The leading center for scholarly reflection within the Catholic moral and intellectual tradition

  • 19th Annual Fall Conference

    19th Annual Fall Conference

    Our Fall Conference (Nov. 1-3), "Higher Powers," will discuss the proper relationship between God, the human person, and the state. Join us Nov. 1 at 8PM for a conversation with Ignat Solzhenitsyn about his father's life and legacy.

    More information here.

  • #Synod2018

    #Synod2018

    The CEC lead a pilgrimage to Rome for our students to witness (and witness to) the bishops' meeting on young people.

    Learn more and see our media coverage here.

  • 2019 Evangelium Vitae Medal

    2019 Evangelium Vitae Medal

    The CEC will present the 2019 Notre Dame Evangelium Vitae Medal to the Women's Care Center in honor of their decades of support for mothers and children in 11 states. The medal will be presented at a Mass and banquet on April 27, 2019.

    Read the press release.

  • Ethics and Culture Cast

    Ethics and Culture Cast

    The Center's podcast series, Ethics and Culture Cast, features lively conversations with fellows, scholars, and friends of the CEC. Episodes released every other Thursday.

    Learn more and listen to the podcast.

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Ignat Solzhenitsyn to Discuss His Father's Legacy at 19th Annual Fall Conference

"Higher Powers," the CEC's 19th Annual Fall Conference, begins on November 1 at 8PM with a conversation with Ignat Solzhenitsyn, son of Nobel Laureate author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, about his father's life and legacy. The conversation will be followed by a reception celebrating the launch of "Between Two Millstones: Book 1," the elder Solzhenitsyn's memoir of his exile in the West, published by UND Press. The conversation will be livestreamed and later available on the CEC's YouTube channel.

The conference continues on Friday and Saturday with more than 90 presentations across the range of disciplines, discussing the proper relationship between God, the human person, and the state. In a 1993 address, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn observed that, “having refused to recognize the unchanging Higher Power above us, we have filled that space with personal imperatives, and suddenly life has become a harrowing prospect indeed.” Twenty-five years after Solzhenitsyn’s address, and one hundred years after his birth, the Center for Ethics and Culture’s 19th Annual Fall Conference will consider how every human pursuit can be oriented toward higher powers and reflect on the true measures of social progress, the role of morality in law and politics, and the dynamics of liberty, dignity, self-sacrifice, and the good in public life.

More about the Fall Conference available here.


2019 Notre Dame Evangelium Vitae Medal to the Women's Care Center

The University of Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture will award the 2019 Notre Dame Evangelium Vitae Medal — the nation’s most important lifetime achievement award for heroes of the pro-life movement — to the Women’s Care Center Foundation at a Mass and banquet on April 27.

“The Women’s Care Center sets the standard nationwide for compassionate and comprehensive care for mothers, babies and families,” said O. Carter Snead, the William P. and Hazel B. White Director of the Center for Ethics and Culture. “In its work and witness, the Women’s Care Center embodies the unconditional love and radical hospitality that anchors and sustains a culture of life. It is our privilege to honor them with the Evangelium Vitae Medal.”

Now nationwide, Women’s Care Center was established in 1984 immediately south of the Notre Dame campus by Dr. Janet E. Smith, then a young professor in the Program of Liberal Studies. Since then, WCC has grown to 28 pregnancy resource center locations in 11 states and serves more than 26,000 women annually, making it the largest network of pregnancy resource centers in the United States. The Women’s Care Center provides free, confidential counseling and education to women facing unplanned pregnancies, as well as ongoing support, including parenting classes and referrals for mother and baby wellness care. WCC locations can be found in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

More about the Women's Care Center and the Evangelium Vitae Medal here.


In Memoriam: Tris Engelhardt (1941–2018)

The Center for Ethics and Culture mourns the death of philosopher H. Tristram Engelhardt, Jr., professor of the history and philosophy of medicine at Rice University and professor emeritus at Baylor College of Medicine, who passed away on June 21, 2018 in Houston.

In the words of Center for Ethics and Culture director O. Carter Snead, "Tris was a towering figure in academic bioethics. We will deeply miss his singular brilliance, spirit, and warmth." Engelhardt was a great collaborator and friend of NDCEC founding director David Solomon, and was a frequent and engaged participant in the Center's Medical Ethics Conferences and annual Fall Conferences.

More about Engelhardt and his relationship to the NDCEC here.


Carter Snead Elected as Hastings Center Fellow

O. Carter Snead, the William P. and Hazel B. White Director of the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture, has been elected as a Fellow of the Hastings Center, the world's first and most prestigious bioethics research institute. The Hastings Center draws their Fellows from across the disciplines and hails them as "an elected group of individuals of outstanding accomplishment, whose work has informed scholarship and/or public understanding of complex ethical issues in health, health care, life sciences research and the environment." Their Fellows display "uncommon insight and impact in areas of critical concern to the Center – how best to understand and manage the inevitable values questions, moral uncertainties and societal effects that arise as a consequence of advances in the life sciences, the need to improve health and health care for people of all ages, and mitigation of human impact on the natural world."

"It is a great honor to join the distinguished ranks of the Hastings Center Fellows," said Snead. "For decades, the Hastings Center has stood as an essential institution seeking to grapple with the ethical issues, societal effects, and questions of justice that arise as a consequence of technological advances in the life sciences. I look forward to working with my new colleagues at the Center and contributing to this eminent community of thinkers."

Read the news story.


Notre Dame Honors Mary Ann Glendon with the 2018 Evangelium Vitae Medal

The University of Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture presented 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.

“Through her work and witness, Mary Ann Glendon has consistently battled the destructive forces arrayed against women, children (born and unborn), and the family in modern society with extraordinary grace, clarity, and compassion,” said O. Carter Snead, the William P. and Hazel B. White Director of the Center for Ethics and Culture, as he read the citation honoring Glendon. “Pope John Paul saw that women play a uniquely indispensable role in building the culture of life,” the citation continued. "Glendon’s unfailing commitment to this project has given her a unique ability to reach across divides in fruitful dialogue. Her further dedication as a devoted mother, trusted mentor, and beloved teacher has served as an inspiration and example of what it means to put one’s life and work entirely at the service of building a “civilization of life and love” (Evangelium Vitae, n. 100)."

Read the news story and see photos from the Evangelium Vitae Medal ceremony.

Upcoming Events

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19th Annual Fall Conference: Higher Powers
November 1–3
Notre Dame Conference Center (McKenna Hall)

What is the proper relationship between God, the human person, and the state? The CEC’s 19th Annual Fall Conference will consider how every human pursuit can be oriented toward higher powers and reflect on the true measures of social progress, the role of morality in law and politics, and the dynamics of liberty, dignity, self-sacrifice, and the good in public life. Details on the Fall Conference page.

Ethics and Culture Cast

Our podcast features lively conversations with fellows, scholars, and friends of the CEC. Episodes released every other Thursday during the academic year. Suggestions and feedback welcome at cecpodcast@nd.edu.

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