Professor Receives Fellowship for Work in Denmark, Germany

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Vincent A. McCarthy, Ph.D., professor of philosophy, who formerly served as both provost of the University and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, will be on sabbatical during the fall 2008 semester. With the support of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation of Bonn, Germany, McCarthy will hold a position as senior research fellow in the philosophy faculty at the Humboldt University of Berlin. At the same time he will hold the position of senior research fellow at the Kierkegaard Research Center of the University of Cøpenhagen.

During his sabbatical, McCarthy, who has published widely on the father of Existentialism, Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, will complete a book on Kierkegaard's psychological thought. McCarthy's previous book, The Phenomenology of Moods in Kierkegaard, was written in the late 70s when he was also a von Humboldt fellow in philosophy and theology at the University of Tübingen in Germany.

For his research, McCarthy will travel between Berlin and Cøpenhagen, but will be based in Berlin. "Kierkegaard traveled between Berlin and Cøpenhagen in 1841, and accomplished some of his best work in this way, so it's a travel route worth imitating," noted McCarthy. "Unfortunately, there are no stagecoaches available in 2008, but on the other hand, it now only takes 45 minutes to travel between the two cities, as opposed to two exhausting days!"

McCarthy is the second SJU faculty member to receive support from this highly prestigious foundation. Recently, Hebrew Bible scholar Bruce Wells, Ph.D., assistant professor of theology, was granted a von Humboldt fellowship for the current academic year to research Neo-Babylonian trial procedure. The government of Germany established the Foundation to promote international research, and to foster long-term collaboration among researchers.

McCarthy is the first SJU faculty member to hold either of these positions at the Humboldt University of Berlin or the University of Cøpenhagen.

--Patricia Allen

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