Posted by Mary L. Wimberley on 2010-04-19

Francis J. Beckwith, professor of philosophy and church-state studies at Baylor University, will participate in several programs at Samford University this week. All events are free and open to the public.

Beckwith, who is Catholic and an evangelical Christian, and Dr. Timothy George, dean of Samford’s Beeson Divinity School, will hold two dialogues on the topic “Can One Be Both Catholic and Evangelical?” on Thursday, April 22.

The two men will share their testimonies at a 10 a.m. program in Reid Chapel. A 3 p.m. presentation in A. Gerow Hodges Chapel will include a theological discussion of issues between Evangelicals and Catholics, as well as commonalities.

Friday, April 23, at 10 a.m. in Hodges Chapel, Beckwith will lead a public forum on the topic, “The Sanctity of Life.” Respondents will be David M. Smolin, professor and director of the Center for Biotechnology, Law and Ethics at Samford’s Cumberland School of Law, and Jacquie Stalnaker, executive director, Ignatius Productions.

The forum is sponsored by Beeson and Cumberland’s Christian Legal Society in cooperation with Alabama Policy Institute, Christian Life Commission of the Alabama Baptist State Convention, Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama, Lifeline Children’s Services, Mann Center for Ethics and Leadership and the Metropolitan Birmingham Evangelical Ministers Association.

Beckwith, a philosopher who specializes in politics, jurisprudence, religion and applied ethics, is the author of many books, including Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice (2007) and Return to Rome: Confessions of an Evangelical Catholic (2009). His most recent work is Politics for Christians: Statecraft as Soulcraft (2010).

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 66th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 104th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,683 students from 47 states and 19 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.