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The 2017 Joseph T. McCullen Jr. Symposium on Catholic Social Thought and Law



Law & Religion Meets Law & Economics

March 17, 2017

Scholars of law, religion and economics often see themselves as working in separate fields with few connections between them. This conference will explore Pope Francis’ teachings on market economics to bring these two bodies of legal scholarship into dialogue. Discussion will center around Pope Francis’ theological critique and assessment of global capitalism, and reaction to that critique from different of legal, economic and religious perspectives. The conference will also explore the traditional role of religious language in constructing legal duties and obligations, how law and economics has secularized this branch of law, and conclude by analyzing the concept of liberty in economic, legal and religious thought.

The Joseph T. McCullen Jr. Symposium on Catholic Social Thought and Law takes place on Friday, March 17, 2017 from 9 am. to 4 p.m. at Villanova University School of Law (299 North Spring Mill Road, Villanova). This program is approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board for 4.5 substantive CLE credits and one Ethics credit.




Event Schedule

Registration: 8:30 - 9 a.m.

Welcome: Dean Mark Alexander  

Featured Speaker: 9 - 10 a.m. "Pope Francis' Theological Critique of the Market" - Catherine Firer Hinze, Fordham University, Director of Curran Center for American Catholic Studies


Panel 1: 10 - 11 a.m. "A Law and Economics Response to Francis"

Nathan B. Oman, Rollins Professor of Law, William & Mary Law School

Robert T. Miller, Professor of Law and F. Arnold Daum Fellow in Corporate Law, University of Iowa College of Law, Fellow and Program Affiliated Scholar at the Classical Liberal Institute at the New York University School of Law

Steven A. Ramirez, Professor of Law, Loyola University Chicago School of Law


Break: 11 - 11:15 a.m.


Panel 2: 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. "Assessing Francis from Contrasting Religious Perspectives"

Patrick McKinley Brennan, John F. Scarpa Chair in Catholic Legal Studies, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

Vincent Rougeau, Dean, Boston College Law School

Shai Held, President and Dean, Mechon Hadar


Lunch: 12:15 - 1:15 p.m.


Panel 3: 1:15 - 2:30 p.m. "From Covenant to Contract: Contractarianism, Markets and de-Sacralization of Legal Obligations"

Emily Houh, Gustavus Henry Wald Professor of Law and Contracts | Co-Director of Race, Gender, and Social Justice, University of Cincinnati College of Law

Andrew Lund, Professor of Law, Faculty Director of the Scarpa Center for Law and Entrepreneurship, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

Martha Ertman, Carole & Hannan Sibel Professor of Law, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

Ozer "Tony" Glickman, Yeshiva University

Break: 2:30 - 2:45 p.m.

Panel 4: 2:45 - 3:45 p.m. "'Liberty' in Economic, Legal and Religious Thought"

Haider Ala Hamoudi, Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh School of Law

Barbara Wall, Vice President for Mission and Ministry, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Villanova University

Ira Bedzow, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Director of the Biomedical Ethics and Humanities Program, New York Medical College, Touro College


Closing Reflections: 3:45 - 4 p.m.

Chaim Saiman, Professor of Law, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law