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Temperance – 2009 Conference on the Cardinal Virtues at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin


Summary. The D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin has been presenting a series annual conferences on the Cardinal Virtues. The four conference topics include Justice (2007), Courage (2008), Temperance (2009), and Wisdom (2010).

About Viterbo. “Founded by the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in 1890, Viterbo remains committed to its Catholic Franciscan values and its mission to provide each student with a quality liberal arts education rooted in the values of human dignity and respect for the world.”

Conference Audio and Video. Below are links to selected audio recordings from the conference in Windows Media Player (WMA) format for Windows or Apple. An additional option for Apple users would be the free QuickTime Flip4Mac plug-in. Left click the WMA audio link(s) below to listen or right click and choose save to download the audio.

  • Temperance is the New Black, Gregory Paul Johnson, University of Iowa and ResourcesForLife.com. (1 hr 21 m, 37.3MB MP3 or 19MB WMA). A video of the speech is also available (176 MB, requires high speed connection and free QuickTime). It can be viewed online at the bottom of this page.
  • #1 The Well-Tempered Soul. Thomas Thibodeau, Viterbo University. (28 minutes, 6.8MB WMA)
  • #2 Temperance as a Means to Contemplation (and Visa Versa). Jessica Gosnell, Saint Ambrose University (20 minutes, 4.7MB WMA and 30 minutes of questions and answers, 7.2MB WMA)
  • #3 Temperance, Self-Control, and Desire. David K. Chan, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
    #4 Greed, Character, and Morality. Laura Arcila Villa, Grand Valley State University.
    #7 Temperance and Humility: a Thomist Inquiry. James G. Hanink, Loyola Marymount University.
    #8 Hovering Between Humilities: Aquinas Face to Face with Aristotle and Augustine. Joseph Tadie, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.
    Note: Audio for all of the above are combined into a single file (2 hours, 49 minutes, 39MB WMA)
  • #9 Temperance, Ancient and Modern. Richard White, Creighton University. (53 minutes, 12MB WMA and 19 minutes of questions and answers, 4.6 WMA)
  • #12 Self-Indulgence, Self Denial and the Forgotten Virtue of Self-Restraint. Bernard Toussaint, Benedictine University. (34 minutes, 8MB WMA and 3 minutes of questions and answers, 824KB WMA)
  • #13 When Temperance is a Deadly Sin: God, Liberty, and the Novels of Andrzej Szczypiorski and Ivan Klima. Victor Bobb, Whitworth University. Jeremiah Webster, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. (23 minutes, 5MB WMA and 5 minutes questions and answers, 1MB WMA)

Conference Details. The 2009 Conference Event details are below. More information about the Conference on Temperance can be found on the Call for Papers of the website. A registration form [PDF] and a poster about the conference [PDF] is available.

Temperance is the New Black. In our society of abundance, the thought of living a life of temperance seems at first to be foreign and outdated. Yet, increasingly, the idea of intentional minimalism is catching on. With suffering going on in the world, people who have the means and returning to the idea that we should live simply so that others may simply live. The Small House Society is a group of people who have chosen the path of simplicity for a better way of life that saves time, saves money, and enriches relationships. Everyday citizens are becoming micro-philanthropists through organizations such as Kiva.

Keynote Presentation. Below is a video of the keynote presentation by Gregory Johnson titled Temperance is the New Black.

More Information. Below are links to general information.

  • CatholicEducation.org – “The four cardinal virtues — justice, wisdom (prudence), courage (fortitude), and moderation (self-control, temperance) — come not just from Plato or Greek philosophy. You will find them in Scripture. They are knowable by human nature, which God designed, not Plato. Plato first formulated them, but he did for virtue only what Newton did for motion: he discovered and tabulated its own inherent foundational laws. These four are called “cardinal” virtues from the Latin word for “hinge”. All other virtues hinge on these four. That includes lesser Virtues, which are corollaries of these, and also greater virtues (the three “theological virtues”), which are the flower of these.” [more]
  • Wikipedia – Cardinal Virtues – “While history suggests that the first four date back to Greek philosophers and were applicable to all people seeking to live moral lives, the theological virtues appear to be specific to Christians as written by Paul in The New Testament.” [more]

By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com