2013 marks a watershed year for renewed efforts toward enacting immigration reform in the United States. In this summer's lecture series Kristin Heyer will draw upon her scholarly research on immigration and Catholic social ethics together with her recent experiences with migrants and legislative advocates. She will analyze prevailing immigration frameworks in light of Catholic social thought, suggesting ways in which fundamental Christian commitments challenge dominant instrumentalist approaches. Whereas immigration is often framed as an economic or criminal justice issue alone, families confront and channel the impact of immigration. Threats immigrant families face are sharply contested by Catholic values, but such experiences also pose challenges to dominant forms of Christian family ethics. Finally, a Christian ethic of immigration calls for not only outreach or hospitality to immigrants but for a kinship that crosses borders. The treatment of migrants raises new questions surrounding what it means to be church in an age of migration.
Kristin Heyer holds the Bernard J. Hanley Chair in Religious Studies at Santa Clara University. She holds a BA in history from Brown University and a PhD in theological ethics from Boston College. Her books include Kinship across Borders: A Christian Ethic of Immigration (Georgetown University Press, 2012), Prophetic and Public: the Social Witness of U.S. Catholicism (2006)—winner of the College Theology Society’s Annual Best Book Award—and the edited volume Catholics and Politics: Dynamic Tensions between Faith and Power (2008). Her current research focuses on migration ethics, moral agency, and Catholic political engagement, and her courses cover areas such as Catholic social thought, Christian ethics and HIV/AIDS, and immigration. She has published articles in Theological Studies, The Journal of Catholic Social Thought, Political Theology, the Journal of Peace and Justice Studies, and America. She has recently served on the boards of Catholic Theological Society of America and Theological Studies. She presently serves as a member of the committee for the future of Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church. She lives in San Jose, CA with her husband Mark Potter (Provincial Assistant for Social Ministries for the Jesuits) and their sons Owen (7) and Luke (4).
Sponsored by the Joan and Ralph Lane Center for Catholic Studies and Social Thought.
Free and open to the public. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org/415-422-5200.