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An Introduction to William Cavanaugh

William Cavanaugh - What Do I Want? Augustine and Milton Friedman on Freedom of Choice


William Cavanaugh, our guest next Thursday, is a familiar face to many of you. For many years, he was a professor of theology here at St. Thomas and has spoken for MacLaurin before.

Lecture Details

Cavanaugh’s lecture for us will be a fascinating addition to our year-long series on the theme of freedom and the free society. Free market ideology generally assumes that what people want is transparent to them. In his lecture, Cavanaugh will question that assumption and show that underlying it is a distorted view of the way people really are. He’ll examine some empirical research and show that Augustine’s theological anthropology anticipated this research by many centuries. He will then argues that aspects of Augustine’s theology are needed to adequately account for human desire and human freedom.

While he’s here, Cavanaugh will be participating in a fascinating multi-day event at St. Thomas entitled “The Church in the Modern World: Teaching and Understanding Gaudium et Spes after 50 Years.” He’s also widely known for his books and essays, which explore in compelling ways the intersections of theology, economics, and politics:

He’s also written many articles and given many talks that are available online:

Cavanaugh and Brad Littlejohn had an interesting debate about liberalism, violence, and legitimacy; you can find the exchange at the Political Theology Today blog:

Can’t wait for the lecture? Check out our archive of talks on theology and Biblical studies:

Lecture Details

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