The Science of Attraction: A New View on Sex

November 6, 2014

Mrs. Vicki Thorn

World-renowned speaker and writer, Vicki Thorn will use this lecture to show how men and women are inherently different, yet are built to complement each other. She will explain the biochemistry of sex, the problems of the sexual revolution and the fascinating science of attraction. Ms. Thorn will use biological data to question whether the Catholic Church's teaching on sexual morality is really as outdated as some suggest, or if it has significant benefits for the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of men and women today.

Audio:

Changing Demographics: The Future of the Catholic Church in America and the World.

BIO: Mr. Bermúdez received his training in Social Communications from the University of Lima.  In addition to serving as head of CNA and ACI Prensa, he has been published in the New York Times and is the Latin American correspondent for Our Sunday Visitor, the National Catholic Register, the Spanish magazine Razón y Fe and hosts numerous spanish language programs on EWTN.  

Can the Free Market Adequately Care for the Poor? A Debate Between Rev. Robert Sirico and Mr. Michael Sean Winters

With increased unemployment and poverty in the United States, caring for the poor has become a greater concern than in recent history.  How best can this country assuage the pains of poverty? Can a Free Market such as ours adequately care for the poor or does it lead to more poverty and a greater polarization between economic classes? Join Fr. Robert Sirico and Mr. Michael Sean Winters as they go head-to-head debating on the Free Market's capacity to care for the marginalized. The Aquinas Institute for Catholic Thought is proud to announce that our Sixth Annual Great Debate will be held on Monday, January 28th at 7:00pm on the University of Colorado Boulder campus in Chemistry 140. All college students will have free admittance but must obtain a ticket from one of our ticket distribution venues (see below for more information on how to obtain a ticket). All other's will be able to obtain a ticket with a suggested donation of $5 per ticket (please see below for instructions on how to purchase a ticket).

About Rev. Robert Sirico (Answering in the Affirmative): Rev. Robert A. Sirico received his Master of Divinity degree from the Catholic University of America, following undergraduate study at the University of Southern California and the University of London. During his studies and early ministry, he experienced a growing concern over the lack of training religious studies students receive in fundamental economic principles, leaving them poorly equipped to understand and address today's social problems. As a result of these concerns, Fr. Sirico co-founded the Acton Institute with Kris Alan Mauren in 1990. As president of the Acton Institute, Fr. Sirico lectures at colleges, universities, and business organizations throughout the U.S. and abroad. His writings on religious, political, economic, and social matters are published in a variety of journals, including: the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, the London Financial Times, the Washington Times, the Detroit News, and National Review. Fr. Sirico is often called upon by members of the broadcast media for statements regarding economics, civil rights, and issues of religious concern, and has provided commentary for CNN, ABC, the BBC, NPR, and CBS' 60 Minutes, among others. In April of 1999, Fr. Sirico was awarded an honorary doctorate in Christian Ethics from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, and in May of 2001, Universidad Francisco Marroquin awarded him an honorary doctorate in Social Sciences. He is a member of the prestigious Mont Pèlerin Society, the American Academy of Religion, and the Philadelphia Society, and is on the Board of Advisors of the Civic Institute in Prague. Father Sirico also served on the Michigan Civil Rights Commission from 1994 to 1998. He is also currently serving on the pastoral staff of Sacred Heart of Jesus parish in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

His latest book entitled Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy, was released in May 2012.

About Mr. Michael Sean Winters (Answering in the Negative): Michael Sean Winters writes for the National Catholic Reporter. His blog at NCR, "Distinctly Catholic," was awarded first prize as the best individual blog by the National Catholic Press Association this year, the first time that category had been awarded. He is the author of two books, "Left at the Altar; How the Democrats Lost the Catholics and How the Catholics Can Save the Democrats" (2008) and "God's Right Hand: How Jerry Falwell Made God a Republican and Baptized the American Right" (2012). He is the U.S. correspondent for the Tablet, the London-based international Catholic weekly and his essay have appeared in The New Republic, the New York Times Magazine, Slate.com., Religion & Politics, and other publications. Winters is a frequent guest on several public radio shows including "Tell Me More," "The Colin McEnroe Show," and "Radio Times." He is a Visiting Fellow at Catholic University's Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies. In addition to the University of Colorado, Winters has spoken at Boston College, Franciscan University (Loreto, PA), New York University and Catholic University. He is a communicant at the Cathedral of St. Matthew, the Apostle in Washington, D.C.

Clothing the Naked Public Square: Politics and Catholic Social Teaching

What does it mean to be a faithful Catholic and a faithful citizen in today’s confusing political climate? In this lecture, Monsignor Swetland will discuss the Catholic duty to participate in the political process, the formation of a good conscience in light of the Gospel message and Catholic Social Teaching, and why Catholics should feel homeless in today’s American political structure. BIO: Msgr. Stuart W. Swetland, S.T.D., was ordained a priest in 1991 for the Diocese of Peoria, IL. He received his undergraduate degree in Physics from the United States Naval Academy. Elected a Rhodes Scholar in 1981, he entered the Catholic Church while studying at Oxford. He has a B.A. and M.A. in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford; a M.Div. and M.A. from Mount St. Mary’s Seminary; and his S.T.L. and S.T.D. from the Pontifical Lateran University having studied at the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Washington, DC.

He currently serves as the Vice-President for Catholic Identity and Mission and holds the Archbishop Flynn Chair of Christian Ethics at Mount St. Mary’s University, Emmitsburg, Maryland. He also serves as the Executive Director of the Center for the Advancement of Catholic Higher Education and the Executive Secretary for the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars.

Msgr. Swetland was named a Prelate of Honor in 2000 by Blessed John Paul II and is a Knight Commander for the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchure and a 4th Degree Knight of Columbus.

Msgr. Swetland hosts the weekly television show Catholicism on Campus on EWTN and co-hosts the show Go Ask Your Father on Relevant Radio.

Catholic Troublemaking in U.S. Politics

In this lecture, Catholic commentator and blogger Michael Sean Winters asks how Catholics - bishops, clergy and laity - can and should involve themselves and their ideas in America's raucous political life. He will focus not only on recent dust-ups like the Obama administration's contraception mandate, but at the deeper trends in American politics that should worry Catholics, as well as some trends within the Church that should worry everyone. The Text of the Lecture

BIO: Michael Sean Winters writes for the National Catholic Reporter. His blog at NCR, "Distinctly Catholic," was awarded first prize as the best individual blog by the National Catholic Press Association this year, the first time that category had been awarded. He is the author of two books, "Left at the Altar; How the Democrats Lost the Catholics and How the Catholics Can Save the Democrats" (2008) and "God's Right Hand: How Jerry Falwell Made God a Republican and Baptized the American Right" (2012). He is the U.S. correspondent for the Tablet, the London-based international Catholic weekly and his essay have appeared in The New Republic, the New York Times Magazine, Slate.com., Religion & Politics, and other publications. Winters is a frequent guest on several public radio shows including "Tell Me More," "The Colin McEnroe Show," and "Radio Times." He is a Visiting Fellow at Catholic University's Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies. In addition to the University of Colorado, Winters has spoken at Boston College, Franciscan University (Loreto, PA), New York University and Catholic University. He is a communicant at the Cathedral of St. Matthew, the Apostle in Washington, D.C.

Women For Freedom: Religious Liberty and the HHS Mandate

The Catholic Church has led opposition to the HHS mandate that employers facilitate insurance coverage for contraceptives, abortion-causing drugs, and sterilizations even when such coverage violates deeply-held religious beliefs.  Some have argued that opponents of this mandate are waging a "war on women."  In fact, the mandate violates religious liberty protections that until recently have enjoyed broad, bipartisan support, and Catholic women are not fair-weather believers willing to trade away limits on their religious freedom. The Text of the Lecture

BIO: Kim Daniels is coordinator of Catholic Voices USA and an attorney whose practice has focused on religious liberty issues, particularly rights of conscience in health care.  Kim and her husband have six school-age children and are active members of their parish in Bethesda, Maryland.  She's a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Chicago Law School. 

Catholicism, Freedom, and the Dictatorship of Relativism

The Catholic Church has lived under and survived many forms of totalitarianism. Now, however, the Church faces a new, more subtle problem: what Benedict XVI calls “the dictatorship of relativism.” What does this mean? How does it manifest itself? How can Catholics address this new form of oppression? BIO:  Dr. Samuel Gregg is Research Director at the Acton Institute. He has written and spoken extensively on subjects ranging from political economy, natural law theory, to the Catholic Church. He has a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Oxford. He is the author of many books, including Morality, Law, and Public Policy (2000), On Ordered Liberty (2003), his prize-winning The Commercial Society (2007), The Modern Papacy (2009), and Wilhelm Röpke’s Political Economy (2010) as well as monographs such as A Theory of Corruption (2004), and Banking, Justice, and the Common Good (2005). He has also co-edited books such as Christian Theology and Market Economics (2008), Profit, Prudence and Virtue: Essays in Ethics, Business and Management (2009), and Natural Law, Economics and the Common Good (2012).

 

Breaking the Bread: A Fresh Approach to the New Testament

Non-Catholics often ask, “Where in the New Testament do you find the sacrifice of the Mass?” This talk is designed to enable Catholics to answer this question and others about the Scriptural basis of the Eucharist. BIO: Dr. Scott Hahn was born in 1957, has been married to Kimberly since 1979, and has six children—and five grandchildren. An exceptionally popular speaker and teacher, Dr. Hahn has delivered numerous talks nationally and internationally on a wide variety of topics talks related to Scripture and the Catholic faith.

He is currently a Professor of Theology and Scripture at Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he has taught since 1990, and is the founder and president of the Saint Paul Center for Biblical Theology. From 2005 to 2011, he held the Pope Benedict XVI Chair of Biblical Theology and Liturgical Proclamation at St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.

Author or co-author of more than 40 books, his newest titles include the Catholic Bible Dictionary; Many are Called; and Signs of Life.

Scott received his Bachelor of Arts degree with a triple-major in Theology, Philosophy and Economics from Grove City College, Pennsylvania, in 1979, his Masters of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in 1982, and his Ph.D. in Biblical Theology from Marquette University in 1995. He was ordained in 1982 at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Fairfax, Virginia. He entered the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil, 1986.

Abortion: The Legal Issue

The moral and legal issues of abortion are distinct though related.  Should abortion be illegal?  Would making abortion illegal violate the rights of women?  Does the legalization of abortion violate the dignity of unborn human beings?  Do the major Supreme Court cases on abortion square with reasonable interpretation of the Constitution?  How should Catholics make the legal and Constitutional cases on this crucial debate, and do Christians have a special responsibility on this issue? BIO: Dr. Patrick Lee holds the John N. and Jamie D. McAleer Chair of Bioethics, and is the Director of the Institute of Bioethics, at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is known nationally as a speaker and author on contemporary ethics, especially on such hot-button bioethical issues as abortion, embryonic stem-cell research, euthanasia, sexual morality, and same-sex unions. He is the co-author (with Robert P. George) of Body-Self Dualism in Contemporary Ethics and Politics (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008). The second edition of his Abortion and Unborn Human Life (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press) appeared in 2010.  He has written numerous articles and reviews in such publications as Bioethics, Philosophy, The Thomist, and Theological Studies.

Is Contraception Harmful? A Debate Between Dr. Janet Smith and Dr. Christine Gudorf

Dr. Smith's Followup Remarks (Dr. Gudorf declined our invitation for a followup)

About Dr. Janet Smith (Answering in the Affirmative):Dr.Janet E. Smith holds the Father Michael J. McGivney Chair of Life Ethics at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.

She is the author of Humanae Vitae: A Generation Later and of the Right to Privacy. Editor of Why Humanae Vitae Was Right: A Reader. She has coauthored Life Issues, Medical Choices, Questions and Answers for Catholics, with Chris Kaczor.  She has been published in TheThomist, TheIrish Theological Quarterly, Nova et Vetera, The American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, The National Catholic Bioethics Journal, among other publications.

She speaks nationally and internationally on the Catholic teachings on sexuality and on bioethics.

She is serving a third term as a consulter to the Pontifical Council on the Family and she serves the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian unity as a member of the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission, III.

She has received two honorary doctorates and several other awards for scholarship and service.

She has appeared on the Geraldo show, Fox Morning News, CNN International, CNN Newsroom and has done many shows for various series on EWTN.

Nearly two million copies of her talk, Contraception: Why Not have been distributed.  An updated version of Contraception: Why Not and a series of talks "Sexual Common Sense" are available through www.mycatholicfaith.org.

About Dr. Christine Gudorf (Answering in the Negative): Dr. Christine E. Gudorf  is Professor of Ethics in the Religious Studies Department of Florida International University, the state university in Miami. Her doctorate is from Columbia University in joint program with Union Theological Seminary. She has published seven books in various areas of Christian and religious ethics, from sexuality to environment. Her new book, Everyday Lifestyle Decisions: Comparative Religious Ethics, will be published by Fortress Press in Fall 2012. She has over 100 articles published in journals and anthologies, and in May 2012 will complete a two year research project funded by the Pentecostal and Charismatic Research Institute of the University of Southern California on Pentecostal and Charismatic religion in Indonesia, where she has been a Fulbright Serial Scholar for the last nine years.

Dr. Gudorf is a long-time member of the Catholic Theological Society of America, the Society of Christian Ethics, and the American Academy of Religion. She was the President of the Society for Christian Ethics in 2007, has co-edited the Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics, and earned multiple terms on the editorial boards of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion and the Journal of Religious Ethics, on which she still serves.

In Defense of Political Anti-Perfectionism: Church-State Relations Reconsidered

The Thomistic tradition, following the ancients, regards the promotion of virtue to be among the primary goods of politics.  Yet the promotion of self-regarding virtue through direct state regulation is a role republican government, and perhaps any political order, is ill-equipped to fulfill.  Laws in the realm of sexual morality, or that otherwise do not directly harm others, are particularly troublesome and political authorities would do well to recognize their limitations.  This does not mean abdication over the private realm by the state.  It suggests the importance of the separation of church and state, giving rise to robust forms of regulation within families and religious institutions.  Government regulates best when it recognizes and reinforces spheres of social order independent of the state and does not seek to interfere with or limit their proper autonomy. The Text of the Lecture

BIO: Dr. Seana Sugrue is Associate Professor of Politics at Ave Maria University and one of the University’s top-rated teachers among students. She joined the faculty in 2004 and served as the Chair of the Department of Politics for five years. She came to Ave Maria University from Princeton University, where she was the Associate Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. Her research interests include civil liberties and constitutional governance, the role of law in the formation of a just society, the civic significance of institutions such as marriage and the family, and pro-life concerns. She teaches courses in Constitutional Law, American Civilization, International Relations, and Public Policy, among others. Dr. Sugrue holds the degrees of B.B.A. from Bishop’s University, LL.B. from the University of Ottawa, and both LL.M. and D.C.L. from McGill University. She has taught at Princeton and McGill.

Friedrich Nietzsche vs. G.K. Chesterton

The world perhaps has not seen two more distinct writers than the brooding German philosopher and the jolly journalist from England who followed him by one generation. The conflict of their worldviews set the tone for the 20th century. Come and hear a talk unlike any you have ever heard before.

BIO: Mr. Dale Ahlquist is President of the American Chesterton Society, host of the EWTN series “G.K. Chesterton: The Apostle of Common Sense,” and Publisher of Gilbert Magazine. He has written three books on Chesterton, edited five more, and has written for over a dozen publications. He has lectured at major colleges and universities and other venues, including Yale, Columbia, Norte Dame, Oxford, the Vatican Forum in Rome, the Thomas More Centre in Melbourne, and at the House of Lords in London.

He is the co-founder of Chesterton Academy, a high school in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, and the executive producer of Manalive, a film based on a novel by G.K. Chesterton, which will be released in 2012.

Dale received a B.A. from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, and a M.A. from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota. He and his wife Laura have six children.

“Ahlquist on Chesterton is like Plato on Socrates, or Boswell on Johnson.” New Oxford Review.

The Future Church: How Ten Trends are Revolutionizing the Catholic Church

What will the Catholic Church be like in 100 years? Will there be a woman pope? Will dioceses throughout the United States and the rest of the world go bankrupt from years of scandal? In THE FUTURE CHURCH, John L. Allen puts forth the ten trends he believes will transform the Church into the twenty-second century. From the influence of Catholics in Africa, Asia, and Latin America on doctrine and practices to the impact of multinational organizations on local and ethical standards, Allen delves into the impact of globalization on the Roman Catholic Church and argues that it must rethink fundamental issues, policies, and ways of doing business. Allen shows that over the next century, the Church will have to respond to changes within the institution itself and in the world as a whole whether it is contending with biotechnical advances—including cloning and genetic enhancement—the aging Catholic population, or expanding the roles of the laity. Like Thomas Friedman’s The World Is Flat, THE FUTURE CHURCH establishes a new framework for meeting the challenges of a changing world.

BIO: Mr. John L. Allen Jr. is the prize-winning Senior Correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter and the Senior Vatican Analyst for CNN. He’s the author of six best-selling books on the Vatican and Catholic affairs, and writes frequently on the Church for major national and international publications. He’s also a popular speaker on Catholic affairs, both in the United States and abroad.

The London Tablet has called Allen “the most authoritative writer on Vatican affairs in the English language,” and renowned papal biographer George Weigel has called him “the best Anglophone Vatican reporter ever.” When Allen was called upon to put the first question to Pope Benedict XVI aboard the papal plane en route to the United States in April 2008, the Vatican spokesperson said to the pope: “Holy Father, this man needs no introduction.” That’s not just a Vatican judgment. Veteran religion writer Kenneth Woodward of Newsweek described Allen as “the journalist other reporters – and not a few cardinals – look to for the inside story on how all the pope’s men direct the world’s largest church.”

Allen’s work is admired across ideological divides. Liberal commentator Fr. Andrew Greeley calls his writing “indispensable,” while the late Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, a conservative, called Allen’s reporting “possibly the best source of information on the Vatican published in the United States.” His weekly internet column, “All Things Catholic,” is widely read as a source of insight on the global Church.

John divides his time between Rome and his home in Denver, Colorado. He grew up in Western Kansas, and holds a Master’s degree in Religious Studies from the University of Kansas.

Reason, Freedom and the Rule of Law

A lecture giving to the Wolf Law Department at the University of Colorado Boulder. BIO: Robert P. George is McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Founder and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University.  He is also a Professor of Politics and an associated faculty member of the Department of Philosophy at Princeton.

He is a member of UNESCO’s World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST).  He has served on the President’s Council on Bioethics and as a presidential appointee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights.  He is a former Judicial Fellow at the Supreme Court of the United States, where he received the Justice Tom C. Clark Award.

Professor George’s scholarly focus has been on the dignity of the human person and its implications for moral, legal, and political philosophy.  He is author of Making Men Moral: Civil Liberties and Public Morality (1993), In Defense of Natural Law (1999), and The Clash of Orthodoxies (2001).  He is editor of several volumes, including Natural Law Theory:  Contemporary Essays (1992), The Autonomy of Law:  Essays on Legal Positivism (1996), Natural Law, Liberalism, and Morality (1996), and Great Cases in Constitutional Law (2000), and co-editor with Jean Bethke Elshtain of The Meaning of Marriage (2005).  He is co-author of two recent books: Embryo: A Defense of Human Life (Doubleday) and Body-Self Dualism and Contemporary Ethical and Political Controversies (Cambridge University Press).

Professor George’s articles and review essays have appeared in the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, the Columbia Law Review, the University of Chicago Law Review, the Review of Politics, the Review of Metaphysics, and the American Journal of Jurisprudence.  He is a frequent contributor to First Things, where he is a member of the editorial advisory board, and has also written for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the Times Literary Supplement.

A graduate of Swarthmore College and Harvard Law School, Professor George also earned a master’s degree in theology from Harvard and a doctorate in philosophy of law from Oxford University.  He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa at Swarthmore, and received a Knox Fellowship from Harvard for graduate study in law and philosophy at Oxford.  He holds honorary doctorates of law, letters, science, ethics, humane letters, civil law, and juridical science.

On December 10, 2008, at a ceremony in the Oval Office of the White House, Professor George received the Presidential Citizens Medal, one of the highest honors that can be conferred by the United States on a civilian.  Among his other awards and prizes are the Bradley Prize for Intellectual and Civic Achievement, the Philip Merrill Award of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, the Paul Bator Award of the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy, a Silver Gavel Award of the American Bar Association, and the Stanley Kelley, Jr. Teaching Award in Politics at Princeton.  He was the 2007 John Dewey Lecturer in Philosophy of Law at Harvard, the 2008 Judge Guido Calabresi Lecturer at Yale, and the 2008 Sir Malcolm Knox Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

Professor George is general editor of New Forum Books, a Princeton University Press series of interdisciplinary works in law, culture, and politics.  He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is a Distinguished Visiting Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.  In addition to his academic and civic work, he is Of Counsel to the law firm of Robinson & McElwee.

Natural Law, God, and Human Dignity

Professor George will argue that there are irreducible aspects of human well-being and fulfillment that can be understood and affirmed on the basis of rational (if ordinarily informal and even casual) reflection on data provided by our experiences of such activities as friendship, knowledge, and aesthetic appreciation.  These “basic human goods” are the referents of what Aquinas called the first principles of practical reason and basic precepts of natural law.  By attending to the integral directiveness of these principles, it is possible to identify norms of morality distinguishing fully practically reasonable choices (i.e., those compatible with a will towards integral human fulfillment, and thus in line with human dignity) from those that fall short of what reason demands and must, therefore, be judged to be morally deficient.  Professor George will consider the skeptical (non-cognitivist) challenge to this understanding of morality advanced by advocates of instrumentalist accounts of practical reason, and he will also explore some significant respects in which his neo-Aristotelian (eudaimonistic) approach to moral judgment is both like and unlike utilitarian and other consequentialist approaches, on the one side, and Kantian or purely “deontological” approaches, on the other.   In the course of the lecture, he will address the question of religious faith and revealed moral truth in relation to natural law theory and the place of virtues in a comprehensive account of natural law. BIO: Dr. Robert P. George is McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Founder and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University.  He is also a Professor of Politics and an associated faculty member of the Department of Philosophy at Princeton.

He is a member of UNESCO’s World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST).  He has served on the President’s Council on Bioethics and as a presidential appointee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights.  He is a former Judicial Fellow at the Supreme Court of the United States, where he received the Justice Tom C. Clark Award.

Professor George’s scholarly focus has been on the dignity of the human person and its implications for moral, legal, and political philosophy.  He is author of Making Men Moral: Civil Liberties and Public Morality (1993), In Defense of Natural Law (1999), and The Clash of Orthodoxies (2001).  He is editor of several volumes, including Natural Law Theory:  Contemporary Essays (1992), The Autonomy of Law:  Essays on Legal Positivism (1996), Natural Law, Liberalism, and Morality (1996), and Great Cases in Constitutional Law (2000), and co-editor with Jean Bethke Elshtain of The Meaning of Marriage (2005).  He is co-author of two recent books: Embryo: A Defense of Human Life (Doubleday) and Body-Self Dualism and Contemporary Ethical and Political Controversies (Cambridge University Press).

Professor George’s articles and review essays have appeared in the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, the Columbia Law Review, the University of Chicago Law Review, the Review of Politics, the Review of Metaphysics, and the American Journal of Jurisprudence.  He is a frequent contributor to First Things, where he is a member of the editorial advisory board, and has also written for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the Times Literary Supplement.

A graduate of Swarthmore College and Harvard Law School, Professor George also earned a master’s degree in theology from Harvard and a doctorate in philosophy of law from Oxford University.  He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa at Swarthmore, and received a Knox Fellowship from Harvard for graduate study in law and philosophy at Oxford.  He holds honorary doctorates of law, letters, science, ethics, humane letters, civil law, and juridical science.

On December 10, 2008, at a ceremony in the Oval Office of the White House, Professor George received the Presidential Citizens Medal, one of the highest honors that can be conferred by the United States on a civilian.  Among his other awards and prizes are the Bradley Prize for Intellectual and Civic Achievement, the Philip Merrill Award of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, the Paul Bator Award of the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy, a Silver Gavel Award of the American Bar Association, and the Stanley Kelley, Jr. Teaching Award in Politics at Princeton.  He was the 2007 John Dewey Lecturer in Philosophy of Law at Harvard, the 2008 Judge Guido Calabresi Lecturer at Yale, and the 2008 Sir Malcolm Knox Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

Professor George is general editor of New Forum Books, a Princeton University Press series of interdisciplinary works in law, culture, and politics.  He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is a Distinguished Visiting Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.  In addition to his academic and civic work, he is Of Counsel to the law firm of Robinson & McElwee.

The Reservation of Priestly Ordination to Men: An Analysis of the Catholic Debate

After decades in which “women’s ordination” was openly discussed, Pope John Paul II declared, in 1994, that priestly ordination is reserved to men and the Church has no authority to change this.  Many Catholics remain puzzled as to how or even whether the question has been fully resolved. This analysis will review the chief arguments in the debate and attempt to explain why the Catholic doctrine of the priesthood does not compromise the Church’s teaching on women’s equal rights and dignity with men. BIO: Sister Sara Butler, M.S.B.T., S.T.L., Ph.D. holds the Paluch Chair of Theology at the University of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein Seminary, in the Archdiocese of Chicago.  She is a member of the International Theological Commission and the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, and a consultant to the Baptist-Catholic International Commission and the U.S. Bishops’ Doctrine Committee.  The author of many scholarly articles, Sister Sara recently published The Catholic Priesthood and Women: A Guide to the Teaching of the Church (Chicago: Hillenbrand Books).  She belongs to the Missionary Servants of the Most Blessed Trinity.

Can the Gospels be Trusted? A Debate Between Dr. Craig Blomberg and Dr. Pamela Eisenbaum

About Dr. Craig Blomberg (Answering in the Affirmative): Dr. Craig Blomberg is Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Denver Seminary in Littleton, Colorado.  He holds the B.A. from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, the M.A. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, and the Ph.D. from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.

Craig is the author of twelve books and has co-authored or co-edited eight more, along with dozens of journal articles and chapters in multi-author works.  His books include three on the historical reliability and interpretation of the gospels (one specializing in John), two on interpreting and preaching the parables, three commentaries (on Matthew, 1 Corinthians and James), a textbook on Jesus and the Gospels and another on Acts through Revelation, two books on material possessions in the Bible, and a handbook on New Testament exegesis.

For almost fifteen years, Craig was the lead teacher for an adult Sunday School class at Mission Hills Baptist Church in Greenwood Village, CO, and also served two terms on the elder board.  Today he regularly preaches and teaches in a variety of churches on Sunday mornings. On Sunday evenings, he attends and is part of the leadership team of Scum of the Earth Church in urban Denver, an outreach ministry to “the right-brained and left out” young adults of the metro area.

Craig’s wife, Fran, was once a registered nurse and then a missions pastor.  She is currently adjunct professor of Intercultural Ministries at Denver Seminary and is pursuing her Ph.D in Missiology through the International Baptist Seminary in Prague.  Craig and Fran have two daughters:  Elizabeth (Little), who is married and is employed as a lay student worker at her Methodist Church in Canterbury, England; and Rachel, who is majoring in biochemistry at the University of Rochester, New York.

The Blombergs like to travel, especially during summers, often combining vacation with overseas ministry.  Although he faithfully roots for Colorado sports teams, he is also a lifelong Chicago Cubs baseball fan and still fantasizes about seeing them in a World Series some year before he dies.

About Dr. Pamela Eisenbaum (Answering in the Negative): Pamela Eisenbaum is Associate Professor of Biblical Studies and Christian Origins at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado, and is associate faculty of the Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Denver. One of four Jewish New Testament scholars teaching in Christian theological schools, she is the author of The Jewish Heroes of Christian History: Hebrews 11 in Literary Context, Invitations to Romans, and most recently, Paul Was Not a Christian: The Original Message of a Misunderstood Apostle. She has published many essays on the Bible, ancient Judaism and the origins of Christianity, and is an active member of the Society of Biblical Literature.

A passion for working with ancient manuscripts has increasingly informed her research. Professor Eisenbaum has experience working with the Dead Sea Scrolls and spent time at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin studying the oldest surviving manuscript of Paul’s Letters (dated c. 200 C.E.). She appeared in the ABC documentary, “Jesus and Paul: The Word and the Witness.”

‘Pardon me ma’am, but would you like to die?’ Autonomy and Self-killing: You Decide

A few questions for you philosophy and pre-med majors: How wide does the so-called “principle of autonomy” extend?  To anything we desire?  Is its purpose exclusively to secure freedom from all constraints?  Is it limited by morality?  Or does it construct morality?   As abstract as they seem, these question possess steely practicality today in our courts, legislatures and hospital rooms.  Their chief extension is to the question of self-killing.  If I no longer desire to live, may I (morally speaking), in one great sovereign exercise of “autonomy,” end my life?  And do I have the right to press medical practitioners into assisting me?  This lecture will address the problem of the implications of a run-away conception of human autonomy on areas of medical ethics, especially physician assisted suicide and euthanasia. BIO: Dr. E. Christian Brugger is an Associate Professor of Moral Theology at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver, CO. Dr. Brugger has master degrees in moral theology and moral philosophy from Seton Hall, Harvard and Oxford Universities and received his D.Phil. in Christian ethics from Oxford in 2000.  His areas of scholarly interest are bioethics, natural law, marriage family & sexual ethics, action theory, integration of psychology and philosophy, and capital punishment.  He is the author of Capital Punishment and Roman Catholic Moral Tradition (Notre Dame Press, 2003), and has published widely on topics in moral theology and philosophy in journals such as the Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics and Public Policy, Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, The Heythrop Journal, The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, The Thomist, Communio, National Review On-Line, and First Things.  

Since 2008, he has been the Senior Fellow in Ethics at the Culture of Life Foundation in Washington, D.C., where he publishes a bi-monthly brief on current issues in bioethics (http://www.culture-of-life.org).  Dr. Brugger serves on the Editorial Board for the Center for Morality in Public Life and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars.  He is an ethics advisor to the Colorado Catholic Conference and regularly testifies on behalf of the Conference before the House and Senate of the State of Colorado.  He also serves on the Ethics Review Board for Catholic Hospitals of the Archdiocese of Denver.  Since 2002 he has been a Senior Fellow at the Westchester Institute for Ethics and the Human Person (NY).

Dr. Brugger lives in Evergreen, CO, with his wife Melissa and five children.

Desperate Desire: Demonstrating God's Existence from the Data of Human Experience

Imagine a child lost in a dark wood.  In desperation the child cries out for help.  Might the child's screams be proof for the existence of a good and gracious God?  And if there were no God, and the child's screams went unanswered (forever), would life then be no more than 'a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing'? Between nihilism and faith, in other words, there is no third way. BIO:  Dr. Regis Martin, S.T.D. is a Professor of Systematic Theology at Franciscan University in Steubenville, where he specializes in courses on the Trinity, Christ, Church, Grace, and the Sacraments.  In addition, he has a keen interest in the writings of Hans Urs von Balthasar, Henri de Lubac, Luigi Giussani, and the Catholic Literary Revival.  He is the author of a half-dozen books, including The Suffering of Love, Confessions of a Cradle Catholic, The Last Things, and Garlands of Grace.  He has written and lectured widely.  Married and the father of ten children and five grandchildren, he is happy to report that none of them are in prison.

Redeeming the Erotic: John Paul II’s Reading of the Song of Songs

The Song of Songs is the biblical book about love between man and woman, a poetic dialogue or duet between bride and bridegroom of intense erotic power. It is the single most frequently commented text in the Christian tradition, although it has received comparatively little attention in recent Catholic theology. It has traditionally been read as a symbol of our deepest longing, union with God, the bridegroom par excellence. In his Theology of the Body, John Paul II reads the Song of Songs with a particular purpose in mind. He reads it as throwing light on the sacramental sign of marriage. The sacramental sign of marriage consists, on the one hand, in the words of the marriage vow, “I take you...” which implicitly contains the other person’s words, “I give myself to you;” it consists, on the other hand, in the physical mutual giving and taking in sexual union, which consummates the vow.

As a sacramental sign of the New Covenant, this sign effectively communicates the redemptive power of Christ. The lecture will present John Paul II’s reading of the Song of Songs and show its practical consequences for the redemption of eros in the relation between man and woman.

BIO: Dr. Michael Maria Waldstein has been Max Seckler Professor of Theology at Ave Maria University since 2008. In 1988 he began teaching at the University of Notre Dame where he received tenure in 1996. From 1996 until 2006 he served as the founding president and associate professor of New Testament at the International Theological Institute in Gaming, Austria, and from 2006-2008 as its St. Francis of Assisi Professor of New Testament.

He holds a B.A. from Thomas Aquinas College, a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Dallas, an S.S.L. summa cum laude from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, and a Th.D. from Harvard University in New Testament and Christian Origins.

His published works include a critical edition of the four Coptic manuscripts of the Gnostic Secret Book of John and a new translation of John Paul II’s Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology of the Body as well as articles on the Gospel of John, Gnosticism, St. Thomas Aquinas, John Paul II and Hans Urs von Balthasar.