The University of St. Thomas

Center for Catholic Studies | John A. Ryan Institute

Goa Conference: Context

Goa Conference: Context

Context of the Symposium

The purpose of the symposium is to examine the interdisciplinary relationships of Catholic social thought broadly understood, and management practice and theory. This examination is a critical element in strengthening the Catholic character of business schools within their Catholic universities. The theme of this symposium is Rethinking the Spiritual and Social Life within Business. While many people in the business world have welcomed the recent outpouring of material on spirituality and work, much of the literature has not explored the Christian and in particular Catholic tradition. This symposium will focus on the Catholic and Christian understanding of spirituality as it relates to business, culture and other religions and explore its curricular implications for Catholic management education. Spirituality within the Catholic social tradition presupposes an incarnational vision of life that avoids dichotomies of public and private, faith and work, personal and social while seeking a profound integration of the human and divine in all of life.

Our last conference was in Antwerp, Belgium for The Second International Symposium (1997). Scholars and practitioners from more than 22 countries in the areas of law, theology, finance, philosophy, engineering, management, economics, and marketing participated. To view the papers from the symposium please visit our web page:

As a follow-up to the Antwerp conference, the Institute for Catholic Social Thought at the University of St. Thomas held a conference on the "The Nature and Purpose of the Business Organization within the Catholic Social Tradition." From the conference, an interdisciplinary and integrated volume of articles will be published on the relationship between Catholic social thought and the nature and purpose of business. The primary disciplines of the volume will be law, theology, philosophy, economics, finance and management.

We are planning to hold our next conference in either Pueblo, Mexico or Detroit Michigan, USA, July 2000. Because it is the year of the Jubilee we will be focusing on the role of business and wealth distribution. What are the implications of wealth distribution in management education at a Catholic University? As actors of distributive justice, how ought managers, especially Christian managers, pay wages and benefits, construct capital ownership, respond to operations in developing nations, and so forth. We will send a Call for Papers next summer.