Scholar and author Cathleen Kaveny focuses on the relationship of law, religion, and morality.  As the Darald and Juliet Libby Millennium Professor at Boston College, she has dual appointments in both the Theology Department and the Law School—the first to hold the joint appointment. Kaveny has devoted her career to exploring the connection between law and theology and explores the use of prophetic language and rhetoric in the past, and how we use it in today's society.  In this important conversation, Professor Kaveny breaks down the polarizing sides of cancel culture, the benefits of being in the muddled middle and how nostalgia can be dangerous for society. 


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Cathleen Kaveny 

Cathleen Kaveny is the Darald and Juliet Libby Professor at Boston College, where she has dual appointments in the Law School and the Theology Department. Professor Kaveny's work focuses on the intersections of  law, religion, and ethics in a divided, pluralistic society. Her books include Law's Virtues: Fostering Autonomy and Solidarity in American Society (2012); Prophecy without Contempt: Religious Discourse in the Public Square (2016), and Ethics at the Edges of Law: Christian Moralists and American Legal Thought (2018). In 2018-2019, she served as the Cary and Ann Maguire Chair in Ethics and American History at the Kluge Center at the Library of Congress.

Professor Kaveny is the 2023-2024 Carl F. Cranor Family Visiting Scholar. 

About Key Conversations 


Key Conversations with Phi Beta Kappa is a podcast featuring in-depth conversations between Fred Lawrence, Secretary/CEO of Phi Beta Kappa, and Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholars. With a new episode released monthly, each podcast invites listeners to take a seat at the table to learn more about the featured Scholar's background, research, and how they have taken their respective paths to where they are now, and where they are headed. 

Since 1956, the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program has been offering undergraduates the opportunity to spend time with some of America's most distinguished scholars. The purpose of the program is to contribute to the intellectual life of the campus by making possible an exchange of ideas between the Visiting Scholars and the resident faculty and students.​

Our Host

Our Host

Frederick M. Lawrence is the 10th Secretary and CEO of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. An accomplished scholar, teacher and attorney, he is one of the nation’s leading experts on civil rights, free expression, and bias crimes. Learn More.

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