Mercy: Breaking the Chains of Indifference, Hatred, and Revenge

2015-16 Newman Lecture Series

Mercy provides a power to transform injustice, reunite families, and overcome barriers to peace. It expresses interpersonal compassion and loving kindness to the one in need and to the one at fault.  On the one hand, as an affective bonding to the neighbor or friend in need, mercy is expressed in empathy toward the one who suffers. On the other hand, as an effective positive action for the person in need, mercy overcomes indifference, transforms hatred, and halts the cycle of revenge.

A nuanced vision of mercy will identify its roots in the psychological, social, and spiritual sources that contribute to its affective and effective dimensions.  Of particular significance is the progression from mercy to forgiveness and through forgiveness to reconciliation.  Full and lasting reconciliation, however, requires more than the mere duty to forgive. It is rooted in loving kindness, compassion, and mercy which lead beyond reconciliation to friendship and social harmony.

As an interdisciplinary conversation about the scientific, personal, and spiritual sense of mercy, the 2015-2016 Blessed Newman Lecture Series serves as a contribution to better understand one of the most understudied, yet powerful of virtues.


Location: Hilton Crystal City (Crystal Ballroom) 2399 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA 22202

August 27th, 2015 –  Forgiving Yourself and Others and Mental (and Physical) Health , Everett Worthington, Ph.D. (Virginia Commonwealth University)

November 19th, 2015 –The CEO as Creator of Culture: Forgiveness in the Corporate Setting,  Andreas Widmer

March 15th, 2016 6:30PM – How Mercy Contributes to Happiness, Fr. Robert Spitzer, SJ

May 19th, 2016 6:30PM – Most Reverend William Edward Lori, S.T.D.

There is no charge to attend the Newman Lectures. Donations are however greatly appreciated. To make reservations, please RSVP below or call 703.416.1441 ext. 127. To learn more about the Blessed Newman Lecture Series, click here.



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You’re Invited – Special After-Lecture Party
As an addition to our Newman Lectures this fall, there will be an “after-lecture party”, perfect for perspective students or for anyone who may be interested in learning more about the overall mission and vision of IPS.    Guests can submit a special RSVP and then stay a little longer after the lecture to learn more about IPS.

For information about the Newman Lectures of previous years, please click here.