Spotlight: Engaging Emotion in Pursuit of Justice

I sit, paralyzed, watching the credits roll. Suddenly hyper-aware that I am wearing my bright maroon Boston College hoodie I purchased the day of my dissertation defense, I anxiously stuff my arms into my jacket and wrap myself in the folds. For me, these gold letters are a source of pride and identification…

Disgust and shame have figured prominently in emotional responses to Spotlight. Some will argue that such emotions are at best unproductive and at worst destructive. How might Catholics and people of good will respond to these emotions in constructive ways that help us to (1) truly hear this story, especially as it emerges from victimized persons and (2) seek justice within ecclesial, legal, and educational institutions?

Read More at Catholic Moral Theology.

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The GOP’s Latina/o Strategy: A Mirror for Catholic Social Ethics

Even while the 2016 presidential election is still more than a year away, pundits have begun to predict who will become the 45th President of the United States. In particular, observers are preoccupied with questions pertaining to the role Latina/o voters will play in the race. The GOP’s response to its lagging appeal among Latinas/os reveals a deeper issue pertaining to the party’s relationship with Latina/o communities: while Republicans are willing to talk about Latinoas/os, they fail to cultivate any meaningful relationships withLatinas/os that would help define a platform that responds to their critical concerns in ways that respect and protect human dignity.

Read More at Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church Forum

Prof. Flores Awarded Catherine Mowry LaCugna Award for Best Essay in Academic Theology

Prof. Flores wins Theology AwardProf. Flores was awarded the Catherine Mowry LaCugna Award on June 12, 2015 at the Annual Convention of the Catholic Theological Society of America. The CTSA grants the Catherine Mowry LaCugna Award to new scholars for the best academic essay in the field of theology within the Roman Catholic tradition. Prof. Flores was recognized for her essay, “Beyond Consumptive Solidarity: An Aesthetic Response to Modern Day Slavery.”

Prof. Flores Responds to Bishop Oscar Cantu of San Antonio on Immigration and Suffering

Image of panel on immigration and suffering at meeting of Hispanic theologians

From left to right: Bishop Cantu, Prof. Flores, Fr. Figueroa Deck, and Prof. Carmona

Prof. Flores, along with Prof. Victor Carmona of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, TX, responded to a presentation on Immigration and suffering by Bishop Oscar Cantu on Monday, June 8, 2015. The panel was moderated by Fr. Allan Figueroa Deck, S.J. of Loyola Marymount University. This conversation between theologians and a bishop, which touched on themes of mercy, justice, culture, race, law, and popular religion, was the first of its kind at the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States (ACHTUS) annual colloquia.

Prof. Flores visits Notre Dame for Polarization in the Catholic Church: Naming the Wounds, Beginning to Heal

Prof. Flores participated in Polarization in the Catholic Church: Naming the Wounds, Beginning to Heal at the University of Notre Dame. The conference, organized by Mary Ellen Konieczny of Notre Dame and Charles Camosy of Fordham University, was committed to probing sensitive issues that divide Catholics in the United States. Prof. Flores presented a talk entitled, “When Discourse Breaks Down: Race and Aesthetic Solidarity,” in which she illustrated the polarizing tension created by refusal to engage issues of race and racism in Church and society before offering a theological aesthetics of solidaristic engagement as a potential response to this problem.

Prof. Flores’s talk will be published in Polarization in the Catholic Church: Naming the Wounds, Beginning to Heal, edited by Konieczny, Camosy, and Trisha C. Bruce (Forthcoming, Liturgical Press 2016)

(Prof. Flores speaks on Guadalupe and addressing polarization at 5:00)

Prof. Flores honored with Building Bridges Circle of Change Award

Prof. Flores was honored as the Alumna recipient of the Building Bridges Circle of Change Award on Friday, April 17 at the Seawell Grand Ballroom of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Upon acceptance of the honor, she gave a talk entitled, “Mindfulness and Voice,” in which she celebrated the Building Bridges tradition of silent retreat as a practice in support of social change. Fellow honorees included social justice advocate Harold Fields and performing arts organization Magic Moments.

The annual Circles of Change event honors individuals who make a positive difference in the world. The accomplishments of these individuals aim to inspire transformation of hate, discrimination, and violent conflict. Building Bridges hopes to motivate community members through demonstrating that positive change is possible, that the courageous acts of one expand into circles of change.

When Discourse Breaks Down: Engaging Racial Conflict on Campus

Some argue that this impasse illustrates the futility of racial discourse; talking about race in the wake of conflict simply perpetuates frustration and may exacerbate tension. However, in light of this ongoing conflict that plagues our common life, I think avoiding these conversations or worse, ignoring their importance, is counterproductive to finding a way of understanding and toward racial reconciliation. Instead of asking whether we should talk about race, we must ask how we can do so constructively in a pluralistic public context.

Read More at CTEWC Forum.

Prof. Flores participates in Boisi Center panel: “Race, Religion, and Social Change: A Campus Conversation”

In the wake of national debates on race following last year’s incidents in Ferguson and Staten Island, college and university campuses all across America are struggling to respond appropriately. As part of Boston College’s ongoing efforts to shed light on the role of race in America, Prof. Flores joined Prof. M. Shawn Copeland of Boston College and Prof. Walter Fluker of Boston University to continue the campus conversation. The panelists examined the intersection of race, religion, and movements of social change, from both contemporary and historical perspectives.

Prof. Flores’s contribution focused on the idea of aesthetic solidarity. How can we use arts and performances to foster a solidaristic community, especially when racial discourse comes to an impasse?

Read the Boisi Center Recap.

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Prof. Flores speaks on race, religion and social movements at the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life.

The NFL, Women, and the Idolization of Masculinity

Super Bowl XLIX arrives under a dark cloud for the league’s relationship with women. The league finds itself in hot water on the domestic front after the scandalous mishandling of Ray Rice’s violent attack of partner Janay Palmer that was captured on the video camera of a hotel elevator. Today’s game will only turn up the heat on this issue of the league’s gender shortcomings, casting harsh light on the commercialized objectification of female bodies and the perennial uptick in sex trafficking in the host city.

Read More at Catholic Moral Theology.