Remembering Nagasaki

24 Apr 2024
6:30 pm


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Walter Room in Curley Hall, The Catholic University of America
620 Michigan Ave NE, Washington, DC 20064

An Enduring Legacy of Suffering and Hope

Join the IHE, the Asian Association, the Department of Modern Languages and Literature, and the Department of Sociology for a lecture by Professor James Nolan, Washington Gladden 1859 Professor of Sociology at Williams College.

Professor Nolan will consider the unique manner in which the Catholics of Nagasaki responded to the atomic bomb that was dropped on their city on 9 August 1945. Against the backdrop of a remarkable history of affliction and perseverance, the Nagasaki Catholics’ response to the destruction of their city and community, informed by a distinctive theology of suffering, offers an inspiring example of joyful hope and endurance. A defining symbol of this response is the Urakami Cathedral. The largest Catholic church in East Asia at the time, the cathedral was destroyed by the plutonium bomb but then, painstakingly, and in spite of seemingly insurmountable odds, rebuilt by the community in the years after the war. Included in the new building is one of the original bells recovered from beneath the rubble of the cathedral ruins.


  • James Nolan
    James Nolan
    Washington Gladden 1859 Professor of Sociology at Williams College

    James L. Nolan, Jr. is the Washington Gladden 1859 Professor of Sociology at Williams College. His teaching and research interests fall in the general areas of law and society, culture, technology and social change, and historical comparative sociology. He is the author and editor of a number of books, including Atomic Doctors: Conscience and Complicity at the Dawn of the Nuclear Age (Harvard University Press, 2020) and What They Saw in America: Alexis de Tocqueville, Max Weber, G.K. Chesterton, and Sayyid Qutb (Cambridge University Press, 2016). He is currently working on a book about Nagasaki. He is the recipient of several grants and awards including a Fulbright scholarship and two National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships. He has held visiting fellowships at Oxford University, Loughborough University, the University of Notre Dame, CUA, and Nagasaki Junshin Catholic University.

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