Institute for Ethics and Society

About IES

The Mission of the Institute for Ethics and Society

Established in late 2009, the Institute’s Terms of Reference state that its purpose is “to promote the study of Catholic intellectual and moral tradition, with a particular focus on faith and ethics and their application and integration into the broader life of society”. In carrying out this purpose, the Institute is guided by four principal objectives: (i) to inform and support the teaching of ethics through all Schools and disciplines of the University and the integration of ethics into the teaching of all units; (ii) to inform and support the understanding and adoption of the Catholic Church’s recognition of the complementarity of faith and reason through all the University’s endeavours; (iii) to promote and undertake research into professional and social ethics, including political, legal and medical ethics and the relation between ethics and faith; and (iv) to identify and provide advice and commentary in the fields of ethics and faith and their practical application and integration into relevant current day social issues. Underlying all objectives is the desire to promote interdisciplinary teaching, discussion, scholarship and research. The Institute will draw on staff from all campuses and from all disciplines in undertaking its activities.

Further comment on Mission from the IES Director, Prof. Sandra Lynch

“Fostering ethical awareness in professional and social life”

Ethical awareness requires that we are alive to and reflect upon the impact of our actions on others and on ourselves as regards the kinds of persons we become. Equally it demands attentiveness to the world in which we live, including, for example, to the specific responsibilities and challenges that face us members of communities: as citizens, workers, family members, friends and as fellow creatures of God. The Institute’s mission is to foster this multi-faceted ethical awareness in our students in order to help prepare them for the challenges they will face in their personal and professional lives. By providing leadership in Ethics Education at Notre Dame, and through our academic research and public engagement, the Institute hopes to foster ethical awareness across the University and, beyond this, to enliven debate within our wider society on questions of ethics and its interaction with faith.