The leading center for scholarly reflection within the Catholic moral and intellectual tradition
In a speech Friday October 11 at the Notre Dame Law School, U.S. Attorney General William Barr decried the ascendancy of secularism and vowed to do all he can to assure continued religious freedom for Americans. (Watch video of the talk here.)
During the 20th century, the free society of the United States faced off against totalitarianism, standing up and defeating fascism and communism, Barr said. In the 21st century, Americans face the question of whether citizens in a free society can maintain the moral discipline and virtue necessary for the survival of free institutions, he said.
“Modern secularists dismiss this idea of morality as sort of otherworldly superstition imposed by killjoy clergy,” he said. “But, in fact, Judeo-Christian standards are the ultimate utilitarian rules for human conduct.”
Barr spoke in the law school’s McCartan Courtroom to law students and faculty, students associated with Notre Dame’s de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture, which co-hosted the event with the Law School, and other invited guests.
The de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture at the University of Notre Dame will present the 2020 Notre Dame Evangelium Vitae Medal to Vicki Thorn, founder of the post-abortion healing ministry Project Rachel and executive director of the National Office of Post-Abortion Reconciliation and Healing, at a Mass and banquet on April 25.
“Vicki Thorn has dedicated her life to caring for women and men who have been wounded by abortion,” said O. Carter Snead, the William P. and Hazel B. White Director of the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture. “Her work is a living witness to the unconditional love and mercy that lies at the heart of the Culture of Life. We are pleased to honor her with the Notre Dame Evangelium Vitae Medal.”
In the Queen's Birthday Honours announced on June 10, 2019, John M. Finnis, a Permanent Senior Distinguished Research Fellow of the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture and professor of law at Notre Dame Law School, was appointed as a Companion (AC) of the Order of Australia. The honor was granted with the citation, "For eminent service to the law, and to education, to legal theory and philosophical enquiry, and as a leading jurist, academic and author."
The Birthday Honours, granted within the British Commonwealth nearly annually since 1860, mark the reigning monarch's official birthday by appointing various citizens into national orders as a reward for good works or meritorious service. The Order of Australia was established in 1975, and Companion is the highest division actively awarded.
The de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture at the University of Notre Dame cohosted a pair of colloquia in Paris on May 27–29, 2019, at the Law School of the Université Paris Descartes-Sorbonne Paris Cité and the Centre d’études du Saulchoir. The conferences are part of an ongoing research collaboration on politics and Christianity, under the theme of “The Two Cities,” sponsored by the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture, the Université Paris Descartes-Sorbonne Paris Cité, and the Centre d’études du Saulchoir.
“We are grateful for our many partners in Europe who have helped us in our efforts to expand the global reach and impact of the de Nicola Center over the past few years,” said dCEC director Carter Snead. “This initiative in France, like our longstanding collaboration with colleagues in Rome, Florence, and Milan, provides a unique forum for genuinely interdisciplinary scholarly dialogue and exchange for the world’s leading thinkers in the Catholic tradition, as well as from many other perspectives and backgrounds.”
The University of Notre Dame de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture presented the 2019 Notre Dame Evangelium Vitae Medal to the Women’s Care Center, the largest network of pregnancy resource centers in the United States, at a Mass and dinner attended by more than 600 guests and friends on April 27, 2019.
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.
“The Women’s Care Center has built a model of service rooted in John Paul the Great’s vision of radical hospitality, welcoming women precisely in their moment of greatest vulnerability and deepest need,” said O. Carter Snead, director of the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture. “Theirs is a ministry of love, based not on the proposition of an argument but on an encounter with the unique and unrepeatable individual before them.”
Anthony and Christie de Nicola Make Transformative $10 Million Gift in Support of the Center for Ethics and Culture
Established in 1999, the Center for Ethics and Culture has long been part of the University of Notre Dame’s wider efforts to share the richness of the Catholic moral and intellectual tradition through teaching, research and dialogue, both on campus and in the wider public square.
Now, thanks to a transformative $10 million gift from Anthony and Christie de Nicola of Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, the newly-renamed de Nicola Center is poised to expand its work forming and mentoring Notre Dame students, engaging in interdisciplinary programming and research, and promoting a culture of life worldwide through teaching, exchange and service.
“For two decades, the Center for Ethics and Culture has played a critical role in fostering dialogue both on our campus and in our broader society, especially around issues involving human dignity and the common good,” said Notre Dame’s president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. “This tremendously generous gift from Tony and Christie will allow us to expand the reach of the center. We at Notre Dame are truly grateful.”
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."
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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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