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The liberating force of theology

Kevin Hargaden has taken up the position of Social Theology Officer for the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice. He takes over from Fr. Gerry O’Hanlon SJ in the role, who has moved to a new position within the Jesuit Communications Office based in Milltown.

The Centre works to promote social justice by fostering understanding of public policy issues through social analysis and theological reflection, and by advocating for the reform of policy and services. The Social Theology Officer works to support the pre-existing team in achieving these aims. Kevin’s work will supplement the ongoing initiatives of the Centre as it focuses on penal policy, housing and homelessness, environmental justice, renewal within the Church, and the need for a more just and sustainable model of economic development.

Originally from Leixlip, Kevin comes to the role having just completed a PhD in Theological Ethics at the University of Aberdeen. His research explores the theological problem of wealth in the parables of Jesus and specifically approaches that question from the perspective of recent Irish economic history. His first book, written with Brian Brock and Stanley Hauerwas, is entitled Beginnings: Interrogating Stanley Hauerwas, and was published by T&T Clark in February. He has a degree in Computer Science and Software Engineering and in Theology, along with a Masters degree in Sociology. He is an ordinand with the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.

Kevin says he is particularly interested in how Christian ethics, nourished by vibrant spirituality, can inform positive and innovative responses to social problems facing secular, pluralist societies. “I am convinced that theology, properly understood, is a liberating force.” As such, he is delighted to join a team of experienced and skilled researchers with a wide range of expertise who are committed to contributing towards the common good.

If you wish to contact Kevin in relation to theological issues and how they relate to social questions, please email khargaden@jcfj.ie or telephone (01) 855 6814.

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