Center on Religion and Culture Events

Upcoming Events and Programs

Stay tuned for next season's calendar!

In the meantime, check out a selection of our past events on our YouTube channel

Select Past Events

  • Sacred Landscapes:

    Memorialization in New York City Public Parks

    Thursday, May 23, 2024 | 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
    South Lounge | Lowenstein Building
    Fordham University at Lincoln Center
    113 West 60th Street | New York, NY 10023

    A Duffy Fellows Program Event

    People resting at Prison Ship Martyrs Monument in Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn

    Public parks are the theater of New York City civic life, serving as spaces of recreation, rest, learning, and protest. They host the diverse, occasionally conflicting desires of the living, while simultaneously exhibiting a record of our shared public history. 2023-2024 Duffy Fellow Amelia Medved’s research concerns the contemporary use of park memorial spaces in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Manhattan, specifically those which are consecrated burial sites.

    In her original print publication, A Breathing Place: Consecrated Memorial Sites in New York City Public Parks, Medved explores what it means to designate public space as sacred at four case study sites: the Prison Ship Martyrs Memorial in Fort Greene Park; the Enslaved African burial ground in Van Cortlandt Park; the public cemetery on Hart Island; and the National September 11 Memorial at the World Trade Center.

    The Fordham Center on Religion and Culture invites you to attend the launch event for A Breathing Place, which will be accompanied by a presentation of Medved’s research and a light reception.

    Amelia Medved (FCRH ‘23) majored in Environmental Studies and Visual Arts. She currently works as a Studio Assistant at SCAPE, a New York City-based landscape architecture firm. Medved is passionate about environmental justice, specifically with a focus on parks equity and community-based ecological stewardship.

  • Ethan Hawke on Wildcat:

    Screening and Conversation

    Friday, May 3, 2024 | 5:00 p.m. 
    1998 Broadway at West 68th Street
    New York, NY 10023

    Poster of the new film Wildcat alongside a photo of its director, Ethan Hawke

    Ethan Hawke directs his daughter, the actress Maya Hawke, in Wildcat, a biographical drama that he co-wrote about the Catholic author Flannery O’Connor. Hawke joins us after the screening for a conversation on O’Connor, the Catholic imagination, and making great movies about life’s big questions. 

    Fordham’s resident Flannery O’Connor expert, Angela Alaimo O’Donnell, associate director of the Curran Center for American Catholic Studies, joins Fordham CRC director David Gibson in a conversation that will include questions from the audience.

  • Every Creeping Thing

    A Conversation with Graphic Novelist Madison Morris

    Wednesday, May 1, 2024 | 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
    South Lounge | Lowenstein Building
    Fordham University at Lincoln Center
    113 West 60th Street | New York, NY 10023


    A Duffy Fellows Program Event

    Insects and characters from the graphic novel,

    Join us for a conversation around the new graphic novel Every Creeping Thing. Author Madison Morris (FCRH ‘24) will give a brief presentation on the spiritual inspiration and ideas behind the story as well as the process of working on a long-form creative work as a Duffy Fellow. The talk will be followed by a Q&A and a light reception hosted by Fordham’s Center on Religion and Culture.

    Every Creeping Thing is the story of a petulant girl and the transformations she and her family undergo in the wake of the 1950 polio epidemic. On the highway between suburbia and the state hospital, the family’s car gets a flat and they find themselves stranded. Carole and her brother wander into the timberlands alongside the highway where they encounter the uncanny: a world run by human-natured insects. Every Creeping Thing plays in the space between death and heaven, fusing the natural with the unnatural to explore the experience of being a finite piece of an infinite creation. 

    Madison Morris (FCRH ‘24) is majoring in Theology and English with a concentration in Creative Writing. In her creative work, she strives to create stories and images that allow readers to stay in a question instead of rushing toward an answer.

  • Discerning the Call:

    Change in the American Priesthood

    Thursday, April 25, 2024 | 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
    144 West 65th Street | Between Broadway and Amsterdam  
    New York, NY 10023

    A Duffy Fellows Program Event

    Catholic priest at the altar

    When a man discovers a call to the priesthood today, his process of discernment looks much different than it would have decades ago. In the past, men entered seminary younger, the application process was quicker, and their friends and family usually celebrated the decision. Today, the norm is much different. But why?

    In this original documentary, 2023-2024 Duffy Fellows Jay Doherty and Patrick Cullinan examine the cultural changes that have affected the American Catholic priesthood in the last seventy-five years. From the social and political upheaval of the 1960s, to the clerical sex abuse crisis of the early 2000s, to the modern embrace of secularism, Discerning the Call: Change in the American Priesthood explores the many elements which have changed priestly discernment in the United States. 

    Featuring interviews with Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, and Jesuit author Fr. James Martin, SJ, plus men ordained from the 1950s to the present day. 

    Patrick Cullinan (FCRH ‘24) is in the Honors Program, majoring in Latin and minoring in Economics. He is deeply interested in Catholicism and its interaction with American culture, having rediscovered the faith during his time at Fordham.

    Jay Doherty (FCRH ‘26) is a sophomore studying Digital Technologies & Emerging Media and Philosophy. He is a reporter for WFUV, the university's NPR radio station, and he serves as a University Ambassador in the Rose Hill Society. Doherty is also the treasurer of Fordham's Jesuit Network and the student representative of the University’s Alumni Association.

  • El Niño at the Met:

    Opera, Baby Jesus, and Today’s Refugees

    The critically-acclaimed opera premiers at the Met, and director Lileana Blain-Cruz joins us for an evening of conversation on art, faith, and justice
    Friday, April 19, 2024 | 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
    Church of St. Paul the Apostle | Columbus Avenue & West 60th Street
    New York, NY 10023

    Poster of the Metropolitan Opera's new production El Nino

    Special appearance by Daniela Mackthe mezzo-soprano who will perform a selection from El Niño

    A Christmas story at Easter time? That’s essentially what the Metropolitan Opera is doing in presenting the company premier of John Adams’s El Niño. But the opera-oratorio’s focus on the experience of the refugee and the migrant—how they struggled to find acceptance in Biblical times—could not be more contemporary, and urgent. 

    The composition incorporates sacred and secular texts in English, Spanish, and Latin, from biblical times to the present day, in an extraordinarily dramatic retelling of the Nativity. 

    The vivid new production also marks the Met debut of celebrated theater maker Lileana Blain-Cruz, resident director at Lincoln Center Theater, who joins us to talk about the opera and the importance of staging art that matters for our world today. She will be joined by Fadi Skeiker of Fordham’s theater department and Fordham theology professor Leo Guardado

    David Gibson, director of the Center on Religion and Culture, will moderate the discussion with the panelists and the audience. 

    This event was a partnership between Fordham University, the Metropolitan Opera, and Church of St. Paul the Apostle

  • Yield Not: Hope and Communion in the Bronx’s Toughest Years

    A talk by journalist Eileen Markey

    Tuesday, April 16, 2024 | 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
    Butler Commons | Duane Library
    Fordham University at Rose Hill
    441 East Fordham Road | Bronx, NY 10458

    Protest in Bronx, NY, in the 1970s

    In the darkest days of the New York City fiscal crisis and its aftermath in the 1970s, as faith in cities faltered, Bronx activists argued for the worth of urban neighborhoods and the value of people living in them. In a time of disinvestment, arson, and abandonment, it was community organizing—often marshaled through Catholic parishes and drawing on religious narratives—that demonstrated an alternate vision for the future of the city: rebuilding neighborhoods that had been written off as beyond redemption.

    In this lecture and discussion, Eileen Markey, Writer in Residence at the Center on Religion and Culture, will draw on research for her forthcoming book about the Bronx people’s movement of the 1970s and 1980s.

    Eileen Markey is an assistant professor of Journalism at Lehman College of the City University of New York and a Visiting Scholar at the Bronx County Historical Society.  She has reported on urban policy and social movements for more than two decades. 

    This event was co-sponsored by the Bronx County Historical Society as part of its Annual Spring Lecture Series in Bronx History.


    Image credit: Mel Rosenthal

  • A Conversation with John Patrick Shanley

    Friday, April 5, 2024 | 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.
    McMahon 109 |  Fordham University at Lincoln Center
    155 West 60th Street | Entrance between Columbus and Amsterdam
    New York, NY 10023

    Photos from staging of the play,

    The Tony-winning playwright and renowned screenwriter John Patrick Shanley visits Fordham to talk about the hit Broadway revival of his play Doubt and a career that runs from an Oscar for Moonstruck to his newest play, Brooklyn Laundry. Plus much more. The Center on Religion and Culture’s director, David Gibson, will moderate a conversation with the audience.

  • Shelter in Solitude

    Screening and Talkback with Actor-Screenwriter Siobhan Fallon Hogan

    Wednesday, April 3, 2024 | 6:00 p.m.
    Howard Gilman Theater
    144 West 65th Street | Between Broadway and Amsterdam
    New York, NY 10023

    Siobhan Fallon Hogan (Saturday Night Live, Seinfeld, Men in Black) is a longtime comedian, actor, and writer for film and stage—and a Catholic mom. She draws on all those vocations for her latest feature film, Shelter in Solitude. It’s a heartfelt and heart-breaking story of a down-on-her-luck bar owner in upstate New York who finds work as a guard on death row—and her unlikely friendship with a prisoner scheduled to be executed.

    “Fallon is known for her witty sarcasm and humor but has taken on a more serious role in this film.” – People magazine 

    “These are the kind of movies we need to go see.” – Seth Myers, “The Seth Myers Show” 

    “She has terrific comedic timing and also excels during the film's poignant scenes.” – NYC Movie Guru

    Siobhan Fallon Hogan joins us after the screening for a conversation on making movies, making people laugh, and making it in Hollywood as a woman—and a person of faith.

  • A Catholic Reckoning on Slavery

    Rachel Swarns on her book The 272: The Families Who Were Enslaved and Sold to Build the American Catholic Church

    The 2024 Russo Lecture

    Thursday, February 29, 2024 | 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
    McNally Amphitheater | Fordham University at Lincoln Center 
    140 W. 62nd Street | New York, NY 10023

    Rachel Swarns is a journalist, scholar, and Black Catholic from Staten Island whose groundbreaking reporting and research illuminates the harrowing origin story of the Catholic Church in America, which relied on slave labor and slave sales to sustain its operations and to help fuel its expansion.  

    The article she first wrote for The New York Times in 2016—about the prominent Jesuit priests who sold 272 people to save Georgetown University from bankruptcy—would become the seed of her new book, The 272: The Families Who Were Enslaved and Sold to Build the American Catholic Church. Her work has helped spark the movement for reparations and reconciliation in America, and in the Catholic Church. 

    Professor Swarns will talk about her book, about what the Church—and the United States—must do to help heal our racial divides, and about what this project has meant for her own faith. 

    David Gibson, director of Fordham’s Center on Religion and Culture, will moderate a discussion after the talk, including questions from the audience.

    This lecture is made possible by the Russo Family Foundation  in memory of Wanda and Robert Russo, Sr., M.D., FCRH ‘39

  • Catholicism as Cultural History

    The Enduring Legacy of John O’Malley, S.J.

    A Fordham University Symposium 

    Saturday, February 3, 2024 | 2:00 - 6:30 p.m.
    12th Floor Lounge | Lowenstein Building
    Fordham University | 113 West 60th Street | New York, NY 10023

    John O’Malley, SJ (1927-2022) was an extraordinarily talented and devoted scholar, writer, teacher, and Jesuit priest. The research of his early career helped re-cast our understanding of the Catholic response to the Reformation and the development of the Society of Jesus. The writings of the last twenty years of his long and prolific life—books and essays on church councils and Western cultures—brought him new audiences beyond the academy. 

    The golden thread running through all of his work was the centrality of cultural history. This conference will highlight that legacy while expanding on the ways that O’Malley’s style can help us understand a more global and diverse Catholicism of the future. 

    Anchored by a keynote address by Carlos Eire of Yale University, this afternoon conference will feature panels on “Catholicism as Cultural History” and “Languages of Dialogue and Inclusion,” and will include contributions from scholars Pamela JonesMary DunnThomas Worcester, SJMary Ann HinsdaleCatherine Chaput, and James McCartin

    Brenna Moore of Fordham will offer concluding remarks, to be followed by a wine-and-cheese reception. 

    Program Schedule

    2:00 - 2:10 p.m.
    Welcome and Introduction
    David Gibson, Director of Fordham University’s Center on Religion and Culture

    2:10 - 3:00 p.m.
    Keynote: “Catholicism and All That: John O'Malley, Consummate Historian”
    Carlos Eire, Yale University

    3:00 - 3:15 p.m.
    Coffee break

    3:15 - 4:30 p.m.
    Panel One: Catholicism as Cultural History
    Panel chair: James McCartin, Fordham University

    "John O'Malley's Legacy in the Field of Art History"
    Pamela Jones, UMass Boston

    "Somewhere between Sacraments and Sensuality: John O'Malley and the Art of
    Translating the Catholic Past"
    Mary Dunn, St. Louis University

    "Jesuit History as Cultural History"
    Thomas Worcester, S.J., Fordham University

    4:30 - 5:45 p.m.
    Panel Two: Languages of Dialogue and Inclusion
    Panel chair: James McCartin, Fordham University

    "John O'Malley and the Next-Gen"
    Mary Ann Hinsdale, I.H.M., Boston College

    "John O’Malley, the Four Cultures of Rhetoric, and the Contemporary Predicament”
    Catherine Chaput, Fordham University

    5:45 - 6:15 p.m.
    Concluding Reflections
    Brenna Moore, Fordham University

    6:15 - 7:00 p.m.

    This event is organized by the Center on Religion and Culture and is also made possible through the support of the Spellman Jesuit Community of Fordham, the Fordham Division on Mission and Ministry, and the Fordham History Department.

  • Loving Strangers 

    How would such a moral code reshape our lives?

    Notre Dame philosopher Meghan Sullivan on our societal crisis 

    November 7, 2023 | 5:15 p.m. - 6:45 p.m. | Walsh Library, Flom Auditorium | Fordham University at Rose Hill 

    The Daniel J. Sullivan Memorial Lecture in Philosophy

    Social isolation and animosity are arguably the central challenges of our angry age. Can philosophy play a role in overcoming the affective, social, and political alienation that mark our communities today?

    Notre Dame philosopher Meghan Sullivan focuses her work on the ways philosophy contributes to the good life and she is currently writing a book on the role love plays in grounding moral, political, and religious reasoning. It is tentatively titled Samaritanism: Moral Responsibility and Our Inner Lives. In this lecture, she will expound on the central themes of this forthcoming book. 

    Meghan Sullivan is the Wilsey Family College Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. She is a popular writer and speaker and founded Notre Dame’s God and the Good Life Program, which introduces undergraduates to essential philosophical questions concerning happiness, morality and meaning, and key methods for wrestling with them.  

    David Gibson, director of Fordham’s Center on Religion and Culture, will moderate a discussion after the talk, including questions from the audience.

    The Daniel J. Sullivan Memorial Lecture is co-sponsored by Fordham’s Department of Philosophy and the Center on Religion and Culture.

  • Dracula: Medieval Hero and Modern Vampire

    October 26, 2023 | 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

    McNally Amphitheater | Fordham University at Lincoln Center 140 W. 62nd Street | New York, NY 10023

    Dracula—the vampire count—has been a popular cultural mainstay portrayed in films, television shows, novels, and comic books for over a century. The modern fascination with Dracula began in the 1920s and 1930s with the success of plays and movies based on Bram Stoker’s eponymous novel, first published in 1897.

    The events described in Stoker’s Dracula take place in fin-de-siècle London and Transylvania, and the novel makes only loose historical references to its fifteenth-century namesake: Vlad III "the Impaler" (1431–c. 1476), prince of Wallachia, now a region of Romania. The massive popularity of the fictional Dracula has generated considerable curiosity about the real-life prince himself, his brutal reign, and his times.

    In this lecture, Dr. Alice Isabella Sullivan will examine the transformations of the historical figure into a modern vampire and the tireless allure of Dracula for creators and audiences.


    Alice Isabella Sullivan, is an Assistant Professor of Medieval Art and Architecture and the Director of Graduate Studies at Tufts University, specializing in Eastern European and Byzantine-Slavic art history. She is the author of the recently published book, The Eclectic Visual Culture of Medieval Moldavia.

    David J. Goodwin, is the Assistant Director of Fordham’s Center on Religion and Culture and the author of the forthcoming Midnight Rambles: H. P. Lovecraft in Gotham, will moderate a conversation with the audience.

  • An Integral Ethic of Solidarity: Cardinal Cupich on the Enduring Legacy of Cardinal Joseph Bernardin

    September 26, 2023 | 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
    McNally Amphitheater | Fordham University at Lincoln Center 140 W. 62nd Street | New York, NY 10023

    Forty years after Cardinal Bernardin's landmark speech at Fordham University in which he set out a “consistent ethic of life,” his successor as Archbishop of Chicago continues and broadens the conversation first begun in 1983.

    The timing of this talk could not be more propitious: Pope Francis has been promoting a “seamless garment” view of Catholic teaching throughout his decade-long pontificate, arguing that all life is sacred and that Catholics cannot prioritize one issue at the expense of others. Moreover, the Dobbs decision created a new landscape for the abortion issue, and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is set to debate an updated version of its guide for Catholic voters ahead of next year’s elections.

    In this talk, Cardinal Cupich will amplify the vision of both Francis and Bernardin, setting it in the contemporary American context and pointing toward a path beyond the culture wars.

    Cardinal Blase Cupich was appointed the ninth Archbishop of Chicago by Pope Francis in 2014, and the pope elevated him to the College of Cardinals in November 2016.

    David Gibson, director of Fordham’s Center on Religion and Culture, will moderate a discussion after the talk, including questions from the audience.

    This event is organized by the Francis and Ann Curran Center for American Catholic Studies and the Center on Religion and Culture.

  • Sister Helen Prejean on Dead Man Walking: Opera, Activism, and Faith

    The Catholic nun and death penalty opponent joins both the composer and lead singer of the Metropolitan Opera’s new production for an evening of conversation.

    September 22, 2023 | 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
    Church of St. Paul the Apostle | Columbus Avenue & W. 60th Street | New York, NY 10023

    Dead Man Walking is Sister Helen Prejean's best-selling 1993 memoir chronicling her ministry to death row inmates and the families of their victims. In 1995, her book was adapted for the screen and became an Academy Award-winning film. And in 2000, Dead Man Walking premiered as an opera—the most widely performed new opera of the last twenty years.

    This fall, the opera makes its premiere at the Metropolitan Opera. In anticipation of that opening, Sister Helen will join composer Jake Heggie and mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato—who portrays Sister Helen—at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle for a conversation about the opera and the role art and faith play in galvanizing social action.

    The occasion of this production is especially propitious as Pope Francis has declared the death penalty “inadmissible” under Catholic teaching. At the same time, some states are ramping up efforts to schedule executions even as more death row inmates are exonerated or questions are raised about their convictions. This gives the campaign against capital punishment even greater urgency.

    Fordham University president Tania Tetlow will introduce the evening’s guests, and the Center on Religion and Culture’s director, David Gibson, will moderate the discussion.

    This event is a partnership between Fordham’s Center on Religion and Culture, Church of St. Paul the Apostle, and the Metropolitan Opera.