2014 Glennon Lecture
Presenter: Dr. Francis J. Beckwith
Francis J. Beckwith is Professor of Philosophy & Church-State Studies at Baylor University, where he also serves as Associate Director of the Graduate Program in Philosophy and Co-Director of the Program on Philosophical Studies of Religion in Baylor’s Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR). With his appointment in the Department of Philosophy, he also teaches courses in the Departments of Political Science and Religion as well as the J. M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies, where he served as its Associate Director from July 2003 until January 2007. He and his wife, Frankie, live in Woodway, Texas. They reside in the Diocese of Austin and attend St. Louis Catholic Church in Waco. Professor Beckwith is active in St. Peter’s Catholic Student Center at Baylor.
The lecture will be on the diminishing understanding of religious liberty in the public square and its academic roots. Because the claims of religion are often presented as “mere beliefs,” private understandings of the universe, rather than philosophically informed rivals to secular understandings, advocates of religion’s marginalization think of themselves as the guardians of reason. These critics see the deliverances of theology and secularism as two different subjects, faith and reason. I argue that this characterization is mistaken, especially on public issues of great importance, such as the sanctity of human life and marriage. What is really going on is a contest between two different accounts of reason, one of which is tightly tethered to several theological traditions.
Previous Glennon Lectures
- 2014: Dr. Janet Smith – The Universality of Natural Law and the Irreducibility of Personalism
- 2013: Dr. Peter Kreeft - Blaise Pascal and the New Evangelization
History of the Glennon Lecture
In 2013, the philosophy faculty of Cardinal Glennon College established the annual John Cardinal Glennon Lecture as a complement to the Kenrick School of Theology’s annual Peter Richard Kenrick Lecture. The Glennon Lecture provides the seminarians and the wider public an opportunity to be formed by some of the most eminent philosophers in the United States.
About John Cardinal Glennon (1862-1946)
John Joseph Glennon was born in Kinnegad County, Meath, Ireland, on June 14, 1862. He was ordained to the priesthood in Ireland in 1884 and was immediately assigned to ministry in Missouri. He became the Archbishop of St. Louis in 1903. Cardinal Glennon was seen as the “great builder,” overseeing such major architectural projects such as the Cathedral of St. Louis (later to be named a basilica), Kenrick Seminary (now the Cardinal Rigali Center) and Cardinal Glennon College, the current home of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary.