DepartmentTorrey Honors Institute
Biola AffiliationsEmployee, Faculty

Documents

Degrees

  • Ph.D., University of Texas
  • B.A., Biola University
  • Visiting Student Research Collaborator, Princeton University

Biography

In addition to being a general enthusiast of great books, Matthew Wright is a political theorist who specializes in the Thomistic-Aristotelian natural law tradition. This entails a methodology particularly sensitive to the diverse forms of natural association and authority that fall within political communities. He is interested in understanding how groups like families and churches relate to the political community and what political life uniquely contributes to the full development of human social capacities. Born and bred in the South, Matthew is married to a proud Alabamassippian, Ruthie, and together they chase around Jackson, Harry and Mary Clement. The Wrights enjoy campfires, national parks and barbecue.

Affiliations

  • American Political Science Association
  • Southwestern Political Science Association
  • American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy

Publications

Refereed Publications
  • “The Aim of Law and the Nature of Political Community: An Assessment of Finnis on Aquinas,” American Journal of Jurisprudence 54 (2009): 133-160.

  • “Natural Law, Civic Friendship, and Stanley Hauerwas’s Counter-Polis Thesis,” in Natural Law and Evangelical Political Thought (Lexington Books, 2013), 225-249.

Articles
  • “Getting Dignity Right,” published in the web magazine Public Discourse, August 17, 2012 (http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2012/08/5973/)

  • “Prepared to Lead: A Defense of Liberal Education,” Symposium (publication of the Torrey Honors Institute) 2, no. 3 (2002): 1-2. 

  • “Seeking the Greater Good,” Symposium 1, no. 4 (2001): 5

  • “The Changing Idea of a University: American Higher Education and the Illiberal Use of Knowledge.” www.acton.org/programs/students/essay/2001/hmention2.html (published 2001) 

Papers and Presentations
  • “Civic Friendship as the Substantive Political Good,” presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southwestern Political Science Association, New Orleans, Louisiana, March 27-30, 2013.

  • “The Common Good, Civic Friendship, and Political Authority,” presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, New Orleans, Louisiana, August 30-September 2, 2012.

  • “Material and Special Parts in Aquinas’s Understanding of the Body Politic,” presented at the annual meeting of the Southern Political Science Association, New Orleans, Louisiana, January 12-14, 2012. 

  • Discussant for panel, “Theories of Moral and Political Obligation” at the annual meeting of the Southern Political Science Association, New Orleans, Louisiana, January 12-14, 2012.

  • “Formal Properties of the Political Common Good,” presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, Illinois, March 31-April 3, 2011.

  • “Disentangling the Social and the Political in Thomistic Political Thought,” presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, Illinois, April 2009.

  • “The Roles of Family and State in the Moral Education of Children,” presented at the annual conference of the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture, The Family: Searching for Fairest Love, South Bend, Indiana, November 6-8, 2008. 

  • “Thomas Aquinas, John Finnis, and the Distinction between Public and Private,” presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, Illinois, April 2008. Also presented for the Graduate Research Colloquium, Department of Government, University of Texas, Austin, April 2008.

  •  “A Comparison of Hobbes and Spinoza on Human Nature, the State of Nature, and the Social Contract,” presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southwestern Political Science Association, San Antonio, Texas, April 2006. 

  • “Pursuing the Ends of Government: The Political Theory and Context of the Federalist Papers,” presented at the Torrey Honors Institute, Biola University, Spring 2004. 

  • “The Imaginative Power of the Right to Property in the Formation of the American Republic,” presented at the Phi Alpha Theta Regional Conference, California State University, San Marcos, April 2003. 

  • “The Investiture Controversy and the Papal Conception of Power,” presented at the Phi Alpha Theta Regional Conference, Loyola Marymount University, April 2002.

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