2013 Earl Lectures Keynote: Dr. Margaret A Farley

January 29, 2013

Dr. Margaret A. Farley, R.S.M., Gilbert L. Stark Professor Emerita of Christian Ethics, Yale Divinity School and past president of the Catholic Theological Society of America gave her keynote lecture "Family Matters: Justice and Hope" at First Congregational Church of Berkeley during the 2013 Earl Lectures. 

Lecture Description:
Both “marriage” and “family” have undergone paradigm shifts in the late 20th and early 21st century. This is true cross-culturally though I will focus primarily on developments in Western cultures. Insofar as marriage and family are “social institutions,” their new fragility generates not so much reverence and awe, or expectations of “order” and “safety,” than perhaps confusion, uncertainty, fear, and even cynicism–along with often naiive new expectations. At the same time, human yearning for intimacy, stability, intergenerational strength, and open circles of relationship, grows. Among the many perspectives needed to understand and assess the value and fruitfulness of new forms of marriage and family, ethical and moral explorations may contribute to needed clarity and development. Just as human relationships generally ought to be shaped by concerns for justice, so interpersonal and institutional elements in marriage and family can be understood, tested, and shaped by insight into their justice and truth. 

Dr. Farley is the author of several books including the award-winning Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics.  Dr. Farley has an accomplished history of speaking out on women's rights and public health issues, both within and outside of the church.  She has published more than 100 articles and chapters of books on topics of ethical methodology, medical ethics, sexual ethics, social ethics, historical theological ethics, ethics and spirituality, justice and HIV/AIDS. She has lectured widely in the United States, Southeast Asia, Africa, and Western Europe.