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Notre Dame scholar appointed to senior ethics position at Yale Divinity School

Jennifer Herdt, professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame, will join Yale Divinity School July 1 as Professor of Christian Ethics, filling the senior faculty position that was vacated when Margaret Farley retired in 2007.

HerdtHerdt's primary interests are in the history of moral thought since the 17th century, classical and contemporary virtue ethics, and contemporary Protestant social ethics and political theology. She is the author of Putting on Virtue:  The Legacy of the Splendid Vices (Chicago: 2008), Religion and Faction in Hume's Moral Philosophy (Cambridge: 1997) and of over 20 articles and book chapters that have appeared in a variety of journals, including the Journal of Religious Ethics, the Journal of Religion, and the American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly.

Harold Attridge, the Rev. Henry L. Slack Dean of Yale Divinity School, said he was delighted at the appointment, noting that YDS has been searching for an outstanding ethicist to fill the vacancy since Farley’s retirement.

“We have been looking for someone who can bring to bear onto the life of believers today the profound riches of the tradition of Christian ethical reflection,” said Attridge.  “We have found just such a person in Jennifer Herdt, an outstanding teacher and scholar currently at the University of Notre Dame.

“We are delighted to welcome her, as well as her husband, Jan Hagens, and their two children to the Yale Divinity School community.  We know that she will not only be a productive and congenial colleague at the Divinity School, but a significant contributor to the wider life of Yale university.”

Hagens will join YDS as assistant to the dean for continuing education and as a lecturer in Yale College in Directed Studies and Comparative Literature.

Herdt is a 1989 graduate of Oberlin College, where she earned a B.A. She received a Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1994.

She has been awarded a Research Fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Institute (2008-2009), a Carey Senior Fellowship at the Erasmus Institute (2004-2005), a postdoctoral fellowship from the Center for Philosophy of Religion (1998-1999), a Mellon Graduate Prize Fellowship from the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University (1992), and a Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities (1989). In 2006-2007, she served as executive fellow of the College of Arts and Letters at Notre Dame.  She has served on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Religious Ethics and on the Executive Committee of the Society of Christian Ethics.

Herdt was confirmed in the United Methodist Church and is currently a member of Christ the King Lutheran Church (ELCA) in South Bend, IN.  Hagens is a Roman Catholic.