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The Center for Ethics and Culture’s 18th Annual Fall Conference, "Through Every Human Heart", explored 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 welcomed 112 presentations 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 took place November 9-11, 2017 at the Notre Dame Conference Center.
Keynote presentations by Gary Anderson, Alasdair MacIntyre, James Hankins, and Harvey Mansfield were livestreamed and are available on this page. Additional presentations were filmed and will soon be available on our YouTube page. Highlighted speakers included Jacqueline Rivers, Sr. Ann Astell, John Finnis, Elizabeth Lev, Jonathan Lear, Randy Boyagoda, and John O'Callaghan. More information and links to previous years' proceedings is available on the Fall Conference homepage.
O. Carter Snead, William P. and Hazel B. White Director of the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Ethics and Culture and professor of law, has been re-appointed as a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, the pope’s principal advisory group on life issues and bioethics. Founded in 1994 by Saint Pope John Paul II and reconstituted by Pope Francis in 2016, the academy meets annually, holds conferences, publishes reports and collaborates with partners in the Vatican Curia and worldwide.
“I am honored and humbled to continue to serve the Holy Father and the Church in its efforts to defend and bear witness to the inalienable dignity of every member of the human family, born and unborn,” Snead said.
Snead will address the Pontifical Academy at its annual general assembly on October 5. Read the full story here.
The Center for Ethics and Culture welcomed two new staff on October 2. Pete Hlabse will serve as the newly-created Student Programs Manager, while Petra Farrell will take over in the new position of Culture of Life Programs Manager. Both are very familiar with campus: Pete is a Notre Dame alumnus, and Petra graduated from St. Mary's College.
The University of Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture will present the 2018 Notre Dame Evangelium Vitae Medal to former U.S. ambassador and Harvard professor of law Mary Ann Glendon at a Mass and banquet on April 28, 2018.
The Notre Dame Evangelium Vitae Medal, named for St. John Paul II's 1995 encyclical on life issues, is the nation’s most important lifetime achievement award for heroes of the pro-life movement, honoring individuals whose efforts have served to proclaim the Gospel of human life by steadfastly affirming and defending its sanctity from its earliest stages.
“Glendon is one of the most extraordinary figures in academia and the global public square,” said O. Carter Snead, the William P. and Hazel B. White Director of the Center for Ethics and Culture. “She personifies the goods at the heart of the Evangelium Vitae Medal. Through her work as a world-class scholar and teacher, a diplomat, a White House bioethics adviser and an official of the Holy See, she has provided a joyful, loving and unwavering witness to the dignity of all persons, born and unborn, as created in the image and likeness of God. She sets the standard for all of us who work to build a culture of life worldwide. There is no one like her.”
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.
Bread of Life Dinner
Thursday, Nov. 30
6:00 p.m., Morris Inn
RSVP via this link
Our Bread of Life dinners provide an opportunity for Notre Dame undergraduates and faculty to meet, reflect on, and discuss their attitudes toward beginning-of-life issues. Bread of Life is especially meant to attract students who might not already be strongly committed to the Church’s teachings on these issues but who are open to exploring them. Fr. Kevin Grove, C.S.C. will be our featured speaker. More information and RSVP at the event page.
Ethics and Culture Cast
Our podcast features lively conversations with fellows, scholars, and friends of the CEC. Episodes released every other Thursday.