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Sirico Parables book

A Conference Hosted by the Acton Institute & the Pontifical Gregorian University's Faculty of History and Cultural Heritage of the Church


The current era of globalization, with all its opportunities and challenges, is not the first time that the Church has had to grapple with economic changes on a global scale. In the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries, Catholic theologians explored the moral, political, and economic implications of expanding commerce and trade routes across the globe – to India, China, Africa, and, of course, the New World.

Many of these theologians and moralists were members of the recently founded Society of Jesus. Jesuits such as Juan de Mariana, Luis de Molina, and Leonardus Lessius not only explored the ethics of contracts, trade, money, and the state’s role in the economy; they also made important, though often overlooked, contributions to the development of economics and political economy. In his famous History of Economic Analysis, the distinguished economist and historian of economic ideas Joseph Schumpeter described many of these Jesuits’ insights as anticipating similar ideas expressed by Adam Smith two centuries later.

On Wednesday, 29 November 2017, the Acton Institute and the Pontifical Gregorian University’s Faculty of History and Cultural Heritage of the Church will hold an afternoon conference in Rome on Globalization, Justice, & the Economy: The Jesuit Contribution at the Pontifical Gregorian University.

Bringing together leading thinkers from around the world, this conference aims to pay tribute to early and late modern scholasticism, specifically the Jesuit contributions, to the development of modern market economies.

At the conclusion of the conference, the Acton Institute will confer the 2017 Novak Award and its $15,000 prize to the Belgian academic Dr. Wim Decock of the Catholic University of Leuven. Dr. Decock will present the Calihan Lecture based on his doctoral research in this area.

Conference Speakers

Rev. Dr. Diego Alonso-Lasheras, SJ
Professor of Theology, Pontifical Gregorian University (Italy)

Dr. Alejandro (Alex) Chafuen
Author & President, Atlas Network (USA)

Dr. Wim Decock
2017 Novak Award Winner & Professor of Legal History, Universities of Leuven and Liège (Belgium)

Dr. Samuel Gregg
Director of Research, Acton Institute (USA)


Conference Hosts

 Pontifical Gregorian University’s Faculty of Church History and Cultural Goods

Istituto Acton

Event Details

Start Date


Pontifical Gregorian University
Piazza della Pilotta, 4
Aula Magna
00187 Rome RM


12:30 CET - Registration & Lunch 

14:00 CET - Conference Program (Broadcast live online)

17:30 CET - Novak Award Reception

This conference - including the lunch and reception - is free and open to the public. Advance registration is encouraged.

Because this is a free program, travel assistance or scholarships are not provided.

Language & Broadcast

Simultaneous translation in English and Italian will be provided.

This conference will be broadcast live online in English.

Download Conference Poster: English - Italian