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Gilbert Meilaender

Contributing Editor

Gilbert Meilaender, a New Atlantis contributing editor, is a Senior Research Professor at Valparaiso University and a Fellow at the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture. He held the Richard and Phyllis Duesenberg Chair in Christian Ethics at Valparaiso until 2014. He was a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics (2002–2009). His latest book is Should We Live Forever? The Ethical Ambiguities of Aging (Eerdmans, 2013).


In The New Atlantis


Regarding Life at the Beginning

Number 43 ~ Summer/Fall 2014

Who Needs a Liberal Education?

Number 41 ~ Winter 2014

The Blessing of Children

Number 36 ~ Summer 2012

Transitional Humanity

Number 31 ~ Spring 2011

On Bioethics in Public

Number 26 ~ Fall 2009 - Winter 2010

Human Dignity and Public Bioethics

Number 17 ~ Summer 2007

Gifts of the Body

Number 13 ~ Summer 2006

Stem Cells and the Reagan Legacy

Number 6 ~ Summer 2004

War and Techne

Number 2 ~ Summer 2003

Bioethics and the Character of Human Life

Number 1 ~ Spring 2003

Other Publications


  • “Thirst for Life,” The Christian Century, April 12, 2013
  • “The Greatest Drama Ever,” Touchstone, March/April 2013
  • “Time For Love: The Place of Marriage and Children in the Thought of Stanley Hauerwas,” Journal of Religious Ethics, June 2012
  • “The Perils of Progress,” Hastings Center Report, January/February 2012
  • “A Complete Life,” First Things, January 2012
  • “Optimistic or Pessimistic About America,” Commentary, November 13, 2011
  • “And There's Another Country,” First Things, October 2011
  • “Playing The Long Season,” First Things, June/July 2011
  • “Thinking About Aging,” First Things, April 2011
  • “The Catholic I Am,” First Things, February 2011
  • “The Business of Medicine,” First Things, March 2011
  • “Faith Forming Culture,” First Things, January 2011
  • “A Dedicated Life,” First Things, May 2010
  • “Thinking About Public Bioethics,” Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News, April 15, 2010
  • “Book Review: Jennifer A. Herdt, Putting on Virtue: The Legacy of the Splendid Vices,” Studies in Christian Ethics, February 2010
  • “Obituary: Richard John Neuhaus (1936-2009),” Studies in Christian Ethics, November 2009
  • “We Were Believers Once, and Young,” First Things, October 2009
  • “After September 11,” Christian Century, September 26, 2009
  • “End of Discussion: Why Obama Should Have Kept the Bioethics Council,” Commonweal, August 14, 2009
  • “Stem Cells and Torture,” The Weekly Standard, June 8, 2009
  • “Arguments Against President Obama’s Stem Cell Policies,” Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News, May 1, 2009
  • “Progress Without Pause,” First Things, February 2009
  • “Education and Soulcraft,” First Things, November 2008
  • “The Giving and Taking of Organs,” First Things, March 2008
  • “Chapter 11: Human Dignity,” Human Dignity and Bioethics: Essays Commissioned by the President's Council on Bioethics, March 2008
  • “Commentary on Churchland,” Human Dignity and Bioethics: Essays Commissioned by the President's Council on Bioethics, March 2008
  • “Conscience and Authority,” First Things, November 2007
  • “Fitness fixation,” The Christian Century, October 16, 2007
  • “Angels in the Wilderness,” Touchstone, July—August 2007
  • “Enough of God,” Touchstone, May 2007
  • “Wrong from Wright,” First Things, February 2007
  • “Broken Bodies Redeemed,” Touchstone, January/February 2007
  • “Hold the Granola,” First Things, February 2006
  • “That Thing in a Petri Dish,” National Review Online, February 21, 2006
  • “Judging Politics,” First Things, January 2006
  • “Against Consensus: Christians and Public Bioethics,” Studies in Christian Ethics, 2005
  • “C.S. Lewis’s Visionary World,” Christian Century, November 29, 2005
  • “C.S. Lewis on Moral Education,” Imprimis, October 2005
  • “Stem Cell Job,” Touchstone, September 2005
  • “Why We Work,” First Things, June/July 2005
  • “Living Life’s End,” First Things, May 2005
  • “Looking for Personality,” First Things, October 2007
  • “The Politics of Bioethics,” The Weekly Standard, April 12, 2004
  • “Talking Democracy,” First Things, April 2004
  • “Why Remember?,” First Things, August/September 2003
  • “Therapeutic Cloning,” New England Journal of Medicine, November 14, 2002
  • “Review: Choose Life,” The Review of Politics, Summer 2002
  • “Spare Embryos,” The Weekly Standard, August 17, 2002
  • “Paul Ramsey’s Ethics,” The Weekly Standard, May 4, 2002
  • “The Mess That Is Marriage,” First Things, February 2002
  • “Between Beasts and Gods,” First Things, January 2002
  • “In Search of Wisdom: Bioethics and the Character of the Human Life,” The President’s Council on Bioethics, January 2002
  • “The Point of a Ban,” Hastings Center Report, 2001
  • “Capital and Other Punishments,” First Things, November 2001
  • “Response to Human Harvest,” Touchstone, June 2001
  • “Sweet Necessities: Food, Sex, and Saint Augustine,” Journal of Religious Ethics, Spring 2001
  • “Bioethics vs. Human Dignity,” The Weekly Standard, February 12, 2001
  • “Designing our Descendents,” First Things, January 2001
  • “Vocation: Divine Summons,” Christian Century, November 1, 2000
  • “Foundations of Christian Bioethics,” First Things, November 2000
  • “What Sex Is – And Is For,” First Things, April 2000
  • “Michael Walzer: Just and Unjust Wars (1977),” First Things, March 2000
  • “Homosexuality in Christian Perspective,” Things That Count, 1999
  • “A New Sexual Revolution,” Christian Century, March 3, 1999
  • “Review: Selling Out,” The Review of Politics, Autumn 1999
  • Dependent Rational Animals: Why Human Beings Need the Virtues and The MacIntyre Reader,” First Things, October 1999
  • “C.S. Lewis: Memories and Reflection,” First Things, August/September 1999
  • “The Last Word,” First Things, June/July 1999
  • “Friendship in the Classical World,” First Things, May 1999
  • “The Slowness of the Good,” First Things, March 1999
  • “Man as Lucifer,” First Things, February 1999
  • “So You Want to Go to College,” First Things, January 1999
  • “Book Reviews: Sex, Gender, and Christian Ethics, by Lisa Sowle Cahill,” Studies in Christian Ethics, 1998
  • “Shall We Clone?,” First Things, October 1998
  • “The Everyday C.S. Lewis,” First Things, August/September 1998
  • “Affirming Ourselves to Death,” First Things, June/July 1998
  • “Gays Marrying,” First Things, May 1998
  • “A Philosopher of Virtue,” First Things, April 1998
  • “Meaningful Work,” First Things, January 1998
  • “Ordinary and Extraordinary Treatments,” Theological Studies, 1997
  • “The Venture of Marriage,” Logia, 1997
  • “In His Steps,” First Things, December 1997
  • “Recovering Christendom,” First Things, November 1997
  • “Begetting and Cloning,” First Things, June/July 1997
  • “Creatures of Place and Time: Reflections on Moving,” First Things, April 1997
  • “Review: Embodying Forgiveness,” Journal of Religion, April 1997
  • “Escaping from Legalism: Is it Possible?,” Hastings Center Report, 1996
  • “Religion in a Public Voice,” First Things, December 1996
  • “Treating the Person,” First Things, November 1996
  • “Keeping Company,” First Things, October 1996
  • “Integrity,” First Things, May 1996
  • “Second Thoughts About Body Parts,” First Things, May 1996
  • “Belonging,” First Things, January 1996
  • “Not Much Help,” First Things, December 1995
  • “Defending Diversity,” First Things, November 1995
  • “Victim and Victor,” First Things, October 1995
  • “The Eclipse of Fatherhood,” First Things, June/July 1995
  • “Less Law? Or Different Law?,” Hastings Center Report, 1994
  • “Our Vocabularies, Our Selves,” Hastings Center Report, 1994
  • “On Bringing One’s Life to a Point,” First Things, November 1994
  • “A Matter of Principles?,” First Things, May 1994
  • “The Sanctity of Life Seduced: A Symposium on Medical Ethics,” First Things, April 1994
  • “Terra Es Animata: On Having a Life,” Hastings Center Report, 1993
  • “One Soul in Bodies Twain: The Lure of Friendship,” Christian Century, November 3, 1993
  • “The Origins of Morality,” First Things, November 1993
  • “Men and Women – Can We Be Friends?,” First Things, June/July 1993
  • “Review: A Feminist Medical Ethics?,” Hastings Center Report, May—June 1993
  • “Jesus Through the Eyes of John Rawls,” First Things, April 1993
  • “Marriage in Counterpoint and Harmony,” First Things, June/July 1992
  • “The Rapist and the Virgin,” First Things, May 1992
  • “The One and the Many,” First Things, December 1991
  • “‘Love's Casuistry’: Paul Ramsey on Caring for the Terminally Ill,” The Journal of Religious Ethics, Fall 1991
  • “I Want To Burden My Loved Ones,” First Things, October 1991
  • “How Churches Crack Up: The Case of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod,” First Things, June/July 1991
  • “Mortality: The Measure of Our Days,” First Things, February 1991
  • “What Families Are For,” First Things, October 1990
  • “Hank Gathers and Cultural Christianity,” First Things, August/September 1990
  • “Being Modern,” First Things, August/September 1990
  • “Psychoanalyzing C.S. Lewis,” Christian Century, May 16-23, 1990
  • “Discerning to a Point,” First Things, April 1990
  • “Abortion: The Right to an Argument,” Hastings Center Report, November—December 1989
  • “On William F. May: Corrected Vision for Medical Ethics,” Second Opinion, March 1989
  • “Can Hospital Have Moral Objections?,” Hastings Center Report, October—November 1987
  • “Case Studies: The Anencephalic Newborn as Organ Donor,” Hastings Center Report, April 1986
  • “Review: Virtue for Self-Possessed Individuals,” Review of Politics, Spring 1986
  • “On Removing Food and Water,” Hastings Center Report, December 1984