John Courtney Murray Today

Reflections in the Fiftieth Anniversary Year of his Death

On August 16, 1967, John Courtney Murray—Jesuit priest, theologian, and public intellectual—passed away less than a month before he would have turned 63. For the final three decades of his life, he taught at Woodstock College and edited the Jesuit journal Theological Studies. Celebrated on Time magazine’s cover (December 12, 1960) for contributions to American domestic and foreign policy debates and for sympathetic, if critical, understanding of religion in American public life, he later helped compose Vatican II’s “Declaration on Religious Liberty” (Dignitatis Humanae).

From Georgetown’s introductory theology course, The Problem of God—named after Murray’s 1962 Yale Lectures—to the mission of the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, Murray’s influence can be seen throughout the university’s programming. This year, Georgetown celebrated John Courtney Murray’s legacy in the fiftieth anniversary year of his passing with a day-long event examining Ignatian practice and Catholic and Jesuit identity.

This event was co-sponsored by the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and the Office of the President. The conference was followed by "Faith, Common Good, and Democracy in a Time of Pope Francis and President Trump," hosted by the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life.


Thursday, November 16

9:00 a.m. | Welcome Address

9:15 a.m. | John Courtney Murray: Jesuit, Churchman, and Public Theologian
Gerry Fogarty, S.J., University of Virginia
Francesca Cadeddu, University of Bologna
Leon Hooper, S.J., Georgetown University (moderator)

10:30 a.m. | Break

10:45 a.m. | John Courtney Murray and the Role of Public Theology Today
Bryan Hehir, Harvard Divinity School
Robin Lovin, Southern Methodist University
Shaun Casey, Georgetown University (moderator)

12:00 p.m. | Lunch

12:30 p.m. | Lunch Keynote: Murray's Fundamental Insights as Framing Principles for the Current Moment
Bishop Robert W. McElroy, Diocese of San Diego

1:30 p.m. | Global Dimensions of Religious Liberty and the Common Good
David Hollenbach, S.J., Georgetown University 
Paul Heck, Georgetown University
Terrence Johnson, Georgetown University
Anne Koester, Georgetown University (moderator)

3:15 p.m. | Break

3:45 p.m. | John Courtney Murray—Resource for Just War and Just Peace in the Nuclear Age?
Drew Christiansen, S.J., Georgetown University
Laurie Johnston, Emmanuel College
Maryann Cusimano Love, Catholic University of America
Anthony Arend, Georgetown University (moderator)

5:30 p.m. | Reception (Riggs Library, Healy Hall)

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