The University of St. Thomas

College of Arts & Sciences | Department of Catholic Studies | Faculty

Dr. Robert Kennedy

Dr. Robert Kennedy

Dr. Robert G. Kennedy

Professor and Chair, Department of Catholic Studies
Phone: (651) 962-5140

Office Location: 201 Sitzmann Hall

Courses taught in Spring 2014
CATH 297-03
Dawson&Dynamics of Church Hist 1055-1200 M W F 55S 207

4 Credit Hours

The subject matter of these courses will vary from year to year, but will not duplicate existing courses. Descriptions of these courses are available in the Searchable Class Schedule on Murphy Online, View Searchable Class Schedule

CSMA 525-01
Philosophical Foundations 1800-2100 W 55S 207

3 Credit Hours

Since Christianity encountered the secular philosophies of the ancient world, theology has been shaped and influenced by philosophy. Christian theologians have had to respond to challenges to their doctrines brought by philosophers and they have often adopted the conceptual frameworks and technical language of philosophy. As a result, even though theology and philosophy are distinct disciplines, a knowledge of philosophy is really necessary in order to understand theology. This course aims to provide a basic understanding of the philosophical concepts that constitute much of the foundation of Catholic theology, especially in the areas of metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics. Special attention will be given to Platonic and Aristotelian schools of thought.

Courses taught in Fall 2014
CATH 401-01
Church&Culture:Soc Dim of Cath 1335-1440 M W F 55S B10

4 Credit Hours

This course provides an investigation into the ways in which Catholicism is inherently social and ecclesial. Its specific focus is on the Christian engagement with the world. The course's framework will be taken from the analysis of society into three spheres of action (culture, politics, and economics) as described in Centesimus annus. We will examine the ways that Revelation, the sacramental life, and the teachings of the Church call Catholics to seek holiness and to witness to their faith in the world. Specific topics may include social and economic justice, politics and public policy, lay and religious apostolates, education, and marriage and family. Course materials may include resources from philosophy, theology, history, economics, and political science. Prerequisite: CATH 101 and Junior standing

Academic History

B.A., Philosophy, College of St. Thomas, 1972
M.A., Theology - New Testament, St. Paul Seminary, 1980
M.M.S., Master of Medieval Studies, University of Notre Dame, 1982
Ph.D., Medieval Studies - Philosophy, University of Notre Dame, 1985
M.B.A., Management, College of St. Thomas, 1990


Patristic Theology
Medieval Philosophy and Theology
Thomas Aquinas
Catholic Social Thought
Professional Ethics

Selected Publications

The Good that Business Does. Grand Rapids, MI: Acton Institute, 2006. 

“Ethics, Courage and Self-Discipline” Finance et bien commun (Switzerland), #18-19, Spring-Summer 2004, 136-139.

Development of Doctrine in Moral Theology: Can What Was Once Wrong Now Be Right?” in University of St Thomas Law Journal, 1 (2003) 253-273.  

Spirituality and the Christian Manager,” in Oliver Williams, ed, Business, Religion and Spirituality: A New Synthesis. (South Bend, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2003) pp 81-93.

The Professionalization of Work,” in Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Work as Key to the Social Question (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2002) pp 99-110.

Will We Ever Have Enough Priests?America 13 September 1997, pp 18-22.

Selected Presentations

“Business and Human Development: The Proposal of the Encyclical Caritas in veritate,” 16th International Symposium on Ethics, Business and Society, IESE Business School, University of Navarra, Barcelona, Spain, 13 May 2010.

 “On Being Truly Practical: Why Virtue Matters in Business,” conference on The Business of Practical Wisdom. Catholic University, Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, Germany, 25 Sep 2009.

 “St Thomas Aquinas on bellum iustum,” conference on The Hermeneutics of the Just War Tradition, Institut für Theologie und Frieden, Hamburg, Germany, 4-6 January 2009.

“Is the Just War Theory Obsolete?” International Society for Military Ethics, San Diego, CA, 25 January 2008.

“Is the Doctrine of Preemption a Legitimate Element of the Just War Tradition?” Joint Services Conference on Professional Ethics, Washington, DC, 27 January 2005.

Professional Memberships

American Catholic Philosophical Association

-  Executive Council, 1994-96

-  Chair, Committee on the Future of the ACPA (1995-96)

-  Chair, ACPA Working Group on Business Ethics, 1991-

-  Member, Organizing Committee, 1999 Annual Conference

Catholic Biblical Association

Fellowship of Catholic Scholars

Joint Services Conference on Professional Ethics (JSCOPE)