When Catholic social scientists get together

What do Catholic social scientists study?

I recently received some info on the “Society of Catholic Social Scientists'”:http://www.catholicsocialscientists.org/ upcoming annual meeting (Oct. 26 and 27) at St. John’s Law School in Queens. Many of the panel discussions scheduled sound quite interesting.

Among them:

The Catholic Church in Contemporary Ireland (where, by many accounts, the church is struggling);

Edith Stein: Saint and Feminist;

Defending the Faith: The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights (CL honcho William Donohue will be there and is giving the keynote for the conference);

The Campaign for the International Right to Abortion in International Institutions;

The Legacy of Pope John Paul II (one panelist is supposed to discuss the “anthropological realism” of JPII);

Problems and Prospects in Catholic Education;Issues of Life and Death (one presenter will discuss “evolution and the embryo”);

The Sexual Scandal in the Catholic Church Today: Should the Church Oppose Extending the Statues of Limitations? (In other words, should the church try to protect itself against lawsuits that involve long-ago crimes, even if the accusations are true?);

African American Catholicism and Catholicism in Africa;

Faith and Reason in Catholic Thought as Understood by Pope Benedict XVI;

The Pius Wars and Sister Margherita Marchione (a nun who has dedicated herself to defending Pope Pius XII from accusations that he did not do enough to oppose the Nazis);

Abortion, The Church, and American Society;

A Critique of the Writings of Some Prominent Secular Thinkers: Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Sigmund Freud;

The Impact of Catholic Bloggers: How They are Become an Important Alternate Voice in Catholic Culture;

Catholicism and Politics;

What Catholics Need to Know about Islamic Jihad.

Lots of meaty stuff, no?

The co-chairs of the conference are David Gregory, the Dorothy Day Professor of Law at St. John’s Law School, and Joseph Varacalli, director of the active Center for Catholic Studies at Nassau Community College.

Gary Stern

Gary Stern covered education in the Lower Hudson Valley for several years during the early 1990s. Now's he back on the beat. He believes that schools are one of the main reasons that people live around here and that educational issues -- from curriculum to financing -- are among the most challenging things that journalists can write about. He continues to be amazed by the complexity of educational jargon. Gary got his B.A. at SUNY Buffalo and his M.A. from the University of Missouri Journalism School (where his master's thesis was about the best ways to cover education). He lives in White Plains with his wife and two sons, who attend public schools.