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"March On, Notre Dame!" Highlights the University's Commitment to Life

The de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture has released a video entitled "March On, Notre Dame!" that highlights the University's commitment to building a culture of life, both on-campus and in the wider public square. Released to coincide with the virtual March for Life on January 29, the video and transcript are available now at

"Though we sorely miss the opportunity to gather for the March for Life in Washington this year, we know that Notre Dame's commitment to building a culture of life and civilization of love is not confined to a single event but endures throughout the year," said O. Carter Snead, director of the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture. "We were glad to have this opportunity to highlight the university’s efforts on behalf of the unborn child, her mother, her family, and all neighbors in need through concrete, on-campus initiatives, as well as through prayer and witness in the public square."

The video and transcript are available for viewing here.

dCEC Director Pens Op-Ed in NY Post

"Mother Teresa said that 'if we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.' That’s all too true of America today. A global pandemic has upended our lives. Racial unrest convulses our cities. And our politics have devolved into blood sport, as toxic as it is tribal," wrote de Nicola Center Director O. Carter Snead in an op-ed published in the New York Post on October 12.

"We have indeed forgotten who we are and what we owe to one another. We desperately need to remember. To do that, we need a better anthropology."

Read the op-ed.

New Book by Center Director Carter Snead

Professor O. Carter Snead’s new book, What It Means to Be Human: The Case for the Body in Public Bioethics is now available from Harvard University Press.

Snead is a professor of law at Notre Dame Law School and director of the University of Notre Dame’s de Nicola Center for Ethics & Culture. He is one of the world’s leading experts on public bioethics — the governance of science, medicine, and biotechnology in the name of ethical goods.

What It Means to Be Human promises to propose “a vision of human identity and flourishing that supports those who are profoundly vulnerable and dependent — children, the disabled, and the elderly” and to analyze how that vision would affect three of the most complex issues in bioethics: abortion, assisted reproductive technology, and end-of-life decisions.

More about the book.

Celebrating Professor John Finnis

After a towering 25-year career in law teaching and legal scholarship at Notre Dame Law School, Biolchini Family Professor of Law John M. Finnis has decided to retire. Finnis will continue to serve as Permanent Senior Distinguished Research Fellow of the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture.

An internationally recognized scholar and philosopher, Finnis came to Notre Dame in 1995 from Oxford University, where he was a chaired professor of law and legal philosophy and a member of the philosophy subfaculty. At Notre Dame Law School, he is revered as much for his generous spirit as for his wide-ranging and groundbreaking work.

dCEC Director (and Notre Dame Law Professor) Carter Snead said, “John has been incredibly generous with the de Nicola Center, regularly speaking at our events, mentoring our undergraduate, graduate and law student Sorin Fellows, and providing sage advice. I feel personally blessed by his friendship and mentorship during my time at Notre Dame. We will miss having John over each semester for dinner in our home and pouring his favorite Australian wines!”

Announcement Regarding the 2020 Notre Dame Fall Conference

It is with a heavy heart that the de Nicola Center announces the cancellation of our 2020 Fall Conference, originally scheduled to take place November 12–14 at the University of Notre Dame.

In light of the ongoing pandemic, the University has taken a number of precautions to protect the health and safety of the Notre Dame community, implementing restrictions on travel, large gatherings, and external guests. These policies ultimately preclude our hosting the Fall Conference in any meaningful way; certainly, they would make impossible the exchange with scholars and students from across the country and around the world, as well as the community-building with friends old and new, that are highlights of the conference every year.

Though we cannot gather in person this fall, the de Nicola Center plans to host an online event in the spirit of the Fall Conference the first week of December 2020. More details regarding that event will be forthcoming; be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive updates about those developments.

In hindsight, it feels fortuitous that our 2019 Fall Conference was organized around the theme of friendship, for it is certainly the memory of that community and the abiding friendship shared with each of you that sustain us through this difficult time apart. We will continue to treasure those friendships and find new ways to nourish them until we can be together once more.

Watch the ND Vita Institute 2020 Webinar Series

The de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture presented the 2020 Notre Dame Vita Institute, its annual intellectual formation program for pro-life leaders, as a series of five free webinars the week of June 15–19, 2020.

The dCEC's annual Vita Institute normally brings together leaders in the national and international pro-life movement for a week each summer at Notre Dame for an intensive interdisciplinary training program that extends and deepens their breadth and depth of understanding of the subjects most essential to building a culture of life, including biology, philosophy, law, theology, and social sciences. This year’s online webinar series allowed a wider audience to sample the exceptional teaching of the traditional on-campus event.

For more information and view the videos from the webinar series, visit this event page.

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All of our work at the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture is aimed at one goal: to share the richness of the Catholic moral and intellectual tradition through teaching, research, and dialogue, at the highest level and across a range of disciplines. In so doing, we enrich Notre Dame’s distinctive intellectual ecology—and we bring the university’s voice into the academic and public conversations concerning the most vital and complex matters of ethics, literature, art, music, social sciences, philosophy, theology, history, political theory, applied and theoretical science, public policy, and law. For more information on how to support the work of the de Nicola Center, visit our support page.


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