The University of St. Thomas

Siena Symposium for Women, Family, and Culture

In transforming culture so that it supports life, women occupy a place, in thought and action, which is unique and decisive. It depends on them to promote a "new feminism" which rejects the temptation of imitating models of "male domination," in order to acknowledge and affirm the true genius of women in every aspect of the life of society, and overcome all discrimination, violence and exploitation.

... Pope John Paul II.
The Gospel of Life, 1995

Catherine of Siena
Br. Robert Lentz, OFM, Courtesy of Trinity Stores

The mission of the Siena Symposium is to respond to the Holy Father's call for a deeper understanding of the role of women in our society, and to enable both men and women to grasp and live out their God-given nature and dignity as they work together to build up the Body of Christ and establish a culture of life.  Our purpose is to encourage and investigate the philosophical and theological foundations of human personhood, articulate the implications of those findings for the law, business, education, and public policy, and establish a faithful and coherent intellectual framework that can inform the effort to create a truly human society. 

Achieving these aims requires both research and outreach to those whose task it is to transform our culture. Thus, our strategy is two-fold. Our primary work is to deepen an understanding of the complementary natures of men and women and how they work together to sustain human flourishing and create history. Secondarily, we also sponsor and support public workshops, seminars and conferences, as well as the development of curricula and both individual and group initiatives designed to achieve these ends.

We consider ourselves a think tank, rather than a formal institute, and refer to ourselves as "Symposium" in order to reflect our conviction that our goals require on-going open and faithful reflection and discussion across academic disciplines, particularly philosophy, theology, law and business.

Our hope is to serve as a local and national nexus for the study and promotion of a true understanding of authentic womanhood, its relationship to authentic manhood, and the implications of the complementarity of men and women in the effort to pursue the common good of all.

Siena Symposium Announcements