Loyola University Chicago

Department of English

The Edward L. Surtz, S.J. Lecture in the Humanities

FR. EDWARD L. SURTZ, S.J. (1909–1973)

Founded in 1973, the Surtz lecture promotes interdisciplinary and trans-historical humanistic inquiry and honors the memory and scholarship of Father Edward L. Surtz, S.J., a beloved member of the Loyola faculty and distinguished scholar of early modern literature and renaissance humanism, best known for his work on the writings of Thomas More.


Current Lecture

Jennifer Morgan "On Race & Reinscription: Writing Enslaved Women Into the Early Modern Archive." October 19, 2023

Past Surtz Lectures

Jeremy Chow "Oroonoko & The Interspecies Imaginary." November 16, 2022.

Alexander Beecroft "Texts and the City: Literature and the Longue Durée." March 21, 2022.

Ania Loomba  “What is at stake in the study of race in the early modern period?” February 22, 2021

Robert Alter. "The Challenge of Translating the Bible." February 22, 2020.

Robin Fleming. "Living with Little Corpses." October 15, 2018.

Emily Wilson. "Translating the Odyssey: How and Why." April 10, 2018.

Ato Quayson. "Victims of Enchantment: Space and the Education of Desire in Postcolonial Tragedy." March 20, 2017.

W.J.T. Mitchell “Salvaging Israel/Palestine: Art, Collaboration, and the Binational State.” March 16, 2016.

N. Katherine Hayles. Lecture. October 15, 2014.

Brad S. Gregory. “Buying In: The Reformation Era and the Makings of Modern Consumerism.” October 22, 2013.

Maggie Kast. “Dance of the Sacred.” October 5, 2011. 

William T. Cavanaugh. “The Myth of Religious Violence.” October 7, 2010.

Mary Gordon. "Reading Jesus." November 3, 2009.

Michael McKeon. “Religious Liberty in Seventeenth-Century England: A Case Study in Secularization.” October 21, 2008. 

John L. Esposito. "The Future of Muslim-Christian Relations in the Twenty-First Century." October 10, 2007.

Caroline Walker Bynum. "Wonderful Blood: Piety and Practice in Late Medieval Northern Europe." October 5, 2006. 

Robert L. Kendrick. "Singing Jeremiah: Exegesis and Music in Holy Week, 1550-1700. October 4, 2005. 

Carlos M. N. Eire. "When Mystics Flew: Writing a History of the Impossible." September 30, 2004.

Ronald Murphy, S.J. "The Owl, the Raven, and the Dove: Religious Magic of the Grimms' Fairy Tales." October 14, 2003. 

Michael Walzer. “The Triumph of Just War Theory (and the Dangers of Success).” October 8, 2002.

David Freedberg. “Pathos at Oraibi: What Warburg Did Not See.” October 18, 2001.

Rev. Dr. John Polkinghorne, KBE, FRS. “Understanding the Universe.” November 2, 2000.

Jean Bethke Elstain. “Should We Hope: Cultural Renewal at the Millennium.” November 2, 1999.

Kathleen Norris. “Incarnational Language: A Writer’s Witness.” November 3, 1998.

Francis C. Oakley. “Popes and Councils: England and the Latin Church’s Constitutionalist Moment.” October 28, 1997.

Richard Rodriguez. “The Curious Indian: Thoughts about Conversion in the Americas." October 22, 1996.

Giuseppe F. Mazzotta. “The Circle of Love: Angelo Poliziano’s Orpheus.” November 1, 1995.

Kenneth L. Woodward. “The Feminization of American Religion.” October 25, 1994.

Joseph A. Fitzmayer, S.J. “The Dead Sea Scrolls: Discovery and Controversy.” October 28, 1993.

Cyprian Davis, OSB “Black Catholics and the Arts in America.” November 11, 1992.

John Guy. “Thomas More and the Opposition to Henry VIII.” November 6, 1991.

Kathleen Weil-Garris Brandt. “Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel: the Conservation and Cleansing of the Frescoes.” November 13, 1990.

Marvin Rosenberg. “The Many Faces of Hamlet.” October 26, 1989 (canceled because of the California earthquake).

James McConica. “The Divine Word and the Humanist Ideal: Then and Now.” November 17, 1988.

Monika K. Hellwig. “Theology among the Humanities: What Really is Theology?” October 29, 1987.

Jeroslav Pelikan. “The Reformation and the Writing of History.” November 11, 1986.

Quentin Lauer, S.J. “When the French Dream, Think of Tomorrow, and Pray: Faith and Popular Culture in Contemporary France.” October 23, 1984.

James Hennesey, S.J. “Religious Liberty in Colonial Maryland: Pragmatism or Principle?” November 1, 1983.

Albert C. Outler. “The Second Vatican Council in Perspective.” November 8, 1982.

John T. Noonan, Jr. “The Bribery of Francis Bacon.” October 28, 1981.

Walter J. Burghardt, S.J. “In His Image: Significant Moments in the History of an Idea.” October 29, 1980.

Louis L. Martz. “Thomas More: The Public Image and the Private Man.” November 7, 1979.

Brian Tierney. “Religion and Western Constitutional Thought, 1150-1650.” November 9, 1978.

Avery Dulles, S.J. “Revelation and Symbol–the Mythic Dimension of Religious Truth.” November 2, 1977.