Conference: The End of Human Dignity? Recovering the Intellectual Appeal of Human Dignity for the Theological and Philosophical Imagination


Location: McKenna Hall Auditorium

“The End of Human Dignity?: Recovering the Intellectual Appeal of Human Dignity for the Theological and Philosophical Imagination”

This interdisciplinary conference will take place April 3 to April 6, 2016 and will feature a range of scholars defending the concept of human dignity against recent philosophical attacks.

Cardinal Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja, Nigeria, will open the conference by delivering the 2016 Human Dignity Lecture at McKenna Hall on Sunday April 3 at 7:00p.m. “The End of Human Dignity?” conference will feature noted philosophers and theologians including Cyril O’Regan, Leon Kass, Gustavo Gutiérrez and David Walsh, to name a few.

In recent years the concept of human dignity has come under intense scrutiny and has even been dismissed as “stupid” and “useless.” The erosion or outright dismissal of the concept of human dignity raises foundational questions, such as who is the human person and what kind of communities do we wish to inhabit? What would society look like if the language of human dignity were partly or entirely eliminated from public discourse? Such questions require that those who would assert the concept’s normativity must offer a philosophical and theological response that takes seriously the critique, renews the discourse, and offers new possibilities for how we may meaningfully engage the concept of human dignity.

The aim of this conference is threefold:
1. to clarify the philosophical and theological foundations of human dignity
2. to articulate a multivalent account of human dignity that is persuasive and appealing by considering the places and practices where the recognition of dignity of the human person cannot be so easily dismissed
3. to offer a vision of human dignity anchored in the logic of attending to weakness and vulnerability

The conference is free and open to the public but we ask that you register here.