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Early Modern Catholic Social Teaching and World Order

Apr 05, 2018
Swift Hall, Common Room
1025 E 58th St,
Chicago, IL 60637
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David LantiguaUniversity of Notre Dame

  • Early Modern Catholic Social Teaching and World Order

Free and open to the public. Cosponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies, the Early Modern and Mediterranean Worlds Workshop, and the Ethics Club at the Divinity School.

Western distrust in liberal internationalism offers an opportunity for renewed theological reflection on the moral foundations of world order. After the Second World War, transitional popes and Thomistic philosophers articulated a Christian vision of supranational society to quicken the support of universal human rights. Their personalist global ethic outlines the contribution of sixteenth-century Spanish theologians who promoted a conception of world order that affirmed the basic rights of believers and nonbelievers against the violent excesses of colonial expansion in el Nuevo Mundo.

The turn to early modern Catholic social teaching among Spanish theologians associated with the School of Salamanca represents an effort to break out of the Westphalian world system that dominates modern thinking about international relations. This lecture retrieves early modern Spanish theological voices to expose the colonialist underbelly of Westphalian rights discourse, typified by Thomas Hobbes and John Locke, and its radical domestication of the Church and human nature. Going beyond Westphalia and its anarchical view of global society enables a reconsideration of the Church’s moral witness of world order anew and the ongoing struggle for justice among dispossessed peoples besieged by aggressive forms of neocolonialism.

On April 6, David Lantigua also led a Master Class on "Bishop Bartolomé de las Casas, OP: Christian Faith and Amerindian Rights."

To view photos of the lecture, visit Lumen Christi's Facebook page.

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David Lantigua is Assistant Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame where he is a faculty fellow of both the Kellogg Institute for International Studies and the Institute for Latino Studies. He completed his doctorate at Notre Dame in 2012 and was a graduate fellow of the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study. Before returning to Notre Dame, he taught at The Catholic University of America. He is co-author with Darrell Fasching and Dell deChant of Comparative Religious Ethics: A Narrative Approach to Global Ethics (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011). He is co-editor and co-translator with Lawrence Clayton of the forthcoming documentary reader Bartolomé de las Casas and the Defense of Amerindian Rights. He has published articles in Modern Theology, Journal of Law and Religion, and Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics.