M. Cathleen Kaveney
John P. Murphy Foundation Professor of Law and Professor of Theology
Moral Theology/Christian Ethics
A.B., Princeton University, 1984
Four graduate degrees from Yale University including an M.A., 1986
M.Phil, 1990; J.D., 1990; and Ph.D., 1991
Research and Teaching Interests
Prior to joining the faculty at Notre Dame, Kaveny, a member of the Massachusetts Bar since 1993, clerked for the Honorable John T. Noonan Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and worked as an associate at the Boston law firm of Ropes & Gray in its health-law group. She has published many articles on issues lying at the intersection of law, morality, and religion, in journals such as The Hastings Center Report, Theological Studies, and the Wake Forest Law Review.
She has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Law and Religion, The Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics and the American Journal of Jurisprudence. Particular topics she has addressed include the function of religious discourse in the public square, the role of law as a moral teacher in a pluralistic society, and the impoverishment of the commodified notion of time dominating legal practice and the contemporary business world. Much of her scholarship has focused on questions in health care ethics, such as assisted suicide, cloning, and managed care. Her current projects include one book on complicity with evil, and another on the relationship between justice and mercy.
In addition to teaching contracts to first-year law students, Professor Kaveny also teaches interdisciplinary classes in both the law school and the theology department. She regularly offers an interdisciplinary course entitled "Ethics and Law at the End of Life." The class, which she has offered at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, explores the questions of assisted suicide and euthanasia from the perspectives of theology, philosophy, public policy, and law.
Professor Kaveny also participates in the national conversation about the relationship of Catholicism and intellectual life. She serves on the steering committee of the Catholic Common Ground Initiative founded by the late Cardinal Bernardin, and is also a member of the advisory board for the University's Erasmus Institute.
"Prophecy and Casuistry: Abortion, Torture, and Moral Discourse" (Giannella Lecture), Villanova Law Review 51:3 (2006) 499-579 .
"The NBAC Report on Cloning: A Case Study in Religion, Public Policy, and Bioethics," in David Guinn, ed., Handbook on Bioethics and Religion (Oxford, 2006) 221-47.
"Diversity and Deliberation: The Role of Presidential Commissions on Bioethics," Journal of Religious Ethics 34:2 (2006) 311-37.
"Autonomy, Solidarity, and Law's Pedagogy," in The University and the Human in a Pluralistic Age (2006) 25-41.
Between Example and Doctrine: Contract Law and Common Morality," Journal of Religious Ethics 33:4 (December 2005) 669-95.
"Tax Lawyers, Prophets, and Pilgrims," in Helen Watt, ed., Complicity and Conscience (2005) 65-88.
"How Catholic Traditions Might Shape University Teaching: The Example of a Catholic American Law School," in Christopher Garbowski et al., eds., Catholic Universities in the New Europe (2005) 157-78.
"The Order of Widows: What the Early Church Can Teach Us About Older Women and Health Care," centerpiece of a symposium issue, Christian Bioethics 11 (2005) 11-34.
Lecture: "Prophecy and Casuistry: Abortion, Torture, and Moral Discourse," select session, at an international conference on "Catholic Theological Ethics and the World Church," Pauda, Italy, July 2006.
Lecture: "From the Right to Die to the Culture of Life," Invited panelist at the opening plenary of the 30th Annual Health Law Teachers Conference, in Baltimore, MD in June 2006.
Lecture: "The Virtue of Hope and Catholic Higher Education," keynote address, inauguration of Brian Linnane as the 24th president of Loyola College Maryland, in Baltimore, MD in October 2005.
Lecture: "Complicity and Moral Memory," invited plenary talk at a conference on Complicity at Oxford University, in June 2005.
Lecture: "Charity in the House of God," commencement address, Dominican House of Studies, Washington DC, May 2005.
324 Law School