Braniff Salon

Personal Responsibility & The Common Good: Our Liberal Arts Education and the Social Teaching of the Church

Date published: October 31, 2016

The annual  Braniff Salons have focused upon important classical works in the Western tradition such as those by Shakespeare and Aeschylus. This November, the Braniff Salon will consider a topic that is a point of departure from this tradition: the social teaching of the Catholic Church.

As is manifest in its Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, published in 2005, no other institution has as comprehensive an approach to personal responsibility and the common good. With this in mind, each professor is asked to consider the question of personal responsibility and the common good from the vantage point of what he or she has learned from his or her own discipline so that in our discussion their insights may be placed in dialogue with Christian teaching.

Assistant Professor of Theology Irene Alexander, Ph.D. is one of the panelists and will share her insights on Catholic Social Teaching (CST) with the audience.

“There has often been a misunderstanding that CST only means implementing certain ‘structures’ in the social realm,” Alexander said. “This faulty idea ignores the effect of the individual person on society, both the good he or she can contribute, and unfortunately also the evil. Both the Catholic tradition and the best of classical philosophy has demonstrated that the city is a mirror of the soul, and if a person's soul is deeply disordered and he or she renounces certain personal responsibilities, the common good of the whole society is in in fact in jeopardy.”

Joining Alexander as panelists are Aida Ramos, Ph.D., assistant professor of economics, Jonathan J. Sanford, Ph.D., dean of Constantin College, Richard Dougherty, Ph.D., associate professor of politics and Gregory Roper, Ph.D., associate professor of English and department chair.

“Both the liberal arts tradition and the Catholic faith aim to discover the true, the good, and the beautiful as ennobling both man and society,” Alexander said. “I look forward to engaging with the community on such a rich and timely topic!”

Continuing a tradition of conversation and conviviality, the Braniff Salons extend the fine practice of discussing interesting and important topics and texts to alumni of the school and guests, together with current students and faculty. Consider personal responsibility and the common good alongside professors from various disciplines at the Braniff Graduate School as they comment on and then lead a discussion of how their disciplines help us to understand this important topic on Friday, Nov. 4 at 6 p.m. in the Art History Auditorium

The Braniff Salons are sponsored by The Braniff School of Liberal Arts, The Braniff Graduate Student Association, and the Office of Alumni Relations. They are open to all alumni, students and former students of The Braniff Graduate School, as well as to faculty of the University of Dallas and their guests. RSVP at udallas.edu/braniffsalon.

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