Notre Dame Forum Explores Morals and the Global Economy

Author: Julie Hail Flory

Notre Dame Forum

Three panel discussions will be presented at the University of Notre Dame in September and October as part of the 2010-11 Notre Dame Forum, “The Global Marketplace and the Common Good.” The Forum is a yearlong discussion on the role of ethics, values, and morals in the rebuilding and reshaping of the global economy.

The Forum brings experts and speakers to campus to join Notre Dame faculty and students as they examine the inherent demand for an essential moral framework in the quest for human development. It is an issue that has taken on increased scrutiny in the wake of the current global economic crisis and the recent papal encyclical “Caritas in Veritate,” in which Pope Benedict XVI offers reflections on the subject, touching on theological, economic and political questions.

Upcoming events are:

Morals and Markets: Being Catholic in a Global Economy—7 p.m. Tuesday, September 21, Washington Hall. Featuring opening remarks by Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president, this event will feature an economist, a political scientist and a theologian offering their perspectives on “Caritas in Veritate.” Panelists are Douglass Cassel, professor of law and director of the Center for Civil and Human Rights at the Notre Dame Law School; William Evans, Keough-Hesburgh Professor of Economics; and Margaret Pfeil, assistant professor of moral theology and a faculty fellow of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. Mary Hirschfeld, a doctoral student in moral theology, will moderate the discussion.

The Professions and the Common Good—7 p.m., Wednesday, October 6, Washington Hall. Three panelists will discuss the ways their concern for the common good has influenced their professional lives. The panel will consist of Terrence R. Keeley, author, financier and founding director of the Financial Hippocratic Oath Movement; Daniela Papi, director and founder of PEPY, a hybrid social venture in rural Cambodia; and physician Daniel J. Towle.

Technology: Boon or Bane?—7 p.m., Tuesday, October 12, Washington Hall. A discussion of “Caritas in Veritate” and how it relates to the work of scientists and their responsibility as human beings. Panelists are Gregory P. Crawford, Warren Dean of the College of Science and professor of physics; Peter Kilpatrick, McCloskey Dean of Engineering and professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering; Harindra “Joe” Fernando, Murdy Professor of Engineering and Geosciences; and Wolfgang Porod, Freimann Professor of Electrical Engineering and director of the Center for Nano Science and Technology.

All three panel discussions are free and open to the public, but tickets are required and will be available at the door. The events will also be streamed live on the Web at, shown on screens in the LaFortune Student Center, and made available via closed-circuit broadcasts on campus cable channel 13.

The 2010-11 Notre Dame Forum will be highlighted by an event featuring Pulitzer-Prize-winning New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who will speak Wednesday, November 3, on the title topic. This signature presentation is open to Notre Dame students, faculty and staff and will be followed the next day by a series of student discussions that will take place in residence halls.

A complete listing of Forum events is available on the Forum Web site, along with opportunities to join discussions on related topics.

Established in 2005 by Father Jenkins, the Notre Dame Forum has brought leading authorities to campus to discuss substantive issues of the day. Past forum topics have included immigration, sustainability, global health, and the role of religious faith in a plural world.

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