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Department of Religious Studies

  • Joseph Cardinal Bernardin and his legacy

Bernardin Annual Lecture


Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Lectures: in Moral Ethical & Religious Studies

Cardinal Bernardin left a profound legacy of service, social concern, and education. In his work as priest, archbishop of Chicago, author and public servant, he addressed the most profound social and ethical issues of our times.

In honor of this Columbia, South Carolina native, former student of the University and distinguished leader in the Roman Catholic Church, the Department of Religious Studies at USC is working toward establishing the Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Chair in Ethical, Moral and Religious Studies.

The Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Lectures were inaugurated in 1999 and are offered annually by the USC department of Religious Studies.

Past lectures include:

  • 2019: Jean Hoefer Toal, J.D., Chief Justice, retired, South Carolina Supreme Court. "The Social Ministry of Joseph Cardinal Bernardin" event summary [pdf]
  • 2018: Robert J. Schreiter, CPPS, Chicago Professor of Systematic Theology, Vatican Council II Professor of Theology. "The Ministry of Reconciliation and Polarization in the United States Today"  event summary [pdf]
  • 2017: Dr. Kristin Heyer,Professor of Theological Ethics, Boston College, "Immigration Ethics in a New Era: Embracing Cardinal Bernardin's challenge to be both 'prophetic and public' amid the contemporary political climate with respect to migration"   event summary [pdf]

  • 2016: Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, CM, EdD, President of DePaul University, "The Challenge of a ‘Consistent Ethic’ in the 2016 Election Cycle"  event summary [pdf]

  • 2015: Sr. Simmone Campbell, SSS, Executive Director of NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, “Bridge the Divides, Transform Politics:  A View From the Bus”   event summary [pdf]

  • 2014: Sr. Joan Chittister, OSB Executive Director of Benetvision, "The Common Good: An Uncommon Search For Common Ground"  event summary [pdf]

  • 2013: Dr. Massimo Faggioli Assistant Professor of History of Modern Christianity University of St. Thomas Department of Theology, "Bernardin's Common Ground Initiative: Can it Survive Current Political Cultures?"   event summary [pdf]

  • 2012: The Most Reverend Wilton D. Gregory, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, "Joseph Louis Bernardin: A Model for Civility in Public Discourse"  event summary [pdf]

  • 2011: E. J. Dionne, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, a syndicated columnist for the Washington Post, and University Professor in the Foundations of Democracy and Culture at Georgetown University, "Reweaving the Seamless Garment: Cardinal Bernardin's Living Legacy to American Public Life."   event summary [pdf]

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