Gordon in the News: last updated 04/12/2010

Gordon Conference Explores Human Dignity in a Biotech Age

April 9, 2010
Jo Kadlecek
Office of College Communications

WENHAM, MA—In the biotechnological age in which live, one question emerges: what are human beings worth? On Friday, April 16, Eastern Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant scholars will come together to address that question, exploring the meaning of human dignity in the light of their respective faith traditions.

The one-day conference “Imago Dei (Image of God): Human Dignity in Ecumenical Perspective” is hosted by the Gordon College Jerusalem and Athens Forum and will feature lectures from Rev. John Behr, dean and professor of Patristics at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary; Russell Hittinger, William K. Warren Professor of Catholic Studies and research professor of law at University of Tulsa; and Ben C. Mitchell, Graves Professor of Moral Philosophy at Union University. The free event will take place from 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. in the Ken Olsen Science Center on the Wenham campus (exit 17 from Route 128) and is open to students and the public.
“In recent decades, Christians of different backgrounds have sought to realize a greater common purpose,” said Tal Howard, associate professor of history and director of the Jerusalem and Athens Forum. “There is an atmosphere of ecumenical collaboration about many theological issues, and human dignity is something that we should and can come together and talk about.”

The conference is sponsored in part from a generous grant provided by the Lilly Fellows Program. This is the sixth year of the Jerusalem and Athens Forum and fourteen students are currently participating in the selective program. The goal of the Forum as well as the conference is to connect faith and learning.

“There are aspects of life where we can best learn from one another face to face. It’s one thing to know from a distance, and another to talk at close-range,” said Howard. “We hope this conference highlights the importance of ecumenism while it helps us think well and wisely about the issue of human dignity and the challenges confronting it.”

Following each lecture, a question-and-answer session will take place.  A general panel discussion of all speakers will close the conference.

For more information, please visit: www.gordon.edu/imagodei

Gordon College is a multidenominational Christian college of the liberal arts and sciences on Boston’s North Shore, offering majors in 36 fields with graduate programs in education and music education. Gordon is nationally recognized for excellence in academics and in character building, and ranks as one of the nation’s top Christian colleges. www.gordon.edu