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The Eleventh Annual John F. Scarpa Conference on Law, Politics, and Culture

Featuring Kathryn Tanner,
Frederick Marquand Professor of Systemic Theology and Religious Studies at Yale University

Friday, November 11, 2016


kathryn tanner


"Is the Present Day Spirit of Capitalism a Problem? Christian Reflections on the Economy, Finance, Culture, and Regulation"

The current configuration of capitalism, in which finance plays a dominant role, has the capacity to shape people in ways that hinder the development of a critical perspective on it. Professor Kathryn Tanner's distinguished 2016 Gifford Lectures, the focus of this year's John F. Scarpa Conference on Law, Politics, and Culture, identify the various cultural forms of finance-dominated capitalism that have such an effect and suggest their force in life may be countered by Christian beliefs and practices. In this way, her lectures reverse the project of Max Weber in Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, while employing much the same methods he used. Pope Francis's reinvigoration of Catholic social doctrine as it pertains to the culture and regulation of economy provides a timely context within which to consider the arguments advanced by Professor Tanner in her Gifford lectures.

The symposium takes place on Friday, Nov. 11 from 10:30 a.m. to 4:35 p.m. in the Martin G. McGuinn ’67 Ceremonial Courtroom (Room 201) of the Law School. This program is approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education for 3.5 substantive CLE credits and 1 ethics CLE credits.



Welcome and Introduction: 10:30 a.m.


Featured Speaker: 10:45 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

Kathryn Tanner, Frederick Marquand Professor of Systematic Theology and Religious Studies, Yale University


Speaker 1: 11:15 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

Patrick Byrne, Professor of Philosophy, Boston College


Speaker 2: 11:50 a.m. - 12:25 p.m.

Brian McCall, Merrill Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, University of Oklahoma College of Law


Lunch: 12:25 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.


Speaker 3: 1:30 p.m. - 2:05 p.m.

Robert Hockett, Edward Cornell Professor of Law, Cornell Law School


Speaker 4: 2:05 p.m. - 2:40 p.m.

Andrew Yuengert, Professor of Economics, Pepperdine University


Speaker 5: 2:40 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.

Mary Hirschfeld, Assistant Professor of Economics and Theology, Villanova University


Break: 3:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.


Roundtable Discussion: 3:30 p.m. - 4:35 p.m.


The annual Conference on Law, Politics and Culture is named for John F. Scarpa, in recognition of his generous support of Villanova University School of Law through the John F. Scarpa Chair in Catholic Legal Studies.