UD is pleased to announce the formation of the St. John Paul II Teaching Fellow in Social Thought. Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D., known for his clear and careful writing as well as his poise and civility in addressing controversial social issues, has been selected as the university's first fellow. Anderson will join the Politics Department as an adjunct faculty member and teach two courses per year. Throughout his two-year fellowship, Anderson will also present lectures and an annual conference in collaboration with the American Public Philosophy Institute (APPI).
"The University of Dallas is already a center for significant work on Catholic social thought. Inviting Dr. Ryan Anderson will strengthen the university's commitment to Catholic social teaching, provide new insights for our students, and help us to fulfill our mission to pursue the truth and cultivate justice," said Provost Jonathan J. Sanford, Ph.D. "The University of Dallas is uniquely positioned to make a special contribution to the church and help shape culture through Catholic social teaching, and takes seriously its responsibility to do so."
Sanford credits local businessman Rob Hays with playing an important role in making UD's new St. John Paul II Teaching Fellow in Social Thought a reality through his own financial contributions and through rallying a group of additional donors, including corporate sponsorships. Hays leads the Dallas Business Ethics Forum, a group promoting the application of Catholic social teaching to business practices through case study analysis and with the goal of developing principled leaders who make just decisions in the often complex world of business. Funding for the fellowship also includes research support for additional university faculty who are working on aspects of Catholic social teaching.
With the inception of the St. John Paul II Teaching Fellowship in Social Thought, UD aims to move forward with plans to establish an institute for Catholic social teaching. This institute will provide degree programs that will offer both the theoretical foundations and the careful consideration of applications of Catholic social teaching, as well as promote research and provide opportunities for continuing education. Anderson's initial lecture, "Catholic Thought and the Challenges of Our Time," will be held on the Irving campus on Monday, March 25, 2019. He will discuss the concept of Catholic social teaching and how it relates to the courses he will be teaching over the next two years. This lecture will be open to the public.
Anderson received his bachelor of arts degree from Princeton University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude, and he received his doctoral degree in political philosophy from the University of Notre Dame. His dissertation was titled "Neither Liberal Nor Libertarian: A Natural Law Approach to Social Justice and Economic Rights." He is currently a senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation.