Center for the Foundations of Ethics
Mission/Vision of the Center
To facilitate and promote quality scholarly work on a variety of moral arguments for God’s existence; to equip believers and local churches—chaplains and counselors, pastors and laypeople—to use the argument(s) in their evangelistic outreach; to generate curricula to make those resources readily available at every educational level; to publish and promote work that advances the agenda of moral apologetics through Moral Apologetics Press; and to make HBU the epicenter of cutting-edge work in the promotion and promulgation of the moral argument for the God of classical theism generally and Christianity particularly. The Center for the Foundations of Ethics at HBU will support and publicly advance an interdisciplinary community of scholars dedicated to exploring and answering an array of questions that arise concerning moral evidence for God’s existence and essential goodness.
The Work of Moral Apologetics
- The Center for the Foundations of Ethics will be concerned to explore moral evidences for God’s existence that are metaphysical in nature, epistemic, performative, and rational, as well as showing the power of a cumulative case showcasing all four of these variants working in tandem.
- The Center for the Foundations of Ethics will undertake a three-fold task: (a) defending objective moral facts, including but not limited to moral values and duties; (b) articulating, defending, and advancing variants of theistic ethics and distinctively Christian resources with the full panoply of analytic machinery at our disposal; and (c) subjecting secular and non-Christian religious ethical theories to various substantive critiques with the highest academic rigor. A fourth component pertains to historical recovery, mining the fertile history of the moral argument—from Henry Sidgwick to Immanuel Kant, from A. E. Taylor to William Sorley, and to a plethora of others, encouraging research and scholarship on their groundbreaking but often neglected work in moral apologetics.
- The Center will also explore the relevance of moral apologetics to spiritual formation; pastoral, counseling, and chaplaincy contexts; along with biblical exegesis, theology, Christian doctrine, and social science.
Formal Educational Component
Beginning summer of 2022 a Certificate Program will commence at HBU that will have for its focus training in moral apologetics—in four areas: the history of the moral argument, defense of moral realism, defense of theistic ethics, and critique of naturalistic and non-Christian ethical foundations.
In the 2021-2022 academic year, a new initiative will be the formation of a group of undergraduate and graduate students who will comprise the Student Fellows of the Center for the Foundations of Ethics. Student Fellows will have the opportunity for several gatherings throughout the school year with other students and faculty for the purpose of fellowshipping and equipping with the tools of moral apologetics.
Interdisciplinary Community of Scholars
The Center will invite contributions from New Testament scholars, Old Testament scholars, theologians, philosophers, psychologists, literary experts, and more besides (pastors and other practitioners)—mostly drawn from the faculty of HBU.
Resourcing Moral Apologetics
The Center will aim to serve as a hub for moral apologetics resources, eventually housing a collection of books, journals, debates, and other media for scholars and laypeople interested in exploring these questions. In time, the Center hopes to offer fellowships and scholarships for undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral students to study these issues—and, after adequate fundraising, to endow a Chair in Moral Apologetics (the occupier of which will direct the Center).
Promotion of Moral Apologetics
The work of the Center and its community will be disseminated through faculty lecture series, panel discussions, published books, journal articles, conferences, debates, and blogs, essays, interviews, and podcasts at the website MoralApologetics.com, which will now officially come under the auspices of HBU and the Center for the Foundations of Ethics.
If you would like to support the work of the Center financially, you may make a tax-deductible gift through the HBU online giving form (select “Additional Giving Opportunities” and designate Center for the Foundations of Ethics from the pop-up list). You may also mail contributions to the following address (with Center for the Foundations of Ethics in the memo line): HBU Advancement Lockbox, PO Box 4897, Dept #527, Houston, TX 77210.
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