closegradients left_arrowmenuright_arrow

Saint Paul University Catholic Center

Loading Events

Upcoming Events

The Natural Law Tradition Mini-Conference

April 4 @ 9:00 am - 3:30 pm CDT

5th Floor Newman Hall


Allegory of Good Government, (1337-1343), by Ambrogio Lorenzetti


Natural law “is the doctrine of objective value, the belief that certain attitudes are really true, and
others really false, to the kind of thing the universe is and the kind of things we are.”

C.S. Lewis, Abolition of Man

Roman Catholic Diocese of Madison
St. Paul’s University Catholic Center

The purpose of this lecture series is to exhibit the enduring importance of the
natural law tradition for the formation of a humane and flourishing society. This
series will trace the broad contours of the natural law tradition in the history of
philosophy and offer guiding principles for its continued relevance and study. The
lectures will be considered successful if conference participants: 1) grow in
understanding of the natural law, 2) are inspired to seek its guidance, 3) learn how to
approach and study the natural law tradition, and 4) are equipped to articulate the
importance of the natural law in their own words.

9:00-9:30AM Breakfast and Introductions
9:30-10:45AM Lecture 1
10:45-11:15AM Coffee Break
11:15-12:30PM Lecture 2
12:30-1:30PM Lunch
1:30-2:45PM Lecture 3
2:45-3:30PM Concluding Panel Discussion
3:30-4:30PM Closing Reception


1. The Natural Law Tradition in Antiquity
Michael Promisel, Scholar in Residence (St. Paul’s), Ph.D. Candidate (UW-Madison)
• The ancient history of the natural law tradition: Israel, Greece, and Rome
• The rational foundations of the natural law
• The ethical demands of the natural law

2. The Natural Law Tradition: Aquinas & Christian Underpinnings
Fr. Samuel Hakeem, O.P., Associate Pastor (Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church)
• The natural law in the Catholic intellectual tradition
• The place of natural law in the theology of St. Thomas Aquinas
• The relevance of natural law to civil society

3. The Natural Law Tradition: Modernity & Enduring Relevance
Dr. John Joy, Senior Theologian (Diocese of Madison)
• The modern history of the natural law tradition
• The problem of moral relativism in modern thought
• The enduring importance and relevance of the natural law tradition

Each lecture will be recorded using high-definition audio and visual equipment. The
digital lectures will be made available to the Diocese of Madison within one month
of the conference conclusion.

Download Summary
Natrual Law Lectures Exec. Summary

Register Here