From May 23-25, 2016, fifteen graduate students and junior faculty in Economics and Finance attended an inaugural seminar on Economics and Catholic Social Thought at the University of Notre Dame.
The seminar, designed as an introduction to Catholic social thought (CST), covered foundational principles—including the human person, dignity, freedom, subsidiarity, solidarity, and the common good—and moved toward applications of these principles to conceptual understandings and ethical considerations involving economic topics such as utility theory, firm objectives, wages, markets, globalization, poverty, and development. Presenters included Martijn Cremers (University of Notre Dame), Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde (University of Pennsylvania), Mary Hirschfeld (Villanova University), Joseph P. Kaboski (University of Notre Dame), and Andrew Yuengert (Pepperdine University).
Participants found the seminar illuminating and inspiring. Said one attendee: “I was thinking the entire time that I could develop CST-related courses in my college (School of Management) and/or organize seminars for colleagues on similar topics.”
Another enthusiastically remarked: “It was an outstanding seminar that enabled me to discover in greater depth CST, and to start thinking about how to integrate it with my work as an economist. It is absolutely necessary and essential to work at building a community of scholars who want to live their faith and integrate it with their work and teaching.”
The event, a result of Lumen Christi’s initiative to increase the number of seminars for doctoral students and improve the “pipeline” of future Catholic college professors, was cosponsored by the Catholic Research Economists Discussion Organization and the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture.