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  • Will Francis Comment on Neoliberalism?

    pope moneyPope Francis’ visit to Ireland is a cause of excitement to many and dismay to others. Beneath the flurry of events associated with the World Meeting of Families and the simmering controversy around protests, his visit is an opportunity to reflect on one of the major emphases of his papacy, says Kevin Hargaden.

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  • Prisoner Amnesty for Papal Visit

    pope prisonersEoin Carroll's article in the Irish Times looks back to the arrival of John Paul II in 1979, when 76 prisoners were granted early release, and questions why there is no mention of an amnesty to coincide with the visit of Pope Francis.

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  • Safe Spaces For Young People in Prison

    youth day 2018The theme of International Youth Day 2018 is Safe Spaces for Youth, something that resonates strongly with the work in prison and penal reform that the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice is involved in. The centre has long been an advocate for changes in the prison system for young adults, whom we view as a discrete demographic group, worthy of particular consideration.

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About the Centre

The Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice works to combat injustice and marginalisation in Irish society, through social analysis, education and advocacy.

The Centre highlights complex social issues, informs opinion and advocates for governmental policy change to create a fair and equitable society for all.

Analysis on our Key Issues

People in prison are amongst the most marginalised and vulnerable in our society. The majority have left school early, experience literacy and learning difficulties and have a history of unemployment... Click here to view all of our material on Penal Policy

Environmental protection has emerged as a key element of social justice debates in recent decades... Click here to view all of our material on Environmental Justice

The right to a safe and secure place to live is one of the most basic human rights, it is fundamental to enable people to live a dignified life... Click here to view all of our material on Housing Policy

In our political discourse, every question of human flourishing seems to be reduced to bottom-line thinking. This focus on riches impoverishes our shared discourse and has serious negative consequences for society Click here to view material on Economic Justice

The Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice focuses on a number of other issues... Explore all here

Our Journal

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Exploring Social Justice

Why Care - Social Justice Awareness for Younger People

HEST Group Examines Precarious Labour

HEST Economy Poverty and Ethics Cluster UpdateJCFJ Social Theologian, Dr Kevin Hargaden participated in the third round of meetings for the Higher Education for Social Transformation (HEST) initiative. The HEST Economy, Poverty and Ethics Cluster Update took place in Madrid, on 1-2 March, 2018.

'The Society of Jesus maintains a large network of higher-education institutions and social-policy centres across Europe which educate tens of thousands of young people, and scrutinise a myriad of government proposals and policy initiatives.

The HEST initiative (Higher Education for Social Transformation) seeks to mobilise this network of research bodies so as to challenge realities on the ground by advocating for constructive change founded on solid research.

Going beyond an expression of our collective social responsibility, HEST is an attempt to put flesh and bones on one of the hallmark slogans of the Jesuit approach to life – that we should be men and women for others.

Seven research clusters have been established that aim to funnel this wealth of researching talent towards the issues that are most pressing in Europe today.

They are:

• Ecology and Environmental Challenges
• Economy, Poverty and Ethics
• Christian Muslim Relations
• Dialogue Science and Religion
• Ignatian Studies
• Anthropology
• Migrations and Refugees

These clusters, comprising experts, analysts and researchers – both ‘J’ [Jesuit] and ‘lay’ – from across Europe, are meeting over the period of three years with the intention of providing meaningful and quality research so as to yield real-world advocacy proposals. They also hope to sharpen local recommendations through the pan-European cooperation and to strengthen the Jesuit Identity of Jesuit higher-education institutions.

The ambitious, ultimate aim, is that this project would roll for fifteen years, thoroughly transforming the internal self-understanding of Jesuit higher-education institutions and making a concrete difference for the most marginalised in our society.

I am a member of the ‘Economy, Poverty and Ethics’ cluster which seeks to take seriously the commitment made in Decree 1 of the General Congregation 36 that ‘Global Wealth Inequalities’ is one of the issues that Jesuits must pay particular attention to.

The group's third workshop took place in early March in the Spanish capital of Madrid. Scholars and experts from Poland, France, Belgium, England, Ireland, and Spain comprise the group, which is largely led by economists. Its aim is an indepth exploration and analysis of what is really happening in the European economy, beyond the numbers.

A decade on from the last financial crash, there is widespread dissatisfaction with the so-called ‘recovery’. With this in mind, the group has focused on two critical issues:

• Models for company-formation
• Policies to deal with precarious labour

The first focus area will draw on Catholic Social Teaching to explore how the legal construction of corporations can place the pursuit of the common good right alongside the pursuit of profit; while the second will explore how the response to the economic crash of 2008 has left more and more people on the economic sidelines and how we should seek to address that issue.

HEST delegates braved snowdrifts and airline delays caused by the extreme weather conditions thoughout Europe to make it to the meetings. The host city, Madrid was buffeted by storm winds and heavy rains. But everyone in the group felt that the trip was worthwhile, despite the inclement weather.

The contemporary university is geared towards ever more intense specialisation and too often our individual research agendas, directed by abstract government rating-systems, get disconnected from the real-world problems we most want to address.

HEST represents a different way of researching: interdisciplinary, grounded in friendship and mutual values, dedicated towards the service of those most in need of help. In this, it is already a remarkable distillation of the finest parts of the Jesuit tradition.'

 

Photo: (L-R) Ricardo Aguado, Gonzalo Gómez, Kevin Hargaden, Pablo Font

 

Posted in Poverty & Inequality News

Tags: Economy,, HEST,, Higher Education for Social Transformation, Employment,

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