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2009 Yamauchi Lecture in Religion examines controversy of Church's role in Modernist-Era France

Loyola press release - April 6, 2009

The Rev. Peter Bernardi, S.J., associate professor of religious studies in the College of Humanities and Natural Sciences, will be the featured presenter of the 2009 Yamauchi Lecture in Religion. This semiannual lecture seeks to bring the results of religious scholarship to a wider audience.

The lecture takes place on Sunday, April 19, at 7:30 p.m., in the Danna Student Center Audubon Room, on Loyola’s main campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Bernardi’s presentation will draw upon his recent book, “Maurice Blondel, Social Catholicism and Action Française: The Clash over the Church’s Role in Society during the Modernist Era,” published in January by Catholic University Press of America.

Says Georgetown University Professor The Rev. John W. O’Malley, S.J., said, “In this learned yet lucid book, Peter Bernardi analyzes a politico-theological controversy of early twentieth-century France. He shows how the basic issues that undergirded it are alive and well today and how they generate the same bitter polemics and polarities.”

The Rev. Stephen R. Schloesser, S.J., associate professor of history at Boston College, wrote, “Bernardi succeeds not only as a historical theologian but as a storyteller who gradually unveils unexpected turns.”

Bernardi entered the Jesuit order in 1976 and was ordained a priest in Detroit, Mich., in 1987. After completing a licentiate in sacred theology at the Weston School of Theology, he earned his doctorate in systematic theology from The Catholic University of America in 1997. His research focuses on the renewal of Catholic thought that led to the Second Vatican Council.

Bernardi’s current projects include the study of the French Jesuit response to integralism. He is also revising a book manuscript, “A Paschal Liberationist Understanding of Salvation.”

The Yamauchi Lecture in Religion series is named in memory of the Rev. H. James Yamauchi, S.J., a former chair of Loyola’s Department of Religious Studies who taught at Loyola from 1956 to 1966. Yamauchi was known for his effective and enthusiastic communication of knowledge about religion to the New Orleans community.