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Rev. Joseph Koterski

Biographical Introduction of Rev. Joseph Koterski, SJ of Fordham University, New York City

His lecture entitled The Concept of Nature in Natural Law Ethics, the fifth in the Bethel Lectures in Philosophy Series, was delivered at Bethel College on Friday, December 1, 2006 at 7:30 p.m. AC 342.


The Bethel Lectures in Philosophy Series brings to our campus distinguished philosophers in various disciplines. Past lecturers have been Dallas Willard (Southern California), William Lane Craig (Talbot School of Theology) Rich-ard Swinburne (Oxford, ret.), and Brian Davies (Fordham). This series continues in the Spring with Alvin Plant-inga, who holds the John A. O'Brien Chair of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame.

This semester we are privileged to have Fr. Joseph Koterski, SJ. He currently serves as Associate Professor of Philosophy and as Chaplain and Tutor of Queens Court Freshman Residential College at Fordham University in New York City. He earned his Bachelors degree with Honors (summa cum laude) at Xavier University, where he earned a Danforth Fellowship, won the "Joseph Verkamp Greek Award" (1975), the "Archbishop McNicholas Philosophy Prize" (1976), the "Ragland Latin Medal" (1976), and the "John Zurancik Award for General Excellence in the study of Classical Languages" (1976). His M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy are from St. Louis University where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in 1982. After joining the Society of Jesus he earned his M.Div. and S.T.L. degrees from Weston School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he was recognized with the "Award for Excellence in Scriptural Studies" in 1991.

He was ordained to the priesthood in 1992. That same year he joined the faculty of Fordham's Department of Philosophy (of which he was the Chair from 2002 to 2004). Fr. Koterski has also taught at St. Joseph's Seminary in New York, Loyola College in Baltimore and the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. His teaching at Ford-ham has been awarded on two occasions; he received the "Undergraduate Teaching Award" in 1998 and "Graduate Teacher of the Year" award in 2000. He also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of Gonzaga University, the Advisory Board of the "Cardinal Newman Society," the Board of Directors of "Uni-versity Faculty for Life" and is also on the Advisory Board for Precious Life Books.

He has published over fifty articles and essays on philosophy and theology in such books and journals as the Cambridge Companion to Karl Jaspers, Freedom Virtue and the Common Good, the Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World, Homiletic and Pastoral Review, Fordham Law Review, Thought, Augustinian Studies, Crisis, The New Scholasticism and the Bulletin of the New York C. S. Lewis Society. In addition to these, the Teaching Company has released two lecture series by Fr. Koterski on CD and DVD; a 24-part series on "Natural Law and Human Nature" and a 12-part series entitled the "Ethics of Aristotle." Fr. Koterski is the editor of the prestigious International Philosophical Quarterly, the annual volume Proceedings of the University Faculty for Life Conference and the series Moral Philosophy and Moral Theology from Fordham Univer-sity Press. He has edited many other works, including Prophecy and Diplomacy: The Moral Teaching of Pope John Paul II, Karl Jaspers on Philosophy of History and History of Philosophy, The Two Wings of Catholic Thought: Essays on Fides et Ratio, Medieval Education, and Culture and Creed.

Finally, on a personal note, he is one of the two most gifted teachers I have ever known. Through his classes, public lectures, writings and private conversations he has contributed to my own philosophical and theologi-cal thought. And I am confident that you will find that to be the case tonight. Please join me in welcoming to Bethel College Fr. Joseph Koterski.

— Written and delivered by Professor David Alan Reed