Economic Justice in the 21st Century – Myth or Reality? A Christian Perspective

Economic Justice 2015The question of economic justice for all is not new to this century. We need only turn back the pages of history to 1891 to witness the concern of the Catholic Church on this issue, with the publication of Rerum Novarum, an encyclical of Pope Leo XIII, on Capital and Labor. Following the ongoing concerns of Rerum Novarum, the United States Bishops’ Conference in 1986 issued Economic Justice for All—a pastoral letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy. Then in 2013, Francis, a relatively new Pope, published Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel, devoting an entire chapter to the Social Dimension of Evangelization.

Have these landmark documents made an impact on society? Have they and other social justice documents brought about systemic change in some economic systems that needed reforming? These and many other questions will be addressed at this conference by speakers and participants with different and sometimes contrasting perspectives on issues proven “neuralgic” to our living peacefully and productively in this 21st Century world.

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Dr. Donald G. Boland, LLB

Lecturer in Philosophy, Law & Ethics (emeritus) New South Wales, Australia; Attorney, Solicitor and Proctor Supreme Court of the State of NSW Australia (emeritus)


Dr. Hermann Frieboes

Assistant professor in bioengineering at the University of Louisville Kentucky and adjunct professor in Bioethics at Holy Apostles College & Seminary, Cromwell, Connecticut





Dr. Edward J. O’Boyle

Senior Research Associate: Mayo Research Institute, West Monroe, Louisiana. O’Boyle specializes in personalist economics that centers on persons as opposed to individuals as economic agents. He holds a PhD in economics from Saint Louis University.


Rev. Dr. Martin Rafanan

Martin Rafanan is currently an ordained minister in the Central States Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He serves as the Coordinator of Champions Programs for Missouri Jobs with Justice. He serves as national spokesman for “Show Me 15,” the fast food worker movement in Missouri, organizing community leader support for fast food workers who are seeking higher wages and the right to form a union without retaliation.

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Books by our faculty on this topic:

Fr. Brian Thomas Beckett Mullady, OP – Christian Social Order