Professor Francis J. Beckwith

Palm Beach Atlantic University hosts its annual President’s Distinguished Scholar Lecture in October with Francis J. Beckwith, professor of Philosophy & Church-State Studies at Baylor University. Dr. Beckwith serves as associate director of the graduate program in Philosophy and co-director of the program on Philosophical Studies of Religion in Baylor's Institute for Studies of Religion.

Professor Beckwith’s lecture titled “What Law Courts and Legal Scholars Don’t Know About Religion” is free and open="open" to the public Monday, Oct. 20, at 7:30 p.m. in the University’s DeSantis Family Chapel, 300 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach.

A graduate of Fordham University (Ph.D. and M.A. in philosophy), Beckwith also holds the Master of Juridical Studies (M.J.S.) degree from the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, where he won a CALI Award for Academic Excellence in Reproductive Control Seminar. His books include Taking Rites Seriously: Law, Politics, and the Reasonableness of Faith (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2015);  (w/ R. P. George, S. McWilliams) A Second Look at First Things: A Case for Conservative Politics (St. Augustine Press, 2013); Politics for Christians: Statecraft as Soulcraft (InterVarsity Press, 2010); Return to Rome: Confessions of an Evangelical Catholic (Brazos Press, 2009); Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice (Cambridge University Press, 2007); and numerous other volumes.

His articles have been published in a number of academic journals including Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy; San Diego Law Review; Synthese; International Philosophical Quarterly; Nevada Law Journal; Public Affairs Quarterly; Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy; Journal of Law & Religion; American Journal of Jurisprudence; Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly; Chapman Law Review; Journal of Medicine & Philosophy; Social Theory & Practice; Journal of Law, Medicine, & Ethics; Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society; Santa Clara Law Review; and Christian Bioethics.

Professor Beckwith has been quoted in a variety of publications including the New York Times, the Dallas Morning-News, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Christianity Today, World Magazine, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Las Vegas Sun, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Los Angeles Times, the Waco Tribune-Herald, the Washington Times, Touchstone Magazine, the National Catholic Register, Commonweal, Moody Magazine, Christian Research Journal, the Baptist Standard and the Salt Lake Tribune.

He has presented academic papers, chaired sessions, and offered commentaries at the conferences of a number of professional societies including the American Philosophical Association, the American Political Science Association, the Society of Christian Philosophers, the Evangelical Philosophical Society, the American Bar Association (Science & Technology Section), the Christian Legal Society, and the Evangelical Theological Society  Professor Beckwith has been a speaker for numerous Christian ministries (both Protestant and Catholic) throughout his career. He and his wife, Frankie, live in Woodway, Texas. They reside in the Diocese of Austin and attend St. Louis Catholic Church in Waco. Professor Beckwith is active in St. Peter’s Catholic Student Center at Baylor.

In addition to his public lecture, Professor Beckwith will speak at chapel and to student and faculty groups at Palm Beach Atlantic.