Faith and reason can help break cycle of violence we do to ourselves, others

March 7, 2014

Tobias Winright

Lisle, Illinois ~ Violence impacts us all – from the personal to the global.

“Love thy neighbor” means working against the violence we do to ourselves (suicide, addiction, etc.), the violence we do to our neighbors (domestic violence, crime, imprisonment, etc.), the violence we do against cultures (racism, ethnic cleansing, war) and the violence we do to the earth (pollution, poaching, hunting to extinction).

Benedictine University faculty from across the institution will join an expert in theological studies from Saint Louis University to discuss violence and how to work against it in “Love Thy Neighbor: How Faith and Reason Work Against Structural Violence” from 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 4 in the Krasa Presentation Room.

The featured speaker at Benedictine’s seventh annual Faith and Reason Symposium sponsored by the Center for Mission and Identity, the College of Liberal Arts and the Department of History, Philosophy and Religious Studies is Tobias Winright, Ph.D., an associate professor of Theological Ethics in the Department of Theological Studies at Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Mo.

A former corrections officer and campus minster, Winright taught religious ethics at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa, and moral theology at Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio, before joining the Saint Louis University faculty in 2005.

Winright seeks to equip and enable students to think theologically, to inform their consciences about significant questions and issues of the day, and to be men and women for others. He is an active member of several professional and learned societies, co-editor of the Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics, book reviews editor for the international journal Political Theology and a contributing writer to Sojourners magazine.

Winright will be the featured luncheon keynote speaker. He will examine “Liturgy and God’s Justice for All: Catholicism and Capital Punishment.” There will be two panel discussions: the first from 9:00-11:30 a.m. and the second from 1:30-4:00 p.m.

Panelists include: Jack Thornburg, Ph.D., associate professor of Anthropology; Cheryl Heinz, Ph.D., associate professor of Biological Sciences; Patrick Polasek, Ph.D., assistant professor of Psychology/Sociology; Christine Fletcher, Ph.D., associate professor of Theology; Joel Ostrow, Ph.D., professor of Political Science; Fannie Rushing, Ph.D., professor of History; and Patricia Somers, Ph.D., instructor in the Department of Psychology/Sociology.

Benedictine students receive a values-based, Catholic education that prepares them to reach their full potential. The University commits to giving its students – who come to Benedictine from diverse backgrounds, religions and beliefs – opportunities to grow academically, personally and spiritually and exceptionally prepare students for jobs, a career and life.

According to, Benedictine University is ranked among the top 25 most affordable Catholic colleges and universities in the country with the highest starting salaries earned by graduates.

The symposium is free and open to the public. RSVP at For more information, contact William Knox at or (630) 829-6593.


Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois and Mesa, Arizona. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 55 undergraduate majors and 17 graduate and four doctoral programs. Benedictine University is ranked No. 1 among the country’s fastest-growing campuses between 2000-2010 in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s list of private nonprofit research institutions, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among “America’s Top Colleges” for the third consecutive year in 2013. Benedictine University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business as the fifth largest in the Chicago area in 2013.

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