The Past and Promise of Christian Personalism
6th Annual Summer Seminar
June 12 – June 16, 2016
Man has realized that he is different than he thought, that he is unknown to himself and a problem which he must solve. The point of humanity once more lies in darkness and in the future. The question of man is again a real question.
The World and the Person
The 6th Annual Hildebrand Project Summer Seminar had the theme “The Past and Promise of Christian Personalism.” Among recent philosophical and theological movements, twentieth-century Christian Personalism is unique for the depth and variety of its reflections on personhood. Dietrich von Hildebrand and Karol Wojtyla (John Paul II) were both major figures in this Personalism, which also provided inspiration for philosophers like Jacques Maritain (whose personalism influenced the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) and activists like Dorothy Day (whose Catholic Worker Movement was inspired by the personalism of Emmanuel Mounier).
This summer’s seminar surveys the central insights of twentieth-century Personalism, consider its place within the Christian intellectual tradition and explore the contributions it has still to make.
The Past and Promise of Christian Personalism – Videos
The Turn to Subjectivity in Wojtyla's Personalism (John F. Crosby)
Wojtyla’s Personalism (Rocco Buttiglione)
Dietrich von Hildebrand’s Thought on Affectivity and Love (Josef Seifert)
Thomistic Personalism (Jonathan Sanford)
Soren Kierkegaard (Michael Healy)
John Henry Newman and Romano Guardini (John F. Crosby)
2016 Seminar Faculty and Guests
John F. Crosby
Franciscan University of Steubenville
Professor Emeritus of Philosophy
Personalism, John Henry Newman, John Paul II, Dietrich von Hildebrand
Prof. Crosby was himself a student of Dietrich Hildebrand. Besides writing major studies on the thought of John Henry Newman, Max Scheler, and Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II, and making his own contributions to personalist philosophy, Prof. Crosby has devoted his long and distinguished academic career—first at the University of Dallas, then at the International Academy of Philosophy, and currently at Franciscan University of Steubenville—to introducing his students to the intellectual legacy of Hildebrand, and also to making Hildebrand better known in scholarly circles. Prof. Crosby was the translator of the English edition of Hildebrand’s philosophical masterpiece, The Nature of Love, and he also serves as the General Editor of all our present and future translations of Hildebrand’s works.
A trusted collaborator of Pope St. John Paul II, and is an authority on his philosophical anthropology. His book Karol Wojtyla: The Thought of the Man who became Pope John Paul II is a fundamental work on the pope’s early philosophy. A member of the Italian Parliament for over two decades, he serves on the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences and holds the John Paul II Chair for Philosophy and History of European Institutions at the Lateran University in Rome. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the Hildebrand Project.
Professor Seifert received his doctorate in philosophy from the University of Salzburg in 1969 and, under Professor Robert Spaemann, his habilitation from the University of Munich (Privatdozent) in 1975. He studied chiefly under Balduin Schwarz, the most distinguished German former student of Dietrich von Hildebrand, at the University of Salzburg, and under Gabriel Marcel in Paris. Already as a child (from age 3 on) he knew Hildebrand personally, because Seifert’s mother had been a student of Hildebrand in Munich and both of his parents were Hildebrand’s friends. He is the author of many books, and Europe’s leading student and teacher of Hildebrand’s philosophy.
Jonathan J. Sanford
Jonathan J. Sanford, Ph.D., is the 10th president of the University of Dallas. President Sanford, who previously served as provost and dean of UD’s undergraduate college, holds a doctorate in philosophy and is an accomplished scholar. Sanford has published widely on philosophical figures and topics, especially in foundational questions in moral philosophy, as evidenced in Before Virtue: Assessing Contemporary Virtue Ethics (The Catholic University of America Press, 2015 (paperback, 2019)). As president, he is focused on leading the implementation of the university’s strategic plan by building on the university’s reputation for academic rigor, its commitment to classical Western tradition, and its faithful Catholic identity.
Sanford is a trustee of the Hildebrand Project, a member of the Dallas chapter of Legatus, a fellow of the Dallas Institute for Humanities and Culture, and and is active in several other professional and academic organizations.
University of Dallas
President & Professor of Philosophy
Ethics, Catholic Higher Education, Ancient and Medieval Philosophy, Metaphysics, Virtue Theory
Before Virtue: Assessing Contemporary Virtue Ethics (Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 2015 (paperback, 2019).
The Philosophical Legacy of Jorge J. E. Gracia, co-edited with Robert Delfino and William Irwin (Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield, 2022)
Categories: Historical and Systematic Essays, co-edited with Michael Gorman, (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2004).
Neo-Platonism and Its Legacy, co-edited with Sarah Wear, Volume 2, Issues 1 & 2 of Quaestiones Disputatae, Spring-Fall 2011.
“Justice is Beautiful: Aristotle, Aquinas, and Justice as a Virtue,” in Beauty and the Good: Past Interpretations and Their Contemporary Relevance, edited by Alice Ramos (Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press), forthcoming 2020.
“Nature and the Common Good: Aristotle and Maritain on the Environment,” in On Earth as it is in Heaven: Cultivating a Contemporary Theology of Creation, edited by David Meconi, S.J., and Christopher Thompson (Grand Rapids,MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2016): 212-233.
“Newman and the Virtue of Philosophy,” Expositions 9 (2015): 41-55.
“Aristotle, Aquinas, and the Christian Elevation of Pagan Friendship,” in Love and Friendship, edited by Montague Brown (Washington, DC: The American Maritain Association Press, 2013).
“On Vice and Free Choice,” in The Problem of Evil: Enduring Themes and Pressing Questions, edited by James G. Hanink (Washington, DC: The American Maritain Association Press, 2013).
“Scheler vs. Scheler: The Case for a Better Ontology of the Person,” American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, vol. 79: 1 (2005): 145-161.
“Affective Insight: Scheler on Feeling and Values,” Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 76, (2002).
“Personalism in Relation to Aristotle and Aquinas,” The Hildebrand Project’s Sixth Annual Summer Seminar: The Past and the Promise of Christian Personalism, Franciscan University of Steubenville, June 15, 2016.
Dr. Michael J. Healy served as Dean of the Faculty (chief academic officer) under Fr. Michael Scanlan, TOR (President) at Franciscan University of Steubenville from 1986-2000. During the 2002-2003 academic year, he served as interim president of Ave Maria College while on leave of absence from Franciscan University. He then returned to Franciscan to resume his position as full professor of philosophy, where he specializes in philosophy of the person, ethics, existentialism, and philosophy of religion. He has a special love for Kierkegaard, von Hildebrand, and Wojtyla interpreted in light of and in dialogue with the philosophia perennis. His favorite author in the Thomistic tradition is Josef Pieper. His favorite course is The Nature of Love, wherein he uses the works of all four of the above.
Dr. Healy earned his B.A. from Loyola University of Los Angeles (1972, now Loyola Marymount University) and his M.A. (1975) and Ph.D. (1978) from the University of Dallas.