Dr. Theresa Farnan, who is a founding member of the Person and Identity Project, will join John Bursch, who is vice president of Appellate Advocacy for Alliance Defending Freedom, in a civil dialogue on “The Transgender Question: Theological and Legal Considerations” on Monday, March 9, at 7 p.m. in the Maas Center auditorium at Hope College.

The public is invited.  Admission is free.

 The event’s abstract observes that in the past two years, the transgender movement has accelerated at a dramatic speed and moved to the center of local and national debates.  At stake in these debates, the description notes, are questions regarding what it means to be human, whether male and female are true human categories or cultural constructs, and the legal consequences of recognizing gender identity.

In this event, Dr. Farnan will offer a Catholic theological and pastoral perspective on the transgender question.  Bursch will share thoughts on what legal ramifications have already been seen and to anticipate.  Each speaker will offer a brief reflection followed by a long question-and-answer period.

Farnan is an author and moral philosopher who specializes in virtue ethics, moral education, philosophy of the person, sexual difference and identity, and ethical issues facing the family.  Bursch has argued 12 cases in the U.S. Supreme Court and 30 in the Michigan Supreme Court over the past dozen years and is owner of the Michigan appellate boutique Bursch Law PLLC.

The Saint Benedict Institute is a ministry of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Holland. It seeks to promote and nurture intellectual work done from the heart of the Catholic Church, to foster an ecumenical community of Catholic Christians and friends committed to the renewal of culture, and to aid in the formation of intellectually and spiritually mature Christians by making available the riches of the Catholic tradition to Hope College and the wider community. More information can be found at saintbenedictinstitute.org.

This event is hosted by the Saint Benedict Institute with co-sponsors at Hope including the departments of philosophy, political science and religion; Campus Ministries program; Center for Ministry Studies; Pre-Law Society; dean for arts and humanities; dean for social sciences; and Cultural Affairs Committee.

Audience members who need assistance to fully enjoy any event at Hope are encouraged to contact the college's Events and Conferences Office by emailing events@hope.edu or calling 616-395-7222 on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

The Maas Center is located at 264 Columbia Ave., between 10th and 13th streets.