Dr. Bernard Prusak is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the McGowan Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility at King's College in Wilkes-Barre, PA. He was educated at Williams College; Exeter College, Oxford University; and Boston University, where he did his Ph.D. in philosophy. He then taught humanities and social sciences for three years in the Core Curriculum at Boston University and for seven years in the Center for Liberal Education at Villanova University, from which he moved to King's in fall 2012 in order to found the McGowan Center.
Dr. Prusak's scholarship focuses in moral and social philosophy; recurring interests include topics in bioethics and theories and cases of conscience. His current project is a philosophical study of the Catholic church's sexual abuse scandal and crisis. His work regularly appears in both scholarly publications and magazines like Commonweal and America. He serves as a senior editor for the journal Expositions: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities, for which he edits the forum "Ethics in Focus"; he is a member of the steering committee of the Catholic Social Teaching Learning and Research Initiative, a collaboration of faculty and administrators from Catholic colleges and universities across the United States; and he has been guest editor of three issues of the Journal of Catholic Higher Education. He also serves on the Geisinger Wyoming Valley Hospital Ethics Committee and the Ethics Advisory Council for Geisinger's MyCode Community Health Initiative.
Dr. Prusak's first book, Parental Obligations and Bioethics: The Duties of a Creator, was published in 2013 by Routledge. His second book, Catholic Moral Philosophy in Practice and Theory: An Introduction, was published by Paulist Press in 2016. Together with Dr. Jennifer Reed-Bouley, he recently completed work on an edited volume entitled Catholic Higher Education and Catholic Social Thought, to be published by Paulist Press in late 2022 or early 2023.
“Life-Years and Rationing in the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Critical Analysis,” Hastings Center Report 51/5 (2021): 18-29 (co-authored with MaryKatherine Gaurke, Kyeong Yun Jeong, Emily Scire, and Daniel Sulmasy)
“Rationing with Respect to Age during a Pandemic: A Comparative Analysis of State Pandemic Preparedness Plans,” CHEST, online ahead of print 9/8/21 (co-authored with MaryKatherine Gaurke, Kyeong Yun Jeong, Emily Scire, and Daniel Sulmasy)
“Conscience and Conscientiousness in Linda Zagzebski’s Exemplarist Moral Theory,” American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 95 (2021): 679-700
“Religious Non-Affiliation and Objections of Conscience,” in Empty Churches: Non-Affiliation in America, ed. James L. Heft and Jan Stets (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021), 250-272
“Regarding Silence: Ethics and Ecclesiology in Two Recent Controversies,” in One Bread, One Body, One Church: Essays on the Ecclesia of Christ Today in Honor of Bernard P. Prusak, ed. Christopher Cimorelli and Daniel Minch (Leuven: Peeters, 2021), 191-208
“How to Speak to Nones and All: Integrity about Religious Liberty,” in Voting and Faithfulness: Catholic Perspectives on Politics, ed. Nicholas P. Cafardi (New York: Paulist Press, 2020), 94-114
“What Warrants Religious Exemption from Covid Vaccine Mandates?” Hastings Center Bioethics Forum, October 4, 2021 (online)
“The Paradoxes of Deterrence,” Commonweal, March 2021, 18-20
“Jesse Harvey, R.I.P.: The Pandemic’s Other Casualties,” Commonweal, September 14, 2020 (online)
“The Scarlet C: My Adventures with COVID-19,” Commonweal, June 9, 2020 (online)
“All Hospitals Want to Save Lives. Should They Also Be Seeking to Save ‘Life Years’?” America, May 28, 2020 (online)
“Internal Affairs,” review of Follow Your Conscience: The Catholic Church and the Spirit of the Sixties, by Peter Cajka, Commonweal, October 2021, 48-50
“The Long, Withdrawing Roar,” review of Secular Surge: A New Fault Line in American Politics, by David E. Campbell, Geoffrey C. Layman, and John C. Green, Commonweal, April 12, 2021 (online)
“Belief and Disbelief,” review of In Search of the Soul, by John Cottingham, Commonweal, November 2020, 48-50
“Leave It to the Laity,” review of Catholic Social Teaching: A Volume of Scholarly Essays, edited by Gerard V. Bradley and E. Christian Brugger, Commonweal, September 2020, 54-55