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'Ethics and Faith in the Real World': Seminars in Edinburgh

Friday, May 22, 2015

'Ethics and Faith in the Real World' at the Albertus Institute, Edinburgh

The Albertus Institute is running a series of seminars on issues in professional and business life at the Edinburgh University Chaplaincy, St Albert the Great, George Square. The aim is to bring participants’ experience to bear on topical ethical issues. The seminars follow on from a successful course run over two terms on Catholic Social Teaching by Dr Stephen Watt of the University of Edinburgh. Facilitators for the seminars are Ian Thompson (Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame, Australia) and Henry Thompson (no relation! Professor School of Infomatics, University of Edinburgh).

The seminars cover such topics such as ‘Can computers give us moral certainty?’ with Professor Zenon Bankowski; Professor Bill Whyte leads a session on ‘Decision-making in Youth Justice and Child Protection’; and Alasdair MacLullich, Professor of Geriatric Medicine at Edinburgh, discusses power-sharing and responsibility in health-care. Alasdair was a popular and highly topical speaker at The Albertus’ seminar ‘The Patient as Person’ in 2013. Philippa Bonella, who is Head of Communication at SCIAF, gives the group the benefits of her experience in a session entitled ‘Poverty and Riches – Human rights and our responsibilities in International Aid’. Participants of all ages and denominations are drawn from parishes in and around Edinburgh and lively discussion are the order of the day. 

It is the mission of The Albertus Institute to encourage active debate about issues where faith and intellectual disciplines connect, and to demonstrate that Catholics can contribute meaningfully and listen productively to topical issues in the public square. This series of seminars is part of an ongoing programme to achieve that aim, not just in Edinburgh but in Scotland as a whole. The Albertus will shortly incorporate and become a charity. Dr William Moyes, chairman of the General Dental Council and a trustee of the Catholic Trust of England and Wales, has joined the board and Professor Zenon Bankowski, Professor Emeritus of Legal Theory at the University of Edinburgh, chairs the Programme Committee. 

The Albertus has received valuable and enthusiastic support from Fr Dermot Morrin and the Dominicans at George Square. (Fr Fergus Kerr is our Honorary President). The Chaplaincy Library provides a convivial and atmospheric space for the sessions. 

More information about this series of seminars (which run on Wednesdays) through May and June and The Albertus’ activities can be found at, on our Facebook page and at our blogspot:


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