The University of St. Thomas

Center for Catholic Studies | John A. Ryan Institute

Across the Curriculum Conference: Description

Across the Curriculum Conference: Description

General Description

This conference will focus on the interdisciplinary character of Catholic social thought and its relevance for teaching in all fields.  Based on the integrative and humanistic character of Catholic social thought, the conference will include a diverse group of faculty—those who are just beginning to think about the relevance of Catholic social thought in their own work, as well as, those who have already developed such integrated curricula.

While moral theology professors will certainly be interested in the conference, we encourage faculty attendance from as many disciplines as possible. We hope to have faculty from various university departments present lesson plans that illustrate the connection between a core theme in Catholic social thought and a particular area of one’s discipline. Presentations may involve discussion of course syllabi, pedagogical methods, service-learning projects, etc., to illustrate how Catholic social thought can be identified in the course content itself, rather than simply "added on" in a manner disconnected from the substance of the discipline. The teleological view of the person and the organic nature of society will be central to this integration.

Rooted in the rich theological and philosophical traditions of the church, Catholic social thought can provide a framework for Christians to think through the questions of justice that emerge within all disciplines of study. Also, in its natural law and humanistic dimensions, Catholic social thought has a capaciousness that leads to possibilities for common ground with people from many traditions. The conference, therefore, encourages participation from those of other religious traditions, and those who simply share certain core commitments about the sacredness of the human person and the call to a virtuous life that is both personal and social.