Pat ReifThe annual Pat Reif Memorial Lectureship was created in 2002 in honor of Patricia A. Reif, IHM, PhD. A scholar, educator, and activist, Reif taught philosophy and chaired the graduate department in religious studies at Immaculate Heart College. In 1984 she founded the MA program in feminist spirituality at Immaculate Heart College Center. Active in many social justice issues, including domestic abuse, poverty, immigration, welfare rights, and the anti-nuclear movement, Reif co-founded the Interfaith Hunger Coalition and the Southern California Interfaith Task Force on Central America (SCITCA).

The funding of the Patricia A. Reif Memorial Lecture Fund is a joint effort of CGU, the Immaculate Heart Community, the Immaculate Heart College Alumnae Board, the Immaculate Heart College Center, the MSMC Religious Studies Department, and the MSMC Office of the Graduate Dean. The lecture fund is dedicated to advancing the ideals she represented.


18th Annual Pat Reif Memorial Lecture

“The Information Apocalypse is Here:
Our current technology rewards information that is false or misleading, corrupting thought and debasing society. How can we fight back?”

Join us for a special talk with Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite. “If it’s false, it leads” could be the motto of the first quarter of the 21st century. In the first half of her lecture, Thistlethwaite will show how new information technologies actually aid in disseminating false or misleading information because it is “clickbait” as it is popularly described. Why does this work? It works because it trades on deep-seated animosities like racism and misogyny to generate energy such as hatred provides. In Part II, Thistlethwaite will address “What to do about it?” using feminist, womanist and queer theory. She will also engage the audience on possible ways to push back.

Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite is President Emerita and Professor Emerita of Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS). Thistlethwaite has a PhD from Duke University, a Masters of Divinity (Summa Cum Laude) from Duke Divinity School and a BA from Smith College. An ordained minister of the United Church of Christ since 1974, Thistlethwaite is the author and editor of thirteen academic books, including Women’s Bodies as Battlefield: Christian Theology and the Global War on Women and #Occupy the Bible: What Jesus Really Said (and Did) About Money and Power. After retiring from CTS, Thistlethwaite became a fiction writer, publishing three mystery novels, including Casting Stones: Prostitution and Liberation in Asia and the United States. Thistlethwaite describes these fiction books as “theology as performance art,” a way to show feminist theology in action, not just talk about it. Thistlethwaite is also a well-known media commentator and has written numerous columns for the Washington Post, Huffington Post, and the Chicago Tribune.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020 | 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM PDT
Online via Zoom
RSVP Required
*After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Please save the confirmation email to join the event.

Contact: Janice Poss, Pat Reif Memorial Lecture Coordinator, at for more information.

This event is free and open to the public.

Past Speakers

  • (2019) Kim R. Harris, Loyola Marymount University, Welcome Table: Liturgical Justice Through Sacred Song
  • (2018) Kwok Pui Lan, Emory University, Metaphor, Moral Reasoning, and Women’s Protest Movements
  • (2017) María Pilar Aquino, University of San Diego
  • (2016) Ivy Nallammah Josiah, You Can’t Beat a Woman: Violence at Home and Violence by the State
  • (2015) Margaret Farley, Yale University Divinity School, Gender, Sexuality, and Ethics: New Perspectives
  • (2014) Lisa Isherwood, University of Winchester
  • (2012) Rev. Rita Nakashima Brock, Saving Paradise: Moral Conscience, Beauty, and the Glory of Humanity
  • (2011) Mercy Amba Oduyoye, Trinity Theological Seminary, Ghana
  • (2010) Riffat Hassan, University of Louisville & Kebokile Dengu-Zvobgo, Pitzer College, A Praxis of Social Transformation: The Feminist Scholar as Activist
  • (2009) Ivone Gebara, the Brazilian Sister of Notre Dame, Happiness and the Construction of Right Relationship – A Feminist Perspective Feminism & Religious Identities
  • (2008) Venerable Dhammananda (Ven. Dr. Chatsumarn Kabilsingh), Path to Ordination of Women in Buddhism: Challenges and Opportunities
  • (2007) Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza, Harvard Divinity School, Scripture and Power: A Feminist Exploration
  • (2005) Musa Dube, University of Botswana, HIV + Feminism in the Global Aids Epidemic
  • (2004) Beverly Harrison, Union Theological Seminary, New York, retired
  • (2003) Chun Hyun Kyung, Union Theological Seminary, New York
  • (2002) Mary E. Hunt, WATER

For more information contact Janice Poss, Pat Reif Memorial Lecture Coordinator, at