• Print
Arts and Culture

Pope John XXIII Lecture Series Being Revived on Stockton Campus

Catholic Literature Professor will Renew the Program
Oct 22, 2012

The Pope John XXIII Lecture Series, which focuses on contemporary questions from a Catholic perspective, is being revived after a four-year hiatus.

Mary Reichardt, an author and well-known scholar on the topics of literature and Catholic studies, will speak at University of the Pacific 7 p.m. Nov. 5 in the Regents Room as this year's lecturer. She will discuss "Ever Ancient, Ever New: Catholic Literature and Contemporary Culture." The event is free and open to the public. She is the director of online education at University of St. Thomas in Minnesota and the author/editor of numerous books on American literature as well as Catholic literature.

"Our goal with the lecture series is to rotate among a 'humanities' speaker, a 'science' speaker, and a 'public affairs' speaker on an annual basis," said Professor Brian Klunk, the organizer of the lecture series who also studies Catholic social thought. "Professor Reichardt can easily make the connections between great Catholic literature such as Dante's 'Divine Comedy' and the many modern references that have been replicated from those great works, so her presentation should be enlightening and entertaining."

Reichardt, a specialist in Catholic literature, has taught at the University of St. Thomas for 24 years and is now in academic administration.  At St. Thomas she has taught a wide variety of graduate and undergraduate courses in both the English and Catholic Studies departments, and was the founding director of the Catholic Studies master's degree program. 

She has published eight books on literature, including four on Catholic literature: "Exploring Catholic Literature," "Catholic Women Writers," the two-volume "Encyclopedia of Catholic Literature," and "Between Human and Divine: The Catholic Vision in Contemporary Literature." Reichardt also is the editor of the American titles for the Ignatius Press critical editions series and has released recent scholarly editions of such classic works as "The Scarlet Letter," "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," "Moby-Dick," "Uncle Tom's Cabin," and "The Red Badge of Courage."

The lecture series is co-sponsored by the departments of Philosophy, Religious Studies, and Political Science. It's named after Pope John XXIII (1958-1963) because of his belief that the Church's message could contribute to rational discourse about practical approaches to current social issues. It was founded with a gift from the late Dr. Virgil Gianelli, one of Stockton's St. Mary's Dining Hall founders.

The last Pope John XXIII Lecture on Pacific was held four years ago, when the then-president of Catholic Relief Services, Ken Hackett, spoke about his work and the organization.

For more information about the lecture, call 209.946.2927.