In the Company of The Poor (Orbis Press, 2013)
Book Discussion, November 19, 2013

Dr. Paul Farmer and  Rev. Gustavo Gutiérrez, OP
A courageous physician and a path-breaking theologian explore their common option for the poor in a much-anticipated new book drawn from their respective writings, using as a springboard public and private conversations hosted by the Kellogg Institute at Notre Dame in fall 2011.

Introduction: Rev. John Jenkins, CSC

Book presentation: Dr. Paul Farmer


Rev. Gustavo Gutiérrez, OP

Robert Ellsberg, Editor-in-chief, Orbis Books

Ophelia Dahl, Executive Director, Partners In Health

About the book

Dr. Paul Farmer, an internationally respected physician, and Fr. Gustavo Gutiérrez, the Peruvian priest renowned for his contribution to liberation theology, join in an inspiring conversation about life, liberation, and the call to accompany the poor. Dr. Farmer has credited liberation theology as the inspiration for his effort to do "social justice medicine," while Gutierrez has recognized Farmer's work as a particularly compelling example of the option for the poor, and the practical application of theological principles outside the church.  Their friendship and common vision will inspire all who dream and work for a different world.

Background on Accompaniment

This short Powerpoint presentation put together by Notre Dame students studying development outlines the notion of "accompaniment" as defined by Dr. Paul Farmer. For anyone interested in learning more about what accompaniment is and how it is useful in delivering international aid.

About the speakers
Dr. Paul Farmer

Kolokotrones University Professor, Harvard University 
Chair, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Chief, Division of Global Health Equity, Brigham and Women's Hospital

Dr. Paul Farmer is a medical anthropologist, physician and founding director of Partners In Health (PIH), an international nonprofit organization that provides direct health care services and undertakes research and advocacy on behalf of those who are sick and living in poverty. Writing extensively on health, human rights, and the consequences of social inequality, his most recent book is To Repair the World: Paul Farmer Speaks to the Next Generation. Other works include Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor; AIDS and Accusation; andInfections and Inequalities. Among Farmer’s many awards is a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, and, with his PIH colleagues, the Hilton Humanitarian Prize and the Notre Dame Award for International Human Development and Solidarity. He earned his PhD and MD at Harvard University.

Rev. Gustavo Gutiérrez, OP

John Cardinal O'Hara Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame
Kellogg Institute Faculty Fellow

Fr. Gustavo Gutiérrez is most well known for his foundational work in Latin American liberation theology, A Theology of Liberation: History, Politics, Salvation. Other major books—also translated into multiple languages—include We Drink From Our Own Wells: The Spiritual Journey of A People; On Job: God-Talk and the Suffering of the Innocent; The Truth Shall Make You Free; The God of Life; and Las Casas: In Search of the Poor of Jesus Christ. His essays have appeared in Theological Studies, La Revista Latinoamericana de Teología, and Páginas.  He has also published in and been a member of the board of directors of the international journal, Concilium.

Gutiérrez has been principal professor at the Pontifical University of Peru and visiting professor at many major universities in North America and Europe.  A member of the Peruvian Academy of Language, he was awarded the Legion of Honor by the French government in 1993 for his tireless work for human dignity and life—and against oppression—in Latin America and the developing world.  He is currently working on a book exploring the historical background and continuing theological relevance of the preferential option for the poor.

After studies in medicine and literature in Peru, Gutiérrez studied psychology and philosophy at Louvain. He earned his doctorate at the Institut Catholique in Lyons. 

Robert Ellsberg

Editor-in-chief and Publisher, Orbis Books

Robert Ellsberg was the managing editor of The Catholic Worker for two years (1976–78), a job that introduced him to Dorothy Day. He subsequently worked with Day for the last five years of her life, a life-changing experience that prompted him to convert to Catholicism. He is the editor of the published diaries and letters of Dorothy Day and the editor or author of numerous other works. All Saints: Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time explores his concepts of sainthood, extending beyond Catholicism to include Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and many others. The editor-in-chief of Orbis Books since 1987, Ellsberg holds a master’s from Harvard Divinity School.

Ophelia Dahl

Cofounder and Executive Director, Partners In Health (PIH)

Ophelia Dahl has been advocating for the health and rights of poor people for nearly 30 years. In 1983, she volunteered at the small Eye Care Haiti clinic in Haiti’s impoverished Central Plateau. There she met Paul Farmer, and they have been working ever since to deliver high-quality health care to the destitute sick. Dahl has served as executive director of Partners In Health since 2001 and as chair of the board since 2000. She is a graduate of Wellesley College and the recipient of the Union Medal by Union Theological Seminary. Dahl is chairman of Dahl & Dahl LLP, which manages the literary estate of her late father, the writer Roald Dahl. She also serves as vice president on the board of Roald Dahl’s Museum and Story Centre.