Rev. John I. Jenkins, SCC, president of the University of Notre Dame, announced Monday March 16 that the Forum Notre Dame 2015-16, Faith, freedom and the modern world: 50 years after Vatican II, will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the promulgation of essential documents of Vatican Council II which find an echo today. The forum will highlight the Declaration on Non-Christian Religions (Nostra aetate), the Declaration on Religious Freedom (Dignitatis humanae) and the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et Spes).
“The defense of religious freedom, the promotion of interfaith and ecumenical dialogue, and the Church’s vigorous engagement with the modern world are important issues for us today,” said Father Jenkins. “The Golden Jubilee of the Council’s transformative documents makes it a particularly appropriate time to consider some of the Council’s most urgent teachings. “
The Forum Notre Dame 2015 will begin with a conference on March 22, Joy and hope: the 50th anniversary of Gaudium et Spes, sponsored by Notre Dame’s Center for Social Concerns. Further events are planned for the 2015-16 academic year and will focus on religious freedom and interfaith dialogue and related issues. Future events will be announced at a later date.
The “Joy and Hope” conference will bring together a group of eminent international academics to explore the central themes of Gaudium et Spes, which is widely regarded as the most authoritative summary of Catholic social teaching.
The conference opens with a mass celebrated by Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, OFM, Archbishop of Durban, South Africa, Sunday and continues until Tuesday (March 24). Speakers include Cardinal Napier; Miroslav Volf, Henry B. Wright Professor of Systematic Theology and founding director of the Center for Faith and Culture at Yale University; and Alexia Kelley, president and CEO foundations and donors interested in Catholic activities in Washington, DC
“Every two years the Center for Social Concerns holds this increasingly important conference on Catholic social tradition,” said Rev. Paul Kollman, CSC, Leo and Arlene Hawk, director of the Center for Social Concerns. “This year we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Gaudium et Spes, which embraced human solidarity and invited the Church to reflect seriously on social problems.
This year’s conference will explore some of the central questions of Gaudium et Spes including dignity, solidarity, justice, culture and war.
Written towards the end of Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes marked a new effort on the part of the Church to reach out to the cultures and people where she is found. His now famous opening line exclaims: “The joys and hopes, sorrows and anxieties of men of this age, especially those who are poor or afflicted in any way, are also the joys and the hopes, sorrows and worries of the followers of Christ. According to Cardinal Napier, Gaudium et Spes led to a “slow but profound and far-reaching paradigm shift in Church leadership, which led the Church to courageously present her ideal self as a Church striving to become and to be a” Community in the service of humanity ”.
The Joy and Hope conference is sponsored by the Center for Social Concerns, Catholic Social Tradition minor, Center for Civil and Human Rights, Center for the Study of Religion and Society, College of Arts and Letters: Henkels Lecture Series / Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, the Cushwa Center for American Catholicism, the Department of Theology, the Institute for the Life of the Church, the Institute for Latin American Studies, the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, Catholic Relief Services and the National Center for the Laity.
Established by Father Jenkins in 2005, the Notre Dame Forum has presented important lectures by leading authorities on complex issues related to immigration, sustainability, global health, the global market, education Kindergarten to Grade 12 and the role of faith in a pluralistic society.
Contact: JP Shortall, 574-631-3209