The leading center for scholarly reflection within the Catholic moral and intellectual tradition
The Center for Ethics and Culture’s 18th Annual Fall Conference, "Through Every Human Heart", will explore the perennial problem of good and evil, the significance of this distinction for human flourishing and the common good, and the place of good and evil in the theory and practice of various academic disciplines. In the Center's animating spirit of interdisciplinary inquiry, we encourage submission of abstracts drawing on a wide range of moral, religious, and academic perspectives, including theology, philosophy, political theory, law, history, economics, and the social sciences, as well as the natural sciences, literature, and the arts. The CEC's Fall Conference is the largest annual interdisciplinary academic conference hosted on campus each year, and will take place November 9-11, 2017 at the Notre Dame Conference Center. Register for the conference via this link.
More than 90 presentations will be offered during the three-day conference. Confirmed speakers include Harvey Mansfield, Jacqueline Rivers, Gary Anderson, James Hankins, Ann Astell, John Finnis, Elizabeth Lev, and Alasdair MacIntyre. More information and links to previous years' proceedings is available on the Fall Conference homepage.
CNN published an opinion piece about Pope Francis and Charlie Gard, the UK infant who suffers from a rare form of mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, penned by O. Carter Snead, director of the Center for Ethics and Culture. Professor Snead writes,
Once again, Pope Francis is offering a powerful, profound and much-needed lesson to the entire world about how to love unconditionally our brothers and sisters on the peripheries and the grave perils of what he calls a "throwaway culture" that casts aside the weak and defenseless.
Catholicism embraces the premise that everyone is intrinsically valuable, irreplaceable and possessed of inalienable dignity, regardless of condition, circumstance or the judgment of others. Of particular relevance here, those who are severely and permanently cognitively disabled are still entitled to equal moral concern, care and protection of the law.
Read the full piece here.
The Center for Ethics and Culture mourns the death of Peter Augustine Lawler of Berry College, who passed away on May 23, 2017. Lawler had been a frequent speaker and guest at Notre Dame events over the years, most recently in March 2016 when he presented on Walker Percy's Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book as part of the CEC's Catholic Culture Series.
Center director Carter Snead said, "The sudden loss of Peter Lawler is heartbreaking. He was, of course, a subtle, faith filled, and humane scholar, teacher, and voice in the public square. But most importantly, he was a great and irreplaceable friend to many of us at Notre Dame."
Read more about Professor Lawler and his legacy.
The Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture awarded the 2017 Notre Dame Evangelium Vitae Medal to the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation at a Mass and banquet on April 29, 2017.
“Professor Lejeune’s great genius was the piercing quality of his vision, which saw in the weakest members of society nothing less than the reflection of the Creator,” said O. Carter Snead, William P. and Hazel B. White Director of the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture. “For persons with Down syndrome and other genetic disabilities, this vision was, quite simply, transformative. Where once they were shunned, hidden away, and disinherited by a society that did not understand them, Lejeune’s discovery in 1958 of an extra chromosome on the twenty-first pair enabled this humble French doctor to bring his patients—his ‘little ones,’ as he called them—into the light.”
Pope Francis sent a message of blessing for the occasion. Read the full story and the Holy Father's greeting here.
In a letter to the editor published by the ND-SMC Observer, director Carter Snead described the vision that informs the work of the Center for Ethics and Culture. Writing in response to a previously published op-ed penned by a Notre Dame alumnus, Professor Snead wrote,
The Center for Ethics and Culture takes seriously the capacious nature of Catholic social teaching across the spectrum of human issues. We understand that all our work and thinking should be animated by a commitment to radical hospitality, human dignity, solidarity and the common good. We know that this calls us to speak out in defense of the unborn child, the refugee, the undocumented immigrant, the poor and the disabled. We believe that our work reflects this commitment.
"We welcome everyone of good will who shares our love of civil discourse, Notre Dame, the Church and its much-needed countercultural teachings on human dignity and the common good," Snead concluded. Read the entire letter to the editor at the NDSMC Observer website.
2017 Football Tailgate
Saturday, Oct. 21
Save the date to join us for food, fellowship, and fun at a Center for Ethics and Culture Tailgate! We'll cheer on the Irish before they take on USC on October 21. Join us on the lawn south of Geddes Hall for this family-friendly event. We'll see you there. Go Irish!