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2014 Gifford Lecture Series: University of Edinburgh

What is Caesar’s? Adjudicating Faith in Modern Constitutional Democracies to be held on Monday 19 May 2014. [More…]

2014 Gifford Lecture Series: University of Glasgow

Givenness and Revelation begins Tuesday 20 May 2014. [More…]

YouTube Channel

Gifford Lectures now has a YouTube Channel! [More…]


A new Gifford Lectures page for St. Andrews. [More…]

Eight Books Based on Gifford Lectures

Eight books derived from the Gifford lectures are available. [More…]


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Lenn Evan Goodman

1944 -

Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Vanderbilt University



Lenn Evan Goodman, born 21 March 1944, the son of Calvin and Florence Goodman, is Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Vanderbilt University. He is an expert in both Jewish and Islamic thought.
He received his BA from Harvard (summa cum laude) in philosophy and Near Eastern languages and literatures. From 1965 to 1968, he was a Marshall Scholar at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He received his DPhil from Oxford University in 1968.
Positions held include: Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Near Eastern Languages and Literature at UCLA (1968–1969), Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Hawaii (1969–1974), Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Hawaii (1974–1981), Professor of Philosophy at the University of Hawaii (1981–1994), and Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University from 1994 to the present (2007).
Professor Goodman’s has received numerous awards, including the Baumgardt Memorial Award of the American Philosophical Association and the Gratz Centennial Prize. He was a Littman Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Postgraduate Hebrew Studies, a Humanities Fellow at the East-West Center, an Arts and Humanities Faculty Fellow of the University of Hawaii, and a fellow of the Center for the Study of Religion and Culture at Vanderbilt University. In 1995, he was at the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He is the recipient of grants from the NEH, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Matchette Foundation.
Dr. Goodman has served on the editorial boards of Philosophy East and West, Medieval Philosophy and Theology, Asian Philosophy, and History of Philosophy Quarterly. He has authored over a hundred articles as well as the following books: Monotheism: A Philosophic Inquiry into the Foundations of Theology and Ethics (1981), On Justice: An Essay in Jewish Philosophy (1991), Avicenna (1992), God of Abraham (1992), Judaism, Human Rights and Human Values (1998), Jewish and Islamic Philosophy: Crosspollinations in the Classic Age (1999), In Defense of Truth: A Pluralistic Approach (2001), and Islamic Humanism (2003). Avicenna has appeared in Italian translation, and Islamic Humanism in Turkish. Works that Professor Goodman has translated and provided commentaries on include: Ibn Tufayl’s Hayy Ibn Yaqzan (1972), Rambam: Readings in the Philosophy of Moses Maimonides (1978), The Case of the Animals vs. Man before the King of the Jinn (1978), and Saadiah ben Joseph al-Fayyumi’s Book of Theodicy, a tenth-century Arabic commentary and translation of the book of Job (1988).
Professor Goodman’s first wife, the geneticist Madeleine Joyce Goodman, died in 1996. She served as academic vice president of the University of Hawaii and was the first woman dean of Arts and Science at Vanderbilt. Their two daughters are the novelist Allegra Goodman and Paula Fraenkel, MD, a haematologist oncologist. Dr. Goodman is married to Roberta Walter Goodman, an authority on health care policy and finance.
Larry Pullen
Templeton Press