Fall 2012: Sacred Politics

So Help Me God? Scriptural Authority and Public Conscience

Leading into the 2012 presidential, congressional, and gubernatorial elections in the United States, the fall quarter of the 2012–13 Bannan Institute will host a series of public lectures exploring Christian texts relevant to issues of significant public debate, and engaging major questions of authority, national identity, and public conscience.

Catholicism, Politics, and the Primacy of Conscience

Reflections on Newman's 'Letter to the Duke of Norfolk'

by David DeCosse |

October, 24 2012 | 4:00 - 5:15 pm
St. Clare Room, Library and Learning Commons | MAP

Today again the question of conscience and the Catholic engagement with American politics has taken center stage within the Church. This talk will examine the great 19th century English theologian John Henry Newman's effort to understand to what a Catholic owed ultimate allegiance: one's own conscience or the a directive of the pope.

David DeCosse brings a background in publishing, teaching, and ethics scholarship to his role as Director of Campus Ethics Programs in the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. Formerly the newsroom manager of Ascribe Newswire, DeCosse began his career as a reporter in New York state. He also worked at Doubleday Books, where he edited But Was It Just? Reflections on the Morality of the Persian Gulf War and Lead Us Not Into Temptation: Catholic Priests and the Sexual Abuse of Children by Jason Berry. DeCosse has taught in the SCU Religious Studies Department since 1999. A graduate of Harvard University in English and American Literature, DeCosse has a master's in journalism from Columbia University, a master's in theology from Fordham University, and a doctorate in theological ethics from Boston College-Weston Jesuit School of Theology. As director of campus ethics programs, he coordinates all of the Center's programs for faculty, staff and students, including Ethics at Noon, the Regan Lectures, and the Hackworth fellowships.

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