Published December 3, 2015
2015 has been a remarkable year for the Ethics and Public Policy Center. As EPPC prepares to celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2016, please take a look at some of the highlights of the work done by EPPC’s scholars this year:
During the 2015 Synod of Bishops on the Family, EPPC scholars took part in this project organized in a response to Pope Francis’ call to the entire Church to an open, wide-ranging, and honest discussion of the crisis of marriage and the family in the 21st century, and to a Gospel-centered exploration of what the Catholic Church might do to renewing the vocation of marriage and restore its luster. LETTERS featured daily reflections and thoughts—on the Synod, its themes, and its goings-on—from Catholic leaders and thinkers in Rome and around the world, including EPPC Distinguished Senior Fellow and William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies George Weigel and EPPC Fellow Mary Rice Hasson. (Click here to read Mr. Weigel’s essay from the January 2016 issue of First Things, titled “What Really Happened at Synod 2015.”)
At the November 2015 Faith Angle Forum, led by EPPC Vice President Michael Cromartie, Princeton University professor emeritus Albert Raboteau delivered a stirring presentation titled “Forgiveness and the African American Church Experience.” Dr. Raboteau’s remarks were widely praised by the attendees and offer a timely and profoundly personal look at race and religion in America.
In November, EPPC Hertog Fellow Yuval Levin delivered the 2015 First Things Lecture in Washington, D.C., titled “The Perils of Religious Liberty.” Video of Mr. Levin’s lecture may be viewed below or by clicking here. First Things said that the lecture aimed to “explore the meaning and history of religious liberty within the Western democratic tradition and outline what American political thought might teach those now struggling to revitalize our society’s moral foundations amid dizzying change.”
Peter Wehner’s Christianity Today Cover Story: How Christians Can Flourish in a Same-Sex-Marriage World
Continuing on the timely theme of religious liberty, EPPC Senior Fellow Peter Wehner (and co-author Michael Gerson) explored how Christians who feel “alienated from America’s legal and cultural order” as a result of the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision “might take this moment to display the essential character of Christianity—one that appeals and persuades outside the faith.”
In a cover essay for National Review, EPPC President Ed Whelan explained that how Americans respond in the coming months and years to the Supreme Court’s radical redefinition of marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges “will reveal much about what America will become.” Mr. Whelan warns that, “by misbranding defenders of marriage as opponents of the Constitution, the Court’s ruling will sharply intensify the threats to religious liberty.”
In his 14th annual William E. Simon Lecture, EPPC Distinguished Senior Fellow George Weigel analyzed seven lessons that St. John Paul II’s “worldly” accomplishments teach twenty-first century statesmen, and suggested a few things the first Polish pope has to teach the rest of us.
In response to Pope Francis’s call for women to be a more “effective presence” in the Church and in the world, EPPC launched the Catholic Women’s Forum, under the direction of EPPC Fellow Mary Rice Hasson. The Catholic Women’s Forum amplifies the voice of Catholic women—leading female Catholic professionals, scholars, and other experts—on crucial issues of today, and helps shape conversations in the Church and in the culture—about marriage and family, gender and sexuality, the role of women, religious liberty, and the dignity of human life—through expert commentary, presentations, scholarly articles, and in national and international conferences. (Click here to read the “Letter to Synod Fathers from Catholic Women.”)
In June, EPPC joined with National Affairs to co-host the 2015 Bradley Symposium, which explored the rise in college tuition and student debt, the opportunities and limitations presented by new technology in the classroom, and the future of higher education amid these changes.
This annual event, generously sponsored by the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, brings together prominent intellectuals, commentators, activists, and philanthropists to examine important political and cultural issues facing the country. This year’s symposium featured Purdue University President Mitch Daniels, Andrew Kelly of the American Enterprise Institute, Alex Tabarrok of George Mason University, Peter Lawler of Berry College, and EPPC Hertog Fellow Yuval Levin, who introduced the speakers and moderated the panel discussion.
EPPC Senior Fellow Stanley Kurtz earned recognition on the National Association of Scholars’s year-end Top 10 list for his investigation into the left-leading Advanced Placement U.S. History “framework” and his leadership of an effort toward substantial improvements to the curriculum.
EPPC’s journal The New Atlantis continues to explore the largest questions surrounding technology and human nature, and the practical questions of governing and regulating science. In its Summer 2015 issue, The New Atlantis featured a groundbreaking report from the Witherspoon Council on Ethics and the Integrity of Science examining human cloning and making a strong case against it.
In this beautifully illustrated spiritual travelogue, EPPC Distinguished Senior Fellow George Weigel leads readers through the historic streets of Kraków, Poland, introducing one of the world’s great cities through the life of one of the most influential Catholic leaders of all time. (Click here to listen to a lecture on City of Saints that Mr. Weigel delivered at the Catholic Information Center.)
As we celebrate EPPC’s 40th anniversary in 2016, we greatly appreciate your support in helping us to continue and expand our work to inform the debate on domestic and foreign policy issues.