St. Paul Inside the Walls in Madison is pleased to sponsor a debate between Princeton Professors Robert P. George and Cornel West on “The Nature and Basis of Human Dignity” on Monday, April 11 at 7:30 p.m. These leading scholars will discuss, through distinct perspectives, the question of whether or not humans possess inherent dignity. And, if they do, what does it mean for how we in the United States should treat individuals? 
“For centuries, the Catholic Church has evangelized the world through spirited debates,” said the Rev. Geno Sylva, Center Director and the Bishop’s Vicar for Evangelization for the Diocese of Paterson.  “Faithful and profound philosophers and theologians such as St. Thomas Aquinas would verbally joust with any and all opponents before great crowds gathered in a public forum armed with the belief in the inherent attractiveness of Gospel Truth.”
As Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli, Bishop of Paterson stated: “The Catholic Church never imposes our beliefs. We propose the faith. We leave others free to embrace the Gospel. We do so with the conviction that the truth is what sets us free.” This event, faithful to the ancient format, is not a staged event with a pre-determined outcome. It is bold, unrehearsed, and designed to stimulate dialogue and debate about issues of great importance related to the dignity of the human person. It will be spirited, lively, intellectually stimulating, and spiritually transforming.
Professor George served on the President's Council on Bioethics and the United States Commission on Civil Rights. He is a former Judicial Fellow at the Supreme Court of the United States. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and 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.” Professor George is a recipient of the Presidential Citizens’ Medal and many other honors.
Professor West is a prominent and provocative democratic intellectual.  He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard in three years and obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy at Princeton. He has taught at Union Theological Seminary, Yale, Harvard and the University of Paris. He has written 19 books and edited 13 books. He is best known for his classic “Race Matters,”  “Democracy Matters,” and his new memoir, “Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud.”
St. Paul is a center that proactively focuses on deepening Catholic faith, inviting people back to the Church and welcoming all who are searching for the beauty, truth, and goodness of God found in the practice of the Catholic Faith with the intent of transforming both the individual heart and the world. Registration for the debate is $20 per person prior to April 1 and $25 thereafter. Students with a valid ID can attend for $10.  Learn more at