Permanent Research Fellows

Senior Distinguished Research Fellows

John Finnis, University of Notre Dame


Known for his work in moral, political, and legal theory, as well as constitutional law, John Finnis joined the Notre Dame Law School faculty in 1995. He earned his LL.B. from Adelaide University (Australia) in 1961 and his doctorate from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar in 1965. Professor Finnis held the positions of lecturer, reader, and a chaired professor in law at Oxford University for more than four decades, until 2010. In addition, he has served as associate in law at the University of California at Berkeley (1965–66), as professor of law at the University of Malawi (Africa) (1976–78), and as the Huber Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law at the Boston College Law School (1993–94). He is admitted to the English Bar (Gray’s Inn).

Professor Finnis teaches courses in jurisprudence; the social, political, and legal theory of Thomas Aquinas; and the social, political, and legal theory of Shakespeare. His service has included the Linacre Centre for Health Care Ethics (governor since 1981), the Catholic Bishops’ Joint Committee on Bioethical Issues (1981–88), the International Theological Commission (1986–92), the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace (1990–95), and the Pontifical Academy Pro Vita (2001–present). He has published widely in law, legal theory, moral and political philosophy, moral theology, and the history of the late Elizabethan era. He is an adjunct professor in the Department of Philosophy at Notre Dame.

Alasdair MacIntyre, London Metropolitan University 


Alasdair MacIntyre has written widely in philosophy since his first book, Marxism: An Interpretation, appeared in 1953. He has taught at Oxford, Princeton, Brandeis, Boston, Wellesley, Vanderbilt, Duke, and the University of Notre Dame. In 1989, he was a Luce Visiting Scholar at the Whitney Humanities Center of Yale University. He has also served as president of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association.

Professor MacIntyre is the author of over thirty books, including the influential triumvirate of recent works: After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory (1981), Whose Justice? Which Rationality? (1988), and Three Rival Versions of Moral Enquiry: Encyclopaedia, Genealogy, and Tradition (1990). He has made prominent contributions to the history of philosophy, moral philosophy, political theory, philosophy of the social sciences, and philosophy of religion. He recently published an examination of the philosophical work of Edith Stein set against the background of twentieth-century phenomenology entitled Edith Stein: A Philosophical Prologue, 19131922 (2006), as well as two volumes of his collected papers, The Tasks of Philosophy: Selected Essays (2006) and Ethics and Politics: Selected Essays (2006). His most recent book is God, Philosophy, Universities: A Selective History of the Catholic Philosophical Tradition (2009).

Although he retired from teaching in 2010, Professor MacIntyre remains domiciled at the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture, where he continues to write and to conduct his research. He served as the Center’s first permanent research fellow.

Permanent Fellows

Helen Alvaré, George Mason University School of Law 


Helen Alvaré is a Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law, where she teaches Family Law, Law and Religion, and Property Law. She publishes on matters concerning marriage, parenting, non-marital households, and the First Amendment religion clauses. She is faculty advisor to the law school’s Civil Rights Law Journal, and the Latino/a Law Student Association, a consultor for the Pontifical Council of the Laity (Vatican City), an advisor to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (Washington, D.C.), founder of, and an ABC news consultant. She cooperates with the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations as a speaker and a delegate to various United Nations conferences concerning women and the family.

In addition to her books, and her publications in law reviews and other academic journals, Professor Alvaré publishes regularly in news outlets including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, and USA Today. She also speaks at academic and professional conferences in the United States, Europe, Latin America and Australia.

Prior to joining the faculty of George Mason, Professor Alvaré taught at the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America; represented the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops before legislative bodies, academic audiences and the media; and was a litigation attorney for the Philadelphia law firm of Stradley, Ronon, Stevens & Young.

Professor Alvaré received her law degree from Cornell University School of Law and her master’s degree in Systematic Theology from the Catholic University of America.

Rev. William R. Dailey, C.S.C., Notre Dame Law School


Rev. William R. Dailey, C.S.C., is the Center for Ethics and Culture's Thomas More Fellow and a lecturer in law at Notre Dame Law School. He earned his B.A. in philosophy summa cum laude from the University of Notre Dame, where his thesis on Charles Sanders Pierce was honored as the Most Outstanding Senior Honors Thesis. After teaching philosophy and working in administration at the University of Portland, Father Dailey attended Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. He served as a law clerk to Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and then practiced law in Washington, D.C., with Wiley Rein LLP. In 2009, he returned to Columbia Law School as a visiting scholar. Father Dailey’s teaching and scholarly interests are in the areas of professional responsibility, jurisprudence, evidence, and immigration. 

Rev. Kevin L. Flannery, S.J., Pontifical Gregorian University


Rev. Kevin Flannery, S.J., is a professor of the history of ancient philosophy and the former dean of the philosophy faculty at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He is also a member of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas in Vatican City. Father Flannery holds a licentiate in sacred theology from the Weston School of Theology and a doctorate in philosophy from Oxford, where he was later named a senior visiting fellow at the Centre for Philosophical Psychology. His principal areas of interest include the ethics of Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas, as well as ancient logic and cooperation in evil.

Father Flannery is the author of several books, including his most recent, Action and Character According to Aristotle: The Logic of the Moral Life and Christian and Moral Action (2013).

Robert P. George, Princeton University


Robert P. George is the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and the founder and director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. He has served on the President's Council on Bioethics, as a presidential appointee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights, and on UNESCO’s World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology. He is a former Judicial Fellow at the Supreme Court of the United States, where he received the Justice Tom C. Clark Award, and was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal by President George W. Bush in 2008. He is a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, the Herbert W. Vaughan senior fellow of the Witherspoon Institute, and a visiting professor at Harvard Law School.

Professor George is the author of numerous books and articles, including In Defense of Natural Law (1999), The Clash of Orthodoxies: Law, Religion and Morality in Crisis (2002), and What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense (2012). He holds a B.A from Swarthmore College, a J.D. from Harvard University, and a D.Phil from Oxford, as well as honorary doctorates of law, ethics, science, letters, civil law, humane letters, and juridical science.

John Haldane, University of St. Andrews


John Haldane is a professor of philosophy and director of the Centre for Ethics, Philosophy and Public Affairs at the University of St. Andrews and the J. Newton Rayzor, Sr., Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Baylor University. His research interests include issues in the history of philosophy; philosophy of mind; social and political philosophy; ethics; and aesthetics. Professor Haldane obtained a bachelor of arts in philosophy in 1980 and a Ph.D. in 1984 and has held fellowships from the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, and Pittsburgh. A proponent of analytical approaches to the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas, he has authored or edited dozens of articles and books, including An Intelligent Person's Guide to Religion (2003), Faithful Reason: Essays Catholic and Philosophical (2004), Reasonable Faith (2010), and Atheism and Theism (1996) with J.J.C. Smart.

Professor Haldane has appeared on several BBC radio and television programs and has contributed to the Times, the Daily Telegraph, and the Scotsman, among other outlets. In addition, he has lectured widely, at the Institute for the Psychological Sciences in the United States from 2006; at the Centre for the Study of Sculpture in England in 1999; and delivering the Gifford Lectures at the University of Aberdeen in 2005.

Rev. John Paul Kimes, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith


Rev. John Paul Kimes is the Raymond of Peñafort Fellow in Canon Law at the Center for Ethics and Culture. He was ordained a priest in the eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon of Los Angeles in 2000 and currently serves at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in the Vatican. He received his B.A. from the University of Notre Dame, an S.T.B. in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, and a Ph.D. in canon law from the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome. His recent publications include articles on the canonical situation of Eastern Catholics in the multi-Church context of the United States, implications of the norms of Anglicanorum Coetibus on the Eastern Catholic Churches, and various aspects of the work of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, particularly on the application of the norms of Sacramentorum Sanctitatis Tutela

Elizabeth Lev, Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas


Elizabeth Lev teaches Renaissance and Baroque Art at Duquesne University’s Italian campus and at the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas. She is a commissioner of the Tourism board of Rome and a consultant on art and faith for the Vatican Museums, for whom she authored the documentary Vatican Treasures: Art and Faith. She also wrote a course on the history of the museums for Vatican guides, and co-curated an exhibition for World Youth Day called “A Body for Glory.”

Lev has taught and lectured in numerous venues in Ireland, Italy, the US and Australia, including an address at the United Nations in New York, and a TED talk representing the Vatican Museums. She works as Vatican Analyst for NBC and has been featured on The Today Show, Nightline and Sixty Minutes. She also wrote and hosted the ten-part series Catholic Canvas on EWTN, and has been a consultant for the History Channel. Her books include The Tigress of Forlì: The Remarkable Story of Caterina Riario Sforza de’Medici (2011), Roman Pilgrimage: The Station Churches (2013) with George Weigel, and A Body for Glory: Theology of the Body in the Papal Collections (2014) with José Granados. Lev studied art history at the University of Chicago, and completed her graduate work at the University of Bologna.

Mauro Magatti, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart


Mauro Magatti is a professor of sociology at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Kent, Canterbury, and has focused his research on the role of civil society in contemporary democracies, cultural and social change, and, most recently, the implications of globalization. Since 2008, Professor Magatti has been the director of the Centre for the Anthropology of Religion and Cultural Change (ARC), a collaborative project based at Catholic University, Heritage Foundation Gallup, Gallup Europe, and Cork University. He has also consulted for the EU, the European Science Foundation, the Italian Ministry of Education, and Italian Caritas, among others. He has been a visiting professor at the Kellogg Institute at the University of Notre Dame, the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, and the Universidad Católica Argentina in Buenos Aires. He is the author of numerous journal articles and books as well as essays and articles in popular publications.

Gilbert Meilaender, Valparaiso University


Gilbert Meilaender is the Richard and Phyllis Duesenberg Chair in Theological Ethics at Valparaiso University and the Paul Ramsey Fellow at the Center for Ethics and Culture. One of the nation’s preeminent bioethicists, Professor Meilaender has written extensively on the body, human identity, and the meaning of emerging technologies. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University and, before coming to Valparaiso in 1996, taught at the University of Virginia (1976–78) and at Oberlin College (1978–96). He has served on the editorial board and as an associate editor of the Journal of Religious Ethics; as an associate editor for Religious Studies Review; on the editorial board of the Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics; and on the editorial advisory board of First Things. His books include Should We Live Forever?: The Ethical Ambiguities of Aging (2013), Bioethics: A Primer for Christians (1996, 2005), and Body, Soul, and Bioethics (1995). Professor Meilaender is a Fellow of the Hastings Center and was a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics from 2002 to 2008.

Andrea Simoncini, University of Florence


Andrea Simoncini is a professor of constitutional law at the University of Florence, where he received his degree. His areas of research include Italian and European constitutional law, developmental dynamics of the sources of law, social rights, and the study of the interrelations between natural law and positive legal systems. He also studies the nexus of environmental politics with constitutional law and human rights.

Professor Simoncini is the author, with Marta Cartabia, of the forthcoming book Pope Benedict's Legal Thought: A Dialogue on Open Reason and the Foundation of Law and Politics (Cambridge University Press). He has twice been a visiting professor at the University of Notre Dame Law School, as well as a visiting fellow at the Kellogg Institute and a research fellow at the Nanovic Institute for European Studies. In 2009, he was Notre Dame's Fulbright Italian Scholar.

Lorenza Violini, University of Milan


Lorenza Violini is a professor of law at the State University of Milan. She was trained in Italy, Germany, and the United States, where she received a master’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana. She researches and teaches in the fields of human rights, comparative law, and constitutional law.

Professor Violini has been appointed as head of the Department of Italian and Supranational Public Law of the State University of Milan and formerly served as director of the Department of Public, Civil Procedure, International, and European Law of the same university (2010–12). She is a member of the Management Board of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, the Scientific Committee for Family of the Lombardy Region, and the Union of the Italian Catholic Jurists. In 2013 she served as a member of the Italian Government Committee for Constitutional Reform. 

Professor Violini’s written works include Human Dignity and Right to Life (2013, with Marilena Gennusa), Legal Traditions in Dialogue: Elementary Experience Tested by Diversity (2012, with Paolo Carozza), and Bioethics and Laicity (2008).

John Waters, The Irish Independent


John Waters is an Irish music journalist, author, and playwright. He was a columnist with the Irish Times for 23 years, as well as a feature writer and media correspondent. He is the author of nine books, including Lapsed Agnostic (2008), Beyond Consolation: How We Became Too 'Clever' for God and Our Own Good (2010), and Jiving at the Crossroads (1991). His plays for radio and the stage include Long Black Coat, Holy Secrets, Easter Dues, and Adverse Possession. He is originally from Castlerea, County Roscommon, Ireland. 


George Weigel, Ethics and Public Policy Center


George Weigel is a distinguished senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., where he holds the William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies. He is the author or editor of more than twenty books, including the two-volume biography of Pope St. John Paul II, Witness to Hope and The End and the Beginning. His essays, op-ed columns, and reviews appear regularly in major opinion journals and newspapers across the United States, including the Washington Post, USA Today, Newsweek, First Things, and National Review. His weekly column, “The Catholic Difference,” is syndicated in sixty newspapers. A frequent guest on television and radio, he is also the Vatican analyst for NBC News.
Weigel received a B.A. from St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore and an M.A. from the University of St. Michael’s College, Toronto. He is the recipient of eighteen honorary doctorates in fields including divinity, philosophy, law, and social science.

Thomas D. Williams, Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas


Thomas D. Williams taught theology and social ethics for more than a decade at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical Athenaeum in Rome, where he served as dean of the theology school for 7 years, and he is corresponding academician for the Pontifical Academy of Saint Thomas Aquinas. Williams has written widely on theology, philosophy, ethics and spirituality, and his 15 books include Who Is My Neighbor? Personalism and the Foundations of Human Rights (2005) and The World As It Could Be: Catholic Social Thought for a New Generation (2011).

Williams has taught and lectured in Ireland, Poland, Peru, Venezuela, Spain, Mexico, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Côte D’Ivoire, and the USA. He has served as consultant and commentator on faith, ethics and religion for several television networks, including NBC, CBS and Sky News in the UK. He was also appointed by the Vatican as spokesman for the Synod of Bishops in 1997 and again in 2001. He has published hundreds of articles and essays on a broad variety of topics, from Social Ethics to Theology to Christian spirituality. Williams holds a doctorate in theology, a license in philosophy and a BBA in business administration and economics, as well as a diploma in languages and classical humanities.