Niagara University intended to host the Rev. James L. Heft, S.M., for an address on "Catholicism and Interreligious Dialogue" in March, but a blizzard blew those plans away.
The university will give it another try on April 25, with Heft, founder of the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies at the University of Southern California, slated to deliver remarks at 5:15 p.m. in the Castellani Art Museum.
The free, public event is part of the Henry and Grace McNulty Lecture Series on Religion in the Modern World.
Heft is a priest in the Society of Mary and a leader in Catholic higher education. Much of his career has been spent at the University of Dayton, where he served as chair of the theology department for six years, provost for eight years, and chancellor for 10 years. He left UD in 2006 to found the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies at USC, where he now serves as the Alton Brooks Professor of Religion and president of the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies.
Heft has written and edited 12 books and published more than 175 articles and book chapters. Most recently, he edited "Catholicism and Interreligious Dialogue" (Oxford 2011) and "Catholic High Schools: Facing the New Realities" (Oxford, 2011).
In 2011, the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities awarded Heft the Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for his long and distinguished service to Catholic higher education. Within the past year, he has spoken at six Catholic universities nationwide, most recently at Boston College where he gave a paper on "Leadership in the University" to an assembly of presidents of Catholic colleges and universities.
The McNulty Lecture Series is devoted to questions of faith in the contemporary world, especially the topics of social justice and interreligious dialogue. The series was established by the late Rev. Thomas P. McGourty, C.M., a professor of religious studies at NU, in memory of his late aunt and uncle.
Previous speakers included Philip Jenkins, Sr. Margaret John Kelly, John Borelli, Sr. Simone Campbell and Vincent Miller.
For more information, contact Niagara University's department of religious studies at 716-286-8454 or firstname.lastname@example.org.