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Adams, Marilyn McCord


Marilyn McCord Adams
Recurring Visiting Professor

Contact Information

University of Illinois, Champaign-­Urbana (A.B. Philosophy, 1964)
Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. (Ph.D. Philosophy, 1967)
Princeton Theological Seminary (Th.M., Biblical Studies, 1984)
Princeton Theological Seminary (Th.M., Developmental Psychology and Faith Development, 1985)
Oxford University, D.D.
Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, D.D. honoris causa


My teaching and research in philosophy has centered on medieval philosophy and philosophy of religion.  My medieval books include William Ockham (2 volumes) and Some Later Medieval Theories of the Eucharist: Thomas Aquinas, Giles of Rome, Duns Scotus, and William Ockham (one focus of which is the metaphysics of body).  I continue to explore medieval theories of causality and to investigate how medieval engagement of doctrines of revealed theology provoked philosophical insights and renovations. I am currently working on a book on medieval theories of the soul (one focus of which is hylomorphic theories of substance­-natures and their powers). In philosophy of religion, I have written two books on the problem of evil--­Horrendous Evils and the Goodness of God and Christ and Horrors: the Coherence of Christology.  I am currently working on a sequel on the sanctification of matter, which includes an attempt to revive perichoretic models of the self.

Selected Books:
  • William Ockham.  Notre Dame University Press, 1987.
  • Horrendous Evils and the Goodness of God. Cornell University Press, 1999.
  • Christ and Horrors: The Coherence of Christology.  Cambridge University Press, 2006.
  • Some Later Medieval Theories of the Eucharist: Thomas Aquinas, Giles of Rome, Duns Scotus, and William Ockham.  Oxford University Press, 2010.
Recent Articles:
  • “Bodies in Their Places: Multiple Location according to John Duns Scotus,” Johannes Duns Scotus 1308-­2008: Die Philosophisches Perspektiven Seines Werken, Proceedings of the Quadruple Congress on John Duns Scotus, Part III, eds. Ludger Honnefelder, Hannes Möhle, Andreas Speer, Theo Kobusch, and Susana Bullido del Barrio.  Subsidia 5 (Münster­St. Bonaventure, NY: Aschendorff­ Franciscan Institute Publications, 2010), 139­149.
  • “Which is It?  Religious Pluralism or Global Theology?” Religious Pluralism and the Modern World: An Ongoing Engagement with John Hick, ed. by Sharada Sugirtharaja (Palgreve Press, 2011), ch.2, 34­-44.
  • “Evil as Nothing: Contrasting Construals in Boethius and Anselm,” The Modern Schoolman, Vol.89, No.3­4 (July and October 2012), 131-­145.
  • “Julian of Norwich: Problems of Evil and the Seriousness of Sin”,  Philosophia, vol.39 (2011), 433­-447.  DOI: 10.1007/s11406­011­9309­6
  • “Why Bodies as Well as Souls in the Life to Come?” The Science of Being as Being: Metaphysical Investigations, ed. Gregory T. Doolan (Washington DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2012), ch.12, 264­-297.
  • “St. Anselm on the Goodness of God,” St. Anselm and His Legacy, ed. by Giles E.M. Gasper and Ian Logan, (Toronto: Pontifical Institute for Medieval Studies, 2012), 360­-384.
  • “Whose Thought Is It?  The Soul and Its Actions in Some Thirteenth and Fourteenth Century Philosophers” jointly with Cecilia Trifogli, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Vol. LXXXV, No.3 (November 2012), 624­-647.
  • “Ignorance, Instrumentality, Compensation, and the Problem of Evil”, Sophia, published first online November 10, 2012:  DOI: 10.1007/s11841­012­0346­9; vol.52, Issue 1 (2013), 7-­26.
  • “Powers versus Laws: God and the Order of the World according to Some Late Medieval Aristotelians” in The Divine Order, the Human Order, and the Order of Nature: Historical Perspectives, ed. by Eric Watkins (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013) 3-­26.
  • “An ad hominem Argument from Evil for Belief in God”, in A Companion to the Problem of Evil, ed. by Justin McBrayer and Daniel Howard­ Snyder (Chichester: Wiley­Blackwell, 2013), 160­-173.
  • “Genuine Agency, Somehow Shared: The Holy Spirit and Other Gifts”, forthcoming in Oxford Studies in Medieval Philosophy, vol.I (2013), 23-­60.


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