Center Campus Ethics Director David DeCosse explores how understandings of conscience within the writings of the great 19th century English theologian John Henry Newman may be relevant to contemporary debates around Catholic conscience and freedom, Oct. 24, 4 p.m., in the Learning Commons.
President and Chief Executive Officer of the Catholic Health Association of the United States Carol Keehan, S.J., will discuss ethical issues facing Catholic health care providers at a talk Oct. 17, 7 p.m., in the St. Clare Room of the Santa Clara University Learning Commons.
Cathleen Kaveny, John P. Murphy Foundation Professor of Law and Professor of Theology at Notre Dame University, reflects on faith and ethics in an election year in a talk Oct. 10, 7 p.m., at the Jesuit Theological Seminary.
A member of the Massachusetts Bar since 1993, Professor Kaveny clerked for the Honorable John T. Noonan Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and worked as an associate at the Boston law firm of Ropes & Gray in its health-law group.
We are fortunate to present Professor Kaveny through the generosity of the Project on Conscience in Roman Catholic Thought funded by Phyllis and Mike Shea. The event is co-sponsored by the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education, the Jesuit School of Theology, and Commonweal magazine.
A panel of experts focuses on the ethical issues that arise for journalists when religion is so prominent in the current presidential election, Thursday, Oct. 4, 3:45 - 5:30 p.m., in Bannan 142 (Note location change). Participants include expert journalists, a visiting group of masters’ students from Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg in Germany, and SCU faculty.
According to the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics, American journalists “believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues,” thus creating an informed public square.
Questions we will discuss: Should journalists incorporate cultural values in their coverage of the general election? Which values (and whose) should get prominence? Do journalists have a responsibility to reach beyond campaign platforms in order to provide the facts and perspectives that might stimulate broader discussion of issues such as contraception, same-sex marriage and immigration? What responsibility do journalists have, if any, to highlight “truthfulness” or the lack thereof? How should they define “truth” in this context? What is journalists’ responsibility to address stereotypes and fears regarding minority religions such as Islam, Mormonism, or Catholicism?
Gerardo Fernandez, Editor, Aliana Metropolitan News
Josh Richman, Bay Area News Group
Shirin Sadeghi, blogger and former producer for the BBC and Al Jazeera
Peter Erlenwein, sociopsychologist, journalist and author
Steven Saum, Editor, Santa Clara magazine
Ingrid Stapf, Assistant Professor, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
Students from Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg interdisciplinary masters program
Sally Lehrman, Knight-Ridder Professor of Communication, Santa Clara University
Paul Soukup, S.J., Associate Professor of Communication, Santa Clara University
Katharine Heintz, Media Analyst and Lecturer, Santa Clara University
Students from Santa Clara University, Introduction to Journalism and Media and Advocacy courses
Does the mandate to buy health insurance, which is part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, violate the freedom of individual choice? David DeCosse, director of campus ethics, explores traditional Catholic ideas about freedom and applies them to health reform in this article for the National Catholic Reporter.
Hear a talk by Michael McConnell, Mallory Professor of Law, Stanford Law School, and Director of the Stanford Constitutional Law Center, on freedom of religion. McConnell explores whether religious liberty should have priority over other rights. This question is at the heart of the current national debate over religious freedom, contraception, and the new federal health care law.
Michael McConnell, a leading authority on freedom of speech and religion, will discuss "Why Religious Liberty Is the First Freedom" in a talk Tuesday, April 17, at noon on the Santa Clara University campus. A professor of law and director of the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford University, McConnell is the author of The Consitution of the United States and Religion and the Constitution, and the co-editor of Christian Perspectives on Legal Thought. The presentation will be held in the Wiegand Center, Arts & Sciences Building.
Author and former Managing Director of Procter & Gamble Worldwide Gurcharan Das visited the Center last week to talk about his most recent book, The Difficulty of Being Good: On the Subtle Art of Dharma. (podcast)
Das draws on the great Indian epic, the Mahabharata, to explore dharma, which deals with the basic principle of the universe and how a person may act in conformity with it. He argues that dharma, which is a pragmatic notion, is a useful approach to the kind of governance failures he observes in the world today.
Madison, DeCosse writes, "was keenly aware of the bloody, sectarian division that prompted so many of the faithful of minority religions to flee to America. But what could America do differently to create peace amid such pluralism in a way that the Old World could not? For Madison, the way to peace was not by restricting the right of religious freedom but by its strict observance."
Loss of members tops the list of challenges facing the Catholic Church according to Tom Reese, SJ, visiting scholar at the Center this summer and fellow of Georgetown University’s Woodstock Theological Center.
Citing statistics from a study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, Reese said there is a 4:1 ratio of cradle Catholics leaving the Church to people joining the Church.Losses were especially apparent among young people and women.
Reese also pointed to the decline in the number of priests and religious, to what he called the “clericalism and arrogance” of the church hierarchy, and to boring liturgies and inhospitable parishes as other significant problems.
To meet these challenges, Reese advocated “presenting the Christian message in a way that is attractive to people in the 21st century.”Referring to the passage from the Bible, “You’ll know they are Christians by their love,” he counseled “acting like Christians.”
Reese made his presentation last week at a gathering of SCU faculty and staff, and Catholic school educators gathered at the Center for a program on moral formation and character education.