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

  • 2019 Evangelium Vitae Medal

    2019 Evangelium Vitae Medal

    The de Nicola Center 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.

  • Introducing the CEC's New Name

    Introducing the CEC's New Name

    A transformative $10 million gift from benefactors Anthony and Christie de Nicola will equip the newly-renamed de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture to expand its work on campus and in the wider public square.

    More about the de Nicolas and the de Nicola Center.

  • To What End?

    To What End?

    A Notre Dame conference on reframing moral discourse, with keynotes by Alasdair MacIntyre and Jonathan Lear. July 25–27, 2019.

    Learn full details and submit a paper proposal here.

  • 20th Annual Fall Conference

    20th Annual Fall Conference

    Save the date! Our 20th Annual Fall Conference will take place November 7–9, 2019. Topic and Call for Papers will be released in April. View previous presentations on the CEC's YouTube channel.

    More information 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.

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dCEC Director Carter Snead to deliver 16th Annual Harvey Lecture

O. Carter Snead, the William P. and Hazel B. White Director of the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture, will present the 16th Annual John Collins Harvey Lecture, hosted by the Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics at Georgetown University on April 25, 2019. His talk is entitled "Remembering the Body: Towards a More Human Public Bioethics," based on the themes of his book manuscript by the same name (under contract with Harvard University Press).

The Harvey Lecture was established in 2003 in honor of longtime medical practitioner and professor of medicine John Collins Harvey, M.D., Ph.D. The prestigious endowed lecture has previously been delivered by eminent experts in the fields of ethics and health care including Cardinal Francis George, Leon R. Kass, Daniel Callahan, Sr. Carol Keehan, and Cardinal Godfried Danneels.

“I am deeply humbled to join the array of luminaries who have delivered the Harvey Lecture before me,” Snead said. “It is a special honor to contribute to the work of the Pellegrino Center. Dr. Ed Pellegrino was a giant in the field of medical ethics and a treasured friend and mentor.”

More about the Harvey Lecture here.

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.”

More about the de Nicolas and the work of the Center available here.

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

"Higher Powers," the CEC's 19th Annual Fall Conference (November 1–3), began with a conversation with Ignat Solzhenitsyn, son of Nobel Laureate author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, about his father's life and legacy. More than 750 registered guests, and 1,000 total guests, took part in the most successful Fall Conference to date. The opening conversation was 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 between Ignat Solzenitsyn and Daniel J. Mahoney is available on the CEC's YouTube channel.

The conference continued 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 discussed 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.

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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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