Ethics for Lunch

Plan to bring your lunch! We'll provide the stimulating conversation (and beverages)!

Spring 2014 Entrees*

Thursday, January 30

1:00–2:00 PM

Fedigan Room – St. Augustine Center 400

Jesse Couenhoven (Humanities), “Predestination: Problem or Promise?”
Respondent: Peter Busch

Brief Summary: That claim that God predestines, traditionally a core element of Christian orthodoxy, raises such significant questions about free will that many modern theologians have rejected or simply avoided the doctrine. In this talk I explore why many monotheists have found predestination appealing and how one might affirm significant human agency without rejecting predestination.

Thursday, March 13

11:30 AM–1:00 PM

Fedigan Room – St. Augustine Center 400

Kevin Vander Schel (Ethics), “An Unexpected Resource: The Insights of Schleiermacher’s Christian Ethics for Catholic Moral Theology”
Respondent: John P. Edwards

Brief Summary: While he is often overlooked as a moralist, Friedrich Schleiermacher’s Christian Ethics presents a sophisticated and original account of Christian moral action. Set apart by its descriptive rather imperative form, his treatment traces the Holy Spirit’s influence in shaping individuals and communities and in reforming social structures. Anticipating later developments in Catholic theological ethics, Schleiermacher highlights the communal life of the church as a distinctive source for ongoing ethical reflection.

Thursday, April 3

11:30 AM–1:00 PM

Fedigan Room – St. Augustine Center 400

Chris Barnett (Theology), "Kierkegaard and the Christian Response to Technology"
Respondent:  Kevin Vander Schel

Brief Summary: Søren Kierkegaard's A Literary Review (1846) bears one of the earliest and most prophetic critiques of modern culture--a critique that, among other things, serves as a warning against the dangers of information technology. But how was this criticism received? And does it offer a way forward in our contemporary engagement with the Internet and other forms of media? This paper will confront these questions, arguing that, while Kierkegaard's critique was embraced in Christian circles, his answer failed to gain traction, not least because it eschews an 'ethical' response in favor of something bordering on the mystical.

*Copies of papers can generally be requested in advance from Mary Quilter (


Here are some of our past and upcoming events. Visit this section often to keep up-to-date on all of the exciting things happening in the program.

Annual Ethics Lecture

Ethics for Lunch Schedule

Annual Undergraduate Ethics Symposium

Annual Praxis Award in Professional Ethics

Learn more about the Catherine of Siena Ethics Teaching Fellowship

Returning Soldiers' Project