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Russell Hittinger

University of Tulsa




Russell Hittinger graduated Summa cum Laude from the University of Notre Dame in 1975.  He received an M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy from St. Louis University in 1981 and 1986. 

Since 1996, he is the incumbent of the William K. Warren Chair of Catholic Studies at the University of Tulsa, where he is also a Research Professor of Law.  He is the Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion.  Professor Hittinger has taught at Fordham University, in the School of Philosophy at The Catholic University of America, and, as a Visiting Professor, at N.Y.U. and Princeton University.  In 1991 and 1994, he was a Visiting Professor at the Pontifical University Regina Apostolorum in Rome. 

Since 2001, he is a member of the Pontificia Academia Sancti Thomae Aquinatis (Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas), to which he was elected a full member (ordinarius) in 2004.

He serves on several boards and boards of advisors, including First Things, the American Journal of Jurisprudence, Nova et Vetera, the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture.

In 1993 Professor Hittinger was invited by the Ministry of Culture of the Italian Government to give a lecture to mark the centenary of the death of Pope Leo XIII.  In October 1994 he gave “Secularity and the Anthropological Problem,” as the Inaugural Claude Ryan Lecture in Catholic Social Thought, McGill University in Montreal.

His books and articles have appeared on the University of Notre Dame Press, Oxford University Press, Columbia University Press, Fordham University Press, the Review of Metaphysics, the Review of Politics, several law journals (American and European). In 2000, he was a Senior Research Fellow at the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture, where he began research on a book Man and Citizen in Roman Doctrine on the Modern State 1800-1989, to be published in a new series of monographs prepared by the Law and Religion program at Emory Law School.  His most recent book The First Grace: Re-Discovering Natural Law in a Post-Christian Age was published in Jan. 2003.  His essays on papal social doctrine will appear later this year in a two-volume work Law and Human Nature: Teachings of Modern Christianity (Columbia University Press), edited by John Witte and Frank Alexander. 


Selected Publications

  • The First Grace: Rediscovering Natural Law in a Post-Christian Age.  (Wilmington, DE: ISI, 2003).

  • A Critique of the New Natural Law Theory (University of Notre Dame Press, 1987).

  • “Social Roles and Ruling Virtues in Catholic Social Doctrine.” Annales theologici 16 (2002), 385-408.

  • Dignitatis Humanae, Religious Liberty, and Ecclesiastical Self-Government.”  68 George Washington University Law Journal, No. 5/6 (July/Sept 2000).  1035-58.

  • “Natural Rights, Under-Specified Rights, and Bills of Rights.”  Revue Générale de Droit, 29 (1998), No. 4.  Université d’Ottawa .  449-464.

  • “Aquinas and the Rule of Law.”  The Ever-Illuminating Wisdom of St. Thomas Aquinas.  Proceedings of the Wethersfield Institute, vol. 8 (San Francisco: The Ignatius Press, 1999),  99-119.

  • “Natural Law and Catholic Moral Theology.”  Our Preserving Grace: Protestants, Catholics, and Natural Law, Michael Cromartie, ed.  (Ethics and Public Policy Center-Eerdmans: Grand Rapids, MI, 1997), 1-30.

  • “Natural Law as ‘Law’.”  American Journal of Jurisprudence.  Vol. 39 (1994), pp. 1-32.

  • “Natural Law,” The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Modern Christian Thought, edited by Alister McGrath (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1993).

  • “Natural Law.”  In revised edition of The Encyclopedia of Bioethics, edited by Warren T. Reich (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1994), 1805-1812.

  • “Natural Law in the Positive Laws: A Legislative or Adjudicative Issue?”  The Review of Politics.  55:1 (Jan. 1993), 5-34.

  • Introductory essay: Yves Simon, The Tradition of Natural Law (Fordham University Press, 1992 reprint of 1965).

  • “Liberalism and the American Natural Law Tradition.”  Wake Forest Law Review, Vol. 25, Number 3 (1990).

  • “Theology and Natural Law Theory,” 17 Communio (Fall, 1990).

  • “Natural Law Theory, Virtue Ethics, and Eudaimonia.”  International Philosophical Quarterly Vol. XXIX, No. 4 Issue No. 116. (Dec. 1989).

  • “Varieties of Minimalist Natural Law.”  American Journal of Jurisprudence Vol 34 (Fall 1989).