3 faculty members to speak at Vatican conference

by Dennis Brown

Three University of Notre Dame faculty members will make presentations this week at a Vatican conference in celebration of the 20th anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s encyclical on human work, Laborem Exercens.p. Titled “Work as Key to the Social Question,” the conference will feature leading scholars from around the world discussing how globalization and other changes in business during the past two decades have affected the pope’s assertion in the encyclical that “human work is a key, probably the essential key, to the whole social question, if we try to see that question really from the point of view of man’s good.”p. Vincent Rougeau, associate dean of Notre Dame Law School and associate professor of law, will make a presentation Wednesday (Sept. 12) titled “Implications of Laborem Exercens on the Issue of Welfare Reform in the United States.”p. Jay Dolan, professor of history, will deliver a talk Thursday (Sept. 13) titled “The Transition from Charity to Justice in Catholic Social Teaching and How this Dynamic has Shaped an Understanding of Work.”p. Also on Thursday, M. Cathleen Kaveny, the John P. Murphy Foundation Professor of Law and concurrent associate professor of theology, will present a talk titled "The Chronicle of Wasted Time: A Liturgical Challenge to the Commodification of Time in the Western Professional Life.p. In addition, Robert Barger, adjunct associate professor of computer applications at Notre Dame, has coauthored a paper for the conference andwill serve as a respondent to presentations made by Rougeau and George Garvey from the Catholic University of America.p. Written on the 90th anniversary of Rerum Novarum ? Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical on the condition of workers in the wake of the Industrial Revolution ? Laborem Exercens was issued Sept. 14, 1981 to “call attention to the dignity and rights of those who work, to condemn situations in which that dignity and those rights are violated, and to help guide the (contemporary) changes so as to ensure authentic progress by man and society.”

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