The Social Teaching of Benedict XVI

Event Date: 
April 14, 2011 - 12:00pm

Waters Building
David Cassard Conference Room
161 Ottawa Ave. NW, Suite 301


When Joseph Ratzinger was elected pope in April 2005, it was assumed that his papacy would be marked by an intense engagement in the world of ideas. As one of the world’s best-known contemporary theologians, Pope Benedict XVI has more-than-lived up to expectations. Whether the subject is the rise and decline of the West, Islam, ecumenism, or simply the ever-present subject of “Who is Jesus Christ”, Benedict has helped open up discussions once considered taboo, and caused even hardened secularists to rethink some of their positions. In this Lord Acton lecture series, Dr. Samuel Gregg looks at the social teaching of Benedict XVI, and illustrates how much the pope has changed the focus of Catholic and Christian engagement with political, social, and economic questions.

Short bio of the speaker

Dr. Samuel Gregg is director of research at the Acton Institute. He has written and spoken extensively on questions of political economy, economic history, ethics in finance, and natural law theory. He has an MA in political philosophy from the University of Melbourne, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in moral philosophy and political economy from the University of Oxford, where he worked under the supervision of Professor John Finnis.

He is the author of several books, including Morality, Law, and Public Policy (2000), Economic Thinking for the Theologically Minded (2001), On Ordered Liberty (2003), his prize-winning The Commercial Society (2007), The Modern Papacy (2009), and Wilhelm Röpke’s Political Economy (2010) as well as monographs such as Ethics and Economics: The Quarrel and the Dialogue (1999), A Theory of Corruption (2004), and Banking, Justice, and the Common Good (2005). Several of these works have been translated into a variety of languages. He has also co-edited books such as Christian Theology and Market Economics (2008) and Profit, Prudence and Virtue: Essays in Ethics, Business and Management (2009).

He also publishes in journals such as the Journal of Markets & MoralityHarvard Journal of Law and Public Policy;Law and Investment ManagementJournal des Economistes et des Etudes HumainesNotre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics and Public PolicyEconomic AffairsEvidenceOxford AnalyticaCommunioJournal of Scottish Philosophy; and Policy. He is a regular writer of opinion-pieces which appear in newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal Europe, the Washington Times, the Australian Financial Review, and Business Review Weekly. His op-eds are also widely published in newspapers throughout Europe and Latin America. He is also an editorial consultant for the Italian journal, La Societa, as well as American correspondent for the German newspaper Die Tagespost.

In 2001, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and a Member of the Mont Pèlerin Society in 2004. In 2008, he was elected a member of the Philadelphia Society, and a member of the Royal Economic Society.