The Scholars’ Corner is an occasion for faculty at Ave Maria University to share a portion of their ongoing research with interested fellow faculty, and their colleagues in the University staff and administration. The endeavor is faculty-established, and has been running since Fall 2014. Dr. Barry David, who was instrumental in the founding of the Scholars’ Corner and who oversees its continued occurrence, explains that one of its goals is to “promote collegiality and fruitful dialogue across the academic disciplines in the context of AMU’s Liberal Arts and Sciences program in the Catholic tradition.”
At each Corner, a given faculty member presents their research over the course of 30-40 minutes. The second half of the event is devoted to Q&A and discussion, with refreshments provided by the Dean of Faculty’s Office.
Last month, Dr. Gabriel Martinez (Business and Economics) kicked off the 2016-2017 Scholars’ Corner series with a presentation on “The Market and the Excluded: The Economics of Pope Francis in Evangelii Gaudium.” Using the much-reviewed and much-criticized paragraph 54 of Evangelii Gaudium, which speaks of “trickle-down” economics, as a catalyst for his paper, Martinez set out to vindicate Pope Francis from accusations of being a Marxist by explaining the context of the pope’s words and the economic theory and facts that are available to readers in assessing the applicability of the pope’s words.
[Below: Dr. Martinez, left, chats with Dr. David after his presentation on the economics of Pope Francis.]
One of the first points Martinez made in his presentation was that Pope Francis “writes homilies, not academic papers.” It would be misplaced, he explained, to expect academic terminology in a non-academic setting. The pope uses words and terminology appropriate to the setting—namely, a pastoral address to the hearts of his people, who are so often indifferent towards the real problem of poverty and inequity in today’s world.
Martinez went on to lay out the difficulty of translation and part of Francis’ meaning that was lost or obscured in translation. He gave an overview of some of the economic positions at play in Pope Francis’ remarks, and offered legitimate reasons why Francis might be concerned about the justice—or injustice—of today’s economy.
What to expect later in the year…
The Scholars Corner series for the 2016-2017 academic year will feature discussions on topics ranging from music, to literature, physics, theology, and philosophy! The current faculty line-up for this year’s series includes: Dr. Helen Tintes, Dr. Blanford Parker, Dr. Patrick Kelly, Professor Anthony Valle, Dr. Barry David and Dr. Taylor Ferranti.
Questions? Contact Dr. Barry David.