Conference: The Mission of Academics in the Context of Suffering

Location: McKenna Hall, Notre Dame Conference Center

The Mission of Academics in the Context of Suffering:
The First Annual Notre Dame Graduate Theology Conference 

Presented by the Department of Theology and the Common Good Initiative

During the summer of 2013, a group of Notre Dame students travelled to Guatemala as part of the University’s Common Good Initiative (CGI). There they encountered a complex reality marked by a history of marginalization, armed conflict, and State-led violence against the defenseless. The students confronted not only the terrible consequences of this history of violence and human suffering, but also the persistence of hope and the quest for justice in spite of such violence and suffering. Such encounters raised pressing questions about hope and faith within the context of suffering as well as the role and responsibility of scholars in light of such atrocities. 
In response to such questions, the students from the Notre Dame theology graduate program, along with the Common Good Initiative, have organized this first annual graduate student theology conference that aims to foster interdisciplinary dialogue regarding the responsibilities of scholars in the context of diverse dimensions of human suffering, such as poverty, marginalization, racism, and political, structural, and gender-based violence. We hope to foster awareness within the ND community and, in general, in U.S. institutions of higher learning, about the contemporary challenge of human suffering and the implications for academic research in light of the tragedy that suffering represents. 
To these ends, conference participants will be considering the relationship between scholarship and human suffering from four angles: (1) thematic reflection on human suffering in general, (2) reflection on a contemporary issue revealing economic, political or social injustice, (3) methodological reflection on the relation between an academic discipline and such an issue, and (4) broader reflection on the vocation of the academic and academia in light of the awareness of human suffering. 
There is no registration or registration fee required. Coffee and snacks will be available throughout the event. We hope you can join us! 
For additional conference information, please visit the conference website.