Chair in Philosophy at the Catholic University of America
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John Michael Rist FRSC (born 1936) is a British scholar of ancient philosophy, classics, and early Christian philosophy and theology, known mainly for his contributions to the history of metaphysics and ethics. He is the author of monographs on Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics, Epicurus, Plotinus, the dating of the Gospels, and Augustine. Rist is Professor of Classics Emeritus at the University of Toronto, part-time Visiting Professor at the Institutum Patristicum Augustinianum in Rome, holds the Father Kurt Pritzl, O.P., Chair in Philosophy at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and is a life member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University. During his lengthy academic career he has also been Regius Professor of Classics at the University of Aberdeen (1983-1996), and the Lady David Visiting Professor in Philosophy at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem (1995).
His work has been important in the fields of ancient philosophy and historical theology for two main reasons. First, Rist is noted for a level of conceptual reading comprehension in ancient texts that is exceptionally high; he thereby produced studies marked by “acute observations,” singular “insights,” and “valuable interpretations.” Second, Rist’s work executes meticulous scholarship and detailed discussion of problems while engaging large philosophical and theological themes, setting both within their relevant historical contexts.