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Working Group Descriptions

Cultures of Abuse in the Catholic Church

Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Dave Turnbloom

This working group focuses on how cultures in the Roman Catholic Church have facilitated the abuse of power. We seek to understand how the church's hierarchical and clericalist structures have led to the abuse and exploitation of vulnerable populations within the church. In previous years, we have paid special attention to how Catholic leaders have responded to the crisis of clergy-perpetuated sexual abuse (see "Past Projects"). Going forward, we will be developing research agendas that use interdisciplinary lenses to better recognize how power is being abused, while also offering concrete ways to work against the abuse and cultivate a healthier faith community.


This working group is two credits and will meet two hours per week. Participation in this working group counts as an Explorations Course in the core curriculum. 

The Ethics of Belief

Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Paddy McShane

This working group's research project will focus on the ethics of belief, and centers on themes of faith, trust and dependence. What are the unique ways in which our personal relationships affect us as knowers? Does having faith in our friends and intimates require us to form favorable beliefs about them? In exploring these questions, we’ll draw on ongoing conversations in philosophy of religion to see how they might provide resources to shed light on what and how we should believe about our friends and intimates.

This working group is one credit and will meet for one hour per week. 

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