Joseph J. Godfrey, SJ

The Reverend Joseph S. Hogan, S.J. '03
   Endowed Chair in Philosophy
Professor of Philosophy
Department of Philosophy
Saint Joseph's University
5600 City Avenue
Philadelphia PA 19131-1395 USA

Trust book



Current Projects

Areas of Specialization: Philosophy of Religion; Atheism

Areas of Interest and Competence:
Metaphysics, Existentialism, Ethics, Greek Philosophy,
Logic, Philosophical Anthropology/Philosophy of Mind,
Nineteenth-Century Continental, American Philosophy
Medieval Philosophy; Theology.


Visiting Professor of Philosophy, Loyola University Chicago, Fall 2009; Fall 2012

Francis C. Wade SJ Chair, Philosophy, Marquette University, 2004-2005

Bannan Professor (visiting), Philosophy, Santa Clara University, Spring 1992.

Saint Joseph's University:
Professor of Philosophy, 2011-
Associate Professor of Philosophy, 1987-2011
Assistant Professor 1978-1987; Instructor, 1976-78.

Philosophy of Religion, Ethics, Philosophical Anthropo-
logy/Philosophy of Mind, Logic, Hegel, Greek and Medieval.

Merit Awards for Excellence in Teaching, 1986, 1992.

Canisius College, Buffalo: Instructor in Philosophy, 1963-66.
Taught courses at: St. Peter's College; St. Michael's College (University of Toronto); Woodstock College.
Philosophy of Religion, Saint Joseph’s Scholasticate, Ho Chi Minh City, summers


Ph.D., Philosophy, University of Toronto, 1977.
S.T.M., Theology, Union Theological Seminary, New York, 1970.
M.Div., Theology, Woodstock College, New York, 1969.
M.A., Philosophy, Fordham University, New York, 1965.
A.B., Classics, Fordham, 1962 (magna cum laude).

Scholarly Publications

"An Introduction to Philosophy of Religion". Fifteen Lectures. Now You Know Media, February 2015. DVD, CD, mp3.
Media Info

"Hope: Philosophical and Ethical Perspectives" New Catholic Encyclopedia, Supplement 2012-2013: Ethics and Philosophy. Detroit, MI: Gale, and Catholic University of America, 2013.

"Trust: Philosophical and Ethical Perspectives" New Catholic Encyclopedia, Supplement 2012-2013: Ethics and Philosophy. Detroit MI: Gale, and Catholic University of America, 2013.

Trust of People, Words, and God: A Route for Philosophy of Religion. University of Notre Dame Press, 2012.
Book Info

"The Future of Pieper’s Hope and History." In A Cosmopolitan Hermit: Modernity and Tradition in the Philosophy of Josef Pieper. Edited by Bernard N. Schumacher. Washington DC: Catholic University Press, 2009.

"Hope." Encyclopedia of Ethics, Second Edition. New York: Routledge, 2001.

"The Phenomena of Trusting and Relational Ontologies." Bulletin de la Société Américaine de Philosophie de Langue Francaise 7:1-2 (Spring 1995), 104-121.

"Trust, the Heart of Religion: A Sketch." Religions and the Virtue of Religion. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association [1991], American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 65 (1991 Annual Supplement), 157-167.

"Appraising Marcel on Hope." Philosophy Today, Vol. 31, No. 3 (Fall 1987), 234-40. Also in Contributions of Gabriel Marcel to Philosophy, edited by William Cooney, Problems in Contemporary Philosophy 18 (Lewiston NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 1989), 153-162.

A Philosophy of Human Hope. Studies in Philosophy and Religion 9. Dordrecht/Boston/Lancaster: Martinus Nijhoff, 1987.
Book Info


"Taking Hope Seriously." Proceedings of the Jesuit Philosophical Association, 1986, 23-58.

Scholarly Reviews:

Review of Trust: Who or What Might Support Us? by Adriaan T. Peperzak. (New York: Fordham University Press, 2013). In International Philosophical Quarterly 54:3 (September 2014), 357-359.

Review of Experience And God, by John E. Smith, American Philosophy Series, no. 3 (New York: Fordham University Press, 1995). In Theological Studies 58:2 (June 1997), 394.

Review of An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion (Introducing Philosophy 1), by B. R. Tilghman (Oxford: Blackwell, 1994). In The Heythrop Journal 37:4 (October 1996), 489-490.

Review of Reasoned Faith: Essays in Philosophical Theology in Honor of Norman Kretzmann, edited by Eleonore Stump (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1993). In International Philosophical Quarterly 35:2 (June 1995), 239-241.

Review of Community: the Tie that Binds, by Mary F. Rousseau (Lanham MD: University Press of America, 1991). In American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 67:2 (Spring 1993), 269-272.

Review of Hope and its Hieroglyph: a Critical Decipherment of Ernst Bloch's "Principle of Hope", by Richard H. Roberts, American Academy of Religion Studies in Religion 57 (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1990). In Theological Studies 51:4 (March 1991), 160-162.

Review of Struggle and Fulfillment: the Inner Dynamics of Religion and Morality by Donald Evans (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1981). In Review for Religious, 43:1 (Jan.-Feb. 1984), 149-150.

Review of The Sufficiency of Hope: The Conceptual Foundations of Religion by James Leroy Muyskens (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1979). In International Philosophical Quarterly 20:3 (September 1980), 368-370.

Other Publications:

"To the Base of the Ivory Tower: UCA's Challenges to Jesuit Higher Education in North America." In Discovery: Jesuit International Ministries, No. 2 (December 1992), 25-29.

"What, If Anything, Is Special About Philosophy Now: Jesuit Perspectives." In Undergraduate Learning I: The Waning of Philosophy and Theology in the Modern "Jesuit Curriculum"; Undergraduate Learning II: The Jesuit Curriculum and American Culture, pp. 10-16. Assembly 1989: Jesuit Ministry in Higher Education. Washington: Jesuit Conference, 1990.

"The Owl, the Ostrich, and the Dove: Remarks On What Philosophy Should Be." Reflections [The Philosopher's Press, St. Joseph's University] 2:1 (December 1983), 1, 5-6.


"Thinking About Trust: A Discussion.". November 1, 2013. Philosophers in Jesuit Education, at meeting of the American Catholic Philosophical Association.

"Thinking About Hope.". August 7, 2013. Theology Research Seminar Series of the United Faculty of Theology, MCD Melbourne College of Divinity.

"Trust." August 2, 2013. Australia Catholic University, Melbourne.

"How to Think about Hope." January 22, 2013. Centre for Philosophy of Religion, Heythrop College, University of London.

"Better to Receive Than to Give: The Meaning of Trust in Religious and Catholic Thought." October 15, 2009. The Joan and Bill Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage, Loyola University Chicago.

"Better to Receive Than to Give? An Exercise in Thinking About Trust, Religion, and God.", November 17, 2006. New York City. In the Conference on the Psychology of Trust and Feeling. Templeton Research Lectures, SUNY Stony Brook, Manhattan. Podcast

"Conceiving Trust." October 12, 2006. Stony Brook NY. In series "Trust: Prospects for Science and Religion," Metanexus Institute, Templeton Research Lectures, SUNY Stony Brook. Podcast (after chairperson's introduction of the series)

"Conceiving Trust." October 2005. Notre Dame, IN. October 2005, Gabriel Marcel Society, meeting with the American Catholic Philosophical Association.

"Better to Receive Than to Give? New Perspectives on Trust and God." Milwaukee, WI. May 2005, Wade Chair Lecture, Marquette University.

"Some Ethics for Fiducial Theism: What Ethics May Say About Whether and How to Trust God." Milwaukee, WI. November 2004, Philosophy Department Colloquium, Marquette University.

"Conceiving Trust for Philosophy of Religion." Washington, DC. January 2004, Philosophy Department, Georgetown University. Revised, to Woodstock Theological Center, Georgetown University, February 2004.

"Trust and Suspicion in Christian Religion: What are the Issues?" Houston, TX, October 2003. Jesuit Philosophical Association, meeting with the American Catholic Philosophical Association.

"An Argument from Trust." St. Paul, Minnesota, November 1999. Jesuit Philosophical Association, meeting with the American Catholic Philosophical Association.

"Ethical Issues of Trust and Suspicion among the Poor and the Rich." New York, December 1995. Paper to meeting of Philosophers in Jesuit Education (with the American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division).

"The Phenomena of Trusting and Relational Ontologies." December 1993. Paper to meeting of the Gabriel Marcel Society (with the American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division).

"Trust, Suspicion, and Applied Ethics." Santa Clara University, April 1992. Meeting of the Fellows of the Center for Applied Ethics, SCU.

"Trust, the Heart of Religion: A Sketch." Boston, April 5, 1991. Annual Meeting of the American Catholic Philosophical Association.

"In God We Trust . . . Or Should We?: A Philosophical Reflection on an Ignatian Maxim." New Orleans LA, March 31, 1989. Presidential Address to the Annual Meeting of the Jesuit Philosophical Association.

"Hoping in Human Institutions." Brighton, UK, August 25, 1988. Gabriel Marcel Colloquium, XVIIIth World Congress of Philosophy.

"Four Dimensions of Trust." Los Angeles CA, March 11, 1988. Philosophy Department, Loyola Marymount University. Revised, to Philosophy Department, Santa Clara University, April 1992. Revised, in Philosophy Series, LaSalle University, October 1993.

"Taking Hope Seriously." Baltimore MD, April 4, 1986. Annual Meeting of the Jesuit Philosophical Association. Also the presidential address to the Philadelphia Chapter, American Catholic Philosophical Association, May 31, 1986.

"Appraising Marcel on Hope." New York, NY, March 22, 1986. Meeting of the New York Chapter, American Catholic Philosophical Association.

"Trust and Its Implications: A Fiducial Natural Theology?" Pittsburgh, PA, April 6, 1984. Annual Meeting of the Jesuit Philosophical Association. l

"Trust and Its Implications: An Outline of a Natural Theology for Jesus." Notre Dame, Indiana, March 10, 1984. Eastern Regional Meeting of the Society of Christian Philosophers.

"Trust and Natural Theology," Philadelphia Area Catholic Philosophical Association, April 1983.

"Understanding Trust: Reflections on Küng and Evans." Houston, April 1982. Jesuit Philosophical Association.

"Models for Understanding Human Hope." October 1981. Philadelphia Area Catholic Philosophical Association.

"Hope and Hoping: Developing Notions of Hope That Are Individually and Socially Adequate for Philosophy." Chicago, April 1978. Jesuit Philosophical Association.

Other Scholarly Presentations:

Comments on paper by George Kovacs, "The Way to God as Absolute Transcendence," at meeting of American Catholic Philosophical Association, Toronto, March 1990.

Comments on paper by John Crosby, "Theonomy of Person: The Dialectic of Human Contingency and Autonomy," at meeting of American Catholic Philosophical Association, Toronto, March 1990.

Other Presentations:

"How to Think About Hope." St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Philadelphia, November, 1993.

"In God We Trust--Or Should We? A Discussion." First Presbyterian Church, Ambler, PA, September 1989.

"The Eyes of Hope." Investiture Address, Albertus Magnus College, New Haven, September 1986. Published in Alumni Hawk of Saint Joseph's University.


Francis C. Wade SJ Chair, Philosophy, College of Arts and Sciences, Marquette University, 2004-2005

Visiting Researcher, Philosophy Department, Georgetown University, 2003-2004.

Visiting Fellow, Woodstock Theological Center, Georgetown University, 2003-2004.

Bannan Scholar, Philosophy Department, Santa Clara University, January-June 1992.

Visiting Scholar, Philosophy Department, University of California, Los Angeles, 1987-1988.

Merit Awards for Research, Saint Joseph's University, 1988, 2012.

Current Projects

Book Projects:

"Philosophy of Religion: A Particularist Introduction: Handbook and Readings [working title]". A text in philosophy of religion for a university readership, focusing on the particular religions Roman Catholicism and Islam, especially regarding topics usually omitted from standard textbooks and anthologies. In private publication and in classroom use at Saint Joseph's University, spring 2015.

"A Philosophy of Hope [working title]" a successor to my 1987 A Philosophy of Human Hope, addressing recent thought: psychological, analytic and continental, naturalist and theist. Revisions were begun when the 1987 edition was used in the graduate seminar "Philosophical Anthropology: Human Hope and Reason" at Loyola University Chicago Fall 2009.

Articles, Essays, or Lectures in Progress:

"Understanding Atheism," twelve to fifteen lectures; under contract with Now You Know Media, Inc, production in August 2016

"Does Testimony Belong in Philosophy of Religion?" draft essay.

Professional Activities and Memberships:

Memberships: American Philosophical Association, Metaphysical Society of America, American Catholic Philosophical Association, Society of Christian Philosophers, Gabriel Marcel Society, Philosophers in Jesuit Education; Alpha Sigma Nu (Jesuit Honors); Eta Sigma Phi (Classics, Honorary).

Chair, Philosophy, St. Joseph's University, 1992-97; acting chair 1989-90.

Founder, Philosophers in Jesuit Education, 1989. Secretary-Treasurer, 1993-2014

President, 1988-89, Jesuit Philosophical Association.

President, 1985-86, Philadelphia Area Chapter of American Catholic Philosophical Association. Previously, secretary-treasurer.

Executive Council, elected member, American Catholic Philosophical Association, 1995-1998; ACPA Executive Committee, elected member, 1997-1998.

Reader for International Philosophical Quarterly, spring 2000. Book reviewer, 2014.

Convener of monthly meetings for the Greater Philadelphia Philosophy Consortium's Philosophy of Religion Discussion Group, 1990-

Member, Board of Directors, Greater Philadelphia Philosophy Consortium, 1994-1997

Radio interviewee on Catholic and ethical matters, WWDB Philadelphia, irregularly 1999

Selected Recent Institutional Service at Saint Joseph's University:

Chair, Committee for Certifying Courses for the SJU Faith and Reason General Education Program requirement, fall 2013-

SJU Council on Mission and Identity, 2000-2003

SJU Diversity Commission, 1997-2003

SJU subcommittee on Mission and Integrity in preparation for Middle-States Review, 1993.

Chair, Philosophy Department, 1992-1997

Board on Rank and Tenure, 1989-91

Board on Faculty Research and Development, 1989-91

Committee to review the undergraduate curricula, ("SEPO") ca. 1985-87

University Chapel, Presider and Homilist at Eucharist, monthly

Retreats (Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius): to students, staff, and faculty

Other Service

Rector, Jesuit Community at Saint Joseph's University, 1997-2003

Board of Trustees, Saint Joseph's University, 1997-2003
  Academic Affairs Committee, 1997-2002
  Mission and Identity Committee, 2001-2003
  Facilities and Technology Committee, 2002-2003

Board of Trustees, Canisius College, 1994-2000
   Mission and Identity Committee, 1999-2000
   Student Life Committee, 1994-2000
   Academic Affairs Committee, 1996-2000


Joined Society of Jesus, 1956.

Ordained Roman Catholic Priest, 1969.


                                                Revised February 15, 2016