Ethicist and author Janet Smith will be seminary’s first ‘Scholar in Residence’

Noted ethicist Dr. Janet E. Smith, nationally acclaimed for her work on sexual and biomedical ethics, will spend the fall semester of 2008 at the Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity of the University of St. Thomas.

Smith will be the first to teach at the seminary in its new Scholar in Residence program. In addition to a graduate seminar on the thought of Pope John Paul II and Humanae Vitae, she will conduct a public lecture and participate in the academic life of the seminary.

Dr. Janet Smith

"This is an extraordinary opportunity for the seminary and the broader community to enjoy the company of such a distinguished scholar," Monsignor Aloysius Callaghan, the seminary’s rector and vice president, said. "We look forward to engaging with Dr. Smith in theological reflection on the most pertinent and difficult moral issues of our day."

Smith holds the Father Michael J. McGivney Chair of Life Ethics at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. She is the author of Humanae Vitae: A Generation Later and editor of Why Humanae Vitae Was Right: A Reader. Her new book on bioethics is Life Issues, Medical Choices, Questions and Answers for Catholics.

Smith has taught at the University of Notre Dame and the University of Dallas, where she received the Haggar Teaching Award. She also received the Pro-Life Person of the Year from the Diocese of Dallas and the Cardinal Wright Award from the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars. Smith is serving a second term as a consultor to the Pontifical Council on the Family. More than a million copies of her talk, "Contraception: Why Not" have been distributed.

The seminary’s Scholar in Residence program will host renowned theological scholars and provide seminarians and lay students ongoing opportunities to learn from and interact with experts in various areas of theological study. In addition, the broader Twin Cities community will have access to leaders in Catholic theological thought through the public lecture component of the program.

Smith’s residency is made possible by a gift from David and Barbara Koch to inaugurate the Scholar in Residence program. Longtime supporters of the seminary, the Kochs are excited about the potential impact the program will have on the academic life of the seminary. "We are so happy to be part of the good things happening at the seminary. We are particularly thrilled about the Scholar in Residence program and honored to be part of its beginning."

"We are grateful to the Kochs for this inaugural investment," said Callaghan. "They have allowed us to take the first step toward building this important program as we continue to give our students and the community access to the best of faithful theological formation."

Long-term funds currently are being sought for the Scholar in Residence program through the seminary’s $23 million "I Will Give You Shepherds" endowment campaign now underway.

 

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