Philosophy and Religion

Catholic Social Thought and the Law

April 30, 2014
Students shared their research from the Spring 2014 course, ‘Religion and the Law’, with visiting experts commenting during an April 30, 6:30 pm Hynson Lounge panel on “Catholic Social Thought and the Law.” The course was taught in the Philosophy and Religion Department by  Ernesto Velazquez and Joseph Prud’homme (Political Science).

Distinguished guest commentators included: Ernesto Velazquez (Supreme Court of Ecuador, Catholic U of Ecuador, WC Philosophy and Religion Dept); William Gorman (Archdiocese of Wash. DC); Fred Israel (Attorney); Anthony Annett (International Monetary Fund)

CHESTERTOWN, MD—The Institute for Religion, Politics, and Culture (IRPC) at Washington College will host a public forum on Catholic social thought on Wednesday, April 30, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in Hynson Lounge, Hodson Hall, on the College campus. 

“Catholic Social Thought and the Law” will showcase student research on the Church’s writings that was conducted during a special course sponsored by the Institute in the Spring 2014 semester. The event will include two presentations and an informal roundtable discussion. 

The first student presentation will address the 1963 encyclical Pacem In Terris (Peace on Earth) by John XXIII, and the 1967 encyclical Populorium Progressio (On the Development of the Peoples) by Paul VI. The second will explore the 1987 encyclicalSolicitudo Rei Socialis (On Social Concern) by John Paul II, and the 2009 encyclical Caritas In Veritate (On Integral Human Development in Charity and Truth) by Benedict XVI. 

Following the student presentations, the roundtable will discuss the papal documents with reference to the dogmatic constitution Lumen Gentium, as well as the broader position of the Catholic Church in the modern world. Roundtable participants include IRPC senior fellow Ernesto Velazquez, formerly Secretary of State for Ecuador and a member of its Supreme Court, and now a professor of Law and Theology at the Catholic University in Ecuador; Associate Professor of Political Science Joseph Prud’homme, director of the IRPC; William Gorman, Associate Moderator of the Curia for the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.; Anthony Annett, an economist with the International Monetary Fund; and Fred Israel, an attorney and scholar from St. Michaels.  

The Institute for Religion, Politics and Culture is an academic program at Washington College that explores the contributions of religion to political and cultural life in the United States and around the world. For more information, visit


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Last modified on May. 1st, 2014 at 9:16pm by Peter Weigel.