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

  • 21st Fall Conference

    21st Fall Conference

    Thank you to the presenters and guests at our 21st Fall Conference, "I Have Called You By Name: Human Dignity in a Secular World".

    Watch the keynote sessions here.

  • Evangelium Vitae Medal

    Evangelium Vitae Medal

    The 2022 Notre Dame Evangelium Vitae Medal will be presented to Dr. John T. Bruchalski, MD, founder of Tepeyac OB/GYN, at a Mass and dinner on April 23, 2022.

    More about Dr. Bruchalski and the Evangelium Vitae Medal here.

  • 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. Episodes released every other Thursday.

    Learn more and listen to the podcast.

  • March On, Notre Dame!

    March On, Notre Dame!

    A video celebrating Notre Dame's ongoing commitment to building a Culture of Life both on campus and beyond.

    Watch the video.

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dCEC Hosts its 21st Fall Conference

The de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture will welcome more than 1,000 scholars, students, and friends to Notre Dame for its 21st Fall Conference, November 11–13 at the McKenna Conference Center. Entitled, "'I Have Called You By Name': Human Dignity in a Secular World," the conference will feature nearly 130 presentations by speakers including Mary Ann Glendon (Harvard Law School), Alasdair MacIntyre (University of Notre Dame), Jacqueline Rivers (Harvard University), Elizabeth Schiltz (University of St. Thomas), and many more.

The keynote sessions will be livestreamed on this page, and many panel presentations will be posted after the conference on the dCEC's YouTube channel.

View the conference schedule and read presentation abstracts here.

dCEC Director Honored by St. Thomas More Society Dallas Chapter

The Dallas chapter of the St. Thomas More Society honored O. Carter Snead, professor of law at Notre Dame Law School and director of the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture, at its annual Red Mass on October 9, 2021. The Society’s Red Mass invokes the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the securing of justice, and is celebrated each Fall to mark the beginning of the new legal term for the Texas courts.

Awarded to "those who exemplify the ideals of service and sacrifice in the pursuit of justice so conspicuously reflected in the life and death of St. Thomas More," previous honorees at the Society’s Red Mass include Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, US Representative Henry Hyde, Avery Cardinal Dulles, and the Honorable Amy Coney Barrett, at the time a judge on the US Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

More about the award and Professor Snead's post-Mass presentation here.

dCEC Director Files Amicus Brief in Landmark Abortion Case

O. Carter Snead, professor of law at Notre Dame Law School and director of the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture, has filed (with Mary Ann Glendon, Learned Hand Professor of Law, emerita, Harvard University) an amici curiae brief in the Supreme Court of the United States in the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the most important case concerning the law of abortion since Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992).

In the brief, Professors Snead and Glendon argue that “The Court must overrule Roe v. Wade, Doe v. Bolton, and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, and restore to the people’s elected representatives the authority to care rightly for mothers, children, and families.”

More about the brief and a link to read the full text.

dCEC Director O. Carter Snead to Receive Expanded Reason Award

O. Carter Snead, professor of law at Notre Dame Law School and director of the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture, will receive the 2021 Expanded Reason Award in Research for his book What It Means to Be Human: The Case for the Body in Public Bioethics (Harvard University Press, 2020).

Now in its fifth year, the Expanded Reason Award is administered by the University Francisco de Vitoria, in conjunction with the Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation, and recognizes excellence in efforts to “broaden the horizons of rationality, based on the dialogue of sciences and disciplines with Philosophy and Theology.” Four recipients of the Expanded Reason Award, three in the area of research and one in teaching, will share a 100,000 Euro prize and attend a special audience with Pope Francis to receive the award later this year.

Read the full story here.

dCEC Director O. Carter Snead Interviewed in WSJ

Center Director O. Carter Snead's latest book, What It Means to be Human: The Case for the Body in Public Bioethics (Harvard University Press, 2020), continues to be widely discussed in the media, including most notably in the pages of the Wall Street Journal. In his November 8, 2020, review, Yuval Levin declared the book to be “among the most important works of moral philosophy produced so far in this century.” In December 2020, the paper named it as one of the “Top Ten Books of 2020.”

Professor Snead was featured again in the WSJ on June 18, 2021, in a “Weekend Interview” with editorial page writer Barton Swaim, discussing implications of his book for the response to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Read the whole interview here.

Center Director Coauthors Statement on Moral Acceptability of COVID-19 Vaccines

dCEC director O. Carter Snead joined leading pro-life Catholic scholars on a statement regarding the moral acceptability of receiving the currently-available COVID-19 vaccines. The statement reads, in part, "Foremost among the questions for those of us who are committed to defending the intrinsic equal dignity of all human beings from conception to natural death are these: in accepting any of the vaccines on offer, is one in any way endorsing or contributing to the practice of abortion, or is one in any way showing disrespect for the remains of an unborn human being? As to the vaccines currently or soon available in the United States, we agree with Bishop Kevin Rhoades, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Doctrine, that the answer is no. While there is a technical causal linkage between each of the current vaccines and prior abortions of human persons, we are all agreed, that connection does not mean that vaccine use contributes to the evil of abortion or shows disrespect for the remains of unborn human beings. Accordingly, Catholics, and indeed, all persons of good will who embrace a culture of life for the whole human family, born and unborn, can use these vaccines without fear of moral culpability."

The full statement is available here.

"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.

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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.


Ethics and Culture Cast

Our podcast features lively conversations with fellows, scholars, and friends of the de Nicola Center. Episodes released every other Thursday during the academic year. Suggestions and feedback welcome at

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