Office of Mission to Sponsor 'The Common Good' Ethics Colloquium for Faculty, Staff

The Office of Mission will sponsor new series on the common good for faculty and staff, beginning next fall.

Central to the mission of the University of St. Thomas is the education of students to be “morally responsible leaders who think critically, act wisely and work skillfully to advance the common good.” The purpose of “The Common Good” Ethics Colloquium is to provide an ongoing forum for faculty and staff at the University of St. Thomas to discuss in greater depth, and with greater precision and clarity, the nature and meaning of the “common good” and how it might be advanced, and in so doing assist the university in fulfilling its mission.

The colloquium presupposes no single definition of “common good” other than the very general one often identified in Catholic social teaching and elsewhere (i.e., "the sum of those conditions of social life which allow social groups and their individual members relatively thorough and ready access to their own fulfillment.").

Given this broad definition, the colloquium is bound by three simple convictions:

  • The common good does exist.
  • Meaningful discussion – and civil debate – about the common good is possible.
  • Mutual discovery and articulation of the common good (or goods) is among the chief tasks of socially and politically responsible ethical inquiry.

The colloquium will meet regularly throughout the fall and spring terms, typically once a month. Individual sessions may be devoted to a variety of topics and may be variously structured; however, the typical session will focus on the presentation of a paper or project (either completed or a “work-in-progress”) on an ethical topic or issue that in some way raises questions about the common good. Whenever possible, one member of the colloquium will offer a brief “response” to the paper or project. General discussion will follow.

Colloquium co-directors are Dr. Paul Wojda, Theology, and Dr. Steve Laumakis, Philosophy.