Law and Catholic Thought: Liberalism and Integralism

Law and Catholic Thought: Liberalism and Integralism

Professor Adrian Vermeule, Professor Robert George
Fall 2018 seminar
W 5:00pm - 8:00pm in Hauser Hall Room 105
2 classroom credits

Prerequisite: Admission is by permission of the instructors. Please send a resume and a short (1 page or less) statement of interest and any relevant background to Ellen Keng ( by August 24, 2018.

Exam Type: No Exam

The social teaching of the Catholic Church--its teaching on political, economic, and legal justice, human dignity and rights, and the requirements of the common good--is a key part of its moral teaching. Since the Church is the largest single religious institution in the world, and an actor in its own right in public and international affairs, its teaching in this area is of significance and interest to people of all faiths and shades of belief. This seminar will examine the teaching, especially as it has been presented in the writings of popes beginning with the encyclical letter of Pope Leo XIII Rerum Novarum (1891) addressing the "revolutionary changes" confronting the Church and the world in the wake of the industrial revolution. Topics covered will include Catholic teaching on democracy and religious freedom and other human rights, and the Church's critiques of socialism and collectivism; laissez-faire capitalism and social Darwinism; scientific materialism and secularism; and expressive individualism; and its defenses of private property, the regulated market economy, and "subsidiarity."

Note: This seminar will meet over 8 sessions on the following dates: 9/5, 9/12, 9/19, 9/26, 10/24, 11/7, 11/14, 11/28.

This course is available to upper-level JDs, LLMs, and FAS graduate students.

Subject Areas: Legal & Political Theory, Disciplinary Perspectives & Law, Human Rights, International, Comparative & Foreign Law