Edmund N. Santurri is professor of philosophy and religion, and Morrison Family Director of the Institute for Freedom and Community. He has taught at St. Olaf since 1980, chaired the Religion Department 1988–91, served as director of The Great Conversation program 1996–2008, and directed the Ethical Issues and Normative Perspectives Program 2010–13. In 2016-17 he was director of The Public Affairs Conversation. In 2017-18 he held the Martin E. Marty Chair in Religion and the Academy. He is the author of Perplexity in the Moral Life: Philosophical and Theological Considerations, and has coedited (with William Werpehowski) The Love Commandments: Essays in Christian Ethics and Moral Philosophy. He also authored the introduction to Reinhold Niebuhr’s An Interpretation of Christian Ethics.

In 2016 Edmund became director of the college’s Institute for Freedom and Community, which was established in 2014 to encourage free inquiry and meaningful debate of important political and social issues. 

Although his area of specialization is ethics, Santurri’s teaching, over a career of almost forty years, has ranged over a wide variety of topics in ethics, theology, philosophy, and religion and culture. His scholarship has included work in political ethics with emphases on Christian political realism, political liberalism and pluralism, and the ethics of political violence. He has also published on the theoretical question of moral dilemmas and the nature of Christian love. His recent classes include Obama’s Theologian: The Theology of Reinhold Niebuhr; Beyond Narnia: The Theology of C. S. Lewis; The Religious and the Political: Gandhi, Niebuhr, and King; Public Affairs Conversation: Foundational Debates; and Love as Reality and Ideal: Theological and Ethical Variations.

Edmund and his spouse, St. Olaf Professor of French Jolene Barjasteh, are avid fans of the Minnesota Lynx.

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