The University of St. Thomas



The Church in the Modern World:

Teaching and Understanding

Gaudium et Spes after 50 Years


March 12-14, 2015

University of St. Thomas

 Saint Paul, Minnesota







Keynote speakers


William Cavanaugh,

Professor of Catholic Studies, DePaul University


Massimo Faggioli,

Assistant Professor of Theology

University of St. Thomas


Cathleen Kaveny, Professor of Law,

Boston College


Leslie Woodcock Tentler

Professor of History

Catholic University of American


Call for papers


The Theology Department of the University of St. Thomas announces a call for papers for a March 2015 conference marking the fiftieth anniversary of the promulgation of Gaudium et Spes, the Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, at the Second Vatican Council. Dialogue with the world outside the Church was a central reason for which Pope John XXIII called the council. Pope Francis has now renewed that call by urging the Church away from preoccupation with itself and by modeling dialogue with all peoples of faith as well as those who espouse no faith. Following the approach of its 2012 conference on teaching and understanding Vatican II after fifty years, this second conference will focus on topics featured in Gaudium et Spes as well as related topics that have emerged since its promulgation. Paper proposals, related to Gaudium et Spes, are encouraged on the following topics:

1.      Marriage and family life
2.      Culture, visual arts, and architecture
3.      Economic and social life
4.      The Church and the common good
5.      Peace and war, religious freedom
6.      Dialogue with non-Catholic Christians, with
          non-Christian religions, and with atheism
7.      Science and technology
8.      The Church local and global

The Church in the Modern World: Teaching and Understanding Gaudium et Spes after 50 Years” has three interrelated objectives. First, it will examine the contemporary context of the Church in the 21st century.  Second, it will reflect on the continuing impact of Gaudium et Spes on the Church, its practices and its theology.  Third, it will look more broadly at the role of Catholic colleges and universities in educating students to be agents of the proper development of human culture for “the good of the community and of the whole society” (Gaudium et Spes ยง59).

Proposals of no more than 300 words should be submitted by September 15, 2014, to  For more information about the conference, including housing and registration, visit








Sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences and the Theology Department of the University of St. Thomas