The Ciocca Scholars conference is a gathering of select scholars in an intimate setting intended to foster serious and fraternal discussion. The one-day conference takes place each April, hosted by the Ciocca Center for Principled Entrepreneurship at the Catholic University of America, and led by Dr. Frederic Sautet. During the day, a small group of academics, including PhD students, gather to discuss Catholic social thought as it pertains to such diverse fields as business, political economy, entrepreneurship studies, and ethics of the marketplace.

As the day proceeds, eight participants present thematically-related papers, and eight designated discussants respond with comments. At the end of each session, open discussion will allow for other attendees to contribute feedback.

The theme of the inaugural conference was “Adam Smith Meets Leo XIII.” The gathering established a conversation on the relation between Smithian political economy and the Leonine tradition of social thought in the Catholic Church by bringing specialists of each discipline together. The discussion examined specific areas of intersection and divergence in the thought of both men.

Papers Presented

 The papers presented at the inaugural conference:
  1. "'Proper Objects': From Vanity to Virtue in Adam Smith" presented by Dylan DelliSanti, George Mason University
  2. "Leo XIII and Adam Smith on Social Virtues and the State" presented by Barrett Turner, Mt. St. Mary's University
  3. "The Role of Virtue in Escape from Poverty in Leo XIII, with a Glance to Adam Smith" presented by Michael Pakaluk, Catholic University of America
  4. "Adam Smith on Moral Judgment: Why People Tend to Make Better Judgments Within Liberal Institutions” presented by Paul Mueller, The King’s College
  5. "Building 'Other' Societies: The Narrowness of Prudence in Leo XIII's Thought" presented by Andrew Yuengert, Catholic University of America
  6. "A Dialectical Reading of Adam Smith on Wealth and Happiness" presented by Erik Matson, New York University
  7. “Pope Leo and Adam Smith on the Origins and Significance of Private Property” presented by John Robinson, James Madison University


The following scholars served as discussants for these papers (respectively):

  1. Jonathan Murphy (George Mason University)

  2. Rev. John McNerney (Catholic University of America)

  3. Thomas Merrill (American University)

  4. Herbert Hartmann (Catholic University of America)

  5. Andrew Humphries (George Mason University)

  6. Bradley Lewis (Catholic University of America)

  7. Brent Orrell (American Enterprise Institute)

  8. Clara Jace (George Mason University)