Rev. John Perry, S.J., will discuss “Torture: Religious Ethics and National Security” at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 29, in the Barbieri Moot Courtroom at the Gonzaga University School of Law. The lecture, which is part of Gonzaga’s Catholicism for a New Millennium lecture series, is free and open to the public.
Until recently, torture was chiefly associated with foreign juntas or other notorious human rights abusers. However, during the United States’ so-called “war on terror” this has changed dramatically. Whether it is the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib Prison, the policy of “extraordinary rendition” of terror suspects into the hands of overseas interrogators, or questions regarding the authority of the U.S. president to take extreme measures for the sake of national security, suddenly the practice of torture has become a matter of urgent public debate.
Reviewing the historical practice of torture and arguments to justify it, Rev. Perry will put the audience in the minds of torturers and the tortured. Rev. Perry noted he will demonstrate how torture differs from other war acts and explain why it is fundamentally immoral as it violates human dignity and degrades the society that tolerates it.
Rev. Perry, the author of “Torture: Religious Ethics and National Security,” is a professor at the University of Manitoba’s Arthur V. Maura Center for Peace and Justice within St. Paul’s College. He earned his doctorate in theology from Regis College in Toronto, Canada, and specializes in 17-century Catholic thinking on the salvation of non-Christians. Recently, he has been researching torture and its connection to family violence.
For more information about this and other Catholicism for a New Millennium events, contact GU religious studies Professor Pat McCormick at (509) 323-6715 or via e-mail at email@example.com.