Richard Kearney

Charles B. Seelig Professor in Philosophy
Boston College

About Richard Kearney


Richard Kearney holds the Charles B. Seelig Chair of Philosophy at Boston College and has served as a Visiting Professor at University College Dublin, the University of Paris (Sorbonne), the Australian Catholic University and the University of Nice.

He is the author of over 25 books on European philosophy and literature (including two novels and a volume of poetry) and has edited or co-edited 21 more. His most recent publications include Anatheism (2012), Reimagining the Sacred (2015), Carnal Hermeneutics (2015) and Twinsome Minds: An Act of Double Remembrance (2018).

He was formerly a member of the Arts Council of Ireland, the Higher Education Authority of Ireland and chairman of the Irish School of Film at University College Dublin. He is also a member of the Royal Irish Academy.

As a public intellectual in Ireland, he was involved in drafting a number of proposals for a Northern Irish peace agreement (1983, 1993, 1995).

He has presented five series on culture and philosophy for Irish and British television and broadcast extensively on the European media.

He is currently international director of the Guestbook Project–Hosting the Stranger: Between Hostility and Hospitality.

Richard Kearney currently lives in Boston, Massachusetts, where he is married to Anne Bernard and has two daughters, Simone and Sarah.


B.A. University of Dublin 1975

M.A. McGill University 1976

Masters Travelling Studentship, National University of Ireland, 1977

Ph.D. University of Paris-X 1980

Academic Posts

1980 – 1990:Lecturer, University College Dublin
1988 – 2001:Personal Chair of Philosophy, University College Dublin
1993 – 1999:Rotating Head of Philosophy Department, University College Dublin
1986 – 1998:Visiting Professor, Boston College
1993 – 2005:Chair, Film School, University College Dublin
1994 – 1999:EU Erasmus Exchange Professor at L’Institut Catholique de Paris, Louvain and Lisbon University
1993 – 1997:Extern Examiner, University of Warwick
1997:Visiting Professor, University of Paris, Sorbonne.
1998:Visiting Professor, University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis
1999 – Present:Visiting Professor, University College Dublin
1999 – Present:Charles B. Seelig Chair of Philosophy at Boston College
2012 – Present:Visiting Professor, The Catholic University of Australia

Lecturer at the following Universities

Harvard, Yale, McGill, Emory, Princeton, Oxford, Cambridge, University of Paris (X and IV), University of Rome, UCLA at Riverside, Columbia University, Seattle University, Connecticut State, Amherst, Boston University, UMass, NYU, SUNY at Stoneybrook, New School NY, Tampa, Jacksonville, Miami, Naples, Turin, Camaldoli, Perugia (Collegium Phenomenologicum), Turin, Halifax, Leuven, Louvain-la-Neuve, St. Louis-Brussels, Paris (I, IV, X) Lyons, Lille, L’Institut Catholique de Paris, Halle-Wuttenberg, Moscow, Charles-Prague, Edinburgh, Munich, Strathclyde, Loyola Baltimore, Goldsmith-London, Kings College-London, Lancaster, Manchester, Warwick, Essex, Zurich, University of Georgia, University of London, Villanova, New York University, Fordham, U. Chicago, St Anselm’s College, Northwestern, University of Edinburgh, Grenoble, Rennes, Caen, A&M Texas, U. Oregon at Eugene, Vanderbilt, U. of Alberta at Edmonton, John Carroll at Cleveland, University of Illinois at Carleton, CSCU, Pontifical University of Lima (Peru), State University of Arizona, University of Nevada (Reno), Seattle University, Loyola Marymount,(Los Angeles), University of Cincinatti, University of Toronto, Catholic University of Washington, American College of Greece (Athens), City University of New York, University of Nice-Sophia, Drew University, St. Norberts College, Utah State University, Manhatten College, College International de Philosophie (Paris), Siena College (NY), St Anselms (NY), University of Vancoever, University of Lisbon, University of Loyola Chicago, Loyola New Orleans, European University of Florence, Shanghai University, University of Taipei, Sophia University of Tokyo, UNESCO (Paris), University of San Diego, Université de Strasbourg, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Australian Catholic University of Melbourne, University of Sydney, University of Brisbane, University of Palermo, University of Capetown, Stellenbosch University,  University of Pretoria, UNISA (University of South Africa), Pontifical Catholic University of Santiago (Chile), University of Colorado at Denver

Examiner for doctoral dissertations at the following Universities

Harvard, MIT (Massachussets), University of Paris (Sorbonne), University of London (King’s College), University of Warwick, Essex University, Queens University Belfast, McGill University (Montreal), University of Hong Kong, L’Institut Catholique de Paris, La Trobe University (Australia), Macquarie university (Australia), European University Institute at Florence (Italy), Boston College, New School (New York), State University of New York at Binghamton, Pacifica University (Santa Barbara), National University of Ireland at Dublin

Public Intellectual Activities

1988/1990:Co-director of International Conferences of Philosophy at Cerisy, France.
1992 – 1995:Member of the Arts Council of Ireland.
1993 – 1994:Member of the Higher Education Authority of Ireland.
1994 – 1995:Chair of the Irish Film Centre Building Board (Arts Council).
1994 – 2002:Co-Founder and Chair of Board of Studies, Irish Film School at the National University of Ireland, Dublin.
1996/’98/’99:Proposal on Joint-Sovereignty to the New Ireland Forum, Dublin Castle.
1993:Proposal on Northern Ireland’s future as a European Region, International Opsahl Commission.
1995:Proposal on the British-Irish Council to the National Forum for Peace and Reconciliation, Dublin Castle.
1992:Assistant speechwriter for Mary Robinson, President of Ireland.
1998:Member of British-Irish Council Advisory Academic Board, University of Edinburgh.
1988 – 2014:Presenter of numerous television and radio programs on literary and philosophical themes for Irish, British and international media. These include radio series with CBC, ABC and the following five TV series: First Edition, States of Mind, Visions of Europe, Slants and Ireland and the French Revolution.
2000 – 2013:Director (with Simon Critchley) of the Routledge Series (London and New York), ‘Thinking in Action’.
2012 – 2014:Member of the advisory Board for Teaching Divided Histories, British Council, Northern Ireland.
2008 –International Director of the Guestbook Project.

Honors & Awards

Entrance Scholarship to Christian Brothers College for First Place – 1967

University College Dublin Entrance Scholarship for Joint First Place – 1973

University College Dublin 2nd Year Scholarship for First Place – 1974

University College Dublin 3rd Year Scholarship for First Place – 1975

First Short Film Award (with Michael Kearney) at Cork International Film Festival – 1974

McGill University Full Postgraduate Scholarship – 1976-1977

National University of Ireland International Travelling Studentship (First Place) – 1978-1980

Sunday Independent Excellence in the Arts Award (Dublin) – 1982

Choice Book Award for Outstanding Academic Publication(USA) – 1988

Election to the Royal Irish Academy – 1994

Raconteur Short Fiction Award (London) – 1995

Guardian Book of the Year Award (Manchester) – 1997

The New European Award for Excellence – 1997

FNAC Book Selection Award (Paris) – 1998

Cardinal Mercier Memorial Chair (Leuven University) – 2005

Emediate International Research Award (EU Commission) – 2004-2006

Research and Teaching Award (Boston College) – 2006

Guestbook Facing the Stranger Award (Derry/Londonderry) – 2010-2011

Gilson Chair Lecturer, Institut Catholique de Paris – 2014

Elected Member of the Pi Delta Phi Société d’Honneur Francaise – 2015

Chair Seven of Reason, Culture, Chair at the Pontifical University of Santiago, Chile – 2018


Honorary Fellow of the Psychology of the Other Institute

Member of La Comité Freud, Adapes

Member of the Scientific Committee, International Congress on Narrative Social Sciences

Irish Philosophical Society (IPS)

British Phenomenological Society (BPS)

Royal Irish Academy (RIA)

International Association of Philosophy and Literature (IAPL)

Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy (SPEP)

American Philosophical Association (APA)

American Catholic Philosophical Association (ACPA)

American Association of Religion (AAR)

John Duns Scotus Research Network for the Study of Existential Philosophy, Literature and the Arts

Global Aesthetic Research Project

Society for Ricoeur Studies (SRS)

Comitée Scientifique du Fonds Ricoeur (CSFR)

Member of the Scientific Board of PAROUSIA: An International Journal for Philosophy and Culture

Member of the Scientific Board of the 2017 COMIUCAP World Congress

Member of Organising Committee of the International Network for Philosophy and Religion

Chair of the Editorial Board of The Journal for the Continental Philosophy of Religion

Photo Gallery

A Website.

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