More about Jon

Jon directs the Arts and Human­i­ties Col­lab­o­ra­tive at Alber­tus Mag­nus Col­lege, a Catholic lib­er­al arts col­lege in New Haven, CT. He also teach­es in the Depart­ment of Phi­los­o­phy and Reli­gion and serves as a Co-Direc­tor of the College’s Hon­ors Pro­gram. In the sum­mers, he teach­es in the Summer@Brown Pre-Col­lege Pro­gram at Brown Uni­ver­si­ty. He is a mem­ber of the Advi­so­ry Board for Zeal: A Jour­nal for the Lib­er­al Arts.

His research focus­es on the phi­los­o­phy of per­son­al­ism (for more about which, see the entry by Thomas D. Williams here) and he has recent­ly pub­lished on Jacques Maritain’s phi­los­o­phy of edu­ca­tion. Pre­vi­ous­ly he has writ­ten on the work of Charles Tay­lor, Richard Rorty, Carl Schmitt, Hans Blu­men­berg, and Emmanuel Mounier. Much of this is avail­able on this site under Writ­ing. He has a spe­cial inter­est in the his­to­ry and phi­los­o­phy of the Catholic Work­er Move­ment, and often teach­es and writes on themes in the Catholic intel­lec­tu­al tradition.

Orig­i­nal­ly from Sch­enec­tady, New York, Jon attend­ed Sarah Lawrence Col­lege, earn­ing a BA in the Lib­er­al Arts and com­plet­ing a year abroad at Wad­ham Col­lege, Oxford Uni­ver­si­ty. He went on to earn an MA in Reli­gious Stud­ies (with hon­ours) at McGill Uni­ver­si­ty in Mon­tre­al, QC, sub­mit­ting a the­sis on the work of Charles Tay­lor and Richard Rorty. That work, “After Ratio­nal­ism,” focused on Tay­lor’s and Rorty’s dif­fer­ing modes of cri­tique of mod­ern epis­te­mol­o­gy, and the impli­ca­tions of that dif­fer­ence for their respec­tive under­stand­ings of ethics and the prop­er place of reli­gion in pub­lic life.

After serv­ing for three years as Youth Min­is­ter and Direc­tor of Faith For­ma­tion at St. Fran­cis de Sales Parish (now Christ Our Light Catholic Church) in Loudonville, NY, and teach­ing 9th and 10th grade the­ol­o­gy at his high school alma mater, Notre Dame — Bish­op Gib­bons School in Sch­enec­tady, NY, Jon moved to Bel­gium to pur­sue fur­ther stud­ies in phi­los­o­phy at the Hoger Insti­tu­ut voor Wijs­begeerte (High­er Insti­tute of Phi­los­o­phy) at the Katholieke Uni­ver­siteit Leu­ven. There he earned two degrees, both sum­ma cum laude: a BA, with a the­sis on Charles Tay­lor’s view of the tran­scen­dence / imma­nence dis­tinc­tion in his 2007 book, A Sec­u­lar Age, and an MA, with a the­sis on the pub­lished cor­re­spon­dence between Carl Schmitt and Hans Blu­men­berg. That lat­ter work, “Sec­u­lar­iza­tion and Polit­i­cal Myth,” exam­ined Schmit­t’s and Blu­men­berg’s diver­gent under­stand­ings of the notion of sec­u­lar­iza­tion (i.e., what it means for some­thing to be “sec­u­lar­ized”) and their dif­fer­ing assess­ments of the appro­pri­ate role of myth — specif­i­cal­ly, polit­i­cal myths — in a sec­u­lar­ized world.

In 2010, Jon began work on a PhD in Reli­gious Stud­ies in the Depart­ment of Reli­gious Stud­ies at Brown Uni­ver­si­ty in Prov­i­dence, RI, in the “Reli­gion and Crit­i­cal Thought” track. Dur­ing his six years at Brown, he fre­quent­ly served as a teach­ing assis­tant, worked for five years in Brown’s Writ­ing Cen­ter, and worked for four years as a Fel­low­ship Advi­sor in Brown’s Fel­low­ship Office, with a pri­ma­ry respon­si­bil­i­ty for sup­port­ing stu­dent appli­cants for Rhodes and Mar­shall Schol­ar­ships. He also found­ed and oper­at­ed a small aca­d­e­m­ic edit­ing firm, Good Let­ters, LLC, from 2012–2018, work­ing pri­mar­i­ly with authors from India and the Nether­lands. For his work as a teach­ing assis­tant, Jon was award­ed Brown’s Pres­i­den­tial Award for Excel­lence in Teach­ing in 2015.

He com­plet­ed his stud­ies at Brown in 2016 with the sub­mis­sion of his dis­ser­ta­tion, “The Pol­i­tics of Per­son­al­ism.” In that work, he endeav­ors to trace the intel­lec­tu­al his­to­ry of per­son­al­ism as a dis­tinc­tive cur­rent in mod­ern thought, rang­ing from Friedrich Schleier­ma­ch­er to the present, with par­tic­u­lar focus on the work of Jacques Mar­i­tain and Emmanuel Mounier (in France), Dorothy Day and Peter Mau­rin, founders of the Catholic Work­er Move­ment (in the US), Charles Tay­lor, Paul Ricoeur, and Pope Francis.

Upon grad­u­a­tion, Jon was for one year a Post­doc­tor­al Teach­ing Fel­low in the The­ol­o­gy Depart­ment at Ford­ham Uni­ver­si­ty in New York City, offer­ing cours­es includ­ing “Church in Con­tro­ver­sy” and “Faith and Crit­i­cal Rea­son.” In 2017, he moved to New Haven, CT and took a posi­tion as Direc­tor of Faith For­ma­tion at SS. Isidore and Maria Parish in Glas­ton­bury, CT, where he served until 2021, over­see­ing a pro­gram for around 550 chil­dren and teens and sup­port­ing the cat­e­chist team in their ongo­ing for­ma­tion. At this same time, from 2017–2019, Jon served as an adjunct instruc­tor in the Depart­ment of Reli­gious Stud­ies at Fair­field Uni­ver­si­ty in Fair­field, CT, offer­ing cours­es includ­ing “Reli­gion and the Crit­i­cal Mind” and “Catholic Intel­lec­tu­al Tra­di­tion.” In fall of 2019, he start­ed as an Assis­tant Pro­fes­sor in the Depart­ment of Phi­los­o­phy and Reli­gion at Alber­tus Mag­nus Col­lege. He began his work as Direc­tor of the Arts and Human­i­ties Col­lab­o­ra­tive in sum­mer of 2022.

Amidst his work at Alber­tus, Jon con­tin­ues his research on the phi­los­o­phy of per­son­al­ism, most recent­ly expressed in an arti­cle pub­lished in The Jour­nal of Catholic High­er Edu­ca­tion, “Scat­ter­ing the Stars: Per­son­al­ist Ped­a­gogy and Catholic High­er Edu­ca­tion,” on the phi­los­o­phy of edu­ca­tion of Jacques Maritain.

Jon enjoys trav­el, pho­tog­ra­phy, motor­cy­cling, play­ing the gui­tar, doc­u­men­taries by Adam Cur­tis, and books, espe­cial­ly by Iris Mur­doch, J.M. Coet­zee, Neil Gaiman, Annie Dil­lard, David Bent­ley Hart, Byung-Chul Han, and Iain McGilchrist. He lives in the Newhal­lville neigh­bor­hood of New Haven, CT.