Mary Hirschfeld, a professor of economics and theology at Villanova University, will offer the Philosophy lecture at St. Charles Seminary March 19.

As part of the lecture series of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary’s School of Theological Studies, the next Philosophy lecture will be Monday, March 19 from 7 to 9 p.m. by Mary Hirschfeld speaking on “Creation and Transcendence: ‘Laudato Si’s Challenge to the Technocratic Paradigm.”

The lecture is free and open to the public, to be held in the seminary’s Vianney Hall Auditorium at 100 East Wynnewood Road Wynnewood.

Hirschfeld, a professor of economics and theology at Villanova Universtiy, will discuss how Pope Francis in his encyclical “Laudato Si” challenges us to both respect the environment and attend to the needs of the poor.

The two goals appear in tension as economic growth presents the best remedy for poverty and at the same time puts pressure on the environment. That tension has led some to reject the pope’s message as hopelessly naive. But in the key chapters of the encyclical, Francis challenges the dominant worldview of our age, which he calls the “technocratic paradigm.” He argues implicitly that environmental degradation and economic injustice are rooted in the paradigm’s faulty understanding of creation.


To come into right relationship with the material world, we need to be reminded that it is a reflection of God’s superabundant goodness.

Professor Hirschfeld holds a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in theology from the University of Notre Dame. Drawing on her work that focuses on economics grounded in the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas with applications to questions of consumption, economic justice, the common good and the nature of practical reason, Hirschfeld is currently working on a book, “Toward a Human Economy: Aquinas and the Modern Economy.”

The seminary’s lecture series, which offers opportunities for a deeper understanding of the Catholic faith, its authentic content and its orientation toward the transformation of the world around us, concludes on May 24 with the Cardinal Foley Symposium.

It will celebrate World Day of Communications with a panel discussion on the theme “Fake News and Journalism for Peace,” plus a keynote talk and awards ceremony.

See more details on the Cardinal Foley Symposium here.