2014: Responding to the Cry of the Poor

"Your Light Will Rise in the Darkness: Responding to the Cry of the Poor"
October 30–November 1, 2014 


"Among our tasks as witnesses to the love of Christ is that of giving a voice to the cry of the poor." 
—Pope Francis, Address to the Archbishop of Canterbury, 6/14/13

Inspired by the pontificate of Pope Francis, the University of Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture hosted its fifteenth Annual Fall Conference, entitled "Your Light Will Rise in the Darkness: Responding to the Cry of the Poor," on October 30–November 1, 2014. In our customary interdisciplinary fashion, this conference will took up a host of questions related to the human meaning of poverty and how to care rightly for the poor. These questions were be pursued in the contexts of philosophy, theology, political theory, law, history, economics, the social sciences, the biosciences, literature, and the arts.

The conference included keynote presentations by Nobel Laureate James Heckman of the University of Chicago, Gerhard Cardinal Muller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Catholic Church, and Center distinguished fellows John Finnis and Alasdair MacIntyre (emeritus). The conference concluded with the 2015 de Nicola Family Colloquy, a lively discussion entitled, "Catholic Social Teaching and American Capitalism: Are They Compatible?," featuring Hadley Arkes, Patrick Deneen, James Mumford, and John Tomasi. 

View the full program here.

Watch the keynote presentations here:

Predistribution: A Strategy for Promoting Flourishing Lives, Nobel Laureate James Heckman, University of Chicago

Poor for the Poor: The Mission of the Church, Gerhard Cardinal Muller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Catholic Social Teaching and American Capitalism: Are They Compatible?
Hadley Arkes, Amherst College; Patrick Deneen, University of Notre Dame, James Mumford, Institute of Advanced Studies in Culture, University of Virginia; John Tomasi, Brown University

Watch the rest of the presentations on our YouTube page.

Read press coverage of the conference here:

Invited Speakers Included:

  • Gary Anderson
  • Hadley Arkes
  • Michael Baxter
  • John Carr
  • Archbishop Fernando Chomali Garib
  • Martijn Cremers
  • Patrick Deneen
  • Peter Edelman
  • William Evans
  • Nicole Garnett
  • John Haldane
  • Shavar Jeffries
  • Mauro Magatti
  • Jim Meehan
  • James Mumford
  • Michele Satta
  • Abe Schoener
  • Andrea Simoncini
  • Duncan Stroik
  • James Sullivan
  • John Tomasi
  • Lorenza Violini
  • John Waters
  • Thomas Williams
  • Robert Wilken


Issues Explored Include:

  • Who Are "the Poor"?  Defining and Measuring Poverty
  • The Preferential Option for the Poor
  • The Meaning of "Spiritual Poverty"
  • The Metaphysics of Money
  • Capitalism, American Democracy, and Catholicism
  • Portrayals of Poverty in Art and Literature
  • Poverty, Catholic Education, and Social Mobility
  • Poverty and Health Care
  • Human Dignity and Social Justice
  • Poverty and Abortion
  • Poverty, Marriage, and the Family
  • Distributism and Catholic Social Teaching
  • The Catholic Worker Movement
  • Private Property, Poverty, and the Common Good
  • Crime and Poverty
  • The History of Poverty
  • Globalization and Poverty