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Seton Hall University

Conference on Civilizational Prospects: Engaging “Wicked Problems”

Image of the Walsh Library's dome outside surrounded by tree branches

Friday, November 17th, 2023
9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Chancellor's Suite

Sponsored by the Center for Vocation & Servant Leadership and the Center for Catholic Studies.

Register for the Conference

Despite the many advances that we humans have made over the millennia, we increasingly seem to be besieged by “wicked problems”. Where is our civilization now? How did we get to this point? Where are we are going, and where should we be going? How can the Catholic Intellectual Tradition contribute to this discussion?

In order to address this complex and timely topic, we are hosting a conference to examine civilizational prospects from four intersecting perspectives: evolutionary science, theology, global studies and future studies. The objective is to foster interdisciplinary conversations that can integrate these four intellectual streams, forge continuing academic partnerships (within Seton Hall and within the wider academic community). Most importantly, the aim is to explore concrete solutions to acute civilizational challenges. This conference will contribute to the current scholarly debate on the present state and future trajectory of human civilizations.

To read more about the purpose and scope of the conference, please click here. 

To see the complete program, please click here

Keynote Speaker

Patrick H. Byrne is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Former Director of the Lonergan Institute at Boston College. His research/publication interests include the relationships between science, evolution and religion; ethics; the thought of Bernard Lonergan, Albert Einstein, and Aristotle. His book publications include Toward Environmental Wholeness (forthcoming March 2024), The Ethics of Discernment: Lonergan’s Foundations for Ethics (2016) and Analysis and Science in Aristotle (1997). He is also editor of The Dialogue Between Science and Religion: What We Have Learned from Each Other? and “Bernard Lonergan,” Oxford Bibliographies (2019).

Topics and Speakers

Topic Speakers
"Navigating Leadership, Disruption, and Innovation When Engaging Wicked Problems" Panel Presentation led by John Shannon, J.D.
"Climate Change: Wicked Problem, Complex Solutions" Patrick Byrne, Ph.D.
"Climate Change, Zoonotic Disease, and Antimicrobial Resistance" Michael Taylor, Ph.D.
"The Apocalyptic Metaphysics of Paul Kingsnorth" Anthony Sciglitano, Ph.D.
"A Conversation on White Nationalism and the Alt-Right" Mark Horowitz, Ph.D. and Leslie Bunnage, Ph.D.
"Economic Justice: Catholic Social Thought and Grand Challenges for Social Work" Jared Best, Ph.D. and Anthony Nicotera, J.D.
"Ethics in the Era of Artificial Intelligence—Personal, Professional and Societal" Rev. Joseph Laracy, S.T.D. and Thomas Marlowe, Ph.D.
"A Possible Future for Civilizational Critical Theories" Youssef Yacoubi, Ph.D.

If you would like to learn more about the event please contact Lisa-Rose Wiles, Ph.D. Anthony Haynor, Ph.D. or Youssef Yacoubi, Ph.D.