James Lewis Heft

Alton M. Brooks Professor of Religion
Pronouns He / Him / His Email heft@usc.edu Office URC 102 Office Phone (213) 740-3055
  • Summary Statement of Research Interests

    As president for the Institute, I have raised over 1.5 M for to support research in areas such as economics and social justice, Catholic intellectual life, and the separation of Church and State
    I continue to work on my own book on The Current State of Catholic Colleges and Universities in the United States.

  • Conference Presentations

    • “”The Moment: Interreligous Dialogue: A Conversation with Eboo Patel” , The McGreal Lecture Lecture/Seminar, Dominican University in Chicago , Invited, Chicago , 08/23/2013
    • “Forming One’s Conscience in a Polarized Church” , LA Religious ConferenceLecture/Seminar, Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Invited, Los Angeles, CA, 2012-2013
    • “Fundamentals of Ecclesiology” Lecture/Seminar, The Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Invited, Los Angeles, CA, 2012-2013
    • “lead a Trustees of the Loyola Marymount University” , WorkshopTalk/Oral Presentation, LMU, Invited, Los Angeles, 2012-2013
    • “Presidency in a Catholic University” , Inauguration of the first Lay PresidentKeynote Lecture, St. John’s University, Invited, Collegeville, Minnesota, 2012-2013
    • “Response to Prof. Wendy M. Wright, author of “The Lady of the Angels and Her City” , Our Lady of Los AngelesTalk/Oral Presentation, Loyola Marymount University, Invited, Los Angeles, CA, 2012-2013
    • “The Challenges of Interreligious Dialogue” , The Cardinal Lecture Lecture/Seminar, St. Mary’s University, Invited, Winona, Minnesota, 2012-2013
    • “The Current State of Catholic High Schools in the U.S.” , Catholic Center Lecture Lecture/Seminar, St. Francis DeSales University in, Invited, Pennsylvania , 2012-2013
    • “The Mission of a Catholic High School: Three Challenges” , Educational Leadership SymposiumLecture/Seminar, National Association of Christian Brothers, Invited, Los Angeles, 2012-2013
    • “.” , The Life of Faith in Contemporary Culture.Workshop, Invited, Los Angeles Diocese, 06/09/2011 – 06/16/2011
    • “Catholicism and Islam: The Current State of the Dialogue.” Lecture/Seminar, Invited by US Ambassador, Invited, Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies , 05/20/2011
    • “Interfaith Panel” Roundtable/Panel, Hassan Hathout Foundation. , Invited, 04/17/2011
    • “Faith and Diplomacy. ” , USC’s Center on Public Diplomacy Roundtable/Panel, Invited, 03/25/2011
    • “The Humanities and Professional Education.” Lecture/Seminar, Invited, Duquesne University, 03/10/2011
    • ” Mission and Identity of a Catholic Jesuit University.” Workshop, Invited, John Carroll University, 03/09/2011
    • “Catholic Intellectual Life: An Oxymoron?” Lecture/Seminar, Invited, St. Louis University , 03/03/2011
    • “Catholic Teaching on War and Peacemaking” Lecture/Seminar, Invited, Dr. Andrew Manning’s USC Peace and Conflict course, 11/01/2010
    • “Religion and Violence: Three Interpretations” Lecture/Seminar, Invited, Uiversity of Dayton, 09/17/2010
    • “The Catholic Universty in Post Modern Culture” Lecture/Seminar, Invited, St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, Texas, 09/09/2010
    • “Science and Religion” Lecture/Seminar, Invited, University ot Dayton, 07/13/2010
    • “A Catholic Approach to the Dialogue with Islam” , “Islam and the West”Keynote Lecture, Al Azhar University, Invited, Cairo, Egypt, 2008-2009
    • “Catholic Intellectual Life” Lecture/Seminar, St. Mark’s College, Invited, University of British Columbia, 2008-2009
    • “Discipleship and Citizenship” Talk/Oral Presentation, Holy Family Parish, Invited, Pasadena, CA, 2008-2009
    • “Ecclesiology” Roundtable/Panel, Archdiocese of LA, Invited, Los Angeles, 2008-2009
    • “Interfaith Dialogue” Roundtable/Panel, Polytechnic High School, Invited, Pasadena, CA, 2008-2009
    • “Mission and Identity of a Catholic University” Talk/Oral Presentation, Paper College of New Rochelle Board of Trustees, Invited, New Rochelle, NY, 2008-2009
    • “Religion and Politics” Talk/Oral Presentation, Alumni Assoc of Loyola Law School, Invited, Los Angeles, CA, 2008-2009
    • “Religion and Public Life” , Legatus of Ventura CountyLecture/Seminar, Invited, Oxnard, CA, 2008-2009
    • “Religious Pluralism and Peace” Lecture/Seminar, Chaminade University, Invited, Honolulu, HI, 2008-2009
    • “Science and Religion” Talk/Oral Presentation, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Invited, Newport Beach, CA, 2008-2009
    • “Spirituality of Leadership” Talk/Oral Presentation, Archdioces of Los Angeles, Invited, Los Angeles, CA, 2008-2009
    • “Teaching Morality to Adolescents” , LA Religious ConferenceLecture/Seminar, Invited, Anaheim, CA, 2008-2009
    • “The New Atheism” Lecture/Seminar, University of Dayton, Invited, Dayton, OH, 2008-2009
    • “”Contemporary Culture and Catechesis,” ” Lecture/Seminar, LA Religious Education Congress, Invited, 2007-2008
    • “A Catholic Approach to Interreligious Dialogue” Roundtable/Panel, Polytechnic High School , Invited, Pasadena, CA, 2007-2008
    • “A Catholic Approach to the Liberal Arts” Lecture/Seminar, St. Mark’s College, University of British Columbia, Invited, Vancouver, B.C. Canada, 2007-2008
    • “Catholic Approaches to Interreligious Dialogue” Talk/Oral Presentation, Invited, IR class at USC, 2007-2008
    • “Catholic Bishops and Catholic Politicians” Lecture/Seminar, Holy Family Parish , Invited, South Pasadena, CA, 2007-2008
    • “Catholic Bishops and Catholic Politicians” Lecture/Seminar, St. Mary’s College, Invited, Moraga, CA, 2007-2008
    • “Catholicism and Science: the Case of Evolution” Talk/Oral Presentation, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel , Invited, Newport Beach, CA, 2007-2008
    • “Faithful Citizenship: Separation of Church and State” Talk/Oral Presentation, Alumni Organization of Loyola Law School,, Invited, Los Angeles, 2007-2008
    • “Leadership in Catholic High Schools” , National Conference Lecture/Seminar, National Catholic Education Association, Invited, San Antonio, TX, 2007-2008
    • “Pro-Choice Catholic Politicians and the Election” Talk/Oral Presentation, Holy Family Parish, Invited, South Pasadena, CA, 2007-2008
    • “Silence and Speech” , Fundraiser Luncheon for the Cloistered Carmelite Sisters,Talk/Oral Presentation, San Gabriel Country Club , Invited, 2007-2008
    • “Two Different Worlds: Academics and Campus Ministries” , National conference of Catholic Campus Ministries Lecture/Seminar, Invited, Vero Beach, FL, 2007-2008
    • “Passing on the Faith to the Next Generation” Lecture/Seminar, Catholic Theological Society of America, Invited, Miami, FL, 07/07/2008
    • “True Wealth of Nations” Organizer, Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies, Invited, Davidson Conference Center, 06/18/2008 – 06/22/2008
    • “Bishops and Politics” , National convention of the Catholic Theological Society of AmericaChaired one session, Invited, Los Angeles, CA, 2006-2007
    • “Day-long workshop for faculty & staff” Workshop, St. Monica’s High School, 2006-2007
    • “Difficulties in Inter-Religious Dialogue.” Talk/Oral Presentation, University of Michigan,, 2006-2007
    • “Director of Fordham University’s Center on Religion and Culture, ” , discuss in a small seminar Christian Smith’s Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Am, 2006-2007
    • “Discipleship: New Possibilities” Talk/Oral Presentation, Holy Family Parish , South Pasadena, CA, 2006-2007
    • “Failing America’s Faithful ” , A dialogue with Kathleen Kennedy Townsend on the topic of her book, Failing America’s Faithful (WarnTalk/Oral Presentation, St. Monica’s Church, Santa Monica, 2006-2007
    • “Inter-Religious Dialogue” Panel Discussion, Omar Ibn al Khattab Mosque. , 2006-2007
    • “Learned Ignorance in the Abrahamic Religions” Led a three day symposium, Jerusalem, Israel, 2006-2007
    • “on “The Role of Religion and Peacemaking.” ” Talk/Oral Presentation, Invited by Lisa Bitel, USC professor of history., Leo Baeck Temple, 2006-2007
    • “Presented a day long workshop to the faculty and staff” Workshop, Chaminade High School , West Hills, CA, 2006-2007
    • “Social Sciences and the Human Person,” ” , Notre DameTalk/Oral Presentation, Templeton Foundation, Sea Island, Georgia, 2006-2007
    • “The Importance of Religious Distinctive Research at a Catholic University” Talk/Oral Presentation, DePaul University , Chicago, IL, 2006-2007
    • “The Roles of the Faculty at a Catholic University” , Boston College’s Institute for Leadership in Catholic Higher EducationTalk/Oral Presentation, Invited, 2006-2007
    • “The Vocation Crises in the Catholic Church” , the Serra Club International.Talk/Oral Presentation, Los Angeles, 2006-2007
    • “Trinity Sunday” , National Convention of the College Theology SocietyPreach Sermon, University of Dayton , 2006-2007
    • “USC panel on religious diversity” , USC panel on religious diversityTalk/Oral Presentation, 2006-2007
    • “Vision and Voices Program” , At the request of the Provost’s office, led a discussion for 150 USC students with Prof. Thomas LyTalk/Oral Presentation, Mark Taper Theatre, 2006-2007
    • I continue to work on my own book on The Current State of Catholic Colleges and Universities in the United States.
  • Book

    • Heft, S.M., James Lewis (Ed.). (2012). After Vatican II: Trajectories and Hermeneutics. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co..
    • Heft, S.M., J. L. (2011). Catholic High Schools: Facing the New Realities. Qxford University Press.
    • Heft, S.M., J. L. (2011). Catholicism and Interreligious Dialogue. (James L. Heft, S.M., Ed.). Oxford University Press.

    Book Chapter

    • Heft, S.M., J. L. (2011). “John Paul II and the ‘Just War’ Doctrine: ‘Making Peace through Justice and Forgiveness, Not War”. In Religion, Identity, and Global Governance pp. 203-219. University of Toronto Press.
    • Heft, J. L. (2005). US Catholics and the Presidential Election: Abortion and Proportionate Reasons”. (Vol. 259-275) New Blackfriars: A Review 86.
    • Heft, J. L. (2005). Believing Scholars:. (Vol. 196) pp. p. New York: Ten Catholic Intellectuals/Fordham University Press.
    • Heft, J. L. (2005). “Presidents and Principals: What Should Be Their Major Focus?”. (Vol. 13-26) Development of the President/Principal Model in Catholic High Schools.

    Encyclopedia Article

    • Heft, S.M., J. L. (2010). “Catholic Higher Education in the United States”. 427-430. Vol. 1 New Catholic Encyclopedia Supplement 2010,.

    Journal Article

    • Heft, S.M., J. L. (2012). Institutionalizing Catholic Identity. Journal of Catholic Higher Education. Vol. Vol.31, Number 2 (Summer 2012), pp. 181-192.
    • Heft, J. L. (2008). Evolution and Catholicism: A Few Modest Proposals. Horizons. Vol. 35 (2 Fall 2008), pp. 203-227.
    • Heft, J. L.Rousing the Sleeping Giant: Notre Dame’s Commitment to Catholic Schools. Catholic Education: A Journal of Inquiry and Practice.
    • Heft, J. L. (2007). Newman’s Vision of a University: Then and Now. Catholic Education: A Journal of Inquiry and Practice. Vol. 10:3, pp. 357-375.
    • Heft, J. L. (2006). Religion and Politics: The Catholic Contribution. University of Dayton Law Review. Vol. Vo. 32:1 (2006), pp. 29-46.
    • Heft, J. L. (2006). “Catholic Universities as Open Circles: Academic Freedom.”. No Journal Defined. Vol. 35, pp. 40 660-663.
    • Heft, J. L. (2005). “Wisdom for Presidents”. No Journal Defined. Vol. 24, pp. 2 49-51.
    • Heft, J. L.“Catholic Education and Social Justice.”. No Journal Defined. Vol. 10, pp. 1 6-23.

    Magazine/Trade Publication

    • Heft, S.M., J. L.”Spirituality and Religion: Challenges and Opportunities”. The Catechist.
    • Heft, S.M., J. L.”Christianity, War and Peacemaking”. Cross Current, United Nations. pp. 328-331.


    • Heft, S.M., J. L. (2010). “Christmas and Easter Christians”, OpEd. Washington Post.
    • Heft, S.M., J. L. (2010). “From ‘Nones’ to ‘Somethings’,” OpEd. Tidings.
    • 2013 Catholic Press Awards Third Place – After Vatican II: Trajectories and Hermenutics, edited by James L. Heft, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, MI A valuable contribution to the ongoing analysis of the conciliar documents of Vatican II. The inclusion of the insights of noted theologians guarantees that a broad scope of interpretations is presented. The authors help the reader to understand that the Council was an event that is still being determined as it is lived out in the lives of all of us., 2012-2013
    • Alton M. Brooks Professor of Religion, 2006/08/16-2013/05/15
    • Theodore M. Hesburgh Award in Washington DC from the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities for distinguished and long contribution to Catholic higher education in the United States., 2011/01/29
    • Nominated by Gamma Sigma Alpha National Greek Honor Society at USC for Professor of the Year 2007 , 2007-2008
  • Other Advisement or Time Devoted to Students

      I continue to prepare and lead bi-monthly discussions for a series entitled “Intelligent Catholicism” at the Caruso Catholic Center. Topics
  • Committees

    • Serve on Rabbi Susan Laemmle’s USC Religious Partners’ Group.
      , 2007-2008

    Media, Alumni, and Community Relations

    • Invited President of the National Endowment of the Arts, Dana Gioia, to speak on “Catholicism and Literature” Video presentation is on our website: www.ifacs.com.,

    Other Service to the University

    • Organized Annual Leccture Series on “Film and Religion”., 2008-2009
    • We have also launched our first annual USC lecture series, “Catholicism and Other World Religions,” which will result in a book published in 2008. Next year, we will organize a year long series on “Film and Religion.” , 2007-2008
  • Committees

    • “Serve on Rabbi Susan Laemmle’s USC Religious Partners’ Group.
      “, 2007-2008

    Conferences Organized

    • , The Contested Concept of the Common Good”,
    • Organized and Chaired, “Caritas in veritate and how it applies to the United States.” “, 10/15/2011
    • Organizer, What Happened at Vatican II?”,
    • Organizer, True Wealth of Nations”, 06/18/2008-06/22/2008