Von Hildebrand Project Partnership | Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • Von Hildebrand Legacy Project Partners with Franciscan University

    Collaboration Will Increase the Influence of One of the 20th Century’s Greatest Christian Philosophers

    Dietrich von Hildebrand, 1889-1977

    April 24, 2013

    STEUBENVILLE, OHIO—Franciscan University of Steubenville has engaged in a partnership with the Dietrich von Hildebrand Legacy Project.

    Founded in 2004 by Franciscan University alumnus John Henry Crosby, the Legacy Project seeks to preserve and promote the thought and witness of Dietrich von Hildebrand (1889-1977), seminal philosopher, ardent Christian, fierce foe of Nazism, and fervent champion of beauty. Von Hildebrand developed and enriched the Western philosophical tradition through many original insights. His conversion to Catholicism at the age of 24 opened new vistas and enabled him to write many profound works unfolding Catholic faith and morals. 

    “Granting the Legacy Project a greater presence on our campus will both enrich our intellectual environment and lead to many opportunities for our students and faculty,” says Dr. Daniel Kempton, vice president for Academic Affairs at Franciscan. 

    The partnership will foster the work of the Legacy Project on several fronts. Legacy Project Director John Henry Crosby, now a visiting fellow at Franciscan University with an office on the University campus, closely collaborates with University faculty and students. The Legacy Project’s annual summer seminar, scheduled for July 15-19, 2013, will be held at Franciscan University for the first time. The new location and the University’s assistance have enabled the project to expand the seminar to a week-long format. 

    Beginning in fall 2013, the Legacy Project will begin offering a track of its Graduate Student Fellowship at Franciscan University, allowing students from Franciscan University and elsewhere to immerse themselves in the thought of von Hildebrand and assist in preparing manuscripts for publication. The partnership will also help to attract scholars interested in studying the papers and manuscripts housed in the von Hildebrand archive at the John Paul II Library at Franciscan University. 

    These initiatives will provide Franciscan University students with new opportunities to engage in meaningful work that will help them develop both intellectually and culturally.

    Crosby particularly welcomes the partnership in light of the Legacy Project’s mission toward the broader culture. “In Ex Corde Ecclesiae, Blessed Pope John Paul II writes that ‘a Catholic university, aware that human culture is open to Revelation and transcendence, is also a primary and privileged place for a fruitful dialogue between the Gospel and culture,’” said Crosby. “It is my hope that the project, informed by the Christian humanism of Dietrich von Hildebrand, will both build on and enhance Franciscan University’s engagement with the culture.”

    Franciscan University is, according to Crosby, “a natural partner,” as the Legacy Project’s cofounder and senior fellow (and John Henry’s father) Dr. John F. Crosby, is a member of the philosophy faculty at Franciscan, and Dietrich von Hildebrand’s widow, Alice von Hildebrand, served on the board of trustees of Franciscan University for 12 years. 

    “The Legacy Project has already made an outstanding cultural contribution by drawing our attention to and nurturing conversation about timeless questions of truth, goodness, and beauty while at the same time promoting interest in the tremendously rich body of work left to us by von Hildebrand,” says Dr. Jonathan Sanford, philosophy professor at Franciscan. “Franciscan University is excited to join some of their work with ours.” 

    For more information about the Dietrich von Hildebrand Legacy Project, including information about the summer seminar, please visit the Project's website.

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