The Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology sent its representatives to Mexico to join top Mexican intellectuals for conversations examining political, economic, and social assumptions at work in Mexico and the US in the first annual Mazatlán Forum.
Topics included immigration; family rights; healthcare and privacy rights; subsidiarity; economic theory; the corporation and societal change; youth, authority, and the social media culture. Each conversation began with brief presentations by American and Mexican presenters, and then a discussion involving all the participants followed. Final presentations at the conclusion of the forum summarized the discussions and presented concluding remarks.
DSPT participants were members of the DSPT College of Fellows and DSPT Faculty, including Fellows Ron Austin, Gil Bailie, William J. Cox, André Delbecq, Richard Gallagher, Dan Lungren and Agnieszka Winkler; Mary Hirschfeld, Fellow Designate; Fr. Anselm Ramelow, OP, DSPT Chair of Philosophy, Fr. Michael Sweeney, OP, DSPT President; as well as invited guests. Mexican participants included members of Mexican Colegios (e.g. El Colegio de Sinaloa, El Colegio de Mexico), such as Luis Alejandro Astorga Almanza, Erika Montoya Zavala, Bernardo Méndez Lugo, Roberto Blancarte, Miguel Breceda, Fernando García Sais, Fernando Cano Valle, Luis F. Aguilar, Rodolfo Tuirán Gutiérrez, José Ángel Pescador Osuna, Jaime Labastida and Ronaldo González Valdés.
The College of Fellows of the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology was founded to enhance education and study in the philosophical and theological disciplines through analyzing contemporary culture, illumining areas of enquiry and discerning questions relevant to contemporary society. Men and women nominated to the College are Catholics distinguished in their academic and secular professions and convinced of the value of dialogue across disciplines for the sake of addressing issues significant to the common good.
“The surest route to friendship is to appreciate another's questions. I am delighted with the opportunity we have before us: to engage in earnest, probing dialog about the significant questions facing our cultures in such a beautiful and hospitable place as Mazatlán.” Fr. Michael Sweeney, OP
THURSDAY, MARCH 7
Welcome and Keynotes
The keynotes were offered by Fr. Michael Sweeney, OP, President of the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, Berkeley, CA and Dr. Luis F. Aguilar, Director of the Institute of Public Policy and Government at the University of Guadalajara, Mexico and member of El Colegio de Mexico.
Subsidiary Societies in the Contemporary State
Conversation was sparked by presentations entitled:
- "Have Religious Institutions, Universities, and Arts and Media Been Marginalized?" by Ron Austin, DSPT Fellow
- "What is the Role of Religion in Public Life?" by Dr. Roberto Blancarte Pimentel, El Colegio de Mexico and Visiting Scholar at Stanford University.
Youth, Truth and Social Media
Conversations were prompted by presentations entitled:
- "Can Crowd Wisdom Successfully Replace Other Types of Authority?" by Agnieszka Winkler, DSPT Fellow and Founder and Chairperson of The Winkler Group, Inc.
- "Social Networks and Youth: Risks and Possibilities" by Ronaldo González Valdés, Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa.
Whose Right? Rights in Question
Conversation about rights in our societies began with reflections entitled:
- Does the Family Have Rights?" by Fr. Anselm Ramelow, OP, Chair of the Philosophy Department at DSPT
- "Collective Actions in Defense of the Rights of the Consumer and the Environment" by Fernando García Saís, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México
- "Rights and Modern Medical Research: How Far Does the Right to Privacy Extend?" by Richard Gallagher, DSPT Fellow and Clinical Professor at the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia
- "Medical Humanism and 'Dispraxis'" by Fernando Cano Valle, Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas [Institute of Legal Research], Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM).
FRIDAY, MARCH 8
Immigration, Rights and the Common Good
Extended conversation about immigration was spurred by presentations entitled:
- "Is It Necessary to Rethink Sovereignty in Questions Concerning Immigration?"; by Patrick Brennan, holder of the John F. Scarpa Chair in Catholic Legal Studies at Villanova University
- "Central-American Transmigration in Mexico: Violation of Human Rights in Mexican Territory and its Implications for the USA and Proposals for Public Policy in Mexico and the USA" by Bernardo Méndez Lugo, Mexican Diplomat
- "The Contemporary Conundrum: Is It Possible for the U.S. to Aspire to Be Both a 'Nation of Laws' and a 'Nation of Immigrants'?" by Mr. Dan Lungren, DSPT Fellow and former US Congressman
- "The New Anti-Immigrant Context and the Migratory Status of Mexican Stylists in Arizona" by Erika Montoya Zavala from the Department of International Studies and Public Policy at the Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa (UAS)
Rethinking the Corporation and the Market Economy
Conversations were stimulated by brief presentations entitled:
- "Can the Corporate Organization Offer a Model for Societal Change?; by DSPT Fellow André Delbecq, the J. Thomas and Kathleen McCarthy University Professor at Santa Clara University
- "Prospects for Mexico's Sustainable Development through the Market Economy Model" by Miguel Breceda, Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa
- "Are Our Assumptions Concerning Economic Life False?" by DSPT Fellow-Designate Mary Hirschfeld, Professor of Economics and Theology at Villanova University
- "Mexico: Illegal Drugs, Violence, and Politics" by Luis Astorga Almanza, Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM).
SATURDAY, MARCH 9
Questioning Conclusions and Concluding Questions
At the concluding session the proceedings of the Mazatlán Forum were summarized and contextualized for the sake of attempting to more clearly articulate the questions that must be asked and answered in order to take advantage of the opportunities and address the challenges we face today in Mexico and the United States.