Jeffrey Church

Jeffrey ChurchAssistant Professor
PGH 447

Research Interests

Modern political thought
Rousseau, Kant, German idealism
Liberal and Democratic theory 

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Biographical Summary

Jeffrey Church is a political theorist whose research area is the history of modern political thought, with particular interest in Continental thought from Jean-Jacques Rousseau through Friedrich Nietzsche. His work examines the reflections of past philosophers on freedom, individuality, education, and culture, and shows how these reflections can inform contemporary liberal and democratic theory. He also teaches and writes about the value of literature and film to help us understand crucial political problems.

Church has published articles on G.W.F. Hegel, Friedrich Nietzsche, David Hume, and John Ford. His forthcoming book Infinite Autonomy: the Divided Individual in the Political Thought of G.W.F. Hegel and Friedrich Nietzsche will be published by Penn State Press in January 2012.  He is currently working on a book-length project that will explore Nietzsche’s conception of culture and its potential contribution to overcoming the contemporary struggle between conservative and progressive critics of culture.


Ph.D., University of Notre Dame
M.A., University of Notre Dame
B.A., Ursinus College

Selected Publications

Infinite Autonomy: The Divided Individual in Hegel and Nietzsche’s Political Philosophy. Penn State University Press (forthcoming January 2012).

"Personhood and Ethical Commercial Life: Hegel’s Transformation of Locke," Festschrift for Michael and Catherine Zuckert, ed. Lee and Ann Ward, University of Notre Dame Press (forthcoming 2011).

"Two Concepts of Culture in the Early Nietzsche," European Journal of Political Theory, Vol. 10, No. 3, July 2011: 327-349.

"The Freedom of Desire: Hegel's Response to Rousseau on the Problem of Civil Society." American Journal of Political Science, Vol. 54, No. 1, January 2010: 125-139.

"Recognition and Restlessness in John Ford's The Searchers." Perspectives on Political Science Vol. 28, No. 1, Winter 2009: 47-57.