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Tobias Winright will deliver the Mary Olive Woods lecture Sept. 21.
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Mary Olive Woods Lecture Sept. 21

September 13, 2017

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MACOMB, IL -- Tobias Winright, an associate professor in the Department of Theological Studies at Saint Louis University, will deliver the 31st annual Mary Olive Woods Lecture, "Just and Unjust Policing: Reflections from a Law Enforcement Officer Turned Religious Ethicist," at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21 in the Western Illinois University Union Grand Ballroom.

"This past month, the Trump administration reversed a 2015 rule by the Obama administration, in the wake of the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, and others like it, that limited the flow of military equipment to local police departments," said Winright. "This lecture will explore the history of policing, various models of policing including the military model and the ethics of policing - that is, who ought the police be and how ought they perform their duty to serve and protect?"

Winright received his M.Div. from Duke University, and his doctoral degree from the University of Notre Dame. He has previous professional experience in law enforcement (both corrections and policing) and lay ecclesial ministry (youth and campus ministry). Much of his scholarship revolves around issues having to do with violence and peacemaking, especially in connection with criminal justice.

He has coauthored, co-edited, and edited five books, including "Can War Be Just in the 21st Century? Ethicists Engage the Tradition" (Orbis 2015), and "After the Smoke Clears: The Just War Tradition and Post War Justice" (Orbis 2010). He is currently writing two monographs: "Just and Unjust Policing: The Ethics of Law Enforcement," under contract with Georgetown University Press, and "Trigger Warning: Catholics and Guns," under contract with Paulist Press.

Winright has also served as co-editor of the "Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics" and a book review editor for the journal, "Political Theology." He holds the Hubert Mäder Endowed Chair in Health Care Ethics in the Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics at Saint Louis University.

The 31st annual lecture is sponsored by the Mary Olive Woods Foundation and the WIU Department of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The Mary Olive Woods Foundation also provides several thousand dollars in student scholarships each year in addition to supporting the annual lecture.

For more information about Woods, visit

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