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

  • 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 dCEC.

    Learn more and listen to the podcast.

  • Fall Conference 2022

    Fall Conference 2022

    Our 22nd annual Fall Conference, 'And It Was Very Good': On Creation, is now in the books! Video recordings of sessions will soon be posted to our YouTube channel.

  • Newman and the Religion of the Future and the Future of the Academy

    Newman and the Religion of the Future and the Future of the Academy

    Archbishop Anthony Fisher, OP, reflected on how Catholic institutions of higher education play a crucial role in bringing forth Newman’s understanding of Christianity as the religion of the future.

    Watch his talk here.

  • Evangelium Vitae Medal

    Evangelium Vitae Medal

    The dCEC will present the 2023 Notre Dame Evangelium Vitae Medal to Professor Robert P. George of Princeton University at a Mass and dinner on April 29.

    Read more about Professor George and the Evangelium Vitae Medal.

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dCEC Hosts 22nd Annual Fall Conference, "And It Was Very Good: On Creation"

The de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture welcomed more than 1,000 scholars, students, and friends to its 22nd annual Fall Conference, hosted at the University of Notre Dame, November 10–12. Entitled “And It Was Very Good: On Creation,” and presented in collaboration with Stanford University’s “Boundaries of Humanity” project, the conference featured 147 speakers from a wide range of disciplines who explored the many facets of the created world and the act of creation.

Plenary keynote talks were presented by Robert Pogue Harrison (Stanford University), Alasdair MacIntyre (de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture), Simon Conway Morris (University of Cambridge), and Elizabeth Lev (Duquesne University). Recordings of these are available at Additional featured speakers included Jacqueline Rivers (Harvard University), Kristin Collier (University of Michigan Medical School), Thomas Hibbs (Baylor University), and Charles Camosy (Creighton University).

Video recordings of many of the presentations will be posted to the dCEC's YouTube channel in the coming weeks. For more infomation about the conference including paper abstracts and speaker bios, visit the 2022 Fall Conference homepage.

dCEC to Present the 2023 ND Evangelium Vitae Medal to Robert P. George

Acclaimed legal philosopher and constitutional and political theorist Robert P. George will receive the University of Notre Dame’s 2023 Evangelium Vitae Medal—the nation’s most important award for heroes of the pro-life movement—at a celebration to be hosted by the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture on April 29, 2023.

George is the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Professor of Politics at Princeton University and the founding director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions.

"Robby George is a brilliant legal philosopher and one of the most eminent public intellectuals in America today," said O. Carter Snead, director of the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture. "Over more than 40 years of service as a professor, author, and mentor (including to me), George has been the most important and influential exponent of the philosophical argument for the intrinsic equal dignity of the unborn child, with a combination of intellectual excellence, civility, and aplomb that is simply not paralleled in his generation.”

Read the full story here.

dCEC Co-presents Webinar Series on Caring for Women and Children after Dobbs

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the University of Notre Dame’s de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture and the Notre Dame Office of Life and Human Dignity at the McGrath Institute for Church Life offered a multipart panel discussion series addressing questions facing women, physicians, and policy makers entitled “Caring for Women and Children: Navigating Medicine, Law, and Policy After Dobbs.”

The first session discussed widespread myths faced by patients and physicians, and the second discussed challenges and questions faced by medical practitioners; recordings of both sessions are available on our YouTube channel. The final discussion in the series took place on October 28, exploring "A Blueprint for the Future." The recording of the final session is forthcoming.

This series was part of the dCEC's Women and Children First Initiative.

dCEC Director Carter Snead's Statement on Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization

"Those who have worked tirelessly to support unborn children and their mothers have reason to rejoice today, as they now redouble the efforts they have long pursued for the intrinsic equal dignity and value of every human life and to create a society where every child (born and unborn), mother, and family is welcomed into a network of support and protection, and loved unconditionally, from conception throughout the human lifespan."

"The University of Notre Dame is institutionally committed to 'to the defense of human life in all its stages,' recognizing and upholding the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death (cf., For our part, the de Nicola Center is proud to advance that commitment through our own efforts and programming, particularly our recently launched 'Women and Children First' initiative. This initiative is our signal contribution to the ongoing effort to care for women, children (born and unborn), and families in need through research, teaching, service, public engagement, and witness across a variety of disciplines and contexts, including such complex issues as health care, housing, education, employment, poverty, racial justice, criminal justice reform, adoption and foster care, religious liberty, and international human rights."

Read the complete statement here.

dCEC Director's book recognized in New York Times as one of “Ten Books to Understand Abortion Debate in US”

A new article in the New York Times has recommended O. Carter Snead’s book What It Means to Be Human: The Case for the Body in Public Bioethics (Harvard University Press, 2020) as one of “Ten Books to Understand the Abortion Debate in the United States.” Snead is a professor of law in Notre Dame Law School, concurrent professor of political science, and director of the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture at the University of Notre Dame.

“With insight and provocation, Snead, a bioethicist, examines the questions that abortion raises about the meaning of human life,” Joshua Prager wrote in the May 5, 2022, article.

“I am honored and grateful that the New York Times found my book to be an essential resource for understanding this extraordinary moment,” Snead said. “The Supreme Court of the United States may well be poised to reverse its confused and confusing jurisprudence of abortion and return the matter to the political branches for resolution, where the issue is addressed nearly everywhere else in the world.” Snead continued, “As a Notre Dame faculty member, I’m also delighted that my scholarship is able to advance the University’s institutional commitment to building a culture of life where every member of the human family—born and unborn—is cared for and protected by law.”

More about the book and Professor Snead's scholarship here.

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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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