, retreat master and spiritual director, is the theological consultant to the Institute on Religious Life.

"From Crisis to Holiness: Vatican II, Blessed John Paul II and the Renewal of the Ministerial Priesthood"
Rev. Andrew Cozzens, Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology and Director of Liturgy at The St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity, presented “From Crisis to Holiness: Vatican II, Blessed John Paul II and the Renewal of the Ministerial Priesthood.”

2013
"The New Evangelization: Emergence and Conversion in the Lord"
Bishop Arthur Kennedy, Auxiliary Bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, presented “The New Evangelization: Emergence and Conversion in the Lord.”

"Honey in the Comb: Towards a Spiritual Reading of Sacred Scripture in the 21st Century"
Rev. Scott M. Carl. Assistant Professor of Sacred Scripture at The Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity, presented “Honey in the Comb: Towards a Spiritual Reading of Sacred Scripture  in the 21st Century.”

2014
"Priestly Celibacy and its Significance for Evangelization"
Rev. Peter F. Ryan, S.J., Executive Director of the Secretariat of Doctrine and Canonical Affairs of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), presented “Priestly Celibacy and its Significance for Evangelization.”

"William Busch and the Pre-Conciliar Liturgical Movement"
Dr. Thomas Fisch, Associate Professor of Sacramental Theology and Liturgy at The Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity, presented “William Busch and the Pre-Conciliar Liturgical Movement.”

"Conscience and the Common Good"
Robert Vischer, Dean and Mengler Chair in Law, University of St. Thomas Law School, presented “Conscience and the Common Good.”

"Holy and Venerable Hands: Sign Language and the Eucharistic Prayer"
Rev. Dr. Thomas Margevicius, Instructor of Liturgical Theology and Homiletics at The Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity, presented “Holy and Venerable Hands: Sign Language and the Eucharistic Prayer.”

All presentations were part of the Archbishop Ireland Memorial Library Lecture series unless other sponsorship is indicated.

2000-2001
Fall: Dr. Tom Fisch, "Theological Significance of the Unvarying and Canonical Aspects of Christian Liturgy"

Spring: Sr. M. Christine Athans, "The Americanism Crisis in the Catholic Church"

2001-2002
Fall: Rev. J. Michael Byron, "A Church for Others: Why Non-Christians Have a Claim Upon Roman Catholic Theology."

Spring: Sr. M. Christine Athans, on her book, To Work for the Whole People: John Ireland's Seminary in St. Paul

2002-2003
Fall: Jan Viktora, "Exploring the Nature of Effective Pastoral Leadership in Roman Catholic Parishes: Portraits, Insights and Recommendations for Ministry Formation."

Spring: Dr. Deborah Organ, "And So What? Preaching Connection between Professed Faith and Community Living."

2003-2004
Fall: Rev. Jerome Dittberner, "Seminary Theology 2003: Still Getting God Right."

Spring: Rev. Patrick Quinn, TOR, "Emerging Ministries in the Church: Theological Context and Problems"

2004-2005
"Great Theologians of the Twentieth Century: A Celebration of Their Legacy"

Fall: Rev. Patrick Quinn, TOR, on Yves M. J. Congar, O.P., "Tradition and Traditions: Challenging the Church to a New Future."

Spring: Rev. J. Michael Byron, on Karl Rahner, S.J., "The Freedom to Soar: Rahner's Cosmic Vision" Sister Mary Christine Athans, B.V.M., on John Courtney Murray, S.J., "Religious Liberty--A Gift and a Challenge: The Contribution of John Courtney Murray" Rev. Jerome Dittberner, on Bernard Lonergan, "Lonergan for Non-Lonerganians"

2005-2006
Fall: Dr. Seung A. Yang, "International Priests and American Catholics: History, Context, and Hope"

Spring: Rev. Peter Laird, "Autonomy and Morality: Ethics, Aesthetics, and Religion"

2006-2007
Fall: Panel: Sr. Paul Therese Saiko, SNND; Rev. Christopher Beaudet, and Rev. Andrew Cozzens from the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity. "Reflections on Deus Caritas Est; The first encyclical by Pope Benedict XVI"

Spring: Sr. Katarina Schuth, OSF, "Priestly Ministry in Multiple Parishes: An Emerging Phenomenon"

2007-2008
Fall: Dr. Christopher J. Thompson, "Preliminary Reflections on the Church and the Environment"

Spring: speaker Fr. Michael Sherwin, O.P. spoke on "Rejoice in the Lord: Paul VI's Gaudete in Domino and the Quest for Happiness." [ This kicked off a week-long SPSSOD Pope Paul VI Symposium sponsored by the SPSSOD.]

2008-2009
Fall: Dr. Janet Smith, "Stop! In the Name of Love: John Paul II on Transforming Sexual Desire." [Dr. Smith was Scholar in Residence this semester at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity]

Spring: Monsignor Christopher Schreck from the Josephinum speaking on St. Paul.

2009
Dr. Christian Washburn of the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity. "Condign Merit, the Council of Trent, and Ecumenism"

1999
Sr. Katarina Schuth, "Church Ministry in a New Millennium: Making the Most of These Times"

1998-1999
Fall: Rev. Patrick Quinn, "The Church: Communion of Persons and Hierarchically Ordered Society"

Spring: Rev. Peter Feldmeier, "The Contemplative Life: East and West"

1997-1998
Fall: Rev. Dominic Serra, "In Persona Christi: A Meaning Suggested by the Rubrics and Grammar of the Eucharistic Prayer"

Spring: Dr. David Hunter, "The Origins, History and End of Marriage in the Theology of St. Augustine"

1996-1997
Fall: Rev. Bill McDonough "The Redemptorists and the Second Vatican Council – 'New terrain' and a 'stumbling stone' in Bernhard Haring's methodological contributions to Gaudium et spes"

Spring: Dr. Gene Scapanski, "Origins of a New Identity for the Laity: The 1950s as Prelude to Vatican II"

1995-1996
Fall: Rev. John Echert, "Interpretation of the Bible in the Church"

1994-1995
Spring: Dr. Michael Patrick O'Connor, "The Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Life of Faith"

Note: The library's "Gift for Many Minds" open house was held on May 1 in conjunction with a Centennial lecture given by Sr. Karen Kennelly.

1993-1994
Fall: Sr. Valerie Lesniak, "Wisdom's Alchemy: Raissa Maritain's Contemplative Journey"

Spring: Dr. Victor Klimoski, "Speaking Their Minds: Priests Reflect on Ministry and Formation"

1992-1993
Fall: Rev. James Motl, "Community to Community: Preaching as Social Activity"

Spring: Rev. Ron Bowers, "Religion and Law: How Theologies of Law Affect Belief and Practice in Judaism"

1991-1992
Fall: Sr. Katarina Schuth, "Catholics in America: Membership, Ministry and Future Trends"

Spring: Sr. M. Christine Athans, "Theological Roots of Anti-Semitism of Fr. Charles E. Coughlin—Famous Radio Priest of the 1930s & 1940s"

1990-1991
Fall: Dr. Tom Fisch, "Current Thought in Liturgical Theology"

Spring: Rev. Phil Rask, "List of Tribes in the Book of Revelation: Anti-Semitism in Traditional Interpretation?"

These presentations are part of the Archbishop Ireland Memorial Library Lecture series.

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