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francis j. beckwith

Francis J. Beckwith is Associate Professor of Philosophy & Church-Studies (tenured) at Baylor University  He teaches in the departments of philosophy and political science as well as the J. M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies, where he served as its Associate Director from July 2003 until January 2007. He is also a Fellow and Faculty Affiliate in Baylor's Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR).

In 2008-09 he will serve on the faculty of the University of Notre Dame as the Mary Ann Remick Senior Visiting Fellow in Notre Dame's Center for Ethics & Culture.

Born in 1960 in New York City, Professor Beckwith grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada, the eldest of the four children of Harold ("Pat") and Elizabeth Beckwith. He graduated in 1974 from St. Viator's Elementary School and in 1978 from Bishop Gorman High School, where he was a three-sport letterman and a member of the 1978 Nevada State AAA Basketball Championship Team.

A 2002-03 Research Fellow in the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions in the Department of Politics at Princeton University, Professor Beckwith currently serves as a member of Princeton's James Madison Society. He has held full-time faculty appointments at Trinity International University (1997-2002), Whittier College (1996-97), and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (1989-96).

A graduate of Fordham University (Ph.D. and M.A. in philosophy), he also holds the Master of Juridical Studies (M.J.S.) degree from the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, where he won a CALI Award for Academic Excellence in Reproductive Control Seminar. His books include Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice (Cambridge University Press, 2007); (w/ W. L. Craig, J. P. Moreland) To Every One An Answer: A Case for the Christian Worldview (InterVarsity Press, 2004); Law, Darwinism, & Public Education: The Establishment Clause and the Challenge of Intelligent Design (Rowman & Littlefield, 2003); (w/ C. Mosser & P. Owen) The New Mormon Challenge: Responding to the Latest Defenses of a Fast-Growing Movement (HarperCollins/Zondervan, 2002), finalist for the 2003 Gold Medallion Award in theology and doctrine; Do the Right Thing: Readings in Applied Ethics and Social Philosophy, 2/e (Wadsworth, 2002); (w/ G. P. Koukl) Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air (Baker, 1998); (w/ L. P. Pojman) The Abortion Controversy 25 Years After Roe v. Wade: A Reader, 2/e (Wadsworth, 1998); (w/ T. Jones) Affirmative Action: Social Justice or Reverse Discrimination? (Prometheus, 1997); and Politically Correct Death: Answering the Arguments for Abortion Rights (Baker, 1993), winner of the 1994 Cornerstone Magazine ethics book of the year award.

His articles have been published in a number of academic journals including Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy; San Diego Law Review; International Philosophical Quarterly; Nevada Law Journal; Public Affairs Quarterly; Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy; Journal of Law & Religion; American Journal of Jurisprudence; Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly; Chapman Law Review; Journal of Medicine & Philosophy; Social Theory & Practice; Journal of Law, Medicine, & Ethics; Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society; Christian Bioethics; Ethics & Medicine: An International Journal of Bioethics; Journal of Church & State; Human Life Review; Journal of Social Philosophy; Journal of Libertarian Studies; Journal of Medical Ethics; Logos; The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology; Catholic Social Science Review; and Philosophia Christi.

Professor Beckwith has also contributed to a number of reference works including Encyclopedia of the First Amendment (Congressional Quarterly Press, forthcoming 2007); Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties (Routledge, forthcoming 2006); Encyclopedia of American Civil Rights & Liberties (Garland, forthcoming 2006); Baker Dictionary of Cults (Baker, forthcoming 2006); Religion: Past and Present, 4/e (English translation of Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart) (Brill Academic Publishers, forthcoming 2006); Dictionary of Contemporary Religion in the Western World (InterVarsity, 2002); Encyclopedia of Religion in American Politics (Oryx, 1999); and Encyclopedia of Biblical and Christian Ethics, 2/e (Thomas Nelson, 1992).

Among the books in which his articles appear as chapters are Darwin's Nemesis: Phillip Johnson and the Intelligent Design Movement, ed. W. A. Dembski (InterVarsity Press, 2006); Bob Dylan & Philosophy, ed. Carl Porter and Peter Vernezze (Open Court, 2006); What's Wrong?: Applied Ethicists and Their Critics, ed. D. Boonin and G. Oddie (Oxford University Press, 2005); Guide to New Religious Movements 2/e, ed. R. Enroth (InterVarsity Press. 2005); The Rationality of Theism, ed. P. Copan and P. Moser (Routledge, 2003); Bioengagement: Making a Christian Difference Through Bioethics Today, ed. N. Cameron, S. E. Daniels, and B. J. White (Eerdmans, 2000); In Defense of Miracles: A Comprehensive Case For God's Action in History, ed. R. D. Geivett and G. Habermas (InterVarsity, 1997); Philosophy: The Quest for Truth, 3/e, ed. L. Pojman (Wadsworth, 1996); The Silent Subject: Reflections on the Unborn in American Culture, ed. Brad Stetson (Praeger, 1996); Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Political Issues, 9/e, ed. G. McKenna and S. Feingold (McGraw-Hill, 1995); and Faith in Theory and Practice: Essays on Justifying Religious Belief, ed. E. Radcliffe and C. J. White (Open Court, 1993).

Professor Beckwith has been quoted in a variety of publications including the New York Times, the Dallas Morning-News, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Christianity Today, World Magazine, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Las Vegas Sun, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Times, Touchstone Magazine, the National Catholic Register, Moody Magazine, Christian Research Journal, the Baptist Standard and the Salt Lake Tribune.

Both colleagues and students have recognized him for teaching excellence. On April 25, 2006 he was awarded a certificate by Baylor's undergraduate journal (The Pulse) for his "outstanding contributions to undergraduate scholarship." In November 2004 he was recognized as a distinguished faculty member by Baylor University`s Mortar Board. The students of Trinity Graduate School (California campus) selected him Professor of the Year for the 1997-98 school year. During his seven years at UNLV he received a 1995 merit award (given by the Multicultural Student Affairs Office of UNLV), a professor of recognition award by the UNLV alumni association (1992), and was a finalist for university-wide and/or college-wide teaching awards in 1996, 1993, 1992, and 1991.

He has presented academic papers, chaired sessions, and offered commentaries at the conferences of a number of professional societies including the American Philosophical Association, the American Political Science Association, the Society of Christian Philosophers, the Evangelical Philosophical Society, the American Bar Association (Science & Technology Section), the Christian Legal Society, the Evangelical Theological Society, the American Academy of Religion, the Southwestern Political Science Association, the Society of Catholic Social Scientists, the University Faculty for Life, and the Conference on Faith and History. He has served on the executive committees of both the Society of Christian Philosophers (1999-2002) and the Evangelical Philosophical Society (1998-2003) as well as on the national board of the University Faculty for Life (1999-present). The 57th President of the Evangelical Theological Society (November 2006-May 2007) , Professor Beckwith presently serves as a member of the American Philosophical Association's Committee on Philosophy and Law.

He and his wife, Frankie, are parishoners of St. Joseph's Catholic Church, and live in Woodway, Texas.


Photo of stained-glass panel made by Frankie R. D. Beckwith


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