“The Goods of Family: Eros and Procreation”



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The energetic Ralph Hancock, a member (by the way) of the editorial board of Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture and founder/president of the John Adams Center for the Study of Faith, Philosophy and Public Affairs, is hosting a fascinating conference next week:


The Goods of Family: Eros and Procreation


Part II: The Family according to Pre-Reformation Christianity: Creation, Covenant, Salvation.  Brigham Young University, October 25-26, 2012.


A Conference Hosted by Brigham Young University and by the John Adams Center for the Study of Faith, Philosophy and Public Affairs, with the participation of BYU’s Wheatley Institution. 


In the Fall of 2011 our first conference on The Goods of Family pondered biblical and ancient philosophical sources relevant to our inquiry into connections between family goods and fundamental human needs and finalities.  This year we will focus on the pre-modern Christian tradition.


We see this conference and associated research and reflection as complementing in essential ways evidence provided by the human sciences that (in Leon Kass’s words) “married people are healthier, wealthier, and happier than unmarried people, and that children fare better by every measure when they are reared in a single home by both their parents.” With Prof. Kass we are seeking “a deeper anthropological account of just why love, marriage, and family continue to be central to human flourishing.”


Conference events will begin around mid-day on Thursday October 25th and conclude with a “capstone” discussion and brunch Saturday morning, October 27th.


The conference will include two public lectures (by Russell Hittinger and Peter Lawler), but will mainly take the form of open-ended seminar-style discussions, based on common readings.


Thursday 25 October


2pm: Early Christianity and Augustine


Reading:  Christopher Roberts’ Creation and Covenant: The Significance of Sexual Difference in the Moral Theology of Marriage, chs. 1 & 2


Recommended Reading:  John Witte Jr., From Sacrament to Covenant (2nd Edition), chs. 1-3.


4pm: Russell Hittinger Lecture : Imago Dei & Family


Friday 26 October


9am: Marriage as a Sacrament in Medieval Christianity


Reading: Roberts, chs. 3-4


Recommended Reading: Witte, ch. 4.


11am: Peter Lawler Lecture, “The Christian Idea of the Person and the Nature of the Family”


12 noon: Lunch & Discussion


2pm: Catholic Teaching and Contemporary Society


(Brief readings pending.)


(Note: Since LDS beliefs are expected to be part of our discussions, Professor Hancock has provided non-BYU participants with a draft of his on an LDS understanding of the family, “A Familiar Eternity.”)



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