Manhattan College to Mark 50th Anniversary of "Pacem in Terris" With Lecture Series, Library Exhibit

Pope John XXIII’s historic encyclical has deep ties to campus community

On April 11, 1963, Pope John XXIII published an encyclical titled Pacem in Terris, or “Peace on Earth,” during the escalation of the Cold War. The now-landmark text, released just two months before the pope’s death, was directed not only to Catholics but also to “all men of good will.” With it, he urged government leaders to address political differences through negotiation, not arms, placing heavy emphasis on international human rights. The encyclical spawned the creation of Manhattan College’s interdisciplinary Peace Studies program, still popular among students.

Manhattan College is marking the 50th anniversary of Pacem in Terris with a series of lectures, capped off by an archival exhibit showcasing the links between the encyclical and the Peace Studies program.

“The quest for peace is never ending, and we hope this semester’s events will remind students, faculty, staff and members of the community of the importance of working together for a better world,” said Thomas Ferguson, Ph.D., associate professor of religious studies and director of the Peace Studies program.

Following is a lineup of events. All are free and open to the public.

  • Monday, March 25: Cost of War Lecture
    James Vreeland ’94, Ph.D., associate professor of government at Georgetown University, will present Money and Politics on the World Stage. O’Malley Library, Alumni Room, 4 p.m.
  • Friday, April 5: Piece of Pizza for Peace video screening
    Undergraduates will present a video on the relationship between Pacem in Terris and the Peace Studies program, featuring interviews with professors and students. Discussion to follow. Miguel Hall, Room 209, 12:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 10: Opening reception of the Pacem in Terris Library Exhibit
    The exhibit will feature visual and textual archives dating to the 1960s and run through the end of the semester. O’Malley Library, Fifth Floor, 4 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 17: Pacem in Terris and the Lasallian School lecture
    Thomas Ferguson, associate professor of religious studies and director of the Peace Studies program, will present Pacem in Terris and the Lasallian School. Hayden Hall, Room 101, 4 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 25: Aquinas Lecture
    Joseph Fahey, Ph.D., professor of religious studies, will present Pacem in Terris: Stories and Visions. Smith Chapel, 4 p.m.

For more information on each event, contact Thomas Ferguson at (718) 862-7137 or

Media interested in attending any of the events should contact John Tucker at (718) 862-7232 or

MC Staff