Pacem in Terris Lecture Series

In 1963 while the United States and its allies were locked in a Cold War showdown with the Soviet Union and its satellite nations, Pope John XXIII, a peacemaker of extraordinary influence, issued the encyclical Pacem in Terris, “Peace on Earth.” In this seminal document for world peace, Pope John XXIII called on all peoples to respect the human dignity of all persons and to begin an authentic dialogue in the quest for peace and human fulfillment.

The Conference

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Pacem in Terris, Georgetown University hosted a conference on April 12, 2013, “Human Dignity in World Affairs: Celebrating Pacem in Terris and its Legacy.” For more information on the conference, including video and articles, please click here.

The Lecture Series

Inspired by the vision of Pope John XXIII, the Georgetown University community examined issues and prospects in the global imperative for peace with a series of presentations by distinguished scholars, religious leaders, and human rights activists from around the world.

Archive of Speeches

2003 – 2004

Inaugural Lecture
Remarks by Peter Steinfels, Fordham University professor and co-director of the Fordham Center on Religion and Culture
October 10, 2003

Panel Discussion: “Human Rights Are Best Served By Democracy and International Law”
Remarks by Cherie Booth, QC, leading human rights lawyer and wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair
Remarks by Conor Gearty, Rausing Director of the Center for the Study of Human Rights and Professor of Human Rights Law LSE
Remarks by Ambassador Michael Novak, Jewett Scholar in Religion, Philosophy, and Public Policy at the American Enterprise Institute
Jeane Kirkpatrick, former US Ambassador to the United Nations and Professor of Comparative Government at Georgetown University, also spoke
November 17, 2003

Finding the Balance Between our Rights to Security and Liberty
Remarks by Dr. William Schulz, Executive Director of Amnesty International
February 9, 2004

Analyzing Atheism; Unbelief and the World of Faiths
Remarks by Dr. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury
March 29, 2004

A World Without Poverty
Remarks by Peter D. Bell, then President of CARE USA
April 5, 2004

2004 – 2005

A World of Conflict or a World of Law?
Remarks by Shirley Williams, then leader of the Liberal Democrats in the British House of Lords
September 30, 2004

Memory, Salvation, and Perdition
Remarks by Miroslav Volf, Henry B. Wright Professor of Theology at Yale University Divinity School and Director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture
October 5, 2004

Lasting Roads to Peace
Remarks by Andrea Riccardi, founder of the Community of Sant’Egidio
October 14, 2004

Towards a Just and Sustainable Peace
Remarks by Jonathan F. Fanton, President, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
November 15, 2004

Doing What’s In Front of You: 20 Years of Humanitarian Response From the Ethiopian Famine to the Asian Tsunami
Remarks by Ambassador Tony Hall, then U.S. Ambassador to the Agencies for Food and Agriculture (FAO)
February 8, 2005

Peace In The World: The Contribution Of Interreligious Relations
Remarks by Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, M.Afr., then President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue
February 28, 2005

2005 – 2006

Human Rights: The Basis for Peace on Earth
Remarks by Rev. Cedric Prakash, S.J., Director of Prashant, the Ahmedabad-based Jesuit Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace
September 19, 2005

Liberals, Cannibals and Christians
Remarks by Senator Marcello Pera, then member of the Italian Senate
September 22, 2005

Vital Strategies for a Global AIDS Response
Remarks by Fr. Robert Vitillo, Special Advisor to Caritas on HIV and AIDS
October 24, 2005

His Eminence Renato Cardinal Martino
President Emeritus, Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
Monday, November 14th, 2005

Dr. Charles Villa-Vicencio
Executive Director, Institute for Justice and Reconciliation
November 14th, 2005

Mr. Stephen Lewis
Then the United Nations’ Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa
January 25th, 2006

Dr. Peter Piot
Then Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS  (UNAIDS)
March 7, 2006

The Honorable Roméo Dallaire
Then Member of the Canadian Senate
March 20, 2006

Ka Hsaw Wa, founder of EarthRights International, and Muhammad Yunus, Founder of the Grameen Bank, also acted as speakers in this series.


Georgetown University’s Pacem in Terris lecture series was sponsored by: