The McDermott Lectureship

The Papacy in the 21st Century: Where Are We, and Where are We Going?

January 24, 2018 | 7:30pm
Moody Performance Hall, Dallas


General Admission

General admission tickets to the Eugene McDermott Lecture are $10 (includes handling fee).

Book Tickets

UD Students

Current undergraduate and graduate students of the University of Dallas may attend the Eugene McDermott Lecture free of charge. Bus transportation will be provided between campus and the Moody Performance Hall. Tickets will be issued the evening of the event to those students riding the University sponsored buses.

Students not planning to ride the bus to the lecture should RSVP to Ryan Reedy ( to secure tickets.
RSVPs must be received by Monday, January 22, 2018 at 5:00pm.

UD Faculty and Staff

University of Dallas faculty and staff may collect complimentary tickets at the Moody Performance hall box office the evening of the event. Faculty and staff must show valid University of Dallas ID card in order to claim tickets. Complimentary tickets are limited to one per UD employee.

About the Lecture: "The Papacy in the 21st Century: Where Are We, and Where are We Going?"

Featuring three of the most prominent voices in Catholic journalism in the United States—Ross Douthat (New York Times) and Austen Ivereigh (Crux), with John Allen, Jr. (Crux) serving as moderator — this discussion will examine the modern papacy, situating Pope Francis’ pontificate in the context of recent papal history, broader Catholic tradition and its future.

All three journalists have published books on the pontificate of Pope Francis and will provide thoughtful and acute analysis of the many issues Pope Francis has tackled in his first years: immigration, the environment and climate change, inter-religious dialogue, justice for the poor, as well as specifically Catholic issues such as reform of the Vatican bureaucracy and the pastoral treatment of divorced and remarried people.

On-Campus Events

  Description RSVP
Jan 23, 2018
12:30 - 2:00pm
SB Hall,
Serafy Room

"Pope Francis and the Craft of Politics"
Historian and journalist Dr. Austen Ivereigh will lead a discussion of a few short writings of Pope Francis’s in which the Pope seeks to promote a reinvigoration of the craft of statesmanship. Readings will be distributed in advance. Lunch will be provided.

Registration is limited to faculty and graduate students only.


Jan 23, 2018
7:00 - 8:30pm
Haggar Auditorium

"The Pope and Patria Grande: How Francis is Promoting Latin America's Continental Destiny"
Historian and journalist Dr. Austen Ivereigh will explain Pope Francis’s understanding of continental Latin-American nationalism and how Francis’s vision fits into other currents of twentieth-century Latin American thought.


Jan 24, 2018
10:00 - 12:00am
SB Hall,
Multipurpose Room

"Evangelizing through Ecology: Keys to Laudato Si"
Just as Jacques Maritain’s integral humanism provided the foundational narrative for Christian politics (Christian democracy) in postwar Europe, the vision of integral ecology in Laudato Si offers a bold new Catholic narrative for our times — especially in the Americas.

Jan 24, 2018
2:00 - 3:00pm
SB Hall,
Serafy Room

"The Media and the Church in the Age of Pope Francis"
Two of America's most prominent Catholic journalists, Ross Douthat of the New York Times and John Allen of Crux Catholic Media, will discuss the media’s coverage of Pope Francis and of the Catholic Church over the past five years.


Jan 25, 2018
12:30 - 2:00pm
SB Hall,
Serafy Room

"Finding a Career in Journalism" 
Two of America's most prominent Catholic journalists, Ross Douthat of the New York Times and John Allen of Crux Catholic Media, will discuss their own career paths and the options for aspiring young journalists in an age increasingly dominated by electronic media. Students are encouraged to bring their questions. Lunch will be provided. 

Registration is limited to undergraduate students only.


Jan 25, 2018
4:00 - 5:30pm
Haggar Auditorium
"Catholicism and Liberal Democracy: Will the Marriage Last?"
Ross Douthat of the New York Times will discuss the historical tensions between Catholicism and liberal democracy, the accommodation that the two of them seemed to have reached after Vatican II, and the rising doubts among conservative American Catholics as to whether the two can be as harmonious as they had seemed. Dr. Daniel Burns of the UD Politics Department will offer a brief response.


The McDermott Lectureship

In 1974, the university established the Eugene McDermott Lectureship, an endowed lecture series created in honor of Eugene McDermott, the late scientist, businessman, civic leader, and philanthropist. It was established on behalf of Mrs. and Mr. Eugene McDermott in 1974 to honor Donald and Louise Cowan's vision and leadership at the University of Dallas and the city. Beginning with the venerable historian Jacques Barzun, the McDermott Lectureship continues to bring notable public intellectuals to the University for short courses and seminars. 

Eugene McDermott Lecturers, 1974-present

1974 Jacques Barzun
1975 Herbert Marshall McLuhan
1976 Hans Georg Gadamer
1977 Malcolm Muggeridge
1978 Christian Norberg-Schulz & Edmund Bacon
1979 Mortimer Adler 
1980 Erich Heller
1981 Paul Ricoeur
1982 J. Carter Brown
1983 Paul Weiss & Stanley I. Jaki
1984 Seymour Slive & Harvey C. Manfield, Jr.
1985 Steven Jay Gould, Douglas Hofstader, Stephen Toulmin, Steven Weinberg 
1986 Walter Ong, S.J., Horton Foote, Donald W. Seldin, Frank E. Vandiver
1987 Errol E. Harris
1988 Allan Bloom, Donald A. Cowan, Louise S. Cowan, Paul Johnson
1989 David Tracy & Yehudi Menuhin
1990  Cedric Messina
1991  Stanley H. Rosen & Weiming Lu
1992 Eva T.H. Brann
1993 Leon Kass & Oliver Bernier
1994 Rene Girard
1995 Robert Sokolowski & Paul Goldberger
1997 Derek Wolcott
1998 Nigel Wood
1999 Francis Cardinal Arinze
2000 Francis Fukuyama
2001 Donald Kagan
2002 Bruce Cole
2004 Maya Lin
2006 Jonathan Miller
2007 Mikhail Gorbachev
2008 Mark Helprin
2014 Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
2015  Nostra Aetate: Bishop Brian Farrell & Rabbi David Rosen
2016 General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.)
2017 Krzysztof Zanussi


Additional Lectures, from the Archives

Reading Signs of Time in our Days
March 29, 2017
The 2017 Eugene McDermott Lecture by Krzysztof Zanussi

Three Visions of Excellence
Louise Cowan, Leo Strauss, & Jacob Klein on Liberal Education
March 22, 2012
A lecture by Dr. Christopher Lynch of Carthage College

The Pleasures of Philosophizing & its Moral Foundations
March 15, 2012
The Braniff Graduate Student Association (BGSA), along with the Politics and Philosophy Departments and the Dean of the Braniff Graduate School, are honored to welcome James Carey to give the BGSA second annual lecture.

Ancients and Moderns: Did Leo Strauss Exaggerate the break?
April, 2011
A Politics Faculty Roundtable, featuring Leo Paul de Alvarez, Jonathan Culp, Richard Dougherty, Tiffany Jones Miller, and Thomas G. West, discuss whether Leo Strauss exaggerated the break between Ancient and Modern thinkers.

Aristophanes' Critique of the Gods
March 18, 2011
Wayne Ambler of the University of Colorado at Boulder explores Aristophanes’ hilariously radical, but yet not atheistic, critique of the gods in three of Aristophanes' comedies—Peace, Wealth, and especially Birds—which feature mortal heroes who find fault with Zeus, challenge his authority, and even prove victorious over him.

The Scandal of Dante's Catholicism - Part I
March 18, 2009
The Scandal of Dante's Catholicism - Part II
March 23, 2009
Dr. Robert Hollander visits the University of Dallas to give two lectures.

The Poetic Imagination & Education: The Continuing Influence of Louise S. Cowan
March 22-23, 2007
Alumni of the IPS gather along with its founder, Dr. Louise S. Cowan, to articulate the centrality of imagination to their various disciplines in the pursuit and expression of wisdom. Includes a major address by Dr. Cowan.

In addition to the McDermott Lectureship, the University of Dallas and the Braniff Graduate School of Liberal Arts hosts exceptional guest lecturers and distinguished faculty members on thought-provoking topics within the Western tradition. Prominent scholars have spoken on Homer, Aristophanes, Aristotle, Plato, Dante, St. Thomas Aquinas, Locke, Tocqueville and Leo Strauss, to name a few.