Morality and God Conference | Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • Philosophy Conference to Discuss Whether Morality Must Be Grounded in God

    A conference sponsored by the University's Graduate Philosophy Program

    March 22, 2013

    STEUBENVILLE, OHIO—Must morality be grounded in God? This ancient question has resurfaced in the debates of both contemporary atheists and Christian philosophers. Some say that naturalistic—“be a good person without religion”—morality is enough; others, with Dostoevsky, argue that “if God does not exist then everything is allowed.”

    On April 5-6, this compelling subject will be discussed at Franciscan University of Steubenville in a conference sponsored by the University’s Graduate Philosophy Program.

    Plenary speakers include John Rist, the Father Kurt Pritzl, OP, Chair in Philosophy of Catholic University of America, who has written extensively on this topic. In particular, his book, Real Ethics: Reconsidering the Foundations of Morality (2001), and article, “Morality and Religion: Some Questions About First Principles” (Philosophical Investigations, 2011), have grappled with the difficult aspects of human morality.

    Also presenting will be Mark Murphy, the McDevitt Chair of Religious Philosophy at Georgetown University; and Christopher Tollefsen, director of Graduate Studies at the University of South Carolina.

    Cost of registration is $65, or $75 for on-site. Registration is free for all Franciscan University of Steubenville faculty, staff, students, and alumni, as well as those who are presenting at this event. Additionally, the optional meal plan is $65 when pre-registered, or $75 for on-site. The conference begins at 9 a.m. on Friday, April 5, and ends at 9 p.m. on Saturday, April 6.

    For more information or to register, please visit, or contact Dr. John Crosby at

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