Notre Dame’s Rev. Robert A Dowd, C.S.C, to Offer Public Lecture at Seton Hill Oct. 2

Seton Hill is pleased to welcome Rev. Robert A. Dowd, C.S.C., Vice President and Associate Provost for Interdisciplinary Initiatives at the University of Notre Dame, to offer a public lecture on breaking cycles of violence in our society and towards the Earth in October. 

The lecture, “Breaking Cycles of Violence: Toward a More Civil and Sustainable Future,” will be held on Monday, October 2 at 7 p.m. in Cecilian Hall on the second floor of the university’s Administration building. 

Dowd’s visit to Seton Hill is part of the university’s Setonian Mission Formation Program, which aims to help the university to maintain and strengthen its Catholic, Setonian tradition for current and future students, faculty and staff. The Program began last year thanks to a six-figure leadership commitment from anonymous benefactors and is allowing Seton Hill to expand Mission-focused activities that will build a foundation of leaders who will preserve the heritage and the charism of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill; continue to foster Catholic intellectual life across campus; and help students explore the liberal arts in a distinctive and enriching Catholic framework.

During the 2023-24 academic year, the Setonian Mission Formation Program’s focus is on approaching the issues of violence that affect our world from an interdisciplinary perspective. 

Dowd’s lecture will look at the subtle and not so subtle ways our society has condoned violence toward the Earth and toward each other and how we are all paying a price. Dowd will also talk about how and why Catholic Social Teaching calls us to become more peaceful in our relations toward each other and toward the Earth.  

 A panel response with Seton Hill faculty members and a student will follow Dowd’s lecture. Faculty participants include Dmetra Czegan, Dean of the School of Natural and Health Sciences; Christine Cusick, Associate Professor of English and Director of the Honors Program; and Douglas Nelson, Associate Professor of Business and Director of the MBA Program. 

In addition to the public lecture, Father Dowd will also visit Seton Hill classes during his time on campus.

Rev. Robert A Dowd, C.S.C, associate professor of political science, was appointed Vice President and Associate Provost for Interdisciplinary Initiatives at Notre Dame in 2021.

He oversees the Center for Social Concerns, DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, the Fitzgerald Institute for Real Estate, iNDustry Labs, the Institute for Educational Initiatives, the Lucy Family Institute for Data & Society, the McGrath Institute for Church Life, the Notre Dame Technology Ethics Center, the Office of Military and Veterans Affairs, the ROTC programs, and the Raclin Murphy Museum of Art. He also directs the approval and review process of institutes and centers more generally.

In addition to his role in the provost’s office, Father Dowd serves as a Fellow and Trustee of the University and religious superior of the Holy Cross Community at Notre Dame. He was previously an assistant provost for internationalization with Notre Dame International, where his primary responsibilities included leadership of the Dublin Global Gateway, Kylemore Abbey Global Centre, and the São Paulo Global Center along with planning for future engagement with Africa.

The author of the book Christianity, Islam, and Liberal Democracy: Lessons from sub-Saharan Africa, Father Dowd focuses his research on African politics, ethnic politics, and the relationship between religion, political institutions, national identity, and human development. His current research explores religion and the integration of migrants/refugees in Europe and North America and the effects of faith-based schools on citizenship and civic engagement in Africa.

He is the founder of Notre Dame’s Ford Program in Human Development Studies and Solidarity and a fellow of the Ansari Institute for Global Engagement with Religion, the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, and the Nanovic Institute for European Studies in the University’s Keough School of Global Affairs.

A Notre Dame alum, Father Dowd earned an M.Div. from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley and was ordained a Holy Cross priest in 1994. He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from UCLA.