Fairfield University graduate G. Simon Harak, S.J., co-founder of Nobel Peace Prize nominated Voices in the Wilderness, to deliver Bellarmine Lecture



Global Citizenship event to take place February 8

Corporations continue to profit from war.

Image: S HarakHowever, the nature of war profiteering has significantly changed in the last 25 years, according to G. Simon Harak, S.J., a Fairfield University graduate and co-founder of the Nobel Peace Prize nominated organization, Voices in the Wilderness.

On Tuesday, February 8 at 8 p.m., Fr. Harak, the 1995 'Teacher of the Year' at Fairfield, will return to campus to speak on this disturbing topic when he delivers the 2011 Bellarmine Lecture. "It has been, and always will be, true that certain corporations make profit from war," said the Jesuit priest, director of Marquette University's Center for Peacemaking. "But now, certain corporations have gained so much influence in the policy-making of the United States government, that it might be just as true to say that those corporations make war for profit."

Entitled, "The Global War on Terror: Who Wins? Who Loses?" his talk - free and open to the public - will be held in the Dolan School of Business Dining Room. Presented by Fairfield's Center for Catholic Studies, it is a Global Citizenship event, part of an ongoing initiative: As the complexities of globalization become apparent, the university has begun to explicitly orient itself toward the education and formation of students to be global citizens.

Paul Lakeland, Ph.D., the Aloysius P. Kelley S.J. Professor of Catholic Studies, said it is wonderful to be able to have Fr. Harak return to present a lecture in this series of distinguished Jesuit scholars. "Fr. Harak's work over many years at the intersection of theological education and the struggle for justice makes him an ideal speaker on the topic of the war on terror, while his outstanding talent as a public speaker and his unforgettable personality promise an exciting and challenging event."

After teaching ethics at Fairfield for 13 years, Harak resigned his full professorship in 1999 to help found Voices in the Wilderness, a human rights group nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2000, 2002 and 2003. He has traveled to Iraq three times with Voices, where he openly and publicly violated United States/United Nations sanctions to bring medicine and toys to Iraqi hospitals. During one of his visits, he was the only American representative among 500 international participants at the Baghdad International Conference on the Sanctions. He has since then made over 2,000 presentations on Iraq on TV, radio, and at different venues in the U.S. and abroad, and to a congress of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) at the UN.

In 2003, Harak joined the War Resisters League as its national anti-militarism coordinator, where he organized a national speakers bureau on war profiteering, and a national conference on war profiteering.

A member of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), he later joined the faculty of Marquette where he teaches theological ethics. He is also the Jesuit school's director of the Center for Peacemaking. Rooted in the Ignatian charism, the center fosters an awakening to the holistic relationship of scholarship, spirituality, nonviolent living, and the active struggle for peace and justice.

Author of "Virtuous Passions: The Formation of Christian Character" (Paulist, 1993, republished, Cokesbury 2001), he earned a B.A from Fairfield University, a master's degree in Divinity from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame.

The Bellarmine Lecture series, sponsored by the Center for Catholic Studies, provides the community with a chance to hear and interact with distinguished Jesuit scholars. For more information, visit http://fairfield.edu/cs/cs_lectures.html or call Elyse Raby at (203) 254-4000, ext. 3415.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on January 24, 2011

Vol. 43, No. 174