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Episode 20: James Hankins

James Hankins is a professor of Renaissance intellectual history at Harvard University. He is the Founder and General Editor of the I Tatti Renaissance Library from Harvard University Press, a member of the British Academy, and is the author or editor of over twenty volumes and more than eighty articles, essays and book chapters. He was a Visiting Scholar at the Center in the Spring 2018 semester, where he worked on a monograph entitled, The Virtue Politics of the Italian Humanists....


Episode 19: Rémi Brague

In this blockbuster episode, we welcome CEC Acting Director Patrick Deneen into the interviewer's chair for a conversation with philosopher Remi Brague, professor emeritus of Arabic and religious philosophy at the Sorbonne and Romano Guardini chair of philosophy (emeritus) at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. Professor Brague is the author of many books, including his masterwork trilogy consisting of "The Wisdom of the World: The Human Experience of the Universe in Western...


Episode 18: Fr. William R. Dailey, C.S.C.

In this episode, we sit down with Holy Cross Fr. William R. Dailey. Fr. Bill is our Thomas More Fellow at the CEC, and the Director of the Notre Dame-Newman Centre for Faith and Reason in Dublin, Ireland. We chat about how he got involved with the CEC, about his work in Ireland, and about the educational mission of the Congregation of Holy Cross. Special Guest: Fr. William R. Dailey, C.S.C..


Episode 17: Sorin Fellow Katherine Smith

n this episode, we sit down with Katherine Smith, an undergraduate Sorin Fellow spending her Spring 2018 semester in Rome, Italy. We chat about her experiences in the Eternal City, her internship at the Pontifical Academy for Life, and what being a Sorin Fellow has meant to her. We recorded this conversation in the church of Santa Maria in Vallicella, also known as Chiesa Nuova, the "new church" that St. Philip Neri and his Oratorians started building in 1575. In respect for the sacred...


Episode 16: Richard Doerflinger

Richard M. Doerflinger retired in 2016 after 36 years of service to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, finishing as the associate director of the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities. In that role he was involved in every single life issue, including embryo research, abortion, physician-assisted suicide, and euthanasia, at the very highest level in federal and state governments. In 2011, he became the first recipient of the Notre Dame Evangelium Vitae Medal, and he continues...


Episode 15: D. C. Schindler

In this episode, we sit down with D. C. Schindler, an associate professor of metaphysics and anthropology at the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, and author of "Freedom From Reality: The Diabolical Character of Modern Liberty", the newest volume in the Center's book series "Catholic Ideas for a Secular World" with the University of Notre Dame Press. Special Guest: D. C. Schindler.


Episode 14: Mary Eberstadt

Mary Eberstadt is a senior fellow of the Faith & Reason Institute, and the author of several best-selling books, including "Adam and Eve After the Pill" (2013) and "How the West Really Lost God" (2014). Her dark comedy novel "The Loser Letters", chronicling the conversion of a young adult Christian to atheism, was adapted into a stage play in 2016. Eberstadt's writing has appeared in TIME, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, National Review, First Things, The Weekly Standard,...


Episode 13: Mary O'Callaghan

Mary O'Callaghan earned an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Creighton University, and received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Notre Dame. Her doctoral work was funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health for the study of developmental disabilities and mental retardation. She and her husband John (also a Fellow of the CEC) are the parents of 5 children, including their youngest, Tommy, who has Down syndrome. Since his birth, Mary has been an...


Episode 12: Gilbert Meilaender

In this episode, we sit down with Gilbert Meilaender, the Paul Ramsey Fellow at the CEC, and author of Not By Nature But By Grace: Forming Families Through Adoption, the inaugural volume in the Center's "Catholic Ideas for a Secular World" book series with the University of Notre Dame Press. We discuss his intellectual journey, the meaning of adoption for families and for Christians, and how he wants to be a burden to his children. Special Guest: Gilbert Meilaender.


Episode 11: Patrick J. Deneen

Patrick J. Deneen holds a B.A. in English literature and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Rutgers University. He worked at the US Information Agency as a speechwriter and special advisor, was an Assistant Professor of Government at Princeton and an Associate Professor at Georgetown, and joined the Political Science faculty of Notre Dame in 2012. He is the author and editor of several books including The Odyssey of Political Theory (2000, winner of the APSA's Best First Book Award),...


Episode 10: George Weigel

In this episode, we sit down with George Weigel, the distinguished senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and one of our permanent research fellows at the ND Center for Ethics and Culture. We talk about several of his books including his most recent, "Lessons In Hope: My Unexpected Life with St. John Paul II," 2004's "Letters to a Young Catholic," and his wonderful Lenten vademecum from 2013, "Roman Pilgrimage: The Station Churches." Special Guest: George Weigel.


Episode 9: Randall B. Smith

Randall B. Smith is a professor of theology at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, and was the CEC's Myser Visiting Research Fellow when he began writing Reading the Sermons of Thomas Aquinas: A Beginner's Guide. We chat about the preaching style of the 13th Century, and what it can teach us today. Special Guest: Randall Smith.


Episode 8: Nicole Stelle Garnett

n this episode, we sit down with Nicole Stelle Garnett, a member of the Center's Faculty Advisory Committee and professor at Notre Dame Law School. We discuss the role of Catholic schools in forming strong communities, the vocation of teaching, and how the interdisciplinary collegiality that the Center for Ethics and Culture helps foster on campus works to strengthen Notre Dame's authentic Catholic mission and identity. Special Guest: Nicole Stelle Garnett.


Episode 7: Ross Douthat

In this episode, we sit down with New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, who joined us on campus this past October for a roundtable discussion about Disarming Beauty (, the second volume in our book series Catholic Ideas for a Secular World ( In our conversation, we talked about his work at the New York Times, the influence of G. K. Chesterton on his own conversion, and the vocation of the Catholic journalist....


Episode 6: John O'Callaghan

In this episode, we chat with John O'Callaghan, associate professor of philosophy, Director of the Jacques Maritain Center, and the 2017-18 Mary Ann Remick Senior Visiting Fellow at the Center for Ethics and Culture. We talk about teaching St. Thomas Aquinas to undergraduates, the work he's undertaking as the CEC's Remick Fellow, and the continuing relevance of St. Thomas Aquinas. Special Guest: John O'Callaghan.


Episode 4: Founding Director David Solomon

David Solomon, the founding director of the Center for Ethics and Culture, began his legendary career at Notre Dame in 1968 and retired in May 2016. During his tenure, he served as the director of undergraduate studies in the philosophy department, founded and directed the Arts & Letters/Science Honors Program, and directed the Notre Dame London Program. In addition to his service in academic administration, he taught ethics and medical ethics to thousands of undergraduate and graduate...


Episode 2: Professor Sean Kelsey

Professor Sean Kelsey ( is an associate professor of philosophy and the chair of the Center's Faculty Advisory Committee ( He is on sabbatical in 2017-18, writing a book on Aristotle's De Anima with a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. We discuss the writing process, the Center's student formation work, and the role of the Center in supporting the Notre Dame's...