Catholic Social Tradition Conference

Justice Sown in Peace⁠—Celebrating 60 years since Pacem in Terris

2023 Catholic Social Tradition Conference 

March 23–25, 2023 | University of Notre Dame

"We are called to establish with truth, justice, charity, and liberty new methods of relationships in human society.” #163, Pacem in Terris

The Justice Sown in Peace conference at the University of Notre Dame will recognize the 60th anniversary of the seminal Catholic social tradition encyclical, Pacem in Terris, as well as celebrate the dual 40th anniversaries of the U.S. Bishops peace pastoral, The Challenge of Peace, and the founding of the Center for Social Concerns. This international gathering will examine justice issues by thought leaders like Dr. Anna Rowlands of Durham University, Sr. Helen Prejean, CSJ of Dead Man Walking fame, and Marie Dennis of Pax Christi International, as well as a panel of higher education experts. The conference will focus on particular issues central to our time: migration, violence, racism, internationalization, and the role of political structures. Join us at this conference of global scholars working to expand the Catholic social tradition through intellectual, artistic, and social engagement.

Registration for the conference will open October 1, 2022. 


We are excited to welcome the following keynote speakers: 

Anna Rowlands, Ph.D., Durham University
Sr. Helen Prejean, CSJ, Anti-Death Penalty Advocate
Marie Dennis, Pax Christi International

Bernard Prusak, Ph.D., King’s College

Additional schedule details will be available in the coming months.

Request for Proposals

The core purpose of the 60th anniversary of Pacem in Terris and the 40th anniversary of The Challenge of Peace conference is to explore thematic peace and justice issues that have been addressed by modern Catholic social thought, especially those within the documents such as human rights, political structures, migration, racism, and environmentalism. Global experts will present on the international approach to peacemaking and promotion of human rights that profoundly affected Catholic teaching and practice

The Center for Social Concerns at the University of Notre Dame requests proposals regarding the development of the Catholic Social Tradition in the following areas:

  • Historical development and critique of the documents and social doctrine
  • Addressing present social issues in light of the teaching of the documents
  • How the Church can move the promotion of peace in a pluralistic world forward

Submissions must be submitted electronically and include an abstract limited to 500 words. 

submit proposal

The deadline for submitting proposals for review is November 30, 2022.

Conference Organizer

William Purcell, M.Div., Center for Social Concerns; Director, Catholic Social Tradition; Co-Director, Catholic Social Tradition Minor


Center for Social Concerns; Catholic Charities USACatholic Relief ServicesCatholic Social Tradition Minor; Center for the Study of Religion and Society; College of Arts and LettersCushwa Center for American Catholicism; Department of TheologyDepartment of Political Science; Keough School of Global Affairs; Klau Center for Civil and Human Rights; Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies; Nanovic Institute for European Studies; Notre Dame Law School Program on Church, State, & Society; Poverty Studies Interdisciplinary Minor


View All Events

Upcoming Events

August 2022

Welcome Back Bash
Monday, August 22, 2022 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm

September 2022

Pathways Out of Poverty: Venture Creation and Contemporary Europe
Wednesday, September 7, 2022 - 11:00am to 1:00pm