Professor Bernd Goebel

IAS Fellow at Grey College, Durham University (January – March 2008)

Professor Bernd Goebel has German and French degrees in phi­losophy, divinity and religious studies, with a Ph.D. from Bonn University and the Ecole Pra­tique des Hautes Etudes Paris. He was an Assistant Professor at the Hanover Institute for Phi­lo­sophical Research from 1997 to 2001 and has lectured for the Catholic University of Lille’s department of theology and for the University of Hildesheim’s depart­ment of philo­so­phy. He has held visiting pro­fes­sorships at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes Paris and the Uni­ver­sity of Notre Dame. In 2002-03 he was a fellow of the Erasmus In­stitute at the Uni­ver­sity of Notre Dame and has re­cently been elected to a visiting fellow­ship at Magdalen College Ox­ford for Michaelmas term 2007.

Professor Goebel’s main areas of interest are early medieval and contemporary philosophy (ethics, phi­lo­­­sophy of mind, philosophy of religion, and ontology). He has published on a variety of sub­jects. His first book, Rectitudo: Wahrheit und Freiheit bei Anselm von Canterbury (2001), is a historical and sys­­te­ma­tic study of Anselm’s philosophical theology. He has co-edited four col­lections of es­says, on environ­men­tal ethics (Nachhaltigkeit in der Oekologie, 2001), political phi­losophy (Ei­ne moralische Po­li­tik?, 2001), bioethics (Gentechnologie und die Zu­kunft der Menschen­wuer­de, 2003), and on philosophical naturalism (Pro­b­le­me des Naturalismus, 2005). Two other works which he is co-editing are to be published in late 2007 or early 2008: a collection of cri­tical es­says on philosophical postmodernism (Kritik der postmodernen Ver­nunft) and a Ger­man trans­­lation with introduction and com­men­tary of Augustine’s The Nature of Good; a se­ries of three ar­ticles on reason and authority in the early middle ages is forth­co­ming in 2007 in a French antho­lo­gy. Goebel has also translated several books into German such as the best-sel­ling Ethik für jun­ge Menschen (Ethics for young adults) by the Mexican phi­lo­sopher Héctor Zagal.

He is a founding member of the German Society for Philosophy and Science (GPW), a mem­ber of the International Society for the Study of Medieval Philosophy (SIEPM), the Ger­man So­­­ciety for Analytical Philosophy (GAP), and the scientific board of the Anselm of Canter­bu­ry-Foundation Beuron.

Pro­fessor Goebel is currently working on a series of articles about the philosophical theology of Anselm of Can­­terbury, parts of which he wishes to incorporate into an introductory book on Anselm. Du­ring his time at the IAS, he will be resear­ching and writing on the new con­cep­tu­al models of understanding human action, freedom and responsibility that Anselm de­ve­lo­ped in the 11th cen­tury, and on the rival models of interpreting his thought.