NOTE: this was originally posted in 2021 when the new website launched. For updated information about the site, our mission, and staff, please see the about us page.
If you are reading this article, then you already know that the Stead Center for Ethics and Values has launched a new website. You can learn more about our mission and purpose, and how to contact us. The events section is empty right now due to Covid-19 concerns. Hopefully, in the future, we’ll be able to host a variety of face-to-face events, on the Evanston campus as well as in other locales. In the meantime, some virtual lectures, interviews, and panels are in the works.
This website is a new venture, and new sections and materials will be added as they become available. Sign up for our newsletter, and we’ll notify you when an event is open for registration, new materials are added, and new articles, essays, and the like are posted and ready to be read. By the way, we will only invade your inbox when something new on the website is posted.
InStead is the section where we hope you spend most of your time when visiting our site. The name, InStead, is more than a pun. Its purpose is to promote different ways of thinking and civil discourse along a wide range of issues and topics. The articles and essays are written by authors reflecting a spectrum of political, ethical, and religious perspectives. Their opinions will be stated clearly and directly, but also respectfully, designed to prompt further reflection. Some book reviews, featured series, and interviews will also be posted in the weeks and months ahead.
Initially, InStead will offer text documents. One or two new articles or essays will be added each week, at the same time starting to build a searchable archive. In a few weeks, we will also be offering audio and video resources, which will also be archived.
Our initial posting consists of four articles. Sondra Wheeler decries the current state of vitriolic political rhetoric. Gilbert Meilaender offers a thoughtful piece on the necessity of ethical thought and action to move forward rather than backward. Steve Long tackles the provocative question of what theology adds to ethics. Finally, Devan Stahl exposes the uneven medical care patients with disabilities are receiving during the Covid-19 pandemic.
InStead is not driven by any overt ideological commitments, although our authors have strong opinions. But their convictions are their own, and not those of the Stead Center. We are not interested in either imposing or canceling any reasonable arguments that are thoughtfully and respectfully presented. Our purpose is not to tell you, dear reader, what to think. Instead, we intend on providing resources that will help develop your own thinking. In short, in this time when shrill volume intended to drown out other voices passes for public moral discourse, we are offering a more temperate, measured, and conversational tone. Again, welcome to InStead! I hope you will visit often and stay for as long as you like. Ethics is both a complex and beguiling discipline, well worth your time to ponder in a purposeful and leisurely manner.