Commentary

Her ‘Epic Reverberations’

– Diana Schaub, The Weekly Standard, September 7, 2015.
Excerpt: Post-Chicago, Amy (with Leon anchoring the other end of the table) continued to teach undergraduates under the auspices of the Hertog Summer Program. In general, students appreciate team-taught courses, especially if there is a prospect of… More

The Greatest of Teachers

– Caitrin Keiper, The Weekly Standard, September 7, 2015.
Excerpt: An added benefit of this and many of her other classes was the habitual presence of her partner in all things, Leon Kass, resulting in what she self-mockingly (but accurately) would sometimes refer to as “the Amy and Leon Show.” They always sat… More

Amy Kass, Friend and Teacher

– Gary Schmitt, AEIdeas, August 21, 2015.
Excerpt: Leon’s and Amy’s reputation as seminar teachers, of course, was well known among their former students and colleagues.  But, as the saying goes, one had to see it to believe it. …Particularly striking was their capacity to so smoothly but… More

Amy Kass: Lover of Truth, Defender of Dignity

– Robert P. George, Public Discourse, August 20, 2015.
Excerpt: In 1961, Amy Apfel was united in matrimony to Leon Kass, creating one of the most beautiful marriages—and fruitful intellectual partnerships—anyone can imagine. On Tuesday evening, Amy Apfel Kass died after a long and truly valiant struggle… More

In Memory of Amy Kass

– Gertrude Himmelfarb, The Weekly Standard, August 20, 2015.
Excerpt: As Amy personified that meeting of mind and heart, so did her marriage with Leon. Most marriages, it is my impression—very good marriages—are complementary, husband and wife bringing different talents and qualities to the marriage, different… More

Lessons in Citizenship

– Naomi Schaefer Riley, Philanthropy magazine, Spring 2013.
Excerpt: Another new civic-education curriculum for secondary-school students (actually, three separate curricula) is What So Proudly We Hail. It was designed by former University of Chicago teachers Leon and Amy Kass, who are now fellows at the American… More

The Meaning of the Gosnell Trial

– Sohrab Ahmari, Wall Street Journal, April 13, 2013.
Excerpt: “As pain is to the body so repugnance is to the soul,” Dr. Kass says as we sit down for an interview in his book-lined office at the American Enterprise Institute, where he is the Madden-Jewett Scholar. “So too with anger and… More

And There’s Another Country

– Gilbert Meilaender, First Things, October 2011.
Excerpt: It is both natural and right that human beings love the country that has nurtured them. God binds our hearts to particular places and people, and there are few things sadder than one who is simply a citizen of the world, feeling no particular… More

A Review of Apples of Gold in Pictures of Silver

– Ryan T. Anderson, First Things, February 2011.
Excerpt: Leon Kass is a national treasure. I first came across his work nearly a decade ago as he led the President’s Council on Bioethics to produce some of the finest reflections on bioethical questions ever produced. These led me to his earlier works,… More

The God-Seeking Animal by Eric Cohen

– Eric Cohen, First Things, April, 2010.
Excerpt: On the cover of Being Human, the anthology of writings collected by the President’s Council on Bioethics under Leon Kass’s stewardship, there is a picture of a ballerina leaping into the air, body extended, gazing and reaching and soaring toward… More

Introduction of Leon R. Kass

– Introduction to the 2009 Jefferson Lecture, National Endowment for the Humanities, 22 May 2009.
Excerpt: It’s a great honor for me to introduce Leon Kass. There is no one in contemporary American life who better embodies the fundamental mission of the humanities. This may seem a surprising assertion about a man whose resume is so heavily tilted toward… More

Tough Love for the Humanities

– Serena Golden, Inside Higher Ed, May 22, 2009.
Excerpt: Kass argued that it is the job of the humanities to address “questions of ultimate concern: the character and source of the cosmic whole and the place and work of the human being within it.” Unfortunately, the modern “direction of humanistic… More

Great Expectations: Studying with Leon Kass by Yuval Levin

– Yuval Levin, National Endowment for the Humanities, 2009.
Excerpt: “Are you impressed with Rebecca at the well? Would you bring her home to meet your parents?” The question hung in the air, and with it the familiar sense of excitement and uncertainty of a class taught by Leon Kass. It almost always began like… More

Leon Kass Interview

Humanities (May/June 2008).
Excerpt: Chicago-born Leon Kass, the 2009 Jefferson Lecturer, sat with Humanities magazine to describe how as a young medical doctor he joined the civil rights movement, then changed course to become a research scientist, but, as a result of reading Rousseau,… More

In Qualified Praise of the Leon Kass Council on Bioethics

– Carl Mitchum, Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology 10 (6) (Fall 2006).
Abstract: This paper argues the distinctiveness of the President’s Council on Bioethics, as chaired by Leon Kass. The argument proceeds by seeking to place the Council in proper historical and philosophical perspective and considering the implications… More

Living Old Interview with Leon Kass

– Edited transcript, Living Old, PBS, March 7, 2006.
Excerpt: Describe what’s happening with the new rising elderly population in the United States. One way to put it would be to say that we’re on the threshold of the first-ever mass geriatric society. … But what’s really new is massive… More

Biotechnology & Stem-Cell Research: Interview With Dr. Leon Kass

– Ken Adelman, Washingtonian, November 2005.
Excerpt: “Is it all right to kill a creature made in God’s image even before it looks like him?” Leon Kass asks. “It’s the people who think an embryo’s worth nothing in the first place who don’t understand what the… More

Leon Kass, a Bioethics Legend, Steps Down

– Nigel M. de S. Cameron, Christianity Today, September 21, 2005.
Excerpt: While Kass’s tenure has been stormy (the mainstream press has alternated between ignoring and misrepresenting the council’s work), his achievement has been unique. Under his guidance, the council—a much more diverse body than most… More

Leon Kass and the Genesis of Wisdom by Alan Jacobs

– Alan Jacobs, First Things, June/July 2003.
Excerpt: Leon Kass’ meditation on the wisdom of Genesis is expansive, curious, fascinatingly rich and digressive. This I claim without reservation, but my next claim begins with a qualifier: to me, it is also quite maddening. I emphasize the qualification… More

Who’s Afraid of Leon Kass? by Gary Rosen

– Gary Rosen, Commentary,  January 2003.
Abstract: In the summer of 2001, as the Bush administration prepared to announce its much-anticipated decision on federal funding for stem-cell research, the White House began to leak word that the President was marching himself through a crash course on the… More

The Career of Leon Kass by Harvey Flaumenhaft

– Harvey Flaumenhaft, Journal of Contemporary Health Law & Policy 20:1 (2003).
Excerpt: What has gone into making the remarkable career of Leon Kass? In sketching an answer to that question, it will be helpful for me to take account of what he himself has publicly had to say about it. I shall draw as well, after almost fifty years of… More

The Pathos of the Kass Report

– Peter Berkowitz, Policy Review, October/November 2002.
Excerpt: An anticipation of the first report of the President’s Council on Bioethics, critics on the left and not a few right-wing libertarians had been sharpening their swords and replenishing their reserves of moral indignation and intellectual contempt.… More

The Puzzle of Leon Kass

– Dana Wilkie, Crisis Magazine, June 2002.
Excerpt: Kass is indeed highly opinionated and unlikely to be swayed from his views, but he earns high marks from associates for his open-minded approach to the stickiest moral questions. These people point out that some of Kass’s views on issues dear to… More

The Crimson Birthmark

– William Safire, New York Times, January 21, 2002.
Excerpt: he novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne took a crack at the troubling ”Frankenstein” theme of man’s presumption to gain godly power in an 1843 short story, ”The Birthmark.” A scientist-philosopher, obsessed by a small… More

Seeking to Balance Values of Science and Humanity

– Pam Belluck, New York Times, August 11, 2001.
Excerpt: As one might expect, Dr. Leon Richard Kass, the University of Chicago professor who will head President Bush’s council on bioethics, has written on subjects like cloning, physician-assisted suicide and in-vitro fertilization. But Dr. Kass has… More