2017 Economics and Catholic Social Thought: A Primer; Lumen Christi Institute, Rome, Italy

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There is a need both in the world and in the academy to integrate ideas from Catholic social thought into the intellectual life of economics, and to integrate the findings of economics into the intellectual life of the Catholic Church. In response to this dual need, the Lumen Christi Institute has sponsored an annual conference from 2008-2016, which brought together Church leaders, research economists, scholars from other academic disciplines, and business leaders to discuss issues profoundly related to an ethical economy. Building on the remarkable success of these conferences, which attract leading intellectuals, both Catholic an non-Catholic, we established CREDO (Catholic Research Economists Discussion Organization) in 2013 to institutionalize and grow the community of academics and scholars interested in Catholic social thought and economics that had developed.  As its name suggests, the goal of the society is to foster a productive, interdisciplinary conversation between economics and Catholic social thought. A key necessary starting point for economists to fruitfully participate in this conversation is at least some rudimentary knowledge of the key concepts of Catholic social thought. In May 2016, CREDO organized a 3-day mini-seminar for graduate students and junior faculty on Catholic social thought and economics.  Kaboski and colleagues gathered 15 graduate students and faculty from economics, finance, and related disciplines here on Notre Dame’s campus to study and discuss key readings in Catholic social thought and their relevance to economic policy and research.  The co-organizers were Martijn Cremers (Mendoza) and Kaboski, and the fellow instructors/leaders were Mary Hirschfeld (Villanova, ND PhD in theology), Andrew Yuengert (Pepperdine), and Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde (Penn).