Archive for Uncategorized

Paul Lauritzen interviews Br. Guy Consolmagno

Posted in Uncategorized by commonweal on March 3rd, 2010

Consolmagno, born September 19, 1952, in Detroit, Michigan, obtained his bachelor of science in 1974 and master of science in 1975 in Earth and Planetary Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his PhD in Planetary Science from the University of Arizona in 1978. From 1978-80 he was a postdoctoral fellow and lecturer at the Harvard College Observatory, and from 1980-1983 continued as postdoc and lecturer at MIT.

In 1983 he left MIT to join the Peace Corps, where he served for two years in Kenya teaching physics and astronomy. Upon his return to the U.S. in 1985 he became an assistant professor of physics at Lafayette College, in Easton, Pennsylvania, where he taught until his entry into the Jesuit order in 1989. He took vows as a Jesuit brother in 1991, and studied philosophy and theology at Loyola University, Chicago, and physics at the University of Chicago, before his assignment to the Vatican Observatory in 1993.

In spring 2000 he held the MacLean Chair for Visiting Jesuit Scholars at St. Joseph's University, Philadelphia, and in 2006-2007 held the Loyola Chair at Fordham University, New York. He has also been a visiting scientist at the Goddard Space Flight Center and a visiting professor at Loyola College, Baltimore, and Loyola University, Chicago.

Consolmagno has served on the governing boards of the Meteoritical Society; the International Astronomical Union's (IAU) Division III, Planetary Systems Science (secretary, 2000 - present) and Commission 16, Moons and Planets (president, 2003-2006); and the American Astronomical Society Division for Planetary Sciences (chair, 2006-2007).

He has coauthored five astronomy books: Turn Left at Orion (with Dan M. Davis; Cambridge University Press, 1989); Worlds Apart (with Martha W. Schaefer; Prentice Hall, 1993); The Way to the Dwelling of Light (U of Notre Dame Press, 1998); Brother Astronomer (McGraw Hill, 2000); and God's Mechanics (Jossey-Bass, 2007).

Dr. Consolmagno is curator of the Vatican meteorite collection in Castel Gandolfo, one of the largest in the world. His research explores the connections between meteorites and asteroids, and the origin and evolution of small bodies in the solar system. In 1996, he spent six weeks collecting meteorites with an NSF-sponsored team on the blue ice of Antarctica, and in 2000 he was honored by the IAU for his contributions to the study of meteorites and asteroids with the naming of asteroid 4597 Consolmagno.


Paul Lauritzen interviews Diana Fritz Cates

Posted in Uncategorized by commonweal on February 1st, 2010

Paul Lauritzen interviews Diana Fritz Cates on her new book 'Aquinas on the Emotions: A Religious-Ethical Inquiry.'


Paul Lauritzen interviews Uwem Akpan

Posted in Uncategorized by commonweal on March 25th, 2009

A conversation with the Nigerian Jesuit Uwem Akpan, whose collection Say You're One of Them recently won the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Africa region).


Paul Lauritzen interviews Sr. Helen Prejean

Posted in Uncategorized by commonweal on November 8th, 2008

The day after Barack Obama was elected president, Sr. Prejean discusses her "memo to the president on the death penalty."


Paul Lauritzen interviews Brian Stiltner

Posted in Uncategorized by commonweal on May 29th, 2008

Brian Stiltner, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, BA, John Carroll University; MA, Ph.D., Yale University. Dr. Stiltner's research interests focus on Catholic social ethics, the ethics of war and peace, and role of religion in democratic public life. His teaching responsibilities include bioethics, war and peace, historical and contemporary Christian ethics, and Catholic social thought.  In 2007, Stiltner published Faith and Force: A Christian Debate about War with David L. Clough (Georgetown University Press; more information at He previously directed the Hersher Institute for Applied Ethics (1998-2003) and the Center for Catholic Thought, Ethics, and Culture (2003-2006), which he helped establish. Dr. Stiltner has been a member of the Religious Studies Program at Sacred Heart University since 1998; he has served as chair of the department since 2006.


Paul Lauritzen interviews Dean Brackley, SJ

Posted in Uncategorized by commonweal on February 21st, 2008

Father Dean Brackley is a professor of theology at the Universidad Centroamericana (University of Central America—UCA) in El Salvador. In the 1970s and '80s, Fr. Brackley worked in social ministry and popular education on Manhattan's Lower East Side and in the South Bronx. He taught briefly at Fordham University (1989-90) before joining the staff of the Universidad Centroamericana in 1990 when he succeeded one of the six Jesuits martyred in the UCA massacre the previous year. He has also administered the university's School for Religious Education and collaborated in schools for pastoral formation sponsored by the UCA. He does pastoral work in an urban community.Fr. Brackley's published works include The Call to Discernment in Troubled Times: New Perspectives on the Transformative Wisdom of Ignatius Loyola (Crossroad, 2004); and Divine Revolution: Salvation and Liberation in Catholic Thought (Orbis Books, 1996). Born in upstate New York in 1946, Fr. Brackley entered the Jesuit order in 1964 and was ordained a priest in 1976. He received his doctorate in theological ethics at the University of Chicago in 1980.


Paul Lauritzen interviews William B. Hurlbut

Posted in Uncategorized by commonweal on January 15th, 2008

On the latest Commonweal podcast, Paul Lauritzen interviews William B. Hurlbut, physician and consulting professor at Stanford's Neuroscience Institute. Hurlbut's main area of interest involves the ethical issues associated with advancing biomedical technology, the biological basis of moral awareness, and studies of the integration of theology and philosophy of biology. He has served on the President's Council on Bioethics since 2002, and is the author of "Altered Nuclear Transfer," a proposed technological solution to the moral controversy over embryonic stem-cell research.


Paul Lauritzen interviews Howard Gray, SJ

Posted in Uncategorized by commonweal on December 13th, 2007

On the latest Commonweal podcast, Paul Lauritzen interviews Howard Gray, SJ. Gray is one of the leading interpreters of Ignation spirituality. For the past decade, Gray has worked on mission and identity issues at Jesuit campuses across the country. He was the first director of the Center for Ignation Spiriuality at Boston College. And he currently serves as special assistant to the president of Georgetown University.


Paul Lauritzen interviews Sidney Callahan

Posted in Uncategorized by commonweal on October 1st, 2007

In his third Commonweal podcast, Paul Lauritzen talks to Sidney Callahan about her new book, Created for Joy.


Paul Lauritzen interviews Karen Long

Posted in Uncategorized by commonweal on July 26th, 2007

In the second Commonweal podcast, Commonweal contributor Paul Lauritzen interviews Karen Long, book review editor for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, about the Commonweal summer reading list and other notable books, especially Be Near Me and The Gravedigger's Daughter.


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