Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology
Francis Russell Hittinger


BA, University of Notre Dame, summa cum laude

MA Philosophy, St. Louis University 

PhD Philosophy, St. Louis University

Francis Russell Hittinger

Visiting Professor

Visiting Professor as of Spring 2020

Dr. Hittinger is Professor Emeritus of Religion at the University of Tulsa. He is a Senior Fellow at the Lumen Christi Institute at the University of Chicago and also serves there as a Visiting Scholar on the Committee on Social Thought.

In 2001 Bl. John Paul II appointed him to the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas, of which he became ordinarius in 2004 and, since 2006, appointed to its governing board. In 2009 Pope Benedict XVI appointed him to the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences as ordinarius. He is one of only two lay academics in the world to be appointed to two pontifical academies. In 2003, to mark the centenary of the death of Pope Leo XIII, he offered a lecture to the Ministry of Culture of the Italian Government. In December 2006, he addressed the President, Prime Minister, and Speakers of the Polish Parliament, culminating a week-long celebration of human rights and the Polish constitution. 

Dr. Hittinger is currently the Dean of the DSPT College of Fellows

Dr. Hittinger will be teaching Truth and Authority in Augustine's City of God in the Spring Semester of 2020. Read more about his course offering. 


  • Hittinger, F. “Toward an Adequate Anthropology: Social Aspects of Imago Dei in Catholic Theology”. Imago Dei:Human Dignity in Ecumenical Perspective, Catholic University of America Press, 2012, pp. 39-78.
  • Hittinger, Francis. Toward an Adequate Anthropology: Social Aspects of Imago Dei in Catholic Theology. Ed. Thomas Albert Howard. Catholic University of America Press, 2012. Print.

  • Hittinger, F. The First Grace: Rediscovering Natural Law in a Post-Christian Age. ISI, 2003.
  • Hittinger, F. A Critique of the New Natural Law Theory. University of Notre Dame Press, 1987.
  • Hittinger, F. Paper Wars: Catholic Social Doctrine and the Modern State. Yale University Press.
  • Hittinger, Francis. Thomas Aquinas, Questions on Law: A Primer. 2018. Print.

Law Reviews

  • Hittinger, F. “Resisting the Sovereign”. Texas Review of Law & Politics, Vol. 3, 1998, pp. 1, 150-156.
  • Hittinger, F. “Private Uses of Lethal Force: The Case of Assisted Suicide”. Loyola Law Review, Vol. 32, 1997, pp. 1-28.
  • Hittinger, F. “Liberalism and the American Natural Law Tradition”. Wake Forest Law Review, Vol. 25, 1990.
  • Hittinger, F. “A Crisis of Legitimacy: A Response to Critics”. Loyola Law Review, Vol. 44, 1988, pp. 83-101.

Journal Articles

  • Hittinger, Francis. “Evolution of the Right to Religious Liberty Since Pacem in Terris.” Journal of Law and Religion (2016): n. pag. Print.

  • Hittinger, Francis. “Religious Liberty and the Virtue of Religion: Another Look at Dignitatis Humanae.” (2015): n. pag. Print.

  • Hittinger, Francis. “Catholic Theology and Natural Law: Systematic and Dialogical Questions.” Ed. William C. Mattison and J Berkman. The Catholic University of American Press (2014): 35–46. Print.

  • Hittinger, Francis. “Natural Law and Public Discourse: The Legacies of Joseph Ratzinger.” Loyola University Press (2014): n. pag. Print.

  • Hittinger, F. “Polity in Catholic Social Doctrine: Some Recent Perplexities”. Religion and Civil Society: The Changing Faces of Secularism, Georg Olms Verlag, 2014, pp. 31-51.
  • Hittinger, F. “Quinquagesimo Ante: Reflections on Pacem in Terris Fifty Years Later”. The Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, Vol. Acta 18, The Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, 2013, pp. 38-60.
  • Hittinger, F. “Statement of the Plenary Session”. The Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, Vol. Acta 18, The Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, 2013, pp. 631-5.
  • Hittinger, F. “The Global Quest for Tranquillitas Ordinis: Pacem in Terris, Fifty Years Later”. The Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, Vol. Acta 18, The Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, 2013, pp. 19-20.
  • Hittinger, F. “Divisible Goods and Common Good”. Free Markets and the Culture of Common Good, Springer Dordrecht Heidelberg, 2012, pp. 41-52.
  • Hittinger, F. “Political Pluralism and Religious Liberty: The Teaching of Dignitatis Humanae”. Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, Vol. Acta 17, 2011, pp. 39-55, 677.
  • Hittinger, F. “Process of Creative Destruction and Subsidiarity”. Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, Crisis in the Global Economy, Vol. Acta 16, Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, 2011, pp. 163-71.
  • Hittinger, F. “Divisible Goods and Common Good: Reflections on Caritas in Veritate”. Journal of Faith and Economics, Vol. 58, Pepperdine University, 2011, pp. 31-46.
  • Hittinger, F. “Evidence, Lost and Found: A Concluding Unscientific Postscript”. Nova Et Vetera, Vol. 9, 2011, pp. 825-41.
  • Hittinger, F. “The Situation of Natural Law in Catholic Theology”. Nova Et Vetera, Vol. 9, 2011, pp. 657-70.
  • Hittinger, F. “Pascendi Dominici Gregis 100 Ans Apres”. Deux Modernisms, Deux Thomismes: Reflexions Sur Le Centenaire De La Lettre Contre Les Moderistes De Pie X, Vol. Lxxxiv, Nova et Vetera, 2009, pp. 45-69.
  • Hittinger, F. “Assortimento Di Teorie Minimaliste Della Natural Law”. La Vitalita Del Diritto Naturale, Soveria Mannelli, 2008.
  • Hittinger, F. “Dignitatis Humanae”. Vatican II: Renewal Within Tradition, Oxford University Press, 2008, pp. 359-82.
  • Hittinger, F. “Natural Law and the Human City”. Contemporary Perspectives on Natural Law: Natural Law As a Limiting Concept, Ashgate Publishing Ltd., 2008, pp. 29-42.
  • Hittinger, F. “Social Pluralism and Subsidiarity in Catholic Doctrine”. Christianity and Civil Society: Catholic and Neo-Calvinist Perspectives, Lexington Books, 2008, pp. 11-30.
  • Hittinger, F. “The Coherence of the Four Basic Principles of Catholic Social Doctrine: An Interpretation”. Pursuing the Common Good, Vol. Acta 14, Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas, 2008, pp. 75-123.
  • Hittinger, F. “The Legal Renaissance of the 12th and 13th Centuries: Some Thomistic Notes”. Doctor Communis Fasc. 1-2, Citta Del Vaticano, 2008.
  • Hittinger, F. “Fallimento Del Diritto Naturale? Stato Moderno, Antropologia Negativa E Dignita Umana”. Classici Della Filosofia Contemporanea, Rubbettino Editore, 2007, pp. 121-36.
  • Hittinger, F. “John Rawls: The Basis of Social Justice and Intercultural Dialogue in a Globalized World”. Doctor Communis, Citta Del Vaticano, 2007, pp. 142-64.
  • Hittinger, F. “Society, Subsidiarity, and Authority in Catholic Social Thought”. Civilizing Authority: Society, State, and Church, Lexington Books, 2007, pp. 119-42.
  • Hittinger, F. “Two Modernisms, Two Thomisms: Reflections on the Centenary of Pius X’s Letter Against the Modernists”. Nova Et Vetera, Vol. 5, 2007, pp. 843-79.
  • Hittinger, F. “Human Nature and States of Nature in John Paul II’s Theological Anthropology”. Human Nature in Its Wholeness: A Roman Catholic Perspective, The Catholic University of American Press, 2006, pp. 9-33.
  • Hittinger, F. Evolution of Papal Social Doctrine. Ministry of Culture, 2005.
  • Hittinger, F. “Desperately Seeking Culprits”. The Pius War: Responses to the Critics of Pius XII, Lexington Books, 2004.
  • Simon, Y. “Introduzione All’Editizione Americana”. The Tradition of Natural Law, Collegio Universitario Arces, 2004, pp. 13-31.
  • Hittinger, F. “The Constitutionalization of Politics and the Decline of Liberal Tolerance”. Presente Y Futuro Del Liberalismo, Ediciones Universidad De Navarra, 2004, pp. 357-76.
  • Hittinger, F. “Thomas Aquyinas on Natural Law and the Competence to Judge”. St. Thomas Aquinas and the Natural Law Tradition: Contemporary Perspectives, The Catholic University of American Press, 2004, pp. 261-84.
  • Hittinger, F. “Od ’wieznia Watykanu’ Do Swiadka Nadziei”. Wiez, Vol. 10, Pacdziernik, 2003, pp. 25-34.
  • Hittinger, F. “Munus Regale a Spoleczenstwo Obywaterlskie W Teologii Politycznej Jana Pawla II”. Oblicza Demokracji, Osrodek Mysli Politycznej, 2002.
  • Hittinger, F. “Social Roles and Ruling Virtues in Catholic Social Doctrine”. Annales Theologici, Vol. 16, 2002, pp. 385-08.
  • Hittinger, F. “The (Coming) Age of Thresholding, A Concluding Unscientirfic Postscript”. Christian Bioethics, Vol. 8, 2002, pp. 295-06.
  • Hittinger, F. “Social Pluralism and Subsidiarity in Catholic Social Doctrine”. Providence: Studies in Western Civilization, Vol. 7, 2002.
  • Hittinger, F. “Dignitatis Humanae, Religious Liberty, and Ecclesiastical Self-Government”. George Washington University Law Journal, Vol. 5/6, 2001, pp. 68, 1035-1058.
  • Hittinger, F. “Legislators, The Family and Globalization”. Familia Et Vita, Vol. VI, Pontificium Consilium Pro Familia, 2001, pp. 78-86.
  • Hittinger, F. “Reasons for a Civil Society”. Reassing the Liberal State: Reading Maritain’s Man and the State, Catholic University of America Press, 2001, pp. 11-23.
  • Hittinger, F. “The Future of the Papacy: A Symposium”. First Things, Vol. 111, 2001, pp. 28-30.
  • Hittinger, F. “Law and Liberty in Veritatis Splendor”. A Free Society Reader, Lexington Books, 2000, pp. 237-45.
  • Hittinger, F. “Kobieta wyzwolna…”. Wodrodze, Vol. 4, 2000, pp. 4-10.
  • Hittinger, F. “Marking Sense of the Civilization of Love: John Paul II’s Contribution to Catholic Social Thought”. The Legacy of Pope John Paul II, Crossroad-Herder and Herder, 2000, pp. 71-94.
  • Hittinger, F. “Natural Law and the Limits of Constitutional Law”. Common Truths: New Perspectives of Natural Law, ISI Books, 2000, pp. 169-92.
  • Hittinger, F. “The Pope and the Liberal State”. A Free Society Reader, Lexington Books, 2000, pp. 185-98.
  • Budziszewski, J. “Government by the ’Thoughtful Part’”. The End of Democracy II, Spence Publishing Co., 1999, pp. 22-43.
  • Hittinger, F. “Natural Law and Human Virtue”. Ethical Principle in Catholic Health Care, Vol. 1, National Catholic Bioethics Center, 1999, pp. 33-36.
  • Hittinger, F. “Razones Para La Sociedad Civil”. Sociedad Civil: La Democracia Y Su Destino, Ediciones Universidad De Navarra, SA, 1999, pp. 27-42.
  • Hittinger, F. “Veritatis Splendor and the Theology of Natural Law”. Veritatis Splendor and the Renewal of Moral Theology, Scepter Publishers, 1999, pp. 97-127.
  • Hittinger, F. “Current Catholic Thought on the Death Penalty”. Center Conversations, No. 2, Ethics and Public Policy Center, 1999.
  • Hittinger, F. “Natural Rights, Under-Specified Rights, and Bills of Rights”. Revue Generale De Droit, Vol. 29, Universite d’Ottawa, 1998, pp. 449-64.
  • Hittinger, F. “Yves R. Simon on Natural Law and Reason”. Acquaintance With the Absolute: The Philosophy of Yves R. Simon, Fordham University Press, 1998, pp. 101-27.
  • Hittinger, F. “A Crisis of Legitimacy”. The End of Democracy? The Celebrated First Things Debate With Arguments Pro and Con, Spence Publishing Co., 1997, pp. 18-29.
  • Hittinger, F. “Natural Law and Catholic Moral Theology”. Our Preserving Grace: Protestants, Catholics and Natural Law, Ethics and Public Policy Center-Eerdmans, 1997, pp. 1-30.
  • Hittinger, F. “Obcianska Spolocnost Katolika Socialna Dokrina”. Universum, Bratislava, 1996, pp. 12-13.
  • Hittinger, F. “On Distinguishing Between Constitutional Art and Morals”. Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal, Vol. 4, 1996, pp. 567-81.
  • Hittinger, F. “Religion and the Secular Retreat from Morality”. Culture in Crisis, Rowan & Littlefield Publ, 1996, pp. 77-89.
  • Hittinger, F. “Law and Liberty in Veritatis Splendor”. The Splendor of Truth and Health Care:Proceedings of the Fourteenth Workshop for Bishops, Braintree, 1995, pp. 29-42.
  • Hittinger, F. “Adlerian Desire and the Measure of Morality”. The Aspen Institute Quarterly, Vol. 7, 1995, pp. 100-1.
  • Hittinger, F. “Resolving Conflicting Normative Claims in Public Policy”. Abortion and Public Policy: An Interdisciplinary Investigation, Creighton University Press, 1995, pp. 72-90.
  • Hittinger, F. “When the Court Should Not Be Obeyed”. The Abortion Controversy, Greenhaven Press, 1995, pp. 121-8.
  • Hittinger, F. “The Gospel of Life: A Symposium”. First Things, Vol. 56, 1995, pp. 33-35.
  • Hittinger, F. “Natural Law As ’Law’”. American Journal of Jurisprudence, Vol. 39, 1994, pp. 1-32.
  • Hittinger, F. “Roberto Unger: On Liberalism and Superliberalism”. Liberalism at the Crossroads, Roman & Littlefield, 1994.
  • Hittinger, F. “John Rawls, Political Liberalism: A Critical Study”. The Review of Metaphysics, Vol. 47, 1994.
  • Hittinger, F. “Can Morality Be Legislated?”. The Vital Nexus, Vol. 1, 1993.
  • Hittinger, F. “Does Liberalism Need Natural Rights?”. Reason Papers, Vol. 18, 1993, pp. 79-88.
  • Hittinger, F. “Justice and Judging”. The Vital Nexus, Vol. 1, 1993.
  • Hittinger, F. “Natural Law in the Positive Laws: A Legislative or Adjudicative Issue?”. The Review of Politics, Vol. 55, 1993, pp. 5-34.
  • Hittinger, F. “Natural Law and Virtue: Theories at Cross Purposes”. Natural Law Theories, Clarendon Press, 1992.
  • Hittinger, F. “The Problem of the State in Centesimus Annus”. Fordham International Law Journal, Vol. 15, 1992, pp. 952-0996.
  • Hittinger, F. “Study of Gerard Bradley, Church-State Relationships in America”. Journal of Religion and Law, Vol. 8, 1990.
  • Hittinger, F. “The Hart-Devlin Debate Revisited”. The American Journal of Jurisprudence, Vol. 35, 1990.
  • Hittinger, F. “Theology and Natural Law Theory”. Communio, Vol. 17, 1990.
  • Hittinger, F. “Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self: A Critical Study”. The Review of Metaphysics, Vol. XLIV, 1990.
  • Hittinger, F. “Privacy and Liberal Legal Culture”. The World and I, 1990.
  • Hittinger, F. “Natural Law Theory, Virtue Ethics, and Eudaimonia”. International Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. XXIX, 1989.
  • Hittinger, F. “Reason and Anti-Reason”. Essays on the Closing of the American Mind, 1989, pp. 338-41.
  • Hittinger, F. “Varieties of Minimalist Natural Law”. American Journal of Jurisprudence, Vol. 34, 1989.
  • Hittinger, F. “Scholastic Ethics: An Uncertain Legacy”. Jeevadhara, Vol. XIX, 1989.
  • Hittinger, F. “Response to Professor Grisez’s Critique”. The New Scholasticism, Vol. LXII, 1988.
  • Hittinger, F. “The Recovery of Natural Law and the ’Common Morality’”. This World, 1987.
  • Hittinger, F. “When It Is More Excellent to Know Than to Love”. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association, Vol. LVII, 1983.
  • Hittinger, F. “John Paul II’s Contribution to Social Doctrine”. The Thomistic Legacy in Blessed John Paul II, Doctor Communis, Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas.
  • Hittinger, F. “Love, Sustainability and Solidarity: Philosophical and Theological Roots”. Christian Humanism, The Catholic University of American Press.
  • Hittinger, F. “The Theme of ’Modern Times’ in Magisterial Documents”. Re-Envisioning Christian Humanism, Oxford University Press.

Book Chapters

  • Hittinger, F. “Introduction”. The State in Catholic Thought: A Treatise in Political Philosophy, Alethes Press, 2009, p. vii-xxix.
  • Hittinger, F. The Teachings of Modern Roman Catholicism: On Law, Politics, and Human Nature. Columbia University Press, 2007.
  • Hittinger, F. “Natural Law”. American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia, ISI Books, 2006, pp. 605-8.
  • Williams, T. “Who Is My Neighbor? Personalism and the Foundations of Human Rights”. First Things, Vol. 158, The Catholic University of American Press, 2005, pp. 50-52.
  • Hittinger, F. The Teachings of Modern Christianity: On Law, Politics, and Human Nature. Vol. 2, Columbia University Press, 2005, pp. 3-38, 39.
  • Rommen, H. “Introductory Essay and Critical Bibliography”. The Natural Law, Liberty Fund Press, 1998, pp. xi-xxxii, 239.
  • Kirk, R. “Introduction”. Rights and Duties, Spence Publishing, 1997, p. xiii-xxxi.
  • Hittinger, F. “Natural Law”. The Encyclopedia of Bioethics, Macmillan Publishing Company, 1994, pp. 1805-12.
  • Hittinger, F. “Natural Law”. The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Modern Christian Thought, Basil Blackwell, 1993.
  • Hittinger, F. “Justice”. The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Modern Christian Thought, Basil Blackwell, 1993.
  • Hittinger, F. “Introductory Essay: Yves Simon”. The Tradition of Natural Law, Fordham University Press, 1992.

Translation or Transcriptions

  • Hittinger, F. The First Grace. Collegio Universitario Arces.

Conference Proceedings

  • Hittinger, F. “Aquinas and the Rule of Law”. The Ever-Illuminating Wisdom of St. Thomas Aquinas, Vol. 8, The Ignatius Press, 1999, pp. 99-119.
  • “Christopher Dawson on Technology and the Demise of Liberalism”. The Proceedings of the Wethersfield Institute, Vol. 7, Ignatius Press, 1995, pp. 73-95.

Book Reviews

  • Kries, D. “Examination of Conscience (The Problem of Natural Law)”. First Things, Vol. 189, 2009, pp. 59-61.
  • Keys, M. “Aquinas, Aristotle, and the Promise of the Common Good”. The Thomist, Vol. 72, Cambridge University Press, 2008, pp. 487-91.
  • Manent, P. “Dissecting a Democratic Illusion (A World Beyo9nd Politics? A Defense of the Nation-State)”. The Intercollegiate Review, Vol. 41, Princeton, 2006, pp. 50-54.
  • Burleigh, M. “Churches of Earthly Power (Earthly Powers)”. First Things, Vol. 164, Harper-Collins, 2006, pp. 27-32.
  • Hitchcock, J. “The Supreme Court and Religion in American Live”. First Things, Vol. 154, Princeton University Press, 2005.
  • Arkes, H. “Leaving Well Enough Alone (Natural Rights & The Right to Choose)”. The Review of Politics, Vol. 65, Cambridge University Press, 2003, pp. 441-3.
  • Hollenbach, D. “The Sociality of Society (The Common Good and Christian Ethics)”. First Things, Vol. 135, Cambridge University Press, 2003, pp. 42-45.
  • Dauphinais, M., and M. Levering. “Knowing the Love of Christ: An Introduction to the Theology of St. Thomas Aquinas”. First Things, Vol. 132, Notre Dame, 2003, pp. 67-68.
  • Spoto, D. “A Francis for Our Times (Reluctant Saint: The Life of Francis of Assisi)”. First Things, Vol. 131, Viking, 2003, pp. 55-59.
  • Engelhardt, H. T. “New Foundations (The Foundations of Bioethics)”. Crisis, 2001, pp. 55-57.
  • Harline, C., and E. Put. “Scenes of Clerical Life (A Bishop’s Tale)”. The Weekly Standard, Vol. 6, University Press, 2001, pp. 38-40.
  • Chadwick, O. “The Dawn of the Modern Papacy (A History of the Popes, 1830-1914”. First Things, Vol. 102, 2000, pp. 67-73.
  • Genovese, E. “A Confederate Theodicy (A Consuming Fire: The Fall of the Confederacy in the Mind of the White Christian South”. First Things, Vol. 95, 1999, pp. 67-72.
  • Manent, P. “Modern Liberty and Its Discontents: Selected Writings of Pierre Manent”. First Things, Vol. 88, Rowman and Littlefield, 1998, pp. 42-44.
  • Manent, P. “The City of Man”. First Things, Vol. 88, Princeton University Press, 1998, pp. 42-44.
  • “The Return of George Sutherland: Restoring a Jurisprudence of Natural Rights”. First Things, Vol. 57, 1995, pp. 62-64.
  • Arkes, H. “The Return of George Sutherland: Restoring a Jurisprudence of Natural Rights”. First Things, Vol. 57, 1995, pp. 62-64.
  • Smith, J. “Humanae Vitae: A Generation Later”. The American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. LXVI, 1992.
  • Porter, J. “The Recovery of Virtue: The Relevance of Aquinas for Christian Ethics”. Faith and Philosophy, Vol. 8, 1991.
  • Verbeke, G. “Moral Education in Aristotle”. Revue Canadienne De Comptes Rendus En Philosophie, Vol. XI, 1991.
  • “Nuclear Deterrence, Morality and Realism”. International Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. XXIX, 1989.
  • Weinreb, L. “Natural Law and Justice”. This World, Vol. 18, 1988.
  • Rescher, N. “Ethical Idealism: An Inquiry into the Nature and Function of Ideals”. The Review of Metaphysics, Vol. XLI, 1988.
  • Finnis, J. “Fundamentals of Ethics”. The Modern Schoolman, Vol. LXIII, 1986.
  • McInerny, R. “Ethica Thomistica”. The Review of Metaphysics, 1983.
  • MacIntyre, A. “After Virtue”. The New Scholasticism, Vol. 56, 1982, pp. 385-90.
  • Delumeau, J. “Catholicism Between Luther and Voltaire”. Review for Religious, Vol. 38, 1979, pp. 152-3.
  • Dolan, J. “Catholic Revivalism: The American Experience 1830-1900”. Review for Religious, Vol. 37, 1978, pp. 631-2.


  • Brock, Stephen. “Introduction – Prologo.” (2014): 11–13. Print.

  • Hittinger, F. “The Papacy and the Jews”. Journal of the Historical Society, Vol. 11, 2002, pp. 215-27.
  • Hittinger, F. “The Family and Human Rights”. Pontificium Consilium Pro Familia, Liberia Editrice, 1999.
  • Hittinger, F. Linking the Human Life Issues. Regnery-Gateway, 1986.

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