February 10, 2014 STEUBENVILLE, OHIO—Legal and political philosophy expert Francis J. Beckwith will speak at Franciscan University of Steubenville on Thursday, February 20, at 7:30 p.m. His talk, “Taking Rites Seriously: How Courts and Legal Scholars Diminish Religious Belief,” will take place in the Tony and Nina Gentile Gallery in the J. C. Williams Center. Beckwith’s talk will focus on legal scholars who argue that religious worldviews are unreasonable and religiously informed policy proposals have no place in a secular liberal democracy. He will explain why these scholars are mistaken and how their mistakes arise from a deep ignorance of the nature and content of religious beliefs in general, and Christian beliefs in particular. Beckwith is professor of philosophy and church-state studies at Baylor University, where he serves as assistant director of the Graduate Program in Philosophy and co-director of the Program on Philosophical Studies of Religion.A prolific author, his recent books include Politics for Christians: Statecraft as Soulcraft, Return to Rome: Confessions of an Evangelical Catholic, and Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice. He has published articles about politics, culture, and religion in many academic journals and has spoken for numerous Christian ministries throughout his career. Beckwith’s talk is part of the spring 2014 Distinguished Speaker Series. Through the Distinguished Speaker Series, Franciscan University of Steubenville hosts leaders who integrate their faith and public life and thereby inspire the next generation to be a transforming presence in the Church and society.The talk is free and open to the public and is co-sponsored by the Office of Academic Affairs and the Henkels Lecture Series.