The Flannery Chair of Roman Catholic Theology is an endowed Chair gift of the late Maud and Milo Flannery of Spokane, to further excellence of theological study and teaching at Gonzaga University. An outstanding theologian is invited to GU twice per year to deliver The Flannery Lecture.
Immigration is often framed in terms of crisis management, rather than by addressing underlying economic, political and cultural contributing factors. In the US context in particular, political rhetoric has often masked complicity, abetted human rights violations and betrayed the nation’s founding principles. The lenses that shape the (quickly shifting) immigration debate in the US can distort the realities that migrants face and become surrogates for other cultural and political concerns. Focusing solely on economics or fear-based approaches too often de-humanizes newcomers. In the Flannery lecture I will explore contributions that Scripture and the Catholic social tradition offer an immigration dialogue in light of these realities. Resources from Christian ethics challenge the dominant, instrumentalist frameworks and offer a counternarrative of civic kinship with moral, spiritual and policy implications.