The Making Men Moral conference is, as I noted, being held in honor of Princeton political theorist Robert P. George. Those who know little about Dr. George can catch up a bit with the following information. He is, you will quickly see, a highly impressive individual, and a widely influential scholar.
From his official biography on the James Madison program website:
“Professor George holds Princeton’s celebrated McCormick Chair in Jurisprudence and is the founding director of the James Madison Program. He serves on the President’s Council on Bioethics, and is also a member of the UNESCO World Commission on the Ethics of Science and Technology. He previously served as a presidential appointee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights is a former Judicial Fellow at the Supreme Court of the United States, where he received the Justice Tom C. Clark Award. He is the author of In Defense of Natural Law, Making Men Moral: Civil Liberties and Public Morality, and The Clash of Orthodoxies: Law, Religion and Morality in Crisis, and co-author of Embryo: A Defense of Human Life and Body-Self Dualism in Contemporary Ethics and Politics. His scholarly articles and reviews have appeared in such journals as the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, the Columbia Law Review, the American Journal of Jurisprudence, and the Review of Politics.
Professor George is a recipient of many honors and awards, including the Presidential Citizens Medal awarded December 10, 2008, the 2007 Sidney Hook Memorial Award of the National Association of Scholars, the 2005 Philip Merrill Award of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, a 2005 Bradley Prize for Intellectual and Civic Achievement and the Stanley Kelley, Jr. Teaching Award from Princeton’s Department of Politics. He was the 2007 John Dewey Lecturer in the Philosophy of Law at Harvard. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and holds honorary doctorates of law, ethics, letters, civil law, humane letters, and science.
A graduate of Swarthmore College and Harvard Law School, he received a doctorate in legal philosophy from Oxford University.”
To put it more succinctly, Professor George is a world-class scholar of politics, a hero to conservatives, and a public intellectual whose voice reaches all corners of our moral world. He is a humble, gracious man whose work brims with vibrant thought and evident charity. It is a delight to see his influence emanate from a particularly difficult place in American culture, the elite academic institution. In an age when many professors shy away from hard-line social and political engagement, Professor George represents a robust sociopolitical conservatism, the kind that makes instant enemies in the modern academy, and that only a courageous, convicted heart will champion.