January 5, 2016 David Hollenbach to Discuss Humanitarian Crises and People Displaced by War

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Jason Steinhauer (202) 707-0213
Contact: Individuals requiring accommodations must submit a request at least five business days in advance by contacting (202) 707-6362 or ADA@loc.gov.

Theologian and human-rights scholar David Hollenbach will discuss humanitarian crises and the responsibilities of nations and organizations to assist people displaced by war, in the annual Maguire lecture at the Library of Congress on April 26.

Hollenbach holds the Cary and Ann Maguire Chair in Ethics and American History at the Library’s John W. Kluge Center. He will present “Humanity in Crisis: Ethical Responsibilities to People Displaced by War,” at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, April 26 in room 119 on the first floor of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not needed.

In his address, Hollenbach will propose ethical responsibilities for protecting people in the midst of humanitarian crises and make suggestions for preventing such crises. He will discuss the responsibilities of the United States, other nations, non-governmental organizations and religious communities. The number of people displaced by war and other crises today is higher than at any time since World War II.

The lecture will mark the conclusion to Hollenbach’s five-month residency at the Kluge Center, where he has used the Library’s collections to research his current book, tentatively titled “Humanity in Crisis: Religious and Ethical Responses to War and Disaster.” The book explores the roles of states, NGOs and faith-based communities in responding to humanitarian crises. The book also addresses ethical issues that arise for humanitarian agents working in crisis situations, and how ethical values can help shape humanitarian policy. Hollenbach has drawn on documents in the Library’s Manuscript Division, its area-studies reading rooms, and its general humanities and social sciences collections in his research.

At Boston College, Hollenbach, a Jesuit, is a professor of Christian social ethics and the director of its Center for Human Rights and International Justice. His research interests are in human rights, theories of justice, religious and ethical responses to humanitarian crises and the displacement of refugees, and religion in political life. His books include “Driven from Home: Protecting the Rights of Forced Migrants” (2010); “Refugee Rights: Ethics, Advocacy, and Africa” (2008); “The Global Face of Public Faith: Politics, Human Rights, and Christian Ethics” (2003); and “The Common Good and Christian Ethics” (2002).

The Cary and Ann Maguire Chair in Ethics and American History is a distinguished senior research position in residence at the Library, appointed by the Librarian of Congress. Using research facilities and services at the Library of Congress, the scholar is expected to explore the history of America with special attention to the ethical dimensions of domestic economic, political and social policies, and present a lecture on the research at the end of the tenure. For more information, visit www.loc.gov/kluge/fellowships/maguire.html.

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world's best thinkers to stimulate and energize one another, to distill wisdom from the Library's rich resources, and to interact with policymakers in Washington. For more information about the Kluge Center visit loc.gov/kluge/.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s first federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds more than 160 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at loc.gov.


PR 16-003
ISSN 0731-3527