Bruce Morrill, S.J., has sought in his scholarship and ministry to examine, sharpen, and explain the intimate, indelible connection between ritual, faith, and worshiping in community. Father Morrill’s work in parishes, prisons, and with Jesuit Volunteer Corps participants – and over the course of four books and numerous articles – has focused on making liturgy come to life for parishioners, as well as academics.
Father Morrill, the Visiting Jesuit Scholar for spring 2023, will lecture Feb. 9, 2023, on “Celebrating a Week of Sundays: Tapping the Easter Season’s Potential for Discipleship and Mission,” in McIntosh Center in University Hall.
The lecture will focus on the lectionary readings for the seven Sundays of Easter and sacramental rites typically celebrated during this time. Father Morrill believes that a renewed focus on the Easter season will also “advance Vatican II’s teaching on the preparatory season of Lent, thus reviving the ancient catechetical-homiletic tradition of mystagogy.
The Visiting Jesuit Scholar is among the opportunities provided by the Jesuit Community at LMU for accomplished Jesuit scholars/artists to enjoy a year- or semester-long residence at LMU while engaging in their research or creative work. VJS recipients receive a stipend as well as per diem and travel expenses. In return, they give a public lecture and teach a class in their affiliated department.
According to Robert Caro, S.J., administrator of the VJS program, even the recipients’ relatively short stay at LMU enhances the Jesuit presence on campus. Since the program’s inception in 2018, visiting Jesuits have offered courses in Theatre Arts, Education, Irish Studies, and Theological Studies. Father Morrill is teaching THST-604201, “Sacraments and Sacramentality.”
Father Morrill, professor of theological studies and holder of the Edward A. Malloy Chair of Roman Catholic Studies at Vanderbilt University, focuses his theological scholarship in liturgy and sacraments, drawing on interdisciplinary resources of systematic and historical theology, ritual studies, cultural anthropology, and biblical studies. His works include “Practical Sacramental Theology: At the Intersection of Liturgy and Ethics” (2021), “Divine Worship and Human Healing: Liturgical Theology at the Margins of Life and Death” (2009), and “Anamnesis as Dangerous Memory: Political and Liturgical Theology in Dialogue”(2000). In Nashville he presides and preaches at area parishes, as needed, provides pastoral-liturgical ministry at state prisons, and serves as spiritual liaison for the local community of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. Father Morrill is a member of the Jesuits’ East Coast Province. He earned his Ph.D. from Emory University in theological studies.