Center for Ethics and Culture's conference explores good and evil

by Kenneth Hallenius

Through Every Human Heart

Through Every Human Heart

More than 750 scholars and guests are gathering at the University of Notre Dame for the Center for Ethics and Culture’s 18th annual interdisciplinary Fall Conference, “Through Every Human Heart,” Nov. 9-11. The conference features 112 presentations that consider the perennial problem of good and evil in our world, including the Nov. 9 (Thursday) keynote lecture “Is the God of the Old Testament Evil?” by Gary Anderson, the Hesburgh Professor of Catholic Theology at Notre Dame, and Saturday’s closing keynote presentation by Harvey Mansfield of Harvard University, “Machiavelli on Necessary Evil.” Additional keynote speakers include Jacqueline Rivers of Harvard University; the University of Chicago’s Jonathan Lear; Bishop Godfrey Onah of Nsukka, Nigeria; James Hankins of Harvard University; and the Center for Ethics and Culture Senior Distinguished Research Fellow Alasdair MacIntyre.

“Again this year, we are pleased to welcome the world’s leading thinkers to our Fall Conference to grapple with some of the most pressing questions of ethics, culture and public policy,” said O. Carter Snead, director of the Center for Ethics and Culture. “In addition to our impressive array of 112 presenters, we also welcome hundreds of scholars and friends from around the world to join in the discussion about the significance of the distinction between good and evil for human flourishing and the common good.”

The conference’s 30 colloquium sessions, chosen from a record number of paper submissions, include presentations on criminal law, education and moral formation, theology, storytelling, the common good, political science, medical ethics, the death penalty, religious freedom and literature. Continuing an initiative began at the 2016 conference, the Thursday colloquium sessions are dedicated to “rising scholars,” providing graduate and postdoctoral students an opportunity to present their research and receive feedback from faculty moderators and experts. The full conference schedule is available at http://ethicscenter.nd.edu/fcschedule.

The Center for Ethics and Culture’s Fall Conference, now in its 18th year, is the most important venue worldwide for fruitful dialogue and exchange among the world’s leading Catholic thinkers, as well as those from other traditions. Already established as the largest annual academic conference hosted by Notre Dame, this year’s conference will be among the best-attended in the history of the center. Previous conference themes have included the Catholic imagination, freedom, poverty, the body and human identity, secularism, justice, sin, the family and intercultural dialogue. Notable past speakers include Jean Bethke Elshtain, Charles Taylor, Rev. Julián Carrón, Mary Ann Glendon, Jean Porter, James Heckman, Michael Sandel, Elizabeth Lev, Gerhard Cardinal Müller, Robert P. George, Lorenza Violini, Peter Edelman, John Carr, Lucy Beckett, John Finnis, Rémi Brague, Eva Brann and Sister Helen Prejean.

Several keynote lectures are being livestreamed at http://ethicscenter.nd.edu/FCLIVE. Major presentations will be available after the conference for on-demand viewing via the center’s YouTube page at: https://www.youtube.com/user/ndethics. Follow the conference proceedings on Twitter via the hashtag #NDFC17.

Originally published by Kenneth Hallenius at ethicscenter.nd.edu on November 09, 2017.