Baylor University Scholar Francis Beckwith Will Speak at Vatican Educational Conference

April 22, 2013
Beckwith and VaticanFrancis Beckwith, Ph.D. (Courtesy photo)

WACO, Texas (April 22, 2013) -- Francis J. Beckwith, Ph.D., a professor of philosophy at Baylor University and Resident Scholar in Baylor's Institute for Studies of Religion, will travel to Rome in mid-June to speak at The Celebration of Evangelium Vitae: Faithful to Life conference, sponsored by the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization.

Beckwith is one of three speakers invited to speak at the event, to be held June 15-16.

Keynote speaker will be Cardinal Sean O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston and chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee for Pro-Life Activities. Pope Francis has appointed him one of eight cardinals to advise him on reforming the Church's central administration.

A panel discussion will be led by Beckwith and Robert Royal, president of the Faith and Reason Institute in Washington, D.C.

"It is an incredible honor to be invited to speak at this event," Beckwith said.

Beckwith also teaches courses in political science as well as in the J. M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies at Baylor. He is the author of Journeys of Faith: Evangelicalism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Catholicism, and Anglicanism ( Zondervan, 2012); Politics for Christians: Statecraft as Soulcraft (InterVarsity Press, 2010); Return to Rome: Confessions of an Evangelical Catholic (Brazos Press, 2009); and Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice (Cambridge University Press, 2007).

Organizers said the conference will explore the timeless truths of the late Pope John Paul II's 1995 Encyclical, Evangelium Vitae, and the central role that the Gospel of Life continues to have in the Church's mission of the New Evangelization.


Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.


Launched in August 2004, the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR) exists to initiate, support and conduct research on religion, involving scholars and projects spanning the intellectual spectrum: history, psychology, sociology, economics, anthropology, political science, epidemiology, theology and religious studies. The institute's mandate extends to all religions, everywhere, and throughout history, and embraces the study of religious effects on prosocial behavior, family life, population health, economic development and social conflict. While always striving for appropriate scientific objectivity, ISR scholars treat religion with the respect that sacred matters require and deserve.

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