Our Faculty

Laurie Johnston

Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Studies, Director of Fellowships and Scholarships


Contact Information

617 264-7723


Office Hours

Office: Administration Building, Room 465

Office hours: Mon 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.; Wed 10:00-11:30 a.m., Friday 11:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m. & 1:30-2:30 p.m.; and by appointment

Education

Ph.D., Boston College; M.Div., Harvard Divinity School; B.A. with distinction, University of Virginia


Bio

Dr. Johnston's specialty is Christian social ethics, particularly questions of war and peacemaking. She also has interests in the areas of health care ethics and environmental ethics. Her work examines how Christian theologies of church and world shape engagement in politics and the public sphere. In her teaching, Dr. Johnston particularly enjoys debating controversial ethical issues with students, and giving them a chance to explore issues of social justice through service learning courses. As Director of Fellowships, she has helped many Emmanuel students win Fulbright grants and other prestigious awards. Dr. Johnston and her husband have three children, and she enjoys sculling and playing ice hockey.


What I Love About Emmanuel:

The chapel, where the stained glass windows are all images of women saints. 

Courses I Teach

  • THRS 2101 Exploring Religion
  • THRS 2111 Love and Justice: An Introduction to Christian Ethics
  • THRS 2130 Catholic Social Teaching
  • THRS 2201 War, Peace & Religion
  • THRS 2305 Religion, Gender, and HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa (travel course)
  • THRS 2150 Contemplation and Action: An Introduction to Christian Spirituality in Rome and Namur (travel course)
  • THRS 3133 Social Justice and Religious Traditions

Publications + Presentations

Selected Publications

Books:

Recent articles and book chapters

  • Catholic Universities and Religious Liberty” in the Journal of Moral Theology Vol. 9, Special Issue 2 (2020): 91-116.
  • “Experience as a source for Christian Ethics.” in Tobias Winright, ed., T&T Clark Handbook of Christian Ethics, London: Bloomsbury, 2020.
  • “Signs of Hope in Muslim-Catholic Relations: The Dialogue School in Belgium” in Concilium 2020.4 (84 -91).
  • “Peace and Justice - Anglophone Perspectives on Peace in Social Ethics” in Jahrbuch für Christliche Sozialwissenschaften vol. 59 (2018): 85-104.
  • “Pneumatology, Diversity, and the Role of Moral Theology Today.” in Antonio Autiero & Laurenti Magesa, eds., The Local Church and the Place of the Catholic Ethicist. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2018.
  • “’Talking About War’: Contribution to the theological roundtable ‘Must Just Peace and Just War Be Mutually Exclusive?’” Horizons, May 23, 2018: 119-123.
  • Pacem in Terris and Catholic Peacebuilding today” in the Journal of Catholic Social Thought 11.1 (Winter 2014): 93-104.
  • “The ‘Signs of the Times’ and Their Readers in Wartime and in Peace,” in the Journal of Moral Theology, 2.2, (June 2013): 21-39.
  • “The Community of Sant’Egidio: A Lay Movement for Peace and Reconciliation.” with Claudio Betti. in Robert Schreiter, Tormod Engelsviken & Knud Jørgensen, eds., Mission as Ministry of Reconciliation. Oxford: Regnum International, 2013.

Recent presentations

  • “Climate Justice and Christian Teachings on War and Peace in the Anthropocene,” Panel presentation at the Society of Christian Ethics Annual Meeting, January 9, 2021.
  •  “Catholic Mission in a Climate of Islamophobia.” Paper presentation at the “Catholicity and Mission” Topic Session of the Annual Meeting of the Catholic Theological Society of America, Pittsburgh, June 6-9, 2019.
  • “Conflicting Religious Freedoms? Catholics and Muslims in Secular Belgium”, Hosted by the Center for Human Rights and International Justice, Boston College, February 14, 2019.
  • “Let’s not leave our students ‘woke’ but passive: empowering students to respond.” Panel presentation at the Colleges of the Fenway Teaching and Learning conference, November 2, 2018.
  • “Catholic Social Teaching in dialogue with Chenoweth & Stephan’s ‘Why Civil Resistance Works’”, Keynote lecture, International Peace Day Colloquium, Center for Peace Ethics of the Catholic University of Leuven, February 28, 2018.
  • “Speaking about Peace, War, and Justice: An Anglophone perspective.” Presentation at a workshop hosted by the Institut für Theologie und Frieden in Hamburg, Germany, November 30, 2017.
  • “John Courtney Murray – Resource for Just War and Just Peace in a Nuclear Age?” Presentation at the conference “John Courtney Murray Today,” Georgetown University, November 16, 2017.
  • “Encountering Islam: Medieval Christian Perspectives from the Cordoban Martrys to Juan de Segovia.” Presentation at the colloquium “Social Reconciliation in the Catholic Tradition,” Creighton University, September 27-29, 2017.
  • “Identity and Hospitality: Catholic universities’ approaches to Muslim students in their midst.” Presentation at the conference “Through the Eye of the Needle: The Commitment to Justice in Jesuit Higher Education,” Seattle University, August 10-13, 2017.
  • “Responding to the refugee crisis: Ethical principles and spiritual resources.” Panel presentation at the JUHAN Conference “Principles in Crisis: Refugees and Responsibility,” College of the Holy Cross, June 28, 2017.
  • “Empowering Students to Respond to Complex Social Issues.” Keynote lecture, Institute on Ethics and Social Justice for Secondary School Teachers, Notre Dame de Namur University, Belmont, California, June 26, 2017.
  • “Can we be creative about peace while talking about war?” Panel presentation at the Annual Meeting of the College Theology Society, June 2, 2017.
  • “Catholic Universities and Muslim Students in an Age of Islamophobia.” Poster presentation at the conference “Toward a Culture of University Ethics,” Boston College April 5-7, 2017.
  • “Public Order? Political Resistance, Black Lives Matter, and Nonviolent Conflict.” Panel presentation to the War and Peace Interest Group at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Christian Ethics, New Orleans, Louisiana, January 5-8, 2017.
  • “’The blows of realities and events’: Yves Congar as a model for responding with justice and mercy to contemporary challenges to the Church.” Paper presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Catholic Theological Society of America, San Juan, Puerto Rico, June 9-12, 2016.
  • Fulbright U.S. Scholar Grant to Belgium, to teach and conduct research at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, 2017-2018
  • International Center for Nonviolent Conflict, Curriculum Grant 2018
  • Emmanuel College Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award, 2014
  • Flatley Fellowship (2001-2006) - Endowed Ph.D. fellowship at Boston College
  • Donald J. White Teaching Excellence Award from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Boston College (2006)

Selected Publications

Books:

The Surprise of Reconciliation in the Catholic Tradition. Co-edited with Jay Carney. Author of the chapter entitled “Encountering Islam: Medieval Christian Perspectives from the Cordoban Martrys to Juan de Segovia.” Paulist Press, 2018.

Public Theology and the Global Common Good: The Contribution of David Hollenbach. Co-edited with Kristin Heyer, Meghan Clark, Kevin Ahern, and David Decosse, Orbis Press, 2016. Co-author with Tisha Rajendra of the chapter entitled “Ambivalent Solidarity.” Awarded the 2017 First Place prize from the Catholic Press Association in the "Faithful Citizenship/Religious Freedom" category.

Can War be Just in the 21st Century?, co-edited with Tobias Winright. Orbis Press, 2015. Author of the chapter entitled “Just War Theory and Environmental Destruction.”

 

Recent articles and book chapters

Catholic Universities and Religious Liberty” in the Journal of Moral Theology Vol. 9, Special Issue 2 (2020): 91-116.

“Experience as a source for Christian Ethics.” in Tobias Winright, ed., T&T Clark Handbook of Christian Ethics, London: Bloomsbury, 2020.

“Signs of Hope in Muslim-Catholic Relations: The Dialogue School in Belgium” in Concilium 2020.4 (84 -91).

“Peace and Justice - Anglophone Perspectives on Peace in Social Ethics” in Jahrbuch für Christliche Sozialwissenschaften vol. 59 (2018): 85-104.

“Pneumatology, Diversity, and the Role of Moral Theology Today.” in Antonio Autiero & Laurenti Magesa, eds., The Local Church and the Place of the Catholic Ethicist. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2018.

“’Talking About War’: Contribution to the theological roundtable ‘Must Just Peace and Just War Be Mutually Exclusive?’” Horizons, May 23, 2018: 119-123.

Pacem in Terris and Catholic Peacebuilding today” in the Journal of Catholic Social Thought 11.1 (Winter 2014): 93-104.

“The ‘Signs of the Times’ and Their Readers in Wartime and in Peace,” in the Journal of Moral Theology, 2.2, (June 2013): 21-39.

“The Community of Sant’Egidio: A Lay Movement for Peace and Reconciliation.” with Claudio Betti. in Robert Schreiter, Tormod Engelsviken & Knud Jørgensen, eds., Mission as Ministry of Reconciliation. Oxford: Regnum International, 2013.

 

Recent presentations

“Climate Justice and Christian Teachings on War and Peace in the Anthropocene,” Panel presentation at the Society of Christian Ethics Annual Meeting, January 9, 2021.

 “Catholic Mission in a Climate of Islamophobia.” Paper presentation at the “Catholicity and Mission” Topic Session of the Annual Meeting of the Catholic Theological Society of America, Pittsburgh, June 6-9, 2019.

“Conflicting Religious Freedoms? Catholics and Muslims in Secular Belgium”, Hosted by the Center for Human Rights and International Justice, Boston College, February 14, 2019.

“Let’s not leave our students ‘woke’ but passive: empowering students to respond.” Panel presentation at the Colleges of the Fenway Teaching and Learning conference, November 2, 2018.

“Catholic Social Teaching in dialogue with Chenoweth & Stephan’s ‘Why Civil Resistance Works’”, Keynote lecture, International Peace Day Colloquium, Center for Peace Ethics of the Catholic University of Leuven, February 28, 2018.

“Speaking about Peace, War, and Justice: An Anglophone perspective.” Presentation at a workshop hosted by the Institut für Theologie und Frieden in Hamburg, Germany, November 30, 2017.

“John Courtney Murray – Resource for Just War and Just Peace in a Nuclear Age?” Presentation at the conference “John Courtney Murray Today,” Georgetown University, November 16, 2017.

“Encountering Islam: Medieval Christian Perspectives from the Cordoban Martrys to Juan de Segovia.” Presentation at the colloquium “Social Reconciliation in the Catholic Tradition,” Creighton University, September 27-29, 2017.

“Identity and Hospitality: Catholic universities’ approaches to Muslim students in their midst.” Presentation at the conference “Through the Eye of the Needle: The Commitment to Justice in Jesuit Higher Education,” Seattle University, August 10-13, 2017.

“Responding to the refugee crisis: Ethical principles and spiritual resources.” Panel presentation at the JUHAN Conference “Principles in Crisis: Refugees and Responsibility,” College of the Holy Cross, June 28, 2017.

“Empowering Students to Respond to Complex Social Issues.” Keynote lecture, Institute on Ethics and Social Justice for Secondary School Teachers, Notre Dame de Namur University, Belmont, California, June 26, 2017.

“Can we be creative about peace while talking about war?” Panel presentation at the Annual Meeting of the College Theology Society, June 2, 2017.

“Catholic Universities and Muslim Students in an Age of Islamophobia.” Poster presentation at the conference “Toward a Culture of University Ethics,” Boston College April 5-7, 2017.

“Public Order? Political Resistance, Black Lives Matter, and Nonviolent Conflict.” Panel presentation to the War and Peace Interest Group at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Christian Ethics, New Orleans, Louisiana, January 5-8, 2017.

“’The blows of realities and events’: Yves Congar as a model for responding with justice and mercy to contemporary challenges to the Church.” Paper presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Catholic Theological Society of America, San Juan, Puerto Rico, June 9-12, 2016.

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