Jennifer A. Herdt

Gilbert L. Stark Professor of Christian Ethics, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs

CV | Phone:203-432-0024
Denomination: Episcopalian

Professor Herdt joined YDS in 2010 after eleven years on the faculty of theology at the University of Notre Dame. She is the author of Religion and Faction in Hume’s Moral Philosophyand Putting on Virtue: The Legacy of the Splendid Vices. Her primary interests are in early-modern and modern moral thought, classical and contemporary virtue ethics, and contemporary Protestant social ethics and political theology. Her articles have appeared in a variety of journals, including the Journal of Religious Ethics, theJournal of Religion, Modern Theology, Soundings, Studies in Christian Ethics, and the American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly. They deal with subjects ranging from humility and the code of the streets to indiscriminate divine love, Milbank’s critique of political economy, and connections between divine compassion and the mystification of power. Her current project on ethical formation, Bildung, and the Bildungsroman, is supported by a research fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. She has been the recipient of a Carey Senior Fellowship at the Erasmus Institute (2004–2005), a postdoctoral fellowship from the Center for Philosophy of Religion (1998–99), a Mellon Graduate Prize Fellowship from the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University (1992), and a Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities (1989). She has served on the board of directors of the Society of Christian Ethics and is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Religious Ethics.

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“Grace is active in our acting, in the beauty of virtue displayed that engages and transforms our affections, allowing us to play a part that becomes our own as we play it.  While imitation is an act, there is also a chastening of human agency implied in the cascade.  We must be inspired by our exemplars; we cannot simply decide to love them, to find them beautiful,” Putting On Virtue, 119.


  1. Putting On Virtue: The Legacy of the Splendid Vices (Chicago, 2008)
  2. Religion and Faction in Hume’s Moral Philosophy (Cambridge, 1997)


Political Theology
Virtue and Hypocrisy
Imago Dei and Human Dignity


Biking, hiking, cooking, choral singing