University of Malta

Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Agius
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Rev. Prof. Emmanuel AgiusRev Prof. Emmanuel Agius is the Dean of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Malta. He studied philosophy and theology at undergraduate (S.Th.B.) and postgraduate (S.Th.L.) levels at the University of Malta and then at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, where he obtained an M.A. in philosophy and S.Th.D. He pursued post-doctoral research in the field of bioethics at the University of Tubingen, Germany as a fellow of the Alexander-von-Humbolt Stiftung, at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. as a Fulbright scholar, and at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana. He is professor of Moral Theology and Philosophical Ethics at the University of Malta. He is the Head of the Department of Moral Theology at Faculty of Theology, a member of the European Group of Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE), a member of Malta’s National Bioethics Committee and a member of the Scientific Committee of the Centro di Ateneo di Bioetica at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan, Italy. He is also the coordinator of the Euro-Mediterranean Programme on Intercultural Dialogue, Human Rights and Future Generations which is supported by UNESCO. Prof. Agius is the author of three books and co-editor of five publications on future generations. His articles on bioethical issues have appeared in a number of international academic journals.


  • A Social Ethical Theory based on Process Philosophy, Leuven, Institute of Philosophy, Catholic University of Leuven, 1984.
  • The Rights of Future Generations: In Search of an Intergenerational Ethical Theory, Leuven, Faculty of Theology, Catholic University of Leuven, 1986.
  • Our Responsibilities Towards Future Generations, Malta, Gutenburg Press, 1990.
  • The Social Consciousness of the Church in Malta: 1891-1921, Malta, Media Centre, 1991.
  • Mit-Tnissil sal-Mewt tal-Bniedem: l-aħħar Żviluppi fil-Bioetika, Malta, Media Centre, 1991.
  • What future for Future Generations, Malta, Union Press, 1994.
  • Problems in Applied Ethics, University of Malta, Colour Image, 1994.
  • Caring for Future Generations: Jewish, Christian, Islamic Perspectives, Adamentine Press, 1998. 
  • Future Generations and International Law, London, Earthscan Publishers Ltd., 1998.
  • Germ-line Intervention and Our Responsibilities to Future Generations, Dordrecht, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1998.
  • Agius Emmanuel & Hector Scerri (eds), The Quest for Authenticity and Human Dignity, University of Malta, Gutenberg Press , Malta,  2015.
  • Agius Emmanuel & Berry John (ed.), Minn Vizjoni ghar-Realta’: Mixja Klimkien b’Ferh u Impenn, Best Print Co. Ltd, Qrendi, 2016.


  • "Clear as a Teacher and Tender as a Mother: The Interface between Doctrine and Pastoral Care", in (Thomas Knieps-Port le Roi & Aldegonde Brenninkmeijer-Werhahn, eds.) Authentic Voices, Discerning Hearts. New Resources for the Church on Marriage and Family, Lit Verlag, Zurich, 2016: 30-58.

  • “Cooperation in Marriage-Related Legislation” in Melita Theologica, 65: 2 (2016): 27-51.
  • “Cooperatio in Ehe- und Partnerschaftsgesetzgebung”, in Rosenberger, Michael/Schaupp, Walter (Hg.), Ein Pakt mit dem Bösen? Die Moraltheologische Lehre der ‘Operatio ad malum’ und ihre Bedeutung heute , Studien der Moraltheologie - Neue Folge 5, Aschendorff  Verlag, Münstner 2015,  181-200.
  • “Safeguarding the unconscious patients’ overall benefit: towards a ‘consensus-building approach’” in The Quest for Authenticity and Human Dignity (Agius Emmanuel & Hector Scerri), University of Malta, Gutenberg Press , Malta,  2015, pp.39-52.
  • Agius Emmanuel & Galea-Curmi Joseph, "Family Ministry: The Interface between Church Doctrine and Pastoral Care" in Melita Theologica (Between Two Synods: Journeying Together, ed. E. Agius & J. Berry), 65: 1 (2015): 11-41.
  • "Living by European Values", in Times of Malta, May 16, 2014. (
  • “Rights and Civil Unions”, in Times of Malta, October 24, 2013 (
  • "Energy is not just about economics" in Europeinfos: Christian perspectives on the EU, No 160, May 2013 (
  • "Human Dignity in European Public Policy on Biotechnology" in Melita Theologica Numbers 1-2, Volume 62/2012, pp. 23-54.
  • "Biotechnology and Human Dignity" in Human Reproduction & Genetic Ethics, Volume 17, Number 2 / 2011, pp155-184.
  • "Public Policy on IVF Issues" in The Times of Malta, Tuesday, August 14, 2012, p. 11  (
  • "Religious Values and Bioethics in Malta" in (Rene Gothóni, ed.) Religious Experience: North and South, Frankfurt am Main, Peter Lang, 2012, pp.69-87.
  • The moral and civil law of IVF", in The Times of Malta, Saturday, April 7,  2012, p. 52 (
  • "La possibile specificità epistemica di un'etica del Mediterraneo" in (Salvino Leone/Pietro Cognato, ed.) A partire da un Maestro. Saggi di Teologia morale nel ricordo di Salvatore Privitera, Pubblicazioni dell'Istituto di Studi Bioetici 'Salvatore Privitera', Palermo, 2012, pp. 93-104.
  • "Safeguarding the Unconscious Patient's Overall Benefit: Towards a 'Consensus Building' Approach", in ßio-ethos. Rivista di bioetica, morale della persona e medical humanities, 11-12 (Gennaio-Agosto 2011) 39-52.
  • "IVF, Morality and Public Policy", in The Times of Malta, Thursday, October 28, 2010 (
  • "Banning commercial use of human embryos", in The Times of Malta, Thursday, October 27, 2011(
  • "Safeguarding the Unconscious Patients’ Overall Benefit: Towards a ‘Consensus Building’ Approach", (paper presented at a Seminar on 'Decision-Making Process regarding Medical Treatment in End-of-life Situations' organized by the Council of Europe, Strasbourg 30 Nov-1 Dec 2010) -
  • "Human Embryo Research and Dignitas Personae: A European Perspective", in ßio-ethos. Rivista di bioetica, morale della persona e medical humanities, 6 (Maggio-Agosto 2009) 49-57.
  • "Respecting the human embryo", in The Sunday Times, 7 June/14 June 2009, p.12.
  • "Bioetica e disabilita'", in Bioetica e Cultura, XVIII (2009) 1, pp. 35-45.
  • "Esperienze didattiche a confronto: l'Università di Malta", in (Poalo Girolami, ed) L'educazione alla bioetica in Europa, SEEd,Torino, 2008, pp. 81-88.
  • "Precauzione tra presente e futuro", in (Luca Marini e Laura Palazzani, eds) Il Principio di Precauzione. Tra Filosofia, Biodiritto e Biopolitica, Edizioni Studium, Roma, 2008, 47-58.
  • "Environmental Responsibility and Business Styles: Ethical and Theological Perspectives", in (L. Mariani et al. eds), Business Styles and Sustainable Development, Fondazione Lanza, Gregoriana Libreria Editrice, Roma, 2008, 19-43.
  • "Do Future Generations have Rights?", in Maltese Perspectives on Human Rights (D.E. Zammit, ed.), University of Malta, Malta 2008, 16-51.
  • "Disbilità, Bioetica e Diritti Umani: Una prospettiva Euro-Mediterranean", Proceedings of the Third International Congress: Towards a New Humanism, Ethics and Disability, (M. Camozzino & P. Ruffinatto, eds.), Comas Grafica, Roma, 2007, 42-50; 337-330.
  • "La biotecnologia e la dimensione intergenerazionale della soggesttivita'" in Nuove Bio-Tecnologie, Biodiritto e Transformazione Della Soggettivita' (Laura Palazzan, ed.) Quaderni della Lumsa, Studium, 2007, 83-102.
  • “A European Ombudsman for Future Generations: The opportunities of a representation for future generations in Europe” in (Benedek Javor & Judit Ràcz, eds.), Do we owe them a future?, Védegyet, Budapest, 2006, pp.16-30. (
  • "Environmental Ethics: Towards Intergenerational Justice", in Environmental Ethics and International Policy (Henk ten Have, ed.), UNESCO Publication, 2006, 89-115.
  • "Integration Justice" in Handbook of Intergeneration Justice (Joerg Chet Tremmel, ed), Edward Elgar, Chelterham, UK 2006, 317-332.
  • "Stem Cell Research Debate at EU Institutions", in The Sunday Times, July 16, 2006.
  • "Should terminally sick individuals be given the right to choose when to die?" in Malta Today, 13 August, 2006.
  • "The Syngamy Debate: When precisely does human life begin?" in The Sunday Times (April 10, 2005) 50-51.
  • "In Search of a European Approach to Bioethics: The Emergence of a Common Euro-Mediterranean Bioethical Culture", in (A. Abela, ed), In Joyful and Serene Service of his Lord's Word, Melita Theologica Supplementary Series, 5, Malta, Veritas Press, 2004, 29-48.
  • "Il-Hajja bhala Rigal minghand Alla: l-Ulied", in Il-Familja Nisranija fil-ħajja tal-lum, Malta,Veritas Press, 2003, 43-69.
  • "Ethical Challenges of the Future for the Nursing Profession", in (M.N. Cauchi, ed) Ethical Issues in Practice for Nurses, Midwives and Family and Family Medicine, Malta, Ministry of Health, 2003, 29-43.
  • "In Search of a European Approach to Bioethics: The Emergence of a Common Euro-Mediterranean Bioethical Culture", in (M.N. Cauchi, ed) Ethical Issues in Practice for Nurses, Midwives and Family and Family Medicine, Malta, Ministry of Health, 2003, 187-209.
  • "Alla ricerca di un approccio europeo alla bioetica", in Bioetica e Cultura XII (2003) 2, 171-185.
  • "Towards a Culture of Tolerance and Peace", in or (International Bureau for Children’s Rights, Canada) 2003.
  • "Intergenerational Justice", in (Richard. R. Ernst, ed.) Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), Eloss Publishers, Oxford, 2003, []
  • "Withholding and Withdrawing Treatment: Ethics at the Bedside", in (M.N Cauchi, ed), Bioethical Issues at the Beginning and End of Life, Malta. 2002, 125-134.
  • "The Rights of the Dying Patient", in (M.N Cauchi, ed), Bioethical Issues at the Beginning and End of Life, Malta, 2002, 141-147.
  • "Un Patto tra le Generazioni", in Etica per le Professioni (Fondazione Lanza), Vol 2 (2000) pp. 9 - 16 "Celebrating Teamwork in Healthcare", due to be published in the proceedings of a conference on Teamwork in Healthcare, organised by Bioethics Consultative Committee (Nov 2000).
  • "Morality and Public Policy" in (M. Cauchi, ed.), Patients' Rights, Reproductive Technology, Transplantation, Government Press, Malta, 2000, 60-77.
  • "What Future for Future Generations: A Whiteheadian Perspective", in (A. Cloots & S. Sia, eds.), Framing a Vision of the World: Essays in Philosophy, Science and Religion, Leuven, Leuven University Press, 1999, 247- 264.
  • "Bioethics and Disability", in (M.N. Cauchi, ed), Proceedings of the Conference on Bioethics and Disability, Malta, Government Press, 1999, 49-61.
  • "Informed Consent: Ethical and Philosophical Issues", in (M.N. Cauchi, ed), Informed Consent: Proceedings of a Symposium for Medical and Paramedical Practitioners, Malta, Gozo Press, 1998, 9-15.
  • "Patenting Life: Our Responsibilities to Present and Future Generations", in (E. Agius, ed.) Germ-line Intervention and Our Responsibilities to Future Generations, Dordrecht, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1998, 67-84.
  • "Quale futuro per le generazioni future del mediterraneo" in Bioetica e Cultura VII (1998/1) 51-60.
  • "Obligations of Justice towards Future Generations: A Revolution in Social and Legal Thought", in (E. Agius, ed.) Future Generations and International Law, London, Earthscan Publishers Ltd., 1998, 3-12.
  • "The Rights of Future Generations", (J. Friggieri, ed.) Interfaces, Malta, University of Malta, 1997, 165-187.
  • "The Concept and Practice of Sustainability for Europe", (Keynote speech delivered at Graz Ecumenical Assembly), in The Sunday Times, August 24, 1997, 52-53.
  • "Qualità della vita nel Mediterraneo: Prospettiva cattolica", in (S. Privitera, ed.), Bioetica mediterraneeo e nordeuropa, Armando Editore, 1996, 111-120.
  • "Genes as the common heritage of mankind: Ethical Issues in patenting life", in Bioetica (Carlo Romano & Goffrendo Grassani, eds), Torino, Unione Tipografico-Editrice Torinese, 1995, 269-275.
  • "AIDS: sfida etico-sociale e prodlemi educative", in (Salvatore Leone, ed.) AIDS. Problemi sanitari, sociali e morali, Palermo, Armando Editore, 1995, 55-61.
  • "Meaning and Sanctity of Aging: New Trends in Public Policy", in Bioetica e Cultura 2 (1994) 82-97.
  • "Meaning and Sanctity of Aging: New Trends in Public Policy", in Quaderni di Bioetica e Cultura (The Sanctity of Life), Proceedings of the Second Mediterranean Meeting on Bioethics, Acireale, Armando Editore, 1994, 83-97.
  • "La 'qualià della vità delle generazioni future: quale tipo di responsibiltà abbiamo", in (S. Leone & S. Privitera, eds), Il Contesto Culturale dell'Etica della Vita, Acireale, Armando Editore, 1994, 111-123.
  • "The 'Quality of Life' of Future Generations: What Kind of Responsibility Do we Have?", in Why Future Generations Now?, Japan Future Generations Alliance, 1994, 64- 77. (This publication is translated in Japanese).
  • "Generazioni Future", in Dizionario di Bioetica (S. Leone & S. Privitera, eds), Bologna, EDS-ISB, 1994, 421-425.
  • "The Ethical Challenges of AIDS", in Proceedings of the National Conference on AIDS, Malta, 1994, 26-34.
  • "Autoerotismo", in Dizionario di Bioetica,  (S. Leone & S. Provitera, eds.) Bologna, EDS-ISB, 1994, 75- 79.
  • "Our Responsibilities towards Future Generations: Malta's Contribution", in Quaderni di Bioetica e Cultura (The Quality of Life), Proceedings of the First Mediterranean Meeting on Bioethics, Acireale, EDI, 1993, 159-170.
  • "Ethical Issues of Routine Universal Screening", in Proceedings of the U.G.M.D. Seminar on Screening for Blood Transmissible Disease, Malta 1992, 23-28.
  • "The Concept of the Common Heritage of Mankind in the Catholic Social Tradition", in Melita Theologica XLII (1991) 1-23.
  • "Infertility and Artificial Reproduction", in Weddings and Homes,  no 7, 1991,129-134.
  • "Germ-line Cells: Our Responsibilities to Future Generations", in Ethics in the Natural Sciences (Concilium), D. Mieth & J. Pohier, eds., T. & T. Clarke Ltd., June 1989, 105-115.
  • "Theology and Bioethics", in The dove in the owl's nest, Theology Students' Association, Malta, 1989, 19-26.
  • "Towards a Relational Theory of Intergenerational Ethics", in Bijdragen 50 (1989) 293-313.
  • "Caring for the Elderly and Malta's National Health Scheme", in Hastings Centre Report, (Special Supplement) July/August 1989, 7-8.
  • "From Individual Rights to Collective Rights to the Rights of Mankind", Melita Theologica, vol. XXXIX, June 1988, 45-68.

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