2005 Ethics Club Lecture Series
Politics, Virtue, and Theology: Limits and Horizons
April 14, 2005, and subsequent Thursdays
University of Chicago Divinity School
Inaugural Lecture: April 14, 2005
"Beyond Public Reason: Love, Sin and Augustinian Civic Virtue"
By Professor Eric Gregory, Princeton University
Eric Gregory is an Associate Professor in the Princeton University Department of Religion and a Faculty Fellow of the University Center for Human Values. His teaching and research interests include religious and philosophical ethics, theology, political theory, and the role of religion in public life. A graduate of Harvard College, he did graduate studies in theology as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford and received his doctorate in religious studies from Yale University. For the 2004-5 year he is a visiting fellow at Notre Dame's Erasmus Institute where he is currently completing a book entitled, Politics and the Order of Love: An Augustinian Ethic of Democratic Citizenship, that addresses the troubled relationship between religion and political liberalism by drawing on the contested legacy of Augustine and placing that legacy in conversation with modern political philosophy, feminist "ethics of care," and Hannah Arendt's "Kantian" aversion to love as a sentimental and dangerous virtue that needs to be privatized. His article, "Augustine and Arendt on Love: New Dimensions for Religion and Liberalism Debates," appears in the 2001 Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics.
With a response by Professor Charles Mathewes of the University of Virginia
Charles Mathewes earned his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia where he teaches courses on theology, ethics, politics, and culture. He is a Faculty Fellow and the Director of Education at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture and the Center on Religion and Democracy at UVA. Additionally, he is the editor of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion. His book, Evil and the Augustinian Tradition, published by Cambridge University Press garnered widespread critical acclaim. He has edited two books, Religion, Conflict Resolution, and Humanitarian Intervention (Transnational Press) with Joseph Coffey, and Having: Property, Possession and Religious Discourse, with William Schweiker (Wm. B. Eerdmans). His next book, A Theology of Public Life During the World, forthcoming from Cambridge University Press in 2005, explores the challenges and ascetical benefits of public engagement for religious believers in modern democracies, articulates a theology of contemporary American political and public life and examines the vital role of and need for the theological virtues in political philosophy.
Reception to follow
April 21, 2005 (Two Lectures)
"Law's Victims, Law's Beneficiaries"
Samuel Bray (3rd year Law and future clerk for the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals)
A critique of H.L.A. Hart's minimum content theory of natural law with respect to the problem of "approximate equality."
Respondent: Mark Davis (3rd year Law and future clerk for the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts) 4:00 PM
"Moral Anthropology and Limited Justice"
John Carlson (Ph.D. candidate in Ethics and future Assistant Professor and Director of the Center on Religion and Violence at Arizona State University)
An argument for a "limited" justice that, by drawing on Camus, Niebuhr and Augustine, tries to reconcile the paradox created by the human tendency to seek a justice that humans cannot ultimately achieve.
David Decosimo (M.A. candidate in Ethics) responding
May 19, 4:00 PM
"Theological Ethics and Technological Culture: Towards an Integrative Theological Moral Anthropology."
Michael Kraftson-Hogue (Ph.D. candidate in Ethics)
An exploration of Hans Jonas, James Gustafson and environmental ethics.
Cabell King (Ph.D. candidate in Theology) responding
May 26, 4:30 PM
"Ethics Within Theocracy: The Case of Iran"
Elizabeth M. Bucar (PhD candidate in Ethics)
An exploration of how politics and theology are held together in the thought of Ayatollah Khomeini, and the unique circumstances his vision of theocracy creates for ethical action.
Professor Malika Zeghal (Islam, Anthropology and Social Sciences) responding
June 2, 4:00 PM
"Theological Virtues or a Virtuous Theology? A Case Study of Liturgical Reform"
An analysis of the most recent changes in the Lutheran (ELCA) hymnbook and what it tells us about shifting theological priorities.
Benjamin J. Dueholm (M.Div. candidate)
David Bullock (Ph.D. candidate in Philosophy, Wayne State University and M.A. candidate in Ethics)