Wolterstorff, Nicholas 1932–
Wolterstorff, Nicholas 1932–
(Nicholas Paul Wolterstorff)
PERSONAL: Born January 21, 1932, in MN; son of Matthew (a woodworker) and Agnes (Feenstra) Wolterstorff; married Claire Kingma (a writer and public speaker), June 25, 1955; children: Amy, Eric (deceased), Robert, Nicholas, Christopher. Education: Calvin College, A.B., 1953; Harvard University, M.A., 1954, Ph.D., 1957. Religion: Christian Reformed Church.
CAREER: Yale University, New Haven, CT, instructor in philosophy, 1957–59; Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI, assistant professor, 1959–61, associate professor, 1961–65, professor of philosophy, 1965–89; Yale University, New Haven, CT, professor of philosophy, 1989–92, Noah Porter Professor of Philosophical Theology, 1992–. Visiting lecturer at University of Chicago, 1965, Oxford University, 1993–94, and St. Andrews University, 1994–95; visiting professor, University of Texas, 1969, University of Michigan, 1972, Temple University, 1977, Notre Dame University, 1979 and 1986–87, Free University of Amsterdam, 1981, Princeton University, 1985, and Haverford College. Consultant, National Endowment for the Humanities, 1968–. Teaches lecture courses and seminars on the philosophy of religion.
MEMBER: American Philosophical Association (president of central division, 1991–92; executive committee member), American Society for Aesthetics, Society of Christian Philosophers, American Academy of Religion, Urban Institute for Contemporary Art (member of board, 1975–), Society of Christian Philosophers (president, beginning 1992).
AWARDS, HONORS: Woodrow Wilson fellow, 1953; Fulbright scholarship, 1957; Harbison Award, Danforth Foundation, 1970; junior fellow, National Endowment for the Humanities 1970–71; fellow, Institute for the Advancement of Christian Scholarship, 1977; fellow, Netherlands Institute for the Advancement of Science (NIAS), 1986; senior fellow, Center for Philosophy of Religion, University of Notre Dame, 1986–87; honorary doctorates from Northwestern College, 1990, Gordon College, 1991, and Houghton College, 1994; Alumni Award, Calvin College, 1992.
Religion and the Schools, Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 1967.
On Universals: An Essay in Ontology, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 1970.
Reason within the Bounds of Religion, Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 1976.
Art in Action: Toward a Christian Aesthetic, Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 1980.
Educating for Responsible Action, Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 1980.
(Editor, with Alvin C. Plantinga) Faith and Rationality, University of Notre Dame Press (Notre Dame, IN), 1983.
(Editor, with Hendrik Hart and Johan VanderHoeven) Rationality in the Calvinian Tradition, University Press of America (Lanham, MD), 1983.
Until Justice and Peace Embrace, Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 1983.
Lament for a Son, Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 1987.
(With Robert Audi) Religion in the Public Square: The Place of Religious Convictions in Political Debate, Rowman & Littlefield (Lanham, MD), 1997.
(With Jurgen Moltmann and Ellen T. Charry) Passion for God's Reign: Theology, Christian Learning and the Christian Self, Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 1998.
Thomas Reid and the Story of Epistemology, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2001.
Education for Life: Reflections on Christian Teaching and Learning, edited by Gloria Goris Stronks and Clarence W. Joldersma, Baker Academic (Grand Rapids, MI), 2002.
Education for Shalom: Essays on Christian Higher Education, edited by Gloria Goris Stronks and Clarence W. Joldersma, Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 2004.
Contributor to books, including Faith and Philosophy, edited by Plantinga, Eerdmans, 1964; Religion and Public Education, edited by Theodore R. Sizer, Houghton, 1967; Universals and Particulars, edited by Michael Loux, Doubleday, 1970; The Problem of Universals, edited by Charles Landesman, Basic Books, 1971; God and the Good, edited by Clifton J. Orlebeke and Lewis B. Smedes, Eerdmans, 1975; and Religion, Scholarship, and Higher Education: Perspectives, Models, and Future Prospects, edited by Andrea Sterk, University of Notre Dame Press, 2001. Contributor to philosophy and aesthetics journals. Senior editor, Reformed Journal; member of editorial boards for Faith in Philosophy/Topics in Philosophy and Christianity and Literature. General editor, Supplementary Textbook Project, Christian College Coalition.
SIDELIGHTS: A prolific writer, Nicholas Wolterstorff is the author of over a dozen books and has contributed to numerous collections on philosophy and religion. His John Locke and the Ethics of Belief, for one, examines the English philosopher's contribution to today's society. Mauro Bottalico, writing for the Review of Metaphysics, called Wolterstorff's summary of Locke's ideas "thorough and concise." Similarly, Philosophical Review writer Matthew Stuart claimed that Wolterstorff's grasp of Locke's works is "especially impressive."
Wolterstorff's Education for Shalom: Essays on Christian Higher Education is a collection of his essays spanning many years that questions religion's place in the university setting. Writing for Christian Century, Robert Benne termed Wolterstorff's reflections on the subject "subtle, wide-ranging, and excellent."
Wolterstorff once told CA: "In aesthetics, I have been trying to break out of the Cartesian tradition of approaching art from the side of consciousness, and trying to instead to set art within the context of action. More generally, a perennial concern of mine has been to see how in my own case, and in general, religious commitment is related to theoretical activity."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Christian Century, November 16, 2004, Robert Benne, review of Education for Shalom: Essays on Christian Higher Education, pp. 45-47.
First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life, December, 1996, Mark R. Talbot, review of Divine Discourse: Philosophical Reflections on the Claim that God Speaks, pp. 42-44; August-September, 2004, review of Education for Shalom, pp. 84-85.
Hastings Center Report, May-June, 1998, B. Andrew Lustig, review of Religion in the Public Square: The Place of Religious Convictions in Political Debate, pp. 40-41.
Journal of Church and State, winter, 1999, Steven C. Heyduck, review of Religion in the Public Square, p. 156.
Journal of Religion, January, 1998, Keith E. Yandell, review of John Locke and the Ethics of Belief, pp. 140-141, and review of Divine Discourse, pp. 146-147; April, 1999, Brett T. Wilmot, review of Religion in the Public Square, p. 325.
Journal of Theological Studies, October, 1996, Maurice Wiles, review of Divine Discourse, pp. 802-804.
Philosophical Review, October, 1999, Matthew Stuart, review of John Locke and the Ethics of Belief, p. 587.
Publishers Weekly, December 17, 2001, review of Religion, Scholarship, and Higher Education: Perspectives, Models and Future Prospects, pp. 82-83.
Religious Studies, March, 1998, Michael Levine, "God Speak: Comment on Nicholas Wolterstorff's book Divine Discourse: Philosophical Reflections on the Claim that God Speaks," pp. 1-16.
Review of Metaphysics, September, 1997, Mauro Bottalico, review of John Locke and the Ethics of Belief, pp. 180-182.
Theological Studies, September, 1997, Thomas Guarino, review of Divine Discourse, pp. 560-561.
Journal of Youth Ministry, http://ayme.gospelcom.net/ (December 14, 2005), Rob Ribbe, review of Education for Life: Reflections on Christian Teaching and Learning.