Scholars to Discuss Global Health and Liberation Theology

Author: Elizabeth Rankin

Paul Farmer and Rev. Gustavo Gutiérrez

When Paul Farmer came to campus in April to accept the Notre Dame Award for International Human Development and Solidarity on behalf of the global health organization he cofounded 25 years ago, he was profoundly moved by the opportunity to talk to a member of the Notre Dame community who has deeply inspired his mission to bring high-quality health care to the very poor.

Rev. Gustavo Gutiérrez, O.P., the John Cardinal O’Hara Professor of Theology and a Kellogg Institute Faculty Fellow, is known around the world as the founder of liberation theology.

“Father Gustavo is one of my heroes and has inspired much of my own work in global health with a preferential option for the poor,” says Farmer, who is renowned for his efforts with Partners In Health (PIH). He suggested that he return to campus to hold a public dialogue with Gutiérrez—and carved time out of his busy schedule to do so.

Their dialogue, “Re-imagining Accompaniment: Global Health and Liberation Theology,” will take place on Monday, October 24 at 7 p.m. in Room 101 of DeBartolo Hall. Part of the Discussions on Development series, the event is free and open to the public.

The dialogue will also be streamed live to a Harvard University auditorium, where Farmer’s students and colleagues and PIH supporters will gather. A publication will likely result from the public dialogue.

A medical anthropologist and physician, Farmer is Kolokotrones University Professor at Harvard University, chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and a founding director of PIH. His work focuses on community-based treatment strategies for infectious diseases in resource-poor settings, health and human rights, and the role of social inequalities in determining disease distribution and outcomes.

The Kellogg Institute’s Ford Family Program for Human Development Studies and Solidarity hosts the Discussions on Development series to encourage thoughtful public discussion by the University community on issues related to human development.

The event is co-sponsored by the Center for Health Sciences Advising, Center for Social Concerns, Department of Theology, and Eck Institute for Global Health.

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