A new Spiritan Center for the Study of Catholic Social Thought has been established at Duquesne University.
The Spiritan Center will serve the University, the Congregation of the Holy Spirit and the Catholic Church through research and scholarly publications, conferences and lectures on Catholic social thought. It will focus on addressing issues of race, poverty, inter-religious dialogue and other areas of special concern to the Congregation.
“The Center will be a locus of University scholarship and faculty development on these mission-related issues, an intellectual resource for the international efforts of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit, and a provider of academic opportunities for like-minded scholars from around the world,” said Dr. Ralph L. Pearson, provost and academic vice president. “Since issues of race, poverty and inter-religious dialogue are not contained by national boundaries, the focus of the center will be international. Scholars who work on these issues through the center will, of course, conduct research on a particular area, for example, a region of the U.S. or some other region/country on the globe.”
The Spiritan Center will be headed by a director, who will report to the provost and academic vice president, and will include an associate director. In addition, Spiritan and Duquesne Faculty Fellows Programs will be implemented. Through the Spiritan Fellows Program, members of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit will have the opportunity to spend a semester or a year at the Center conducting research and lecturing on their areas of expertise and experience. The Faculty Fellows Program will provide University faculty a semester or year-long “internal” sabbatical to work on a scholarly project in the Spiritan Center’s areas of emphasis. Visiting fellows from other universities will be appointed periodically.
According to Pearson, the Spiritan Center staff and fellows will author books and articles that analyze Catholic social thought and its applications, with emphasis on eliminating racism and poverty, and promoting inter-religious dialogue. Lectures will be offered to the University community and to the public, and an annual conference featuring international experts on Catholic social thought will be held on campus.