Wednesday, November 12, 2008

UST Program: The Church and the Biomedical Revolution; Francis Beckwith, 7:30 p.m. Thursday


Third in the Series

"Bioethics and the Religious Citizen in a Liberal Democracy"

Thursday, November 13, 2008
O'Shaughnessy Educational Center Auditorium

Dr. Frank Beckwith

Senior Visiting Fellow
Notre Dame Center for Ethics & Culture

Professor of Philosophy and Church-State Studies
Baylor University

Francis Beckwith is currently the Mary Anne Remick Senior Visiting Fellow at the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Ethics and Culture. His regular appointment is Professor of Philosophy and Church-State Studies at Baylor University, where he teaches courses in the departments of philosophy, political science, and the J.M. Dawson Institute for Church-State Studies.

Dr. Beckwith has published widely, authoring or editing over 15 books and many articles. His most recent publications include Defending Life: A Moral And Legal Case Against Abortion Choice (Cambridge University Press, 2007), and Return to Rome: Confessions of an Evangelical Catholic (Brazos, 2009). A former president of the Evangelical Theological Society [it made nationwide news when he reverted to the Catholic Church several years ago and had to resign his position there.] and board member of the Society of Christian Philosophers and the Evangelical Philosophical Society, Dr. Beckwith was selected as Inside the Vatican magazine’s number one person of 2007. He and his wife, Frankie, live in Woodway, Texas. Further information about Dr. Beckwith may be found at his website:

Francis Beckwith, who spoke for the Institute’s Annual Faith & Law Lecture in 2007, will present “Bioethics and the Religious Citizen in a Liberal Democracy” at the University of St. Thomas at 7:30 PM on Thursday, November 13. Located in the O’Shaughnessy Education Center auditorium at 2115 Summit Ave, St. Paul. More information can be found at or call (651) 962-5864.


A Lecture Series
Sponsored by The Center for Catholic Studies
and Beyond Career to Calling, a Lilly Grant program

"But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?" Job 28:12

Job’s question is pertinent in every generation, though perhaps no more so than today, as the current biomedical revolution—already global in scale—continues to push back what were once considered the limits of both our knowledge of and control over the fundamental processes of human life. Though far from defeated, the ancient enemies of disease, disability, and premature death increasingly give way to innovative and powerful therapeutic interventions. At the same time, these vastly augmented powers over human life raise troubling questions whose answers are anything but clear. What limits are there, if any, to our technological abilities to reshape human nature, for example, through genetic manipulation? In a world of scarce resources, how should the risks and benefits of biomedical research be allocated? How, in our often divided and morally fragmented world, is it possible to articulate a vision of human flourishing sufficiently rich and compelling to guide these biomedical innovations? Where, indeed, shall wisdom be found?

The premise of this lecture series is that traditional Christianity, as practiced primarily in the Catholic and Orthodox churches, but including all churches committed to what has been called the "Great Tradition," has been and remains an invaluable repository of such wisdom. Accordingly, the overarching aim of the series is to engage the question of the nature and shape of the Church’s contribution to the public/global debate occasioned by the biomedical revolution, which comprise questions of law, policy, and morality, as well philosophy, and, ultimately, theology.
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