Theologian Aquiline Tarimo, S.J., to Serve as MacLean Chair for 2013-14

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

by Amanda Sapio '13

SJU’s College of Arts and Sciences has invited Aquiline Tarimo, S.J., to serve as the Donald I. MacLean Chair for the 2013-14 academic year in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies. Father Tarimo is an associate professor of Christian social ethics at Hekima College in Nairobi, Kenya, a Constituent College of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa.

In addition to serving as a Visiting Professor at Santa Clara University in California, he has held administrative positions, including Director of the Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations, Academic Dean and Principal. This semester at SJU, he is teaching Christian Ethics and Human Rights, a class that will explore the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its impact on public morality.

“Focusing on concepts of the common good, cultural traditions and belief systems, will enable us to explore the meaning, foundation, evolution, areas of dispute, and practical significance of human rights in the context of cultural and religious pluralism,” says Fr. Tarimo.

Born in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, Fr. Tarimo holds a Doctorate of Sacred Theology from the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara; a Licentiate of Sacred Theology from Santa Clara University; a Bachelor of Theology from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa; and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from St. Pierre Canisius in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.

The author of five books and fifty articles, Fr. Tarimo’s research involves human rights ethics, contemporary theories of justice, foundations of public values, and the politics of land rights and ethical methodology. He will deliver a public lecture titled “The Future of Human Rights Debate,” on Tuesday, Nov.12, at 3:00 p.m., in the Haub Executive Center.  

“The objective of this lecture is to stimulate discussion focused on the search for effective methodologies of promoting human rights today,” says Fr. Tarimo. “The reform of the United Nations, human rights activism and human rights theories will form a part of the discussion.”

During his time at SJU, Fr. Tarimo has offered to meet with classes or groups to discuss topics relating to social justice, the church in contemporary Africa and African human rights. To invite Fr. Tarimo to address a class, contact him at, (610) 660-1812 or visit his office in BH 248.

The Donald I. MacLean, S.J. Chair is held by members of the Society of Jesus who are accomplished teachers and scholars in the arts and sciences. Established in 1987 through the generosity of lead donors Michael J. Morris ’56,  Joseph McKinney ’52 (dec.), and the Jesuit Community at Saint Joseph’s, it is intended to emphasize that the University’s Jesuit identity is inseparable from the finest teaching, scholarship and collegiate discourse. The Chair is named in honor of the University’s 24th president.

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