From the beginning of his pontificate in 2013, Pope Francis has consistently issued a call to radically rethink the global financial order, to envision “a different kind of economy: one that brings life not death, one that is inclusive and not exclusive, humane and not dehumanizing, one that cares for the environment and does not despoil it.” On May 1, 2019, the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, Pope Francis issued a call for a conference to take place in Assisi, Italy in March 2020, “The Economy of Francesco,” which would bring together young economists, entrepreneurs, and change-makers from around the world to “enter a covenant to change today’s economy and to give a soul to the economy of tomorrow.” While the conference was postponed to November 2020 on account of COVID-19, the social and economic catastrophe unleashed by the global pandemic has made the Pope’s call ever more urgent.
While the Pope draws inspiration from his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi, the vision underlying the Economy of Francesco is entirely his own, a critique of global capitalism that draws upon his unique background as the first pope from the Global South. Formed as a priest in the wake of the monumental changes of the Second Vatican Council, before becoming pope he ministered to an Argentina ravaged by neoliberalism, debt, and the Washington Consensus. The result is a dynamic social vision that incarnates the Church’s preferential option for the poor and accompanies those on the world’s margins to fully realize their dignity as human beings created in the image and likeness of God.
This vision was developed by Pope Francis in his 2015 encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’;, as integral ecology, the understanding that “everything is closely interrelated” and that “today’s problems call for a vision capable of taking into account every aspect of the global crisis.” His most recent encyclical on human fraternity, Fratelli Tutti, emphasizes the need for policymakers to make the development of a more inclusive global capitalism a priority in the post-pandemic world.
It is critical that voices from the Global South inform the discourse on what the Economy of Francesco looks like in practice. A hallmark of the pope’s vision is that not only should our approaches be multilateral, but they must be multidisciplinary. Academics of various disciplines should be in conversation with one another in fresh and dynamic ways.
Towards that end we invite blogs that critically examine the Economy of Francesco, Pope Francis’s call for a more inclusive capitalism, from a Global South perspective. We are particularly keen to receive blogs that focus on, but are not limited to:
- Ecumenical or interreligious critiques of the Economy of Francesco, insights from the Islamic world;
- Pedagogy, critiques of how young scholars are trained and suggestions to incorporate Global South perspectives;
Essays that are submitted as part of this symposium must be analytical and original. Authors must comply with the Afronomicslaw.org blog submission guidelines accessible here. Blogs are to be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org with the title ‘Economy of Francesco’ Blog Submission’.
July 31, 2021.
Inquiries or clarifications relating to this call should be directed to Charles Chilufya, S.J (email@example.com)