SMU celebrates the renowned career
of Christian ethicist and professor Robin W. Lovin

SMU pays tribute to retiring distinguished Christian ethicist Robin W. Lovin.

Robin Lovin

DALLAS (SMU) — The distinguished career of SMU Professor Robin W. Lovin, one of the nation’s foremost Christian ethicists, will be the focus "A Celebration of Ethics" luncheon sponsored by SMU’s Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility on Jan. 24.

The event, set for noon to 1:30 p.m. at Perkins School of Theology’s Prothro Great Hall. For more information, contact the Maguire Ethics Center at or 214-768-4255.

Lovin is retiring as Cary M. Maguire University Professor of Ethics, a position that has allowed him to write and teach about moral theology across different disciplines since 2001. Previously he served eight years as dean of SMU’s Perkins School of Theology, where, among other accomplishments, he oversaw the renovation of Perkins Chapel and raised $14 million in gifts.

The Maguire Ethics Center tribute will feature remarks from Lovin, as well as SMU President R. Gerald Turner, Provost Paul W. Ludden, Perkins School of Theology Professor Charles E. Curran, Maguire Ethics Center Director Rita Kirk and Perkins School of Theology Dean William B. Lawrence.

Also featured will be a presentation of scholarly papers and books, including Lovin’s "Faith and Politics: An Augustinian Reflection," along with "The Futures of Our Pasts: Ethical Implications of Collecting Antiquities in the Twenty-First Century" by SMU-in-Taos/anthropology professor Michael Adler and SMU Meadows School of the Arts professor Susan Benton Bruning; "The Legacy and Contemporary Relevance of the Crimes of Nazi Physicians" by Georgetown University philosophy professor Tom Beauchamp, a Kennedy Institute of Ethics senior research scholar; "The U.S. Catholic Bishops and Abortion Legislation: A Critique From Within the Church" by Perkins School of Theology professor Charles E. Curran; and "The Politics of Memory and the Legacy of the Civil Rights Movement" by Dennis Simon, Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor of Political Science at SMU.

Lovin, an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church, is past president of the Society of Christian Ethics and a former Guggenheim Fellow. He is the author of numerous books and papers, including most recently An Introduction to Christian Ethics: Goals, Duties, and Virtues (2011), Christian Realism and the New Realities (2008) and Christian Ethics: An Essential Guide (1999).

"Robin is one of those people who inspires you to probe your own assumptions and values to determine if you’ve set them appropriately high," says Maguire Ethics Center Director Rita Kirk. "He can discuss Reinhold Niebuhr with one class and deftly analyze racial justice issues for a media interview moments later," she adds. "His studies of ethics are as intellectual as they are practical, which is why students have been drawn to him since he arrived here in 1994."

Prior to joining SMU, Lovin was dean of Drew University Theological School in Madison, N.J. He also has held faculty positions at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago and Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta.

The Illinois native holds a B.A. in philosophy from Northwestern University as well as a graduate degree in divinity and Ph.D. in religious ethics from Harvard University.