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The Human Person, Economics & Catholic Social Thought

Apr 3 2014 4—6pm
International House, University of Chicago
1414 E 59th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
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Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I.

Archbishop of Chicago

Mary Hirschfeld

Villanova University

Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde

University of Pennsylvania

Rachel E. Kranton

Duke University

Russell Hittinger

University of Tulsa


“The current financial crisis can make us overlook the 
fact that it originated in a profound human crisis: 
the denial of the primacy of the human person!”
– Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium


The human person is a contested terrain. Within the fields of Economics and Catholic Social Thought, each maintain distinct conceptions of and emphases on the human person that impact their respective diagnoses of contemporary crises and proposed solutions. Drawing together economists, bishops and scholars, this symposium will explore fundamental convergences and divergences in the conception of the human person in Economics and Catholic Social Thought.

This program is part of the Lumen Christi Institute’s Sixth Annual Conference in Economics and Catholic Social Thought, a continuing exchange between research economists, bishops, and scholars.

Co-sponsored by the John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought, The International House Global Voices Program, The Seng Foundation Program for Market-Based Programs and Catholic Values, & The Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts at the University of Notre Dame.

Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I. (1937-2015) served as Archbishop of Chicago for seventeen years. A member of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Cardinal George as­sumed a prominent position among U.S. Cardinals, serving as the Pres­ident of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops from 2007 to 2010. He earned a PhD in Philosophy from Tulane University and a Doc­torate of Sacred Theology from the Pontifical University Urbaniana in Rome. His other books include The Difference God Makes: A Catholic Vision of Fath, Communion and Culture and God in Action: How Faith in God Addresses the Challenges of the World.


Mary Hirschfeld is Assistant Professor of Economics & Theology at Vil­lanova University. She specializes in the fields of macroeconomics and economic history. In 2013, she was inducted into the Dominican School of Philosophy & Theology College of Fellows. Prof. Hirschfeld is the author of several articles on economics in the Review of Economics and Statistics, the Journal of Eco­nomic Education, and History of Political Economy, as well as a recent article on moral theology in the Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics.


Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde is Professor of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania. He serves as a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, Penn’s Population Studies Center, and the Centre for Economic Policy Research. His research focuses primarily on the computation and estimation of dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) models. He is co-author ofMacroeconomics: A Dynamic Approach (Forthcoming from Princeton University Press).


Rachel E. Kranton is the James B. Duke Professor of Economics at Duke University and a Fellow of the Econometric Society. She was awarded a Chaire Blaise Pascal from the Paris School of Economics from 2011-2012 and has held fellowships at the Russell Sage Foundation in New York and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. Her research focuses on how institutions and the social setting affect economic outcomes. She is author of Identity Economics: How our Identities Affect our Work, Wages, and Well-Being.


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 Theory, The First Grace: Rediscovering Natural Law in a Post-Christian Age,and Thomas Aquinas the Rule of Law.