Brendan Purcell

MA, PhD (UnivCollDublin), STL (Pontifical Lateran Univ,Rome)
Adjunct Professor

Phone: 02 8204 4175

  • Biography

    Ordained priest 1967. Taught logic, psychology and philosophy at UnivColl Dublin from 1972-2008, after MA thesis on Aspects of Method in Human Psychology and a PhD thesis, Wewards: Theoretical Foundations for a Psychology of Friendship (prepared from 1969-1972 at Kath Univ Leuven's Research Center for Motivation and Time-Perspective). Retired from UCD's School of Philosophy as Senior Lecturer. Now parochial vicar at St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney and Adjunct Professor at ND. From 2012 to 2018 Fellow of St John's College, Univ of Sydney.

  • Teaching Areas

    Eric Voegelin's political philosophy and philosophy of history, Bernard Lonergan's theory of knowledge and philosophy of science; Philosophical implications of Dostoevsky's and Solzhenitsyn's work; Philosophical diagnosis of Soviet Communism and Hitler's National Socialism Human origins in the context of philosophy and evolution; Dialogue with modern atheism from the perspective of a philosophy of God; Quest for transcendence in paleolithic and modern art

  • Research Expertise and Supervision

    All the above teaching areas demanded an academic lifetime. At UCD I supervised many 1 year MA theses and several MLitt theses, along with some doctoral theses as principal supervisor or second reader. I have also been an external examiner for doctoral theses in several colleges in Dublin, as well as in the Queen's Univ of Belfast, Cambridge Univ England, and the Univ. of Queensland. I have been principal supervisor to 2 MA theses at Notre Dame Univ (Sydney Campus)

  • Books

    • The Drama of Humanity: Towards a Philosophy of Humanity in History (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 1996);
    • Hitler and the Germans. The Collected Works of Eric Voegelin, vol. 31. Translated and edited by Detlev Clemens and Brendan Purcell (Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 1999);
    • From Big Bang to Big Mystery: Human Origins in the light of Creation and Evolution (Dublin: Veritas Publications, 2011; Hyde Park, NY: New City Press, 2012);
    • Where is God in Suffering? (Dublin: Veritas, 2016, Hyde Park, NY: New City Press, 2016).
  • Book Chapters

    • ‘Foundations for a Judgment of the Holocaust: Etty Hillesum’s Standard of Humanity,’ in: Spirituality in the Writings of Etty Hillesum: Proceedings of the Etty Hillesum Conference at Ghent University, November 2008, Edited by Klaas A.D. Smelik, Ria van den Brandt, and Meins G. S. Coetsier (Leiden: Brill, 2010), 125–46;
    • ‘Dawkins’ Fear of Reason,’ In: Human Destinies. Philosophical Essays in Memory of Gerald Hanratty, ed. Fran O’Rourke (Notre Dame: Notre Dame University Press, 2013), 337–65;
    • ‘Reflections on Philosophical and Theological Historiography in Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s The Red Wheel.’ In: Ludmila Saraskina, ed., Life and Work of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: The Way to The Red Wheel (Moscow: PУCCKИЙ  ПУTЪ, 2013), 151–168;
    • ‘A “Cosmic Authority Problem”: Lawrence Krauss and Thomas Nagel’s Approach to the Question of God,’ in: Brendan Leahy, ed., Faith and the Marvelous Progress of Science (Hyde Park, NY: New City Press, 2014), 65–89;
    • ‘Philosophical and Theological Historiography in The Red Wheel,’ in An Apocalypse of Love: Essays in Honor of Cyril O’Regan, eds. Jennifer Newsome Martin & Anthony C. Sciglitano, Jr. (New York, Herder & Herder, 2018), 149–63.
  • Journal Articles and Proceedings

    • ‘Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s Overcoming Personal, Political and Historical Amnesia Through Literary-Aesthetic Anamnesis,’ in: History of Communism in Europe, 1 (Bucharest: Zeta Books, 2010), 33–46;
    • ‘Towards a trinitarian humanism: Piero Coda’s development of a heuristic of radical fraternity as a lived theology of history,’ in: Sophia: Ricerche su i fondamenti e la correlazione dei saperi (Rome) IV (2), 2012, 247–71;
    • ‘Voegelin as a Teacher’s Teacher,’ in ‘Symposium on the Eric Voegelin Reader,’ Perspectives on Political Science, Vol 48, no. 1, 2018, 1–9;
    • ‘Genesis’ True Story of the Mysterious Origins of Humankind,’ Sofia, X (2018/1), 79–91.
  • Conference Papers

    • ‘Beyond the Big Bang: The Eucharist at the Heart of Cosmic, Evolutionary and Human History,’ in: 50th International Eucharistic Congress, Vol I: Proceedings of the International Symposium of Theology (Veritas: Dublin, 2013), 250–65;
    • ‘From Big Bang to Big Mystery: Reflections on Human Origins,’ in 50th International Eucharistic Congress, Vol. II: Selection from Concurrent Sessions (Veritas: Dublin, 2013), 632–46.
  • In the media

    In Ireland frequent participant or interviewee on the main radio and tv service, RTÉ, as well as independent radio and tv stations. Thankfully enjoying complete media silence here in Australia.

  • Professional affiliations

    From 1989 till 2017 attended and gave papers at the American Political Science Association's annual meetings

  • Community engagement

    Pastoral work as chaplain in Ireland for the early 1970s till 2010. At present, pastoral work at St Mary's Cathedral Sydney. Frequent addresses on religious and general cultural topics, plus, most unworthily, occasional retreat-giver.