The Rev. John J. Cavanaugh, C.S.C., Professor of the Humanities
James Turner’s research encompasses the breadth of American and modern British intellectual history. He has written seven books, including The Sacred and the Secular University, The Liberal Education of Charles Eliot Norton, and Without God, Without Creed: The Origins of Unbelief in America. His most recent book is Religion Enters the Academy: The Origins of the Scholarly Study of Religion in America.
A recent volume, The Future of Christian Learning: An Evangelical and Catholic Dialogue, draws on Turner’s Catholicism and the Evangelicalism of his co-author, Notre Dame colleague Mark Noll, to consider the strengths and weaknesses of the intellectual traditions of both communities—and to suggest what they may have to offer one another. Reviewers have praised the book for its bold and ambitious vision. Turner is now completing a history of humanistic learning from antiquity to the 20th century, to be published by Princeton University Press.
Educated at Harvard, Turner teaches in both the history department and the doctoral program in history and philosophy of science. He is a fellow of Notre Dame’s John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values.
With a bequest from Rev. John A. O’Brien, the University created the Cavanaugh Professorships in honor of Notre Dame’s 14th president. Father O’Brien, a Catholic apologist whose books, articles, and pamphlets reached millions, spent 40 years teaching and writing at Notre Dame. He was an early advocate of Church renewal issuing from the Second Vatican Council.