McGrath Institute Symposium to Enrich Teaching of Human Dignity

By William Schmitt

Teaching Life & Human Dignity SymposiumTeaching Life & Human Dignity Symposium

The McGrath Institute for Church Life will host a summer symposium June 30 – July 3, 2019, on effective ways to integrate the principles of life and human dignity across academic disciplines to empower young people to defend human life amid today’s throwaway culture.

A gathering for intensive intellectual formation, based on the theme of “Teaching Life and Human Dignity,” will feature leading scholars from the University of Notre Dame and elsewhere in conversation with leaders in Catholic education and ministry.

Participants will engage the Church’s intellectual and spiritual tradition on the sanctity of life and generate new pedagogical strategies for effectively presenting a consistent ethic of life, according to Jessica Keating, M. Div., program director for the Notre Dame Office of Life and Human Dignity.

“Experts in different fields will aim to support educators who want to send forth young Catholics with the best intellectual formation and the skills to engage issues of life and human dignity compassionately and creatively,” said Keating, whose office is sponsoring the symposium as a part of the McGrath Institute’s summer programming.

“Our culture cheapens the value of the human person, which the Catholic Church teaches is inviolable,” Keating said. “Educators and ministers are seeking the resources and skills to engage young adults in critical conversations about the value of human life, regardless of size, age, race, gender, or income.” 

Speakers lined up to help impart the Church’s message of dignity and hope include:

  • Tricia C. Bruce, Ph.D., a sociologist of religion widely respected as an author and media commentator, affiliated with Notre Dame’s Center for the Study of Religion and Society and engaged in a McGrath Institute study of Americans’ attitudes toward abortion;

  • Charlie Camosy, Ph.D., an associate professor of theological and social ethics at Fordham University whose books and initiatives inform Catholics’ conversations on bioethics in areas such as abortion and medicine;

  • Kristin M. Collier, M.D., an assistant professor and leader in the Internal Medicine Residency Program at the University of Michigan Medical School, as well as director of the school’s Program on Health, Spirituality and Religion;

  • David Cloutier, Ph.D., associate professor of moral theology at The Catholic University of America whose writing and editing touches on consumerism, the environment and the Sacrament of Reconciliation;

  • Clare Kilbane, Ph.D., a former professor of education collaborating with Catholic schools and current professor of the practice at Notre Dame, contributing multimedia innovations as Senior Learning Designer at the McGrath Institute;

  • Anthony Pagliarini, Ph.D., assistant teaching professor in Biblical Theology and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Notre Dame’s Department of Theology, also contributing to Catholic publications and serving as a fellow of the Word on Fire Institute.