Marquette University News Release

Marquette professor to publish book on philosopher François Fénelon

June 25, 2014

Way Klingler Fellowship in the humanities will provide funding for research

Dr. Ryan Hanley, associate professor of political science at Marquette University, has been awarded the 2014 Way Klingler Fellowship in the humanities. With $20,000 annually for three years, Hanley will research and publish the first English-language book on the political philosophy of François Fénelon, a French Roman Catholic philosopher and writer. 2015 marks the 300th anniversary of Fénelon’s death.

“Fénelon is an important, but largely forgotten, Catholic thinker,” Hanley says. “In the 18th century, his book Telemachus was the second-most read book after the Bible itself. His contributions to both spirituality and political philosophy still hold great value today.”

According to Hanley, Fénelon’s philosophy was rooted in the concept of “pure love” – love untainted by self-love.

“One of his main concerns was the politics of inequality, something very much on people’s minds today,” Hanley says. “To hear this Catholic voice describe the flourishing state in which inequality is reduced is likely to resonate with audiences today.”

Hanley is excited to bring the historically important and contemporarily relevant project to life, an opportunity he said he might not have had without the Way Klingler Fellowship.

“You don’t often find opportunities to address something that history missed,” Hanley said. “It’s a perfect blend of my interests in the Enlightenment, political philosophy and my 10 years spent in the mission of Marquette. It all comes together nicely.”

Hanley earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, a master’s in philosophy from Cambridge University and a doctorate from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago.

The Way Klingler Fellowships are awarded to full-time regular faculty at the associate or full professor rank who have potential for significant scholarship. One fellowship in science and one in humanities is awarded. The humanities fellow receives $20,000 annually for three years to fund critical research that requires time, access to information and travel.

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Jesse Lee

Jesse is a senior communication specialist for the College of Health Sciences in the Office of Marketing and Communication. Contact Jesse at (414) 288-4984 or jesse.lee@marquette.edu. View all posts by .