What do we do when forgiveness needed and desired is not between individuals but races and communities, between black, white, brown, red, and yellow? How do we overcome legacies of suspicion, mistrust, fear, animosity, and even hatred, to reach true reconciliation?
Questions such as these are at the heart of many problems in modern society, as indicated by the death of Trayvon Martin in Florida in 2012. In a special lecture, Fr. Bryan Massingale will explore these issues and more at the 2014 Bishop Gerber Distinguished Lecture, sponsored by the Gerber Institute for Catholic Studies at Newman University. The lecture will take place at 7 p.m. on April 7 in Performance Hall inside the De Mattias Fine Arts Center.
Massingale's lecture is entitled "Race and Reconciliation: The Contribution of and Challenge to Catholic Faith." The event is free and open to the public.
Massingale is a priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. He completed his formal education in Rome at the Pontifical Institute for Moral Theology, earning the degree Doctor of Moral Theology, summa cum laude. He is now Professor of Theology at Marquette University as well as a professor in the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University of Louisiana.
Massingale's research focuses on stigmatized populations and the effects of religious faith as both a cause of social injustice and as a resource for social transformation. In the lecture, Massingale will propose an understanding of racial reconciliation and the dynamics it requires, as well as consider the obstacles that the reconciliation and the role of faith bring.
"This lecture will help the audience reflect on the resources within the Catholic tradition that can help foster racial reconciliation, as well as why those resources have not always been put into practice," said Jamey Findling, Ph.D., director of the Gerber Institute and associate professor of philosophy at Newman. "Fr. Massingale is a compelling speaker with a unique ability to offer a perspective that is at once critical and uplifting."
Massingale has written more than 70 articles, book chapters, and book reviews. His most recent work is a book entitled, Racial Justice and the Catholic Church, published by Orbis Books in March 2010. This work received a First Place Book Award from the Catholic Press Association of the U.S. and Canada.