John M. Finnis
Biolchini Family Professor of Law
Known internationally for his work in legal and moral theory and constitutional law, John M. Finnis is widely regarded as the foremost authority on natural law and Catholic legal philosophy. His research on the foundations of legal and moral philosophy blends the study of American and English law with the Platonic-Aristotelian tradition and with the work of Aquinas, on whom he is a world-renowned scholar.
Finnis, who also serves as adjunct professor of philosophy at Notre Dame, has written in depth not only on moral issues concerning individual acts such as abortion and euthanasia, but also on moral issues directly involving national acts and intentions. He is a fellow of the British Academy and a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, and was a member of the International Theological Commission when it was chaired by Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI).
Finnis also served for many years as professor of law and legal philosophy at the University of Oxford, from which he received his doctorate in philosophy as a Rhodes Scholar.
The Biolchini Family Professorship was a gift of Notre Dame parents Robert (’62) and Frances Biolchini. Robert served as a member of the Notre Dame Law School Advisory Council from 1982 to 2001, when he was named a University Trustee. The couple has also underwritten Biolchini Hall, the new home of the Kresge Law Library.