Leading Christian Conservative Scholar
Robert P. George is McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. He is also frequently a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School where he teaches philosophy of law and related subjects.
In addition to his academic service, Professor George has served as Chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. He has also 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.
He serves on the boards of the John M. Templeton Foundation Religion Trust, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Ethics and Public Policy Center, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, and the Center for Individual Rights, among others.
Professor George is author of Making Men Moral: Civil Liberties and Public Morality, In Defense of Natural Law, The Clash of Orthodoxies and Conscience and Its Enemies. He is co-author of Conjugal Union: What Marriage Is, Embryo: A Defense of Human Life, Body-Self Dualism in Contemporary Ethics and Politics, and What is Marriage? He is editor of several volumes, including Natural Law Theory: Contemporary Essays, The Autonomy of Law: Essays on Legal Positivism, Natural Law, Liberalism, and Morality, and Great Cases in Constitutional Law, and co-editor of the Cambridge Companion to Natural Law.
Professor 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, the American Journal of Jurisprudence, and Law and Philosophy. He has also written for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, First Things, the Boston Review, and the Times Literary Supplement.
A graduate of Swarthmore College, Professor George holds M.T.S. and J.D. degrees from Harvard University and the degrees of D.Phil., B.C.L., D.C.L., and D.Litt. 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 twenty-one 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, the James Q. Wilson Award of the Association for the Study of Free Institutions, and Princeton University’s President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching. Together with his friend and teaching partner Cornel West, he received the inaugural Leadership Award of Heterodox Academy.
He has given the John Dewey Lecture in Philosophy of Law at Harvard, the Guido Calabresi Lecture in Law and Religion at Yale, the Elizabeth Anscombe Memorial Lecture in Bioethics at Oxford, the Sir Malcolm Knox Lecture in Philosophy at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and the Frank Irvine Lecture in Law at Cornell.
Professor George is general editor of New Forum Books, a Princeton University Press series of interdisciplinary works in law, culture, and politics. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is Of Counsel to the law firm of Robinson & McElwee.
Baylor University has named a Washington, D.C.-based program the “Robert P. George Initiative in Faith, Ethics, and Public Policy.”
A CIVIL DISCOURSE: A Discussion with Professors Robert George and Cornel West (Live or Virtual)
A discussion about freedom of speech, freedom of thought, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the cancel culture with Professors Robert George of Princeton and Cornel West of Harvard: In the aftermath of George Floyd's killing, the country is re-examining fundamental aspects both of our society and how we talk about changing it. In order to undertake that examination in a spirit of honesty and free inquiry, one view holds that participants need to feel free from the danger, and sometimes, as we have seen, the reality, of punishment or intimidation for taking an unpopular point of view. Those holding this view are concerned that we seem to be entering an era of enforced conformity to a new norm—that America is systemically racist, and that a failure to accept and acknowledge this fact is disqualifying from having a place in academia, in public life, or even in the private sector. They are concerned that the radical changes being called for ignore the pillars of the successful American experiment that ultimately led from slavery to the outlawing of racial segregation, and that these changes will do grave harm both to American society as a whole and to the radical changes’ intended beneficiaries. On the other hand, some believe that our society is so inherently degraded by racism that a fundamental change is justified from the old ways of how we have felt we can think and speak about these issues. The thought is that the traditional notions of free speech and free thought are themselves devices that support oppression, and inevitably are employed to prop up established practices and ways of thinking that have created, and perpetuate, racial inequity. This view holds that those who have been harmed by racism are only further harmed by a so-called “balanced” discussion of their grievances. Professors George and West addressed whether both society and the ways in which we can discuss its virtues and its deficiencies, are in need of fundamental change.