De Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture co-hosts conferences in Paris on political dimensions of the Church

Author: Kenneth Hallenius


The de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture at the University of Notre Dame is co-hosting a pair of colloquia in Paris to take place May 27-29 at the Law School of the Université Paris Descartes-Sorbonne Paris Cité and the Centre d’études du Saulchoir. The conferences are part of an ongoing research collaboration on politics and Christianity, under the theme of “The Two Cities,” sponsored by the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture, the Université Paris Descartes-Sorbonne Paris Cité and the Centre d’études du Saulchoir.

“We are grateful for our many partners in Europe who have helped us in our efforts to expand the global reach and impact of the de Nicola Center over the past few years,” said de Nicola Center director Carter Snead. “This initiative in France, like our longstanding collaboration with colleagues in Rome, Florence and Milan, provides a unique forum for genuinely interdisciplinary scholarly dialogue and exchange for the world’s leading thinkers in the Catholic tradition, as well as from many other perspectives and backgrounds.”

“Now in its third year, this project gathers researchers from across the United States and Europe to discuss important aspects of the relationship of Christianity and the Western political, cultural, theological and intellectual tradition,” said Patrick J. Deneen, professor of political science and the David A. Potenziani Memorial College Chair at the University of Notre Dame. “The de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture has established a profound colloquy that brings together Europe and America’s most esteemed thinkers, as well as rising scholars, to explore Christian contributions to modern life.”

The May 27-28 colloquium on “The Civil Dimensions of Ecclesiology,” under the direction of Gladden J. Pappin, University of Dallas and de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture; Giulio De Ligio, EHESS, Catholic University of Paris; and Thierry Rambaud, Université Paris Descartes, will feature presentations from notable political scientists, legal theorists and scholars including Rev. Bernard Bourdin, O.P., Catholic University of Paris; James Hankins, Harvard University; Luc Forestier, Catholic University of Paris; Brad S. Gregory, University of Notre Dame; Jean-François Boudet, Université Paris Descartes; Frédéric Rouvillois, Université Paris Descartes; Justin A. Stover, University of Edinburgh; and Adrian Vermeule, Harvard Law School.

The May 29 colloquium, “In the Shadows of Notre-Dame,” will feature keynote lectures by Deneen and Rémi Brague of the Sorbonne, with additional presentations by a slate of international scholars discussing “The Church among the Nations.”

“For a time, modern political culture, drawing on Christian sources, looked as though it had found a way to incorporate Christian conviction and a secular public square in salutary ways,” said Brad S. Gregory, the Dorothy G. Griffin College Chair of History at Notre Dame. “With the evident fraying of that relationship now acknowledged by commentators on all sides, it is time to analyze the connections among Christian faith, politics, history and society in order to understand how we have arrived at our situation and to seek paths forward. These conferences of the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture are both raising crucial questions and opening a new dialogue among fellow scholars on both sides of the Atlantic.”

For more information or to register for the colloquia, visit or email

Originally published by Kenneth Hallenius at on May 22.