Diana Fritz Cates

Diana Fritz Cates
Departmental Chair
Professor, Religious Ethics
PhD, Brown University, 1990
316 Gilmore Hall
Office Hours: 
Tues 9-12 and by appointment (Spring 2018)
Curriculum Vitae: 

Dr. Cates joined the University of Iowa faculty in 1990.

Her research focuses on religious ethics and moral psychology.  She works primarily within the Aristotelian-Thomistic moral tradition on the nature of the self, the structure of virtue, the relationship between virtue and natural law, particular virtues such as love and compassion, the internal causes of moral evil, the structure of emotion, particular emotions such as anger and hatred, the role of emotions in the moral life, and the way the religious imagination can influence the cultivation of virtue and the deliberate formation of moral emotions.

Dr. Cates works secondarily on issues of bioethics (especially the ethical implications of genetic science and technology), sexual ethics (including questions of religion, gender, and sexuality), the uses of creative literature in ethics, comparative religious ethics, and the ethics of human  rights (especially conceptions of the ground of human dignity and the protection of girls and women from sexual violence).

Research Interests: 
Religious Ethics, Moral Psychology, Virtue, Emotion, Moral Evil
Selected Publications: 

(For complete list, please view Dr. Cates's CV):

  • Cates, Diana Fritz (2009). Aquinas on the Emotions: A Religious-Ethical Inquiry. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press.
  • Cates, Diana Fritz, and Paul Lauritzen, eds. (2001). Medicine and the Ethics of Care. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press.
  • Cates, Diana Fritz (1997). Choosing to Feel: Virtue, Friendship, and Compassion for Friends. Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press.
  • Cates, Diana Fritz (2010). Experiential Narratives of Rape and Torture. Journal of Religious Ethics, Sumner B. Twiss and John Kelsay, eds., 38/1, 43-66.
  • Cates, Diana Fritz (2005). Spending the Day with a Good Friend: Autobiography, Moral Character, and the Religious Imagination. Seeking Goodness and Beauty: The Use of Arts in Theological Ethics, Patricia Lamoureux and Kevin O’Neil, eds. Lanham, Md.: Roman and Littlefield, 33-54.
  • Cates, Diana Fritz (2002). The Virtue of Temperance. The Ethics of Aquinas, ed. Stephen J. Pope. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 321-33

Dr. Cates teaches a range of undergraduate and graduate courses in religious studies and ethics:

  • RELS:5100 Teaching & Public Engagement
  • RELS:2260:Hard Cases in Healthcare: The Beginning of Life
  • RELS:1310 Religion and Liberation
  • RELS:1710 Sexual Ethics
  • RELS:1810 Longing for Freedom: The Search for Happiness in a Difficult World
  • 032:162 Genes and the Human Condition
  • RELS:2260 Hard Cases in Healthcare: The Beginning of Life
  • RELS:4950 Senior Seminar for Undergraduates
  • RELS:5100 Teaching Religious Studies
  • RELS:6200 Graduate Seminars on various topics:  Ethics of Aristotle and Aquinas, Ethics of Søren Kierkegaard, Ethics of Virtue, Religion and Emotion, 20th Century Christian Ethics
Awards & Service: 
  • Trustee. Journal of Religious Ethics, 2010-present.
  • Member. Editorial Board. Journal of Religious Ethics, 2003-2010.
  • Member. The University of Iowa Center for Human Rights Executive Committee and Board, 2002-present.
  • Member. Executive Committee. The Society of Christian Ethics, 2009-2010.
  • Member. Board of Directors. The Society of Christian Ethics, 2006-2010.
  • Ethics Representative. Center for Congenital and Inherited Disorders Advisory Committee, Iowa Department of Public Health, 2003-2006.
  • Member. Editorial Board, Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics, 1998-2001.
  • Chair, Department of Religious Studies, 2008-2009 (interim).
  • The Dartmouth Summer Faculty Institute on the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications of the Human Genome Project, 2000.
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, University of Iowa Council on Teaching, 1993.