‘Cultured Indifference: The Culture of
Racism and Catholic Ethical Reflection
SPOKANE, Wash. – Rev. Bryan N. Massingale, associate professor of theological ethics at Marquette University, will deliver Gonzaga University’s 36th annual Flannery Lecture at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, March 29 in the Cataldo Hall Globe Room. Titled “Cultured Indifference: The Culture of Racism and Catholic Ethical Reflection,” the lecture is free and open to the public.
Massingale notes Catholic ethics has developed an understanding for how human wrongdoing is committed and facilitated through the workings of social institutions and structures. However, he asserts it has not attended well to the influence of culture upon moral reflection and action. Using U.S. racism as a case study, his lecture will explore the implications of culture and cultural formation for ethical responsibility and analysis.
At Marquette, Massingale teaches courses on African American religious ethics, Catholic social thought, and racial justice. His research focuses on stigmatized populations and the impact of religious faith as both a cause of social injustice and a resource for social transformation. Ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, he is currently the Bernard J. Hanley Visiting Professor of Theology at Santa Clara University.
He is a former president of the Catholic Theological Society of America and is the immediate past convener of the Black Catholic Theological Symposium. He has authored more than 60 articles, book reviews, and books including, “Racial Justice and the Catholic Church,” which received a First Place book award from the Catholic Press Association. His articles exploring Catholic social ethics and the challenges of racism and poverty have appeared in scholarly and pastoral journals.
Rev. Massingale’s current projects explore the contribution of Black religious radicalism to Catholic theology, and the notion of “cultural sin” and its challenge to Catholic theological ethics. He is also at work on the contribution of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s social ethics to Catholic social thought, examining the question: “Why Catholic Social Teaching Needs Martin Luther King, Jr.”
Rev. Massingale’s most recent work examines issues of affirmative action, racial reconciliation, environmental justice, HIV/AIDS stigma, racism post-Katrina (and now, post-Obama), and the challenge of peacemaking in an age of terrorism from the perspective of Catholic social thought.
Gonzaga’s Flannery Lecture, which aims to further excellence in theological study and teaching at Gonzaga, is made possible through a gift of the late Maud and Milo Flannery of Spokane. The Flannery Lecture is delivered each year by an outstanding Catholic theologian and presented to benefit as wide an audience as possible.
For more information, contact Jackie Fulton in the Gonzaga religious studies department at (509) 313-6782 or via e-mail.