The Common Good and the Modern Nation State

15 Nov 2023

Join the IHE for a thoughtful discussion with V. Bradley Lewis, moderated by Father Aquinas Guilbeau, O.P.

The past few years have seen a burst of interest in the ancient idea of the common good as the purpose and standard of political life. Catholic Social Teaching has characterized the common good as an ensemble of conditions that allow persons and groups to pursue their fulfilment.

The history of Catholic Social Teaching shows this formulation to be not a modern deviation, but the outcome of an attempt to apply classical notions of the common good to the political context of the modern state.  

Watch the recording here.


  • Father Aquinas Guilbeau, O.P.
    Father Aquinas Guilbeau, O.P.
    University Chaplain and Vice President of Ministry and Mission, The Catholic University of America

    A native of Louisiana, Father Aquinas entered the Dominican Province of St. Joseph in 2005. After several years of pastoral work in New York City, he began doctoral studies in theology at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland), where he completed a dissertation on St. Thomas Aquinas’s doctrine of the common good. Before arriving at Catholic University, Father Aquinas taught moral theology at the nearby Dominican House of Studies, where he also served for a time as prior of the community.

    Father Aquinas serves as Chaplain at The Catholic University of America. In October of 2023, Father Aquinas was appointed by President Peter K. Kilpatrick as the University’s first Vice President of Ministry and Mission.

  • V. Bradley Lewis
    V. Bradley Lewis
    Associate Professor of Philosophy, The Catholic University of America

    V. Bradley Lewis is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at The Catholic University of America. Dr. Lewis specializes in political and legal philosophy. He has written articles on the political thought of Plato and Aristotle and on some figures in the neo-Thomist tradition, as well as on the topics of public reason and religious freedom.

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