Dominicans and Jesuits Collaborate on New Senior Appointment

11th June 2021

The American-born Dr Daniel D. De Haan has been named as the first Frederick Copleston Senior Lecturer and Research Fellow.

This senior post is the result of an exciting new collaboration between Blackfriars and Campion Hall, Oxford: two academic communities run by the Dominican and Jesuit Orders respectively. The new postholder will focus on Philosophy and Theology in the Catholic Tradition.

Daniel will teach in Blackfriars Studium, which trains young men for the priesthood, as well as contributing to the research mission of Campion Hall ‘to serve all things human’ and where he will be a Senior Research Fellow.

Daniel says:

“This exciting joint venture between Blackfriars and Campion Hall will bless me with a great opportunity to have my enquiries further enriched by the Dominican and Jesuit Catholic philosophical and theological traditions. The study of St Thomas Aquinas is central to my research in medieval philosophy and philosophical anthropology, and I now look forward teaching students at Blackfriars and participating in the future activities of the Aquinas Institute.”

Daniel grew up in Pella, Iowa and after undergraduate studies in Nashville, Tennessee, he received his doctorate in philosophy from the Catholic University of Leuven and the Center for Thomistic Studies in Houston, Texas. Before coming to Oxford, he was a postdoctoral fellow on the neuroscience strand of the Theology, Philosophy of Religion, and the Sciences project at the University of Cambridge directed by Professor Sarah Coakley. He was also a postdoctoral researcher on the Renewal of Natural Theology project directed by Professor Alister McGrath at the University of Oxford.

Daniel is currently a Research Fellow in the Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion in the Faculty of Theology and Religion at the University of Oxford. He is the principal investigator of the Conceptual Clarity Concerning Human Nature project sponsored by the Templeton World Charity Foundation. He is the author of Necessary Existence and the Doctrine of Being in Avicenna’s Metaphysics of the Healing (Brill, 2020).

Daniel’s research will focus on philosophical anthropology, the metaphysical understanding of the human person, and its implications for ethics and politics.

The post is fittingly named after the philosopher, Fr Frederick Copleston SJ, remembered especially for his celebrated radio debate on the existence of God with Bertrand Russell (1948). Students of philosophy will know of his monumental nine-volume History of Philosophy. Copleston is also noted for his book on the philosophical thought of the great Dominican thinker, St Thomas Aquinas. Copleston was a one-time member of Campion Hall and the first D’Arcy Lecturer here.