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Influential Christian thinker speaks about linking faith with justice

Loyola press release - March 4, 2013

Robert P. George, J.D., Ph.D., former presidential appointee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, will deliver a free lecture at Loyola University New Orleans Wednesday, March 6 at 7 p.m. in Louis J. Roussel Performance Hall located on the second floor of the Communications/Music Complex on Loyola’s main campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.

George, who is Princeton University’s McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and founder and director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, will present the lecture “Five Pillars of a Decent and Dynamic Society.” The lecture is part of Loyola’s centennial celebration and is co-sponsored by the College of Business and Center for Spiritual Capital. It addresses two of Loyola’s Jesuit education ideals: linking faith with justice and concern for the poor and oppressed.

George received his doctorate from Oxford University, juris doctorate and master's of divinity from Harvard University, and a bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania.

Supreme Court Justice and former Harvard Law School Dean Elena Kagan praised George as "one of the nation’s most respected legal theorists," saying that the respect he had gained was due to "his sheer brilliance, the analytic power of his arguments, the range of his knowledge," and "a deeply principled conviction, a profound and enduring integrity."

British author Andrew Sullivan writes that George played a key role in creating Theoconservatism and integrating it into mainstream Republicanism. Sullivan sees George as a central figure to understanding "the revolution in American conservatism that has taken place in the last few years.”

Originally a democrat, George moved to the right in the 1980s largely due to his views on abortion. He left the Democratic Party as a result of what he saw as “its increasingly strong commitment to legal abortion and its public funding.” George is founder of the American Principles Project, which aims to create a grassroots movement around his ideas and is dedicated to "preserving and propagating the fundamental principles on which our country was founded." He is a past chairman of the National Organization for Marriage, a nonprofit that seeks to “protect marriage and the faith communities that sustain it,” and co-founder of the Renewal Forum, an organization fighting the sexual trafficking and commercial exploitation of women and children.

George drafted the Manhattan Declaration, a manifesto signed by Orthodox, Catholic and Evangelical leaders that affirmed support of "the sanctity of life, traditional marriage and religious liberty."

From 1993 to 1998, George served as a presidential appointee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights under President Bill Clinton. In 2008, he received the Presidential Citizens Medal, one of the highest honors conferred by the U.S. on a civilian, at a ceremony in the Oval Office of the White House. He was a judicial fellow at the U.S. Supreme Court, where he received the Justice Tom C. Clark Award.

George has published numerous books, including “Making Men Moral: Civil Liberties and Public Morality,” “In Defense of Natural Law,” “The Clash of Orthodoxies” and “Embryo: A Defense of Human Life.” His articles have appeared in leading academic journals including Harvard Law Review, Yale Law Journal, Columbia Law Review and University of Chicago Law Review.

For more information, contact Stephanie Willis in the Center for Spiritual Capital at 504-864-7028.

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LoyNews is an e-newswire produced by the Loyola University New Orleans Office of Public Affairs. LoyNews is distributed weekly to local, regional and national news media outlets, communicating the latest news and accomplishments of the university and its community.