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'Big Questions' About Pope Francis and Catholic Church

Local podcast stops at Northwestern for conversation on the politics of sainthood

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May 20, 2014 | by Caitlin Tucker

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University professor of religion Christina Traina will join Robert K. Elder, Chicago Sun-Times Media Local editor-in-chief and host of “The Big Questions,” for a live recording of his podcast Wednesday, May 21.

The discussion, “The Politics of Sainthood, the Changing Catholic Church and Pope Francis,” is free and open to the public and will take place at 4 p.m. in the lower level of Sheil Catholic Center, 2110 Sheridan Road, on the Evanston campus.

“The Big Questions,” a part of the Chicago Sun-Times Media Local podcasts initiative, makes light of heavy subjects such as life, death, religion and sex, with the personal stories and insights of its guests. In each episode, authors, comedians, artists, musicians and others commiserate and laugh about life’s prodigious questions.

In this week’s episode, Elder and Traina will discuss Pope Francis, the Jesuit pope known for his humility but also his controversial statements, and the changing Catholic Church.

Traina, a professor in the religious studies department of the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, specializes in Christian theology and ethics, with an emphasis on Roman Catholic and feminist thought. She is the author of “Natural Law and Feminist Ethics: the End of the Anathemas” and “The Sensual Mother: Maternal Experience and the Boundaries of Sexual Ethics.” Her current work focuses on the moral agency and economic and labor rights of children.

Elder is a journalist, film columnist and author of many books, including his most recent, “The Film That Changed My Life” and the well-acclaimed “Last Words of the Executed.” Elder’s work has appeared in The New York Times, MSNBC.com, the Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Salon.com, The Oregonian and many other publications. He is also an adjunct lecturer at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications.

Listen to “The Big Questions” on iTunes.