Directors & Advisors

Hadley Arkes

Hadley Arkes has been a member of the Amherst College faculty since 1966. He was the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and was appointed, in 1987, as the Edward Ney Professor of American Institutions. He is the author of Bureaucracy, the Marshall Plan, and the National Interest (1972), The Philosopher in the City (1981), First Things (1986), Beyond the Constitution (1990), and The Return of George Sutherland (1994), all from Princeton University Press, and, most recently, Natural Rights and the Right to Choose (2002) and Constitutional Illusions & Anchoring Truths: The Touchstone of the Natural Law, both from Cambridge University Press. His articles have appeared in professional journals, but apart from his writing in more scholarly formats, he has become known to a wider audience through his writings in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Weekly Standard, and National Review. Professor Arkes has been a contributor, also, to First Things, a journal that took its name from his book of that title. For eight years he wrote a column for Crisis magazine under the title of “Lifewatch,” and he has carried over that concern as one of the band of friends who formed the new web journal The Catholic Thing.

He was the main advocate, and architect, of the bill that became known as the Born-Alive Infants’ Protection Act. The account of his experience, in moving the bill through Congress, is contained as an epilogue or memoir in his book, Natural Rights & the Right to Choose. Arkes first prepared his proposal as part of the debating kit assembled for the first George Bush in 1988. The purpose of that proposal was to offer the “most modest first step” of all in legislating on abortion, and opening a conversation even with people who called themselves “pro-choice.” Professor Arkes proposed to begin simply by preserving the life of a child who survived an abortion – contrary to the holding of one federal judge, that such a child was not protected by the laws. Professor Arkes led the testimony on the bill before the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House in July 2000, then again in July 2001. The legislative calendar was upended in the aftermath of September 11th, but in March 2002, the bill was brought to the floor of the House, where it passed unanimously. To the surprise of Professor Arkes, the bill was brought to the floor of the Senate on July 18 and passed in the same way. On August 5, President Bush signed the bill into law in a ceremony in Pittsburgh, with Professor Arkes in attendance.                  

Professor Arkes has been the founder, at Amherst, of the Committee for the American Founding, a group of alumni and students seeking to preserve, at Amherst, the doctrines of “natural rights” taught by the American Founders and Lincoln. And more recently he has been named as the Director of a new Center for the Jurisprudence of Natural Law in Washington, D.C., built around his writings, under the sponsorship of the Claremont Institute. The purpose of this new Center is to teach anew, to lawyers, judges, and students those principles of law that furnished the guide to the American Founders as they set about framing a Constitution. The purpose is to restore, to a new generation, the furnishings of mind of the men who formed this regime.

John Haldane

Educated by the Jesuits in Scotland, then at art school and at university in London, John Haldane has continued to traverse the fields of religion, art, and philosophy, lecturing, writing, and broadcasting on each.

He is Professor of Philosophy at St. Andrews University, where he is also Director of the Centre for Ethics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and of the Royal Society of Arts, and an Executive Council member of the Royal Institute of Philosophy.

He has held the Royden Davis Chair in Humanities at Georgetown, and been Stanton Lecturer in Cambridge, Gifford Lecturer at Aberdeen University, and Joseph Lecturer at the Gregorian in Rome. He has also held fellowships at the universities of Edinburgh, Oxford, and Pittsburgh, is a former fellow of the Henry Moore Institute, established for the study of twentieth-century British sculpture, and has been visiting professor at several U.S. institutions.

He is the co-author of Atheism and Theism, now listed in Blackwell’s ‘Tomorrow’s Classics’ list, and author of An Intelligent Person’s Guide to Religion (Duckworth), Faithful Reason and Reasonable Faith (both Routledge), Seeking Meaning and Making Sense(Imprint Academic)), and The Church and the World (Gracewing).

In 1997 he received an honorary LL.D. from St. Anselm College, New Hampshire. In 2005 he was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as a Consultor to the Pontifical Council for Culture, and in 2008 he was awarded an honorary D.Litt from the University of Glasgow in recognition of his “outstanding contribution to moral philosophy.”

Roger Kimball

Roger Kimball (born 1953) is a conservative U.S. art critic and social commentator. He was educated at Cheverus High School, a Jesuit institution in South Portland, Maine, and then at Bennington College, where he took a B.A. in philosophy and classical Greek, and Yale University. He first gained prominence in the early 1990s with the publication of his book, Tenured Radicals: How Politics Has Corrupted Higher Education. Kimball lectures widely and is a frequent contributor to many newspapers and journals, including The Wall Street Journal, National Review, The Spectator, The New Criterion, The Times Literary Supplement, and The New York Sun. Kimball is also a regular contributor to The New Criterion’s weblog Armavirumque. In the autumn of 2007, he inaugurated Roger’s Rules, a regular column at the Pajamas Media weblog, which was launched in the spring of 2006.

Additionally, he is the editor and publisher of The New Criterion magazine and the publisher of Encounter Books. He currently serves on the board of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, the board of Transaction Publishers and as a Visitor of Ralston College, a start-up liberal arts college based in Savannah, Georgia. He also served on the Board of Visitors of St. John’s College (Annapolis and Santa Fe).

Alister McGrath

Alister McGrath, formerly Professor of Historical Theology at Oxford University, is presently Professor of Theology, Ministry and Education at King’s College London, and head of its Center for Theology, Religion, and Culture. McGrath has special interests in the fields of historical theology and the interaction of science and religion, and has been a leading participant in the recent debates over the “New Atheism.” He is about to publish a major new biography of the leading British writer C. S. Lewis. 

William McGurn

William McGurn is a Vice President for News Corporation, where he writes speeches for the CEO and writes for the group’s publications. He also writes the weekly “Main Street” column for The Wall Street Journal.

From 2005 to 2008, he served as chief speechwriter for President Bush in the West Wing of the White House.

Prior to the White House, most of Bill’s career has been spent in journalism. He was the chief editorial writer for the Wall Street Journal, and spent more than 10 years overseas – in Europe and in Asia – for Dow Jones. He has also written for a wide variety of publications, from Esquire, the Washington Post, and the New York Post to the Spectator of London and the National Catholic Register.

Bill is author of Perfidious Albion: The Abandonment of Hong Kong 1997, as well as a monograph on terrorism. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame, and a master’s degree in communications from Boston University. And he has served on a variety of voluntary organizations, including the Presidential Commission on White House Fellows. Finally, he serves on the boards of Notre Dame’s Center for Ethics and Culture, the social networking website, and Ave Maria University in Florida.

Bill is married to the former Julie Hoffman, and they have three daughters: Grace, Maisie, and Lucy. They now live in Madison, N.J.

Peter Kreeft

Peter Kreeft, Professor of philosophy at Boston College, is the author of more than seventy books, including, soon, nineteen from St. Augustine’s Press. He was educated at Calvin College (A.B., 1959) and Fordham University (M.A., 1961; Ph.D., 1965), and has been a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, a Yale-Sterling Fellow, and a Danforth Asian Religions Fellow as well as a Newman Alumni Scholar.

His works in philosophy and religion have made him famous throughout the world and a sought-after speaker on topics ranging from logic, epistemology, and metaphysics to science fiction, Zen, and surfing. 

Charles E. Rice (1931–2015)

Charles E. Rice was Professor Emeritus at the University of Notre Dame Law School. His areas of specialization were constitutional law and jurisprudence. He taught “Law and Morality” at Notre Dame.

Professor Rice was born in 1931, received the B.A. degree from the College of the Holy Cross, the J.D., from Boston College Law School and the LL.M. and J.S.D. from New York University. He served in the United States Marine Corps and is a Lt. Col. in the Marine Corps Reserve (Ret.). He practiced law in New York City and taught at New York University Law School and Fordham Law School before joining the faculty of law at Notre Dame in 1969. He served for eight years as State Vice-Chairman of the New York State Conservative Party.

From 1981 to 1993, Professor Rice was a member of the Education Appeal Board of the U.S. Department of Education. He served as a consultant to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and to various Congressional committees on constitutional issues and is an editor of the American Journal of Jurisprudence. He was a member of the governing board of Franciscan University of Steubenville.

His series, The Good Code: The Natural Law, is on ETWN television. Among his books are Freedom of Association; The Supreme Court and Public Prayer, The Vanishing Right to Live; Authority and Rebellion; Beyond Abortion: The Theory and Practice of the Secular State; No Exception: A Pro-Life Imperative; 50 Questions on the Natural Law; and The Winning Side: Questions on Living the Culture of Life. His book Where Did I Come From? Where Am I GoingHow Do I Get There?, was co-authored with Dr. Theresa Farnan.

He was faculty advisor and assistant coach of the Notre Dame Boxing Club. He and his wife, Mary, had ten children and they lived in Mishawaka, Indiana.