Baylor Philosophy Department Welcomes New Distinguished Professor John Haldane

April 16, 2015


Appointment of first holder of

J. Newton Rayzor Sr. Distinguished Professorship in Philosophy

Baylor University is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. John Haldane, currently Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, as the first holder of the J. Newton Rayzor Sr. Distinguished Professorship in Philosophy. Dr. Haldane will be occupying the Professorship beginning the 2015-16 academic year.

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John Haldane was educated in Scotland, and in London at the University of the Arts where he took a BA degree in Fine Art, and at the University of London where he gained a PGCE in Education and a BA and a PhD in Philosophy. While in London he taught art for three years and was a visiting lecturer in the Architecture School of the University of Westminster, before taking up a position in the University of St Andrews in 1983.

He is Professor of Moral Philosophy at St Andrews University and for 25 years has directed its Centre for Ethics, Philosophy and Public Affairs. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and Chairman of the Royal Institute of Philosophy, London.

He has held the Royden Davis Chair in Humanities at Georgetown University (2001-2002), and been Stanton Lecturer in Cambridge University (1999-2002), Gifford Lecturer at Aberdeen University (2004-2005), Joseph Lecturer at Rome's Gregorian University (2005), MacDonald Lecturer in Oxford University (2011), and Kaminsky lecturer at the University of Lublin (2013). He has also held fellowships at the universities of Pittsburgh, Edinburgh and Oxford and been visiting professor at several US institutions. He is a Fellow in the Center for Ethics and Culture at the University of Notre Dame, and Senior Fellow at the Witherspoon Institute, Princeton.

John Haldane has published 200 academic papers, and is co-author of Atheism and Theism in Blackwell's 'Tomorrow's Classics' list, and author of An Intelligent Person's Guide to Religion (2003), Faithful Reason (2006) Practical Philosophy (2009), and Reasonable Faith (2010). He also has collections intended for general readers: Seeking Meaning and Making Sense (2008), The Church and the World (2008) and Arts and Minds (in preparation). He has also edited many books and is founding and general editor of St Andrews Studies in Philosophy and Public Affairs.

In addition to academic work, John Haldane also writes for papers and periodicals and appears on radio and television. He has contributed a monthly column to the (London) Times, as well as publishing in the Herald, the Sunday Herald and the Scotsman. He has written for Art Book, Art Monthly, Burlington Magazine, Modern Painters, and other international art journals, and is a former fellow of the Henry Moore Institute (1998-1999) researching 20th century British sculpture. He is a frequent contributor to BBC radio and television, including the much praised history of ideas series 'In our Time'.

Dr. Haldane has served on several national committees of enquiry including the UK Victim Support Working Party on Victim Compensation; the Nuffield Council on Bioethics Working Party on Genetics and Mental Disorder, and a Scottish Working Party on Taking Difficult Decisions in Health Care. He has been a member of the Philosophy, Law and Religious Studies panel of the UK National Arts and Humanities and Research Board.

He has an honorary LL.D. (1997) from St Anselm College, New Hampshire, and an honorary D.Litt (2008) from the University of Glasgow in recognition of his 'outstanding contribution to moral philosophy'. In 2005 Dr. Haldane was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as a Consultor to the Pontifical Council for Culture. He is also a member of the Pontifical Academy of Thomas Aquinas, and the Pontifical Academy for Life.

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Leading philosophers and theologians praise for John Haldane and his work

Candace Vogler, University of Chicago

Clara E. Stern Professor of Philosophy and Professor

"John Haldane is rightly famous for the breadth and depth of his philosophical work, and for the power of his exposition of central elements of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition. He is equally striking and powerful in his commitment as a Christian educator. His commitment to Christian education informs his pioneering work leading Thomistic seminars that draw students together from many fields, giving both specialists and novice readers of Aquinas alike serious opportunities to explore and engage contemporary philosophical issues alongside Aquinas's work. It informs his exemplary work as a public intellectual, as a voice of clear reason and strong faith in public debates. And it informs his vision for academic work in the Humanities generally. I know of no other scholar whose energies, vision, and talents are better suited than Haldane's to take up the J. Newton Rayzor Sr. Distinguished Chair in Philosophy at Baylor."

W. David Solomon, University of Notre Dame

H.B. and W.P. White Director Emeritus Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture

"John Haldane has been for some time the most interesting Christian philosopher in the United Kingdom. Now, thanks to Baylor University's aggressive hiring policies in their bold attempt to build a great Christian philosophy department, he will soon be the most interesting Christian philosopher in the United States. All Christian intellectuals in this country are in Baylor's debt for this game-changing hire. "

Robert P. George, Princeton University

McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence

"John Haldane is a philosopher of international stature who has made important contributions across a wide range of fields: aesthetics, philosophy of religion, epistemology, philosophy of education, and the history of philosophy, as well as moral philosophy."

Sarah Broadie, University of St. Andrews

Wardlaw Professor of Philosophy

"John Haldane's academic eminence is attested by the several important distinguished lectureships he has held, among others the Gifford Lectureship and the University of Aberdeen and the Stanton Lectureship at Cambridge. The range of his academic publications is extraordinary."

Stanley Hauerwas, Duke University.

Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics

"We are in John Haldane's debt for writing with such clarity, commonsense and wit to clear the field of spurious reasons for rejecting religious faith"

Ralph McInerny, University of Notre Dame

Former Director of Medieval Institute of Notre Dame

"With urbane civility John Haldane discusses a number of neuralgic issues with wit, wisdom and grace. Haldane has few peers in the public forum and fewer in academe."

Alasdair MacIntyre, University of Notre Dame

Professor Emeritus of Philosophy

"John Haldane's writings undermine the assumption of many contemporary philosophers, that it is possible to pursue systematic philosophical enquiry without having to engage with religious questions. Haldane uses philosophy to put philosophy to the question."

Martha Nussbaum, University of Chicago

Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics

"Taking his inspiration from a tradition that includes Aristotle and Aquinas John Haldane uses his illuminating approach to advance arguments on controversial moral and political issues but always avoids polemics and the ideological parti pris, thus giving a welcome example of respectful and civic public argument"

Nicholas Rescher, University of Pittsburgh

Chairman of the Center for Philosophy of Science

"John Haldane is outstanding among contemporary thinkers for the instructiveness of his exposition of Catholic philosophical themes and the cogency of his argumentation in their support"

David Wiggins, University of Oxford

Wykeham Professor Emeritus of Logic

"Haldane is a philosopher well aware of current work in his field but determined to recover both the prior social reality and the substantive conception of the good which have to be in place before abstract notions can be rooted in anything".

Comments from Baylor Faculty in the Department of Philosophy

Robert C. Roberts, Baylor University

Distinguished Professor of Ethics

"It is an enormous honor and privilege for Baylor that a Christian thinker of John Haldane's stature and influence should be joining our philosophy department. This appointment speaks volumes about the department's promise of excellence in years to come."

C. Stephen Evans

University Professor of Philosophy and Humanities, Baylor University

Professorial Fellow, Australian Catholic University

"I am thrilled to welcome John Haldane to the Baylor Philosophy Department. Haldane is not only an amazing scholar with an incredible list of accomplishments; he is also a wise and warm person who is deeply committed to educating students, both undergraduates and graduates. He provides a wonderful combination of a world-class intellect who is deeply committed to Baylor's distinctive mission."

Alexander Pruss, Baylor University

Professor and Director of Graduate Studies

"John Haldane is the pre-eminent analytical Thomist of our time. His work creatively and deeply brings the very best in medieval thought in conversation with contemporary philosophy in ways that challenges ingrained preconceptions. It will be a great honor to work with him, and I am overjoyed that our undergraduate and graduate students will have the opportunity of studying with this truly world-class scholar, in a way that centrally contributes to Baylor's mission of joining cutting-edge scholarship with Christian commitment."

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