On April 29, 2014, the Acton Institute will hold an afternoon conference – Faith, State, and the Economy: Perspectives from East and West – in Rome, bringing expert speakers from around the world to explore the complex relationship between religious liberty and economic freedom.
This conference, which is free and open to the public, is the first in the five-part series One and Indivisible? The Relationship Between Religious and Economic Freedom.
Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun
Bishop Emeritus of Hong Kong
Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, S.D.B., Bishop emeritus of Hong Kong (China), was born on 13 January 1932 in Yang King-pang, Shanghai, China. He was ordained a priest on 11 February 1961 for the Society of Don Bosco, the Salesian Order. Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun served as a Salesian Provincial Superior for China for six years, and from 1989-96 he taught philosophy and sacramental theology in various Chinese seminaries. On 13 September 1996 he was appointed coadjutor of the diocese of Hong Kong, and on 23 September 2002 he was made bishop of the diocese. During the 11th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in 2005, he spoke on “Sensus ecclesiae and religious freedom”, addressing the situation of the Church in China and of the signs of hope that the Church, after years of forced separation which had apparently “divided it in two”, is a single Church headings towards a “normalization”. He was created and proclaimed cardinal by Benedict XVI in the consistory of 24 March 2006, given the title of Santa Maria Madre del Redentore a Tor Bella Monaca.
Archbishop Maroun Lahham
Auxiliary Bishop and Vicar of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem for Jordan
Archbishop Maroun Elias Lahham was born in Irbed Jordan. From 1961-72, he completed his philosophical and theological studies at the Latin Patriarchate Seminary in Beit Jala, where he received a bachelor degree in philosophy and theology. He was ordained priest in Jerusalem on June 24, 1972. He studied in Rome from 1988-92, earning a doctorate in pastoral theology and catechesis at the Pontifical Lateran University with a thesis: “The Catechesis of Adult in the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.” He was appointed director general of the Latin Patriarchate Schools (1992-94) upon his return to Jerusalem. He was rector of the Patriarchal Seminary in Beit Jala from 1994 until his appointment as Bishop of Tunis, on September 8, 2005. He taught catechesis and pastoral theology at the Seminary in Beit Jala, at the Salesian seminary in Cremisan and at the seminary of the Custody of the Holy Land in Jerusalem. In 2010, Pope Benedict XVI raised Tunis to an Archdiocese and Bishop Lahham was appointed the first Archbishop. In 2012 Lahham was recalled to Middle East where he became Auxiliary Bishop and vicar of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem for Jordan. Bishop Lahham has written and translated many books and articles, as well as presented conferences, on adult catechesis, Christian spirituality, peace in the Holy Land, the significance of Jerusalem for the three monotheistic religions, interreligious dialogue, Lectio Divina, sacraments, Christian anthropology, and history of the Latin Patriarchate.
Rev. Professor Martin Rhonheimer
Professor of Ethics and Political Philosophy, Pontifical University of the Holy Cross
Rev. Professor Martin Rhonheimer (born 1950 in Zurich, Switzerland) is a professor of ethics and political philosophy at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome. Fr. Rhonheimer studied philosophy, history, political science and theology in Zurich and Rome. He joined Opus Dei in 1974 and was ordained a priest in 1983. His main interests lie in the field of ethics, action theory and the history of classical liberalism and economics. He has published on a wide range of topics, especially concerning the philosophy of moral action, virtue, natural law, Aquinas, Aristotle, and the ethics of sexuality and bioethics, and more recently on philosophical an ethical questions concerning the economic order.
Dr. Samuel Gregg
Director of Research, Acton Institute
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.
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