Jean Porter

Jean Porter

Endowed Professor
John A. O'Brien Professor of Theology
Moral Theology/Christian Ethics


1984: Ph.D., Department of Religious Studies (with a specialization in ethics), Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut Dissertation:  The Concept of Rational Agency in the Thought of Aristotle and  Thomas Aquinas (unpublished)

1981: M.A., Department of Religious Studies Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut

1980: M.Div. (with distinction), Weston School of Theology, Cambridge, Massachusetts

1976: B.A. in philosophy (summa cum laude), The University of Texas at Austin, Texas

Recent Publications


2010. Ministers of the Law: A Natural Law Theory of Legal Authority. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

2005. Nature as Reason: A Thomistic Theory of the Natural Law. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

1999. Natural and Divine Law: Reclaiming the Tradition for Christian Ethics. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

1994. Moral Action and Christian Ethics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Book Chapters:

2014. “Sin, Sickness, and Transgression: Medieval Perspectives on Sin and Their Significance Today,” Virtue and the Moral Life: Theological and Philosophical Perspectives, ed. by William Werpehowski and Kathryn Getek Soltis, pp. 115-132. Latham: Lexington Books.

2013.“Nature, Normative Grammars, and Moral Judgements” Evolution, Games and God: The Principle of Cooperation, ed. by Sarah Coakley and Martin A. Novak, pp. 289-306. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

2013. “Virtue Ethics in the Medieval Period,” The Cambridge Companion to Virtue Ethics, ed. by Daniel C. Russel, pp. 70-91. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

2012. “Virtues and Vices, The Oxford Handbook to Thomas Aquinas, ed. by Brian Davies and Eleanor Stump, pp. 265-275. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

2012.“Moral Traditions,” Theology and Public Philosophy: Four Conversations, ed. by Kenneth L. Grasso and Cecilia Rodriguez Castillo, pp. 137-152. Latham: Lexington Books.

2011. "Altruism, Evolution, and Aristotelian Flourishing: An Unexpected Convergence,” Evolution, Games and God: The Principle of Cooperation, ed. by Sarah Coakley and Martin A. Novak. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

2011. “Happiness,” Cambridge Companion to the Summa Theologiae, ed. by Denys Turner and Philip McCosker. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

2011.“In Defense of Living Nature: Finding Common Ground in a Medieval Tradition,” The Ideal of Nature: Debates about Biotechnology and the Environment, ed. by Gregory E. Kaebnick, pp. 17-28. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

2010. “Action and Intention,” The Cambridge Companion to Medieval Philosophy, Volume I, ed. by Robert Pasnau and Christina van Dyke, pp.506-516. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


2014.“Moral Passions: A Thomistic Interpretation of Moral Emotions in Nonhuman and Human Moral Aninals,” Journal of Moral Theology 3.2 (June 2014), 93-108

2014. “Divine Commands, Natural Law and the Authority of God,” Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics 34.1 (Spring/summer 2014), 3-20

2014. “The Desire for Happiness and the Virtues of the Will,” Journal of Moral Theology 3.1 (January 2014), 18-34

2013. “Why Are the Habits Necessary? An Inquiry into Aquinas’s Moral Psychology,” Oxford Studies in Medieval Philosophy Volume 1 (2013), 113-135

2013.“Dispositions of the Will” Philosophia 41.2 (2013), 289-300

2012. “Making Common Cause with Men and Women of Our Age: A Thomist Perspective,” Studies in Christian Ethics 25.2 (2012), 169-173

2011. “Does the Rule of Law Matter? Legal Integrity and the Rule of Law as Intrinsic Values,” Journal of Catholic Social Thought  8.2 (2011), 187-203

2010. “The Natural Law and Innovative Forms of Marriage: A Reconsideration,” The Journal of the              Society of Christian Ethics, December 2010


431 Malloy Hall

Full CV

Download full CV