The Lawler Lecture in Catholic Theology


lawlerThe lecture series is named to honor Michael G. Lawler, Ph.D.,  Dean Emeritus of the Graduate School at Creighton University and Professor Emeritus of Catholic Theology at Creighton University. The Lawler lecture is an endowed lecture series made possible by a one of Lawler’s former students.

Dr. Lawler joined Creighton as a systematic theologian in 1970. He served as Chair of the Department of Theology several times, as President of the University Faculty twice, and as Dean of the Graduate School from 1985 until 1995. In 1981 he received the Distinguished Faculty Award and in 1997 the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research. He retired in 2005.

Dr. Lawler is a highly regarded international theologian in the systematic theology of marriage and family. For over 12 years he directed Creighton’s Center for Marriage and Family, whose studies of marriage preparation, interchurch families, the first five years of marriage, and sexuality education brought international acclaim to Creighton. He is the author of twenty books and more than one hundred fifty scholarly articles. Two of his books, Marriage and Sacrament (1993) and Christian Marriage and Family (1996), were awarded Catholic Press Association Prizes for theological education. His recent books include The Sexual Person: Toward a Renewed Catholic Anthropology (2008), co-authored with Todd A. Salzman; What Is and What Ought to Be: The Dialectic of Experience, Theology, and Church (2005); Marriage and the Catholic Church: Disputed Questions (2002); and Family: American and Christian (1998).

A native of Ireland, Dr. Lawler earned his B.Sc. degree in mathematics and physics at University College, Dublin, his S.T.L. in theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, and his Ph.D. degree in systematic theology from the Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis. Before coming to Creighton he held faculty appointments at St. Joseph College, Nairobi, Kenya, and Holy Ghost College, Dublin.  He and his wife, Susan, have three adult children and four grandchildren.

Past Lectures

  • 1999 – Paul Knitter
  • 2000 – Gerald Magill
  • 2001 – John J. Collins & Adela Yarbro Collins
  • 2002 – Lisa Sowle Cahill
  • 2003 – Bernard Cooke
  • 2004 – Symposium on the Second Vatican Council — Joseph A. Komonchak & Susan Wood
  • 2005 – Elizabeth Dreyer
  • 2006 – Adrian Thatcher
  • 2007 – Michael Himes
  • 2008 – Sandra M. Schneiders
  • 2009 – Richard Gaillardetz
  • 2010 – John O’Keefe
  • 2011 – Orlando Espin
  • 2012 – Mary Ann Hinsdale
  • 2013 – Frederick Bauerschmidt
  • 2014 – Paul Lakeland
  • 2015 – John Peter Kenney
  • 2016 – Emmanuel Katongole
  • 2017 – Aline Kalbian