Boston College Law Professor Cathleen Kaveny has been selected as this year’s recipient of the Marianist Award for Intellectual Contributions. She will be presented the award February 27 at the University of Dayton, where she will also be giving the Marianist keynote lecture on “Law’s Pedagogy in a Pluralist Society.”
The annual award honors a Roman Catholic for contributions to Catholic intellectual life. Named for the title given to members of the congregation founded by Fr. William Joseph Chaminade and Mother Adéle de Batz de Trenquelleon, the award originally honored scholars who made outstanding contributions to Mariology in America from 1950, but has since been revived in 1986 to honor significant intellectual contributions in life.
Kaveny is also giving the Msgr. Philip J. Murnion Lecture for the Catholic Common Ground Initiative this year titled “Anger, Lamentation, and Common Ground.” Kaveny will discuss the role of anger in the church and society and propose the idea that the solution requires something other than dialogue in today’s society.
Kaveny, a scholar who focuses on the relationship of law, religion, and morality, serves as the Darald and Juliet Libby Professor at Boston College, a position that includes appointments in both the department of theology and the law school. She is the first faculty member to hold such a joint appointment. A member of the Massachusetts Bar, Professor Kaveny clerked for the Honorable John T. Noonan Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and worked as an associate at the Boston law firm of Ropes & Gray in its health law group. She was the 2018-2019 Cary and Ann Maguire Chair in Ethics and American History at the Kluge Center of the Library of Congress.
Professor Kaveny has published four books and over a hundred articles and essays, in journals and books specializing in law, ethics, and medical ethics. She serves on the masthead of Commonweal as a regular columnist. Her books include Law’s Virtues: Fostering Autonomy and Solidarity in American Society (Georgetown University Press, 2012); A Culture of Engagement: Law, Religion, and Morality (Georgetown University Press, 2016); Prophecy without Contempt: Religious Discourse in the Public Square (Harvard University Press, 2016); and Ethics at the Edges of Law: Christian Moralists and American Legal Thought (Oxford University Press, 2018).
Professor Kaveny is the chair of the board of trustees of the Journal of Religious Ethics. She has been the president of the Society of Christian Ethics, the major professional society for scholars of Christian ethics and moral theology in North America. It meets annually in conjunction with the Society of Jewish Ethics and the Society for the Study of Muslim Ethics.