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Bernard Prusak, the Smiley Chair in Business Ethics at the Boler College of Business, is working with the nation's top Catholic scholars after accepting the role of affiliated scholar of the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies (IACS) at the University of Southern California (U.S.C.). 


The IACS aims to expand the Catholic intellectual tradition through research on an array of topics, from art history to quantum theory. The affiliated scholars support the Institute’s mission by engaging in its projects and shaping its agenda.


Prusak contributed to IACS before he was appointed an affiliated scholar. He participated in the Institute's 2017-2018 project on the growth of religious non-affiliation, culminating in the publication of Empty Churches: Non-Affiliation in America (Oxford University Press, 2021). Prusak examined what happens to claims of conscientious objection “after religion”: more fully, how conscientious objectors fare when they don't have a religious affiliation, particularly in the context of military service.


Prusak says his initial work with IACS led to a meaningful understanding of its mission. "It was a wonderful experience of collegiality and intellectual engagement," he recalls. "The Institute’s mission is all about taking on the big questions and challenges of our day. It does that in two ways: both by drawing from the Catholic intellectual tradition, in the conviction that it has valuable insights to share, and by bringing to the table excellent scholars who belong to other faith traditions and none.”


Prusak envisions contributing to emerging IACS projects on nuclear ethics and on artificial intelligence.


I published an article on nuclear ethics about a year ago, and A.I. has been a back-burner interest of mine for a few years, predating ChatGPT. It would be great if J.C.U. students could contribute to that research; maybe an honors-directed reading course would be the way to go.

In his current role at John Carroll, Dr. Prusak serves as Raymond and Eleanor Smiley Chair in Business Ethics at John Carroll University's Boler College of Business. His work brings together students, faculty, and professionals to consider questions of public concern in the worlds of business, medicine, and the church.