Catholic Social Thought: A Critical Investigation

August 5-9, 2013, University of California, Berkeley

This seminar was an intensive five-day course for graduate students in how to read, analyze, and discern continuities and discontinuities in Catholic Social Thought from the late 19th century to the present. Lectures, seminar reports, and discussion focused on original sources (encyclicals and other magisterial documents), beginning with Rerum novarum (1892) and concluding with Caritas in veritate (2009). These documents are more often referred to than actually read and studied. This intensive course was multi-disciplinary, for this tradition of social thought overlaps several disciplines in the contemporary university: political science, political philosophy, law, economics, theology, and history.  The goal of the seminar was to provide a sufficient introduction to the tradition of Catholic Social Thought to enable graduate students to teach it as a course and integrate it into their own research.

Seminar Leader: Russell Hittinger is the William K. Warren Professor of Catholic Studies and Research Professor of Law at the University of Tulsa. He is also a member of the Pontifical Academy of the Social Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas. Professor Hittinger is the author of many books, including A Critique of the New Natural Law TheoryThe First Grace: Rediscovering Natural Law in a Post-Christian Age, and Thomas Aquinas and the Rule of Law.

Location: The seminar took place at the University of California, Berkeley.

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