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  • Professor
  • Cottrill-Rolfes Chair of Catholic Studies
  • Philosophy
1413 Patterson Office Tower
Other Affiliations:

Philipp W. Rosemann

Research Interests:
Philosophy of History
Philosophy of Language
Philosophy of Religion
Michel Foucault
  • MA in Medieval Philosophy (Queen’s University, Belfast, 1989)
  • Lic. phil. (Université catholique de Louvain, 1991)
  • DPhil (Université catholique de Louvain, 1995)
  • DLitt (The National University of Ireland, 2020)
Intellectual Profile

My interests are at the intersection of the Christian tradition and contemporary Continental thought. After a doctoral dissertation with a focus on Thomas Aquinas, whose ideas I tried to retrieve in Heideggerian fashion, I devoted much of my research to Peter Lombard, the author of the great Book of Sentences, which served as the standard textbook of theology over several centuries. This was an occasion to study the meaning of tradition. On that subject, I ended up writing a book combining biblical scholarship with philosophical notions inspired by Foucault. It appeared in 2018 under the title, Charred Root of Meaning.

My current work is concerned with the philosophy and theology of language. The question that haunts me, in particular, is this: Can we recover an understanding of language as the logos that holds together the world? Is the connection between the signifier and the signified really arbitrary, as modern linguistics teaches? I hope to have a book out on this within the next few years.

Before coming to the University of Kentucky, I taught in Belfast (N. Ireland), Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium), Nkozi (Uganda), Dallas, and Maynooth (Ireland), with a visiting appointment at the École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Paris). I am an elected member of the Royal Irish Academy and founding editor (now co-editor) of the series "Dallas Medieval Texts and Translations."

Selected Publications:


Most Recent Monograph

Charred Root of Meaning: Continuity, Transgression, and the Other in Christian Tradition, Interventions (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2018; paperback ed., 2022), xxii + 237 pp.

Most Recent Collective Volume

(In collaboration with José Espericueta and Joshua Parens:) The Middle Class: Philosophical, Political, and Historical Perspectives (San José: Editorial Universidad de Costa Rica, 2021), xviii + 274 pp.

Some Recent Articles

Leonard Cohen, Philosopher,” Maynooth Philosophical Papers 9 (2018): 1–20

The Creative Word: Reflections on the Augustinian Episteme,” Maynooth Philosophical Papers 10 (2020): 97–115

The Risk of Tradition: With de Certeau toward a Postmodern Catholic Theory,” Journal of Moral Theology 10:2 (2021): 90–118

A Brief Theology of the As If (Inspired by a Remark of Joseph Ratzinger),” in Philosophоs – Philotheos – Philoponоs: Studies and Essays as Charisteria in Honor of Professor Bogoljub Šijaković on the Occasion of His 65th Birthday, ed. Mikonja Knežević, in collaboration with Rade Kisić and Dušan Krcunović (Belgrade: Gnomon; Podgorica: Matica Srpska, 2021), 706–14

How Did We Get Here? Reflections towards a Philosophy of the Present,” Studies: An Irish Quarterly Review, vol. 110, no. 439 (Autumn 2021): 279–91

On the ‘Christian Turn’ in Foucault’s Thought: Apropos of Foucault, les Pères, le sexe,” Maynooth Philosophical Papers 11 (2022): 75–84

Living without Meaning: Anomie and the Young People of Ireland,” Doctrine & Life 72:4 (April 2022): 2–15

“The Future of Christian Thinking: Lessons from the Easter Vigil,” Antiphon: A Journal for Liturgical Renewal 26:3 (2022): 229–51

(In collaboration with Matthew R. Boulter:) “Three Responses to Joachimism: Ratzinger, de Lubac, Milbank,” Ephemerides theologicae lovanienses 99:1 (2023), 27–55. Spanish version: “Filosofía y teología del progreso: sobre algunas interpretaciones de Joaquín de Fiore,” trans. Carlos Gutiérrez Lozano, Estudios vol. XIX, no. 137 (verano 2021): 81–116