Baylor University to Inaugurate the Robert P. George Initiative on Faith, Ethics and Public Policy

August 9, 2017
Robert P. George

Baylor University has announced a new initiative on faith, ethics and public policy named for internationally acclaimed scholar Robert P. George, D.Phil., as part of the Baylor in Washington Program. (Photographer Credit: Matthew Lomanno)

Media Contact: Lori Fogleman, 254-710-6275
Follow Lori on Twitter at @LoriBaylorU
Follow Baylor Media Communications on Twitter: @BaylorUMedia

WACO, Texas (Aug. 9, 2017) – Baylor University has announced a new initiative on faith, ethics and public policy named for internationally acclaimed scholar Robert P. George, D.Phil., as part of the Baylor in Washington Program.

George, who is McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University, will hold a courtesy appointment as a Distinguished Senior Fellow within Baylor’s Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR).

“We are honored that Professor George will be associated with our work in the nation’s capital,” said Thomas Hibbs, Ph.D., director of Baylor in Washington, dean of the Honors College and Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Culture at Baylor.

As part of the Baylor in Washington Program, George will participate in regular events in the city, with the first occurring in late October on “Faith and the Challenges of Secularism: A Jewish-Christian-Muslim Trialogue.” George will be joined by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, representing the Jewish tradition, and Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, representing the Islamic tradition.

In 2018, George will help organize a week-long Baylor summer program in Washington for graduate students, focused on issues at the intersection of faith, ethics and public policy. He also will continue to make regular visits to Baylor’s main campus.

“Professor George has been to Baylor a number of times in recent years,” Hibbs said, “and each time he has been well received by faculty, students and donors. We are delighted that he will continue to make trips to Waco.”

In addition to his professorship at Princeton, George is director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. He is frequently a visiting professor at Harvard Law School. In addition to his academic service, George has served as chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. He also has served on the President’s Council on Bioethics, as a presidential appointee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights and as the U.S. member of UNESCO’s World Commission on the Ethics of Science and Technology. He is a former Judicial Fellow at the Supreme Court of the United States, where he received the Justice Tom C. Clark Award.

George is author of Making Men Moral: Civil Liberties and Public Morality (Oxford University Press, 1993), In Defense of Natural Law (Oxford University Press, 1999), The Clash of Orthodoxies (ISI, 2001) and Conscience and Its Enemies (ISI, 2013). He is co-author of Body-Self Dualism in Contemporary Ethics and Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2008), Embryo: A Defense of Human Life (2nd edition, Doubleday, 2011), What Is Marriage? (Encounter, 2012) and Conjugal Union: What Marriage Is (Cambridge University Press, 2014). He is editor of several volumes, including Natural Law Theory: Contemporary Essays (Oxford University Press, 1992), The Autonomy of Law: Essays on Legal Positivism (Oxford University Press, 1996), Natural Law, Liberalism, and Morality (Oxford University Press, 1996) and Great Cases in Constitutional Law (Princeton University Press, 2000).

A graduate of Swarthmore College, George holds M.T.S. and J.D. degrees from Harvard University and the degrees of D.Phil., B.C.L. and D.C.L. from Oxford University. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa at Swarthmore and received a Frank Knox Fellowship from Harvard for graduate study in law and philosophy at Oxford. He holds 19 honorary degrees, including doctorates of law, letters, ethics, science, divinity, humane letters, civil law, law and moral values, humanities and juridical science.

He is a recipient of the United States Presidential Citizens Medal, the Honorific Medal for the Defense of Human Rights of the Republic of Poland, the Bradley Prize for Intellectual and Civic Achievement, the Philip Merrill Award of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, the Paul Bator Award of the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy, the Sidney Hook Award of the National Association of Scholars, a Silver Gavel Award of the American Bar Association, the Charles Fried Award of the Harvard Law School Federalist Society, the Irving Kristol Award of the American Enterprise Institute and Princeton University’s President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching.

In a recent interview about his new appointment at Baylor, George said he has “long admired Baylor’s outstanding faculty and its commitment to being a Christian research university. It is both an honor and a pleasure to be part of this endeavor.”

George’s articles and review essays have appeared in the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, the Columbia Law Review, the University of Chicago Law Review, the Review of Politics, the Review of Metaphysics and the American Journal of Jurisprudence. He also has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, First Things, Boston Review and the Times Literary Supplement.

“Robert George is a rare talent – a leading public intellectual, an award-winning teacher and top scholar in ethics, law, politics and philosophy, and we are delighted he will help us extend our work in the nation’s capital and here in Waco and beyond,” said Michael K. McLendon, Ph.D., interim provost at Baylor.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.


Washington, D.C. has a global reputation as the preeminent hub not only of political activity, but also of commerce, law, journalism, healthcare, higher education and the arts. Baylor University joins the ranks of our nation’s most prestigious institutions with the establishment of an intentional presence in Washington. The University is uniquely positioned to do so via its exceptional leadership, faculty, students, and alumni who are engaged in shaping solutions to some of the most critical challenges facing our nation and our world.


Launched in August 2004, the Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR) exists to initiate, support and conduct research on religion, involving scholars and projects spanning the intellectual spectrum: history, psychology, sociology, economics, anthropology, political science, epidemiology, theology and religious studies. The institute’s mandate extends to all religions, everywhere, and throughout history, and embraces the study of religious effects on prosocial behavior, family life, population health, economic development and social conflict.