Justice Education

Education for justice is both a commitment and theme embedded in courses, programming, and work with faculty of the Center for Social Concerns. The Center sponsors and cosponsors events for the campus and local community that serve to educate and to encourage action on behalf of justice and peace. Where possible, we aim to provide various forums for members of our campus and local community to consider and analyze pressing social problems and to draw “principles of reflection, norms of judgment and directives for action from the social teaching of the Church,” (Octogesima Adveniens 4).

Every year the Center selects a theme from Catholic social tradition to serve as the focus for annual programming and courses. The theme is drawn from a Papal encyclical or Bishops’ statement. The original document, along with other commentary and related resources provide context and background for analysis of pressing social issues.

The 2017–18 academic year's theme was Living the Challenge of Peace, inspired by the pastoral letter, The Challenge of Peace: God's Promise and Our Response, issued by the U.S. Bishops in 1983. The letter emphasized a comprehensive reflection by the U.S. Church on the moral and religious dimensions of peacemaking. Though the main emphasis in 1983 was on the just-war tradition, pacifism, and nuclear arms, there are still relevant messages 35 years later on how people of faith can address the many tensions in society and our world from race, labor, and religion, to technology, the environment, and the arms trade. During the year we explored these challenges to peace in lunches, lectures, and Center-wide learning goals.

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