February 22, 2012 - “Palliative Care: In Search of the Good Death” will be the topic of a symposium at Samford University on Friday, March 9. Panelists will discuss legal, medical and ethical issues related to end-of-life care. The public is invited free of charge to the day-long program in the moot courtroom of Robinson law building.
9 a.m. The “Good” Death? with Dr. H. Tristram Engelhardt, Jr., of Rice University and Dr. Ryan Nash of University of Alabama at Birmingham.
10:30 a.m. Rationing, Death Panels, and Health Care Reform with Kathy Cerminara of Nova Southeastern University’s Shepard Broad Law Center, and Leonard “Jack” Nelson of Samford’s Cumberland School of Law.
1:30 p.m. Enhancing Autonomy: Protecting Patients from Conflicted and Coercive Healthcare with Dr. Elizabeth Kvale of UAB.
Kvale’s presentation will be followed at 3 p.m. with a time of discussion, questions and debate with all of the day’s panelists. David Smolin, director of Cumberland’s Center for Biotechnology, Law and Ethics, will moderate.
A complimentary lunch will be provided at noon. For information email David Smolin at email@example.com or call (205) 726-2704.
The symposium is sponsored by the Center for Biotechnology, Law and Ethics, the Center for Palliative and Supportive Care at UAB Medical School, and Samford’s Frances Marlin Mann Center for Ethics and Leadership.
About the speakers:
Cerminara, a law professor, is a specialist in the intersection of end-of-life care and health care coverage policy, specifically the coverage rules applicable to hospice care.
Engelhardt is a physician and philosophy professor who has written extensively on the subject of bioethics, including his most recent book, The Foundations of Christian Bioethics.
Kvale is a physician whose specialties include the supportive care of cancer patients, survivorship and the care of palliative patients in intensive settings.
Nash, former medical director of Balm of Gilead Palliative Care Center at Birmingham’s Cooper Green Mercy Hospital, is a specialist in palliative medicine, clinical ethics and medical humanities.
Nelson, a law professor, is a specialist in torts and heath care law, including regulation of managed care, and legal issues in treating terminally ill patients.
February 17, 2012 - Comment remains one of my favourite journals, publishing thoughtful pieces on a wide variety of subjects, often asking how best to think as Christians and what practices emerge from our reflections about God's redemptive work in the world. Readers care about a lot of stuff, and want to learn how to live in these times fruitfully and faithfully.
Of course, as a bookseller, it is a joy to talk about books that might be of interest to this exact sort of engaged, open-minded, and discerning reader. Here are a few choice titles that Comment readers might enjoy.
How the Church Fails Businesspeople (And What Can Be Done About It) by John C. Knapp (Eerdmans, 2011)
In the 1970s, the Christian Labour Association of Canada published a pair of books on the history and development of a seriously Christian view of work—and it was, for some of us, astonishing. Does God care about our daily grind? Can we think faithfully about socioeconomic matters, with profound reforming insights, offering wise and helpful alternatives to the prevailing attitudes about labour, leisure, and love of neighbour? Much water has gone over the dam since those heady days, and, thankfully, many excellent resources have been published helping people of faith relate Sunday worship to Monday work (as the excellent Work Matters by Tom Nelson puts it). Still, although there has been a flood of words, lots of books, and a near paradigm shift about the general understanding that there is a relationship between faith and work, there is still a huge, huge disconnect in most ordinary parishes. Few pastors or preachers do much to truly honour and equip the members of their flock who happen to work in business.
Enter the brave work of John Knapp, the director of the Frances Marlin Mann Center for Ethics and Leadership at Samford University. He has written widely on the ethics of leadership and how today's business challenges can be pursued faithfully. In this new, well-written book, Knapp explains the research he has done on whether or not local churches are actually helpful to business men and women, offering insights gleaned from his interviews. (A fun appendix indexes the job titles of those surveyed.)
Many of us, through God's grace, have come to adopt a vision of rejecting sacred-secular compartmentalization and the subsequent privatization of faith; we have read in books—and in so many Comment articles—that we should be relating faith and our public lives. But how well do most pastors and Christian educators help us with that? Knapp lets us listen in on his interviews, distills the survey data, and does great Biblical reflection and a quick overview of the history of the "faith and work" movement (drawing on, for instance, the Oxford University Press book, God at Work by David Miller, and naming Laity Lodge and other such pioneers in this field). Yet, too often, the local church lags behind these parachurch organizations. This is, as one reviewer put it, "a wake up call for pastors, churches, and Christian businesspeople alike."
Indeed, How the Church Fails is at least a wake-up call, but it is more, as professor Knapp shows us in the last portion, called "Finding Coherence," numerous, concrete ways the church can help us rethink Christian vocation, develop a moral theology of work, consider more candidly our troubled relationship with money, and develop the potential of the local church as a place for considering the Christians role in the marketplace. Questions to consider follow the end of each chapter make this ideal for adult education classes, small Bible study groups, or perhaps a clergy retreat.
February 14, 2012 - A university-wide initiative at Samford University was launched this year to promote academic integrity and address issues identified by the ICAI survey of students and faculty. The effort includes faculty development, policy reviews, student discussion forums, a student advisory council, and new programs for student orientation. It also includes a campus-wide awareness campaign involving online resources, social media and video productions.
The initiative is led by the Frances Marlin Mann Center for Ethics and Leadership, a unit of the provost’s office at Samford. As at other institutions that have used the ICAI survey, we found a significant gap between student and faculty perceptions of the seriousness of cheating, with faculty expressing much more concern about the issue. Thus, our main efforts are aimed at helping students grasp why academic integrity matters – to themselves, to their learning community, and to the value of their degree.
Collaboration with ICAI is invaluable, as we can learn much from the experiences of other institutions that are already making good progress with this issue. Already we have adopted a number of best practices discovered with ICAI’s help. Samford is a comprehensive university with diverse academic schools – each of which has its own needs and challenges in promoting integrity.
The Mann Center is continuing to seek positive, engaging ways to reach Samford students. We always invite ideas and suggestions from other ICAI members. To encourage more sharing of this type, we are working with ICAI to develop a regional academic integrity conference. And as we continue this journey, we invite you to follow our progress at: www.samford.edu/manncenter/academic-integrity/.
February 10, 2012 - Students will have the chance to combine convo credit and conversation with a Pulitzer-prize nominated author this upcoming week.
Dr. Michael Lindsay will be giving a lecture in Bolding Studio at 6 p.m. on Wednesday night. The topic of the lecture will be Should Christians Seek Power? and will be aimed at students hoping to connect their faith with their future professional careers.
This lecture will be presented in a more laid back environment and give students the opportunity to ask Lindsay questions about his experience in the professional world as well as the many topics he is knowledgeable about.
Lindsay will also offer another lecture during Convo on Thursday titled Does God Care How I Vote?
This lecture will be more specifically geared towards the student population and will also present students with more practical and faith-based knowledge of the upcoming 2012 presidential elections.
Dr. Lindsay is a sociologist as well as an acclaimed author. His book, “Faith in the Halls of Power,” was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 2007. He also currently serves as the president of Gordon College in Wenham, MA.
His lecture will be sponsored by the Frances Marlin Mann Center for Ethics and Leadership. Azalea Hulbert, the Program Manager for the Mann Center, hopes that students will respond to Lindsay because of his vast areas of knowledge as well as his passion for students.
“He has a relatively diverse background academically, and has focused his research in a lot of areas – politics, business, sociology – that will appeal to students from across the university,” Hulbert said. “He should also appeal to students who are passionate about connecting faith with their future careers.”
Dr. Lindsay’s lecture is a part of the biannual A. Gerow Hodges Lectures in Ethics and Leadership.
Other past speakers include author and philosopher Dr. Jacob Needleman, David Ratcliffe, retired Chairman and CEO of Southern Company and Newsweek contributing editor Eleanor Clift.
The goal of the series is to provide Samford students with the opportunity to listen and talk to nationally and internationally established thought professionals in many different fields including politics, religion and academics.
Both of Dr. Lindsay’s lectures will be free of cost and convo credit will be offered.
February 8, 2012 - A March 9 symposium, "Palliative Care: In Search of the Good Death," will address critical questions related to health care reform and patient autonomy. Cosponsored by the Mann Center and Cumberland School of Law's Center for Biotechnology, Law and Ethics, it will be open to the public. Panelists include Professor Kathy Cerminara, Nova Southeastern University; Dr. H. Tristram Engelhardt, Jr., Rice University; Dr. Elizabeth Kvale, University of Alabama at Birmingham; Dr. Ryan Nash, University of Alabama at Birmingham; and Professor Leonard (Jack) Nelson, Cumberland School of Law. Professor David Smolin, director of the Center for Biotechnology, Law and Ethics, will moderate. More information is available online.
On April 13, Samford’s Healthcare Ethics & Law (HEAL) Institute will host the conference, "Moral Distress at the Bedside: A Role for Hospital Ethics Committees?," featuring speakers Dr. David Brushwood, University of Florida; Dr. John Lantos, University of Missouri Kansas City; Professor Leonard (Jack) Nelson, Cumberland School of Law; and Dr. Joy Hinson Penticuff, Concordia University. Registration information and more details are available online.
February 8, 2012 - This week Samford University kicks off a semester-long series of programs addressing immigration in Alabama, an issue that has brought national attention to the state since the passage of the controversial immigration law, HB 56. The Mann Center and others at Samford have led dialogues on this issue for the last two years, and this spring's events will continue this examination of both the moral and the public policy dimensions of the debate.
On Feb. 10 the Birmingham Area Consortium for Higher Education (BACHE) will sponsor an immigration forum at Samford. Other events include a Feb. 20 film screening of "Gospel Without Borders," sponsored by Samford University Ministries' Reel Justice project; a Feb. 23 G92 South Immigration Conference; an April 3 student forum, "The Politics of Immigration: Making Decisions in an Age of Shouting," sponsored by the College Democrats and College Republicans; and an April 24 public debate on HB 56, sponsored by the Samford University Debate Team.
The semester’s activities will conclude with a Courageous Conversation on immigration, part of the Mann Center’s ongoing series designed to promote moral discourse by students on difficult issues. Details on all of these events are available online.
February 1, 2012 - Dr. Michael Lindsay, author and president of Gordon College in Massachusetts, will be featured in the annual A. Gerow Hodges Lectures in Ethics and Leadership Feb. 15-16 at Samford.
Lindsay, author of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize-nominated book Faith in the Halls of Power, will lead a session entitled Should Christians Seek Power? Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 6 p.m. in Bolding Studio. A reception and book-signing will follow.
He will speak on the topic Does God Care How I Vote? Thursday, Feb. 16, at 10 a.m. in Reid Chapel.
Both sessions are open to the public and to students, although the Thursday program is targeted toward students.
Lindsay, a sociologist, is a graduate of Rice, Princeton and Oxford universities. He is this year completing the PLATINUM Study, the largest interview-based examination of senior organizational leaders—including former Presidents Carter and Bush and hundreds of CEOs at the nation’s largest corporations and nonprofits.
He taught at Rice from 2006 until 2011, when he was named the eighth president of Gordon.
The Hodges Lectures are sponsored by the Frances Marlin Mann Center for Ethics and Leadership at Samford.