One and Indivisible? The Relashionship Between Religious and Economic Freedom

Speaker Biographies

Professor Mario Silar
General Manager, European Business Ethics Network (EBEN) & Senior Researcher, Instituto Acton Argentina

Professor Mario Silar is the senior researcher at Instituto Acton Argentina, executive secretary for Centro Diego de Covarrubias (Spain), and the general manager of the European Business Ethics Network (EBEN). Previously, Prof. Silar was a visiting scholar at University of Reading, UK (2007-08) a fellow at the Witherspoon Institute (University of Princeton), and associate professor of ethics and human resources at the Universidad de Navarra and professor of Corporate Social Responsibility at the Universidad de Deusto. He received a Bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the Universidad del Norte Santo Tomás de Aquino (UNSTA), a Master’s in economic integration law from the Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, a Master’s in professorship formation from UNED (Spain), and a diploma in advanced studies in philosophy from the Universidad de Navarra. He has also studied organization and education management at the Universidad Austral. Prof. Silar has authored several articles and books, including Ética y Teoría de la Acción, Análisis de Instituciones, Empresarialidad, Pensamiento Cristiano y Liberalismo Económico. He is co-editor of Natural Law: Historical, Systematic and Juridical Approaches (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008); co-author of Metodología de Investigación y técnicas para la elaboración de tesis (Ciudad Argentina, 2006); editor of Una vida santa dedicada a la libertad: Ensayos en honor de Joe Keckeissen (Instituto Acton, 2013), and Liberalismo, pensamiento cristiano y bien común (Madrid, 2014); and co-author of Estado liberal de derecho y laicidad (Instituto Acton, 2013).

Dr. Gabriel J. Zanotti
Professor, Universidad Austral & Academic Director, Instituto Acton Argentina

Dr. Gabriel Zanotti is a full-time professor at the Universidad Austral and professor at the Centro de Estudios Macroeconómicos de Argentina (CEMA), as well as visiting professor at the Universidad Francisco Marroquín. He is also the academic director of Instituto Acton Argentina. Dr. Zanotti earned his BA in philosophy from Universidad del Norte Santo Tomás de Aquino (UNSTA) in 1984 and his Ph.D in philosophy from Universidad Católica Argentina (UCA) in 1990. Dr. Zanotti has authored several books, including Economía de Mercado y Doctrina Social de la Iglesia (Ed. de Belgrano, 1985; 2nd Ed, Ediciones Cooperativas, 2005); El humanismo del futuro (Ed. de Belgrano, 1989; 2nd Ed., Ediciones Cooperativas, 2007); Popper: búsqueda con esperanza (Ed. de Belgrano, 1993); Epistemología da economia (Pontificia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, 1997); Introducción filosófica a Hayek (Universidad Francisco Marroquín, 2003); Filosofía para filósofos (Universidad Francisco Marroquín, 2003); Fundamentos filosóficos y epistemológicos de la praxeología (Unsta, 2009);  Hacia una hermenéutica realista (Universidad Austral, 2005); La economía de la Acción Humana (Unión Editorial, 2009); Antropología cristiana y economía de mercado (Unión Editorial, 2011). Dr. Zanotti regularly writes, lectures, and teaches for numerous organizations and universities in Argentina and abroad.

Ms. Anielka (Münkel) Olson
Co-Producer, Poverty, Inc. & Project Manager, Acton Institute

Anielka (Münkel) Olson is a project manager at the Acton Institute and co-producer of the Poverty, Inc. documentary and the PovertyCure DVD Series. A native and citizen of Nicaragua, she served as advisor to the minister of tourism, promoting Nicaragua as a tourism and investment destination. She collaborated on speeches for former President Enrique Bolaños and negotiated investment opportunities with international corporations. Previously, she served as coordinator of the Government Investor Network (GIN) at PRONicaragua, the Investment Promotion Agency of the Presidency, and presented the results of this project at the United Nations High-level Dialog on Financing for Development in 2005. She also authored “Nicaragua: A UN Pilot Country on the Road to Success” and was selected to participate in the U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program. Anielka holds an MBA from the University of Notre Dame, where she won the grand prize in the Social Venture Plan Competition with Sustainable Health Enterprises. Most of Anielka’s work is focused on PovertyCure, a global initiative that advances entrepreneurial solutions to poverty. Through a network of 340+ partner organizations, a DVD series, a documentary and a social media following of over 1.3 million people, PovertyCure challenges conventional thinking and reframes the poverty debate around the creative capacity of the human person, made in the image of God.

Cardinal Robert Sarah
President, Pontifical Council 'Cor Unum'

Robert Sarah was born in Ourous in the archdiocese of Conakry in Guinea, on June 15, 1945. He was ordained priest on July 20, 1969 and was then sent to Rome, where he obtained a licentiate in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University. He also studied at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome and obtained a licentiate in Sacred Scriptures from the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum in Jerusalem. He returned to Guinea where he served as a parish priest and then rector of the junior seminary of Kindia. He was appointed archbishop of Conakry on August 13, 1979, where he served until October 2001 when he was appointed secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. On October 7, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him president of the ‘Cor Unum’ Pontifical Council and was created cardinal in the consistory of November 20, 2010. ‘Cor Unum’ is the agency of the Holy See responsible for coordinating the organizations and charitable activities promoted by the Catholic Church. On December 29, 2010, Cardinal Sarah was appointed a member of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Pontifical Council for the Laity, and the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

Professor F. Russell Hittinger
William K. Warren Chair of Catholic Studies, University of Tulsa

Prof. Russell Hittinger is the William K. Warren Chair of Catholic Studies at the University of Tulsa, where he is also research professor of law. He specializes in issues of philosophy, theology, and law. From 2002-05 he was the chair of the department of philosophy and religion. Prof. Hittinger received his M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy from St. Louis University. He serves on several boards of advisors, including First Things, the American Journal of Jurisprudence, Nova et Vetera, and the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture. On Sept. 8, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Prof. Hittinger as an ordinarius in the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. He is one of two lay academics in the world to serve as ordinarius in two Pontifical academies. His books and articles have appeared on the University of Notre Dame Press, Oxford University Press, Columbia University Press, Fordham University Press, the Review of Metaphysics, the Review of Politics, several law journals (American and European). His most recent book Thomas Aquinas and the Rule of Law. The First Grace: Re-Discovering Natural Law in a Post-Christian Age was published in Jan. 2003. His essays on papal social doctrine appeared in a two-volume work Law and Human 2 Nature: Teachings of Modern Christianity (Columbia University Press, 2005). He is currently working on a book on the evolution of Catholic social theory and doctrine during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Mr. Michael Novak
Visiting Professor and Trustee, Ave Maria University

Theologian, author, and former U.S. ambassador, Michael Novak was the George Frederick Jewett Chair in Religion, Philosophy, and Public Policy at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., and is currently Visiting Professor and Trustee at Ave Maria University in Florida. He is the 1994 recipient of the million-dollar Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion. Mr. Novak has written numerous influential books on economics, philosophy, and theology. His masterpiece, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism, was published underground in Poland in 1984, and after 1989 in Czechoslovakia, Germany, China, Hungary, Bangladesh, Korea, and many times in Latin America.  For his work and influence, he has received many international awards.

Dr. Jay W. Richards
Assistant Research Professor, The Catholic University of America

Jay W. Richards, Ph.D., is Assistant Research Professor in the School of Business and Economics at The Catholic University of America, a Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute, and Executive Editor of The Stream. He has authored and co-authored many books, including the New York Times bestsellers Infiltrated and Indivisible, as well as Money, Greed, and God, The Privileged Planet and The Untamed God. He is also executive producer of several television documentaries, including The Call of the Entrepreneur and The Birth of Freedom. Richards’ articles and essays have been published in The Harvard Business Review, Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Investor’s Business Daily, Forbes, The Daily Caller, National Review, The Washington Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Huffington Post, The American Spectator, and a wide variety of other publications. Richards’ work has been covered in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, Nature, Science, Astronomy, Physics Today, The Chronicle of Higher Education, American Enterprise, Congressional Quarterly Researcher, and The American Spectator. Richards has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. He has lectured at scores of academic conferences; on scores of college and university campuses in the United States, Europe, and Asia; at many think tanks in the U.S. and Europe; at scores of public policy meetings; and on several occasions to members of the U.S. Congress and U.S. congressional staff. Dr. Richards has a Ph.D., with honors, in philosophy and theology from Princeton Theological Seminary. He also has an M.Div., a Th.M., and a B.A. with majors in political science and religion

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.

He is the author of several books, including Morality, Law, and Public Policy (2000), Economic Thinking for the Theologically Minded (2001),...

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.

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.