Persons and Their Dignity

Dr. Gilbert Meilaender, an author and noted expert in the field of religious ethics, will discuss “Persons and Their Dignity.”

Date & Time:

Thursday, November 11, 2010
7:30 PM - 8:30 PM



Free and open to the public


OEC Auditorium

St. Paul Campus

Dr. Gilbert Meilaender, an author and noted expert in the field of religious ethics, will discuss “Persons and Their Dignity” in a 7:30 p.m. lecture Thursday, Nov. 11, in the auditorium of the O’Shaughnessy Educational Center on the St. Paul campus of the University of St. Thomas.

The lecture, free and open to the public, is sponsored by St. Thomas’ Terrence J. Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law and Public Policy.

Meilaender’s lecture will draw on his 2009 book, Neither Beast nor God: The Dignity of the Human Person.

Meilaender has taught since 1996 at Valparaiso University in Indiana, where he is the Richard and Phyllis Dusenberg Professor of Christian Ethics. He is known for his work in bioethics and last year received the Paul Ramsey Award for Excellence in Bioethics from the Center for Bioethics and Culture Network.

As a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics from 2002 to 2009, he advised the president on stem-cell and cloning research as well as other medical-ethical issues. He also is a fellow of the Hasting Center, a nonpartisan bioethics research institute that explores questions in health care, biotechnology and the environment.

He has served as associate editor of the Journal of Religious Ethics and Religious Studies Review, and on the editorial boards of the Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics and First Things.

The author of more than a dozen books and numerous essays, his writings touch on many dimensions of Christianity and appear frequently in First Things, as well as journals such as Touchstone, the Weekly Standard, Commonweal and The New Atlantis. His books include an introduction to bioethics and studies of Augustine and C. S. Lewis. In 2005 he co-edited The Oxford Handbook of Theological Ethics.

“His book, Neither Beast nor God: The Dignity of the Human Person, is a superb and accessible discussion of some of the principal challenges to human dignity in the contemporary world,” said Dr. Robert Kennedy, then co-director of the Murphy Institute. “He is widely known as an eloquent and staunch defender of life.”

At the Nov. 11 lecture, the St. Thomas School of Law will present Meilaender its Dignitatis Humanae award for distinguished public service and scholarship uniting faith and reason in the pursuit of truth.

The Murphy Institute’s Human Dignity lecture series brings together prominent thinkers in fields such as philosophy, theology, and law to rigorously explore just what it means for humans to possess dignity. Lecturers in the series to date have been: 

  1. Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton University
  2. Gilbert Meilaender, Richard and Phyllis Duesenberg Chair in Theological Ethics at Valparaiso University
  3. David Luban, University Professor and Professor of Law and Philosophy at Georgetown University Law Center and the Acting Director of the Center on National Security and the Law
  4. Paolo Carozza, Associate Professor, University of Notre Dame, Director of Notre Dame’s  J.S.D. program in International Human Rights Law as well as the Program on Law and Human Development
  5. Hans Joas, Ernst Troeltsch Professor for the Sociology of Religion at the Theological Faculty of Humboldt University, Berlin, and a Professor of Sociology and Social Thought and Member of the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago
All programs offered by the University of St. Thomas shall be readily accessible to individuals with disabilities. For details, call (651) 962-6315.