A Philosophy Professor Prays for Emerging Writers

Philosophy professor Meghan Sullivan shared this prayer at a gathering of The Augustine Collective. We liked it so much we asked her if we could share it with Christian academics at the ESN blog. At ESN, we love to share prayers and reflections by and for Christian scholars, especially in this busy time of year when our readers are looking for meaningful ways to pray for and from their experience of academic work.


Jesus, you said that as your people we should love you with all of our heart and all of our soul and all of our mind, and love our neighbors likewise. Send your spirit upon this gathering of men and women this weekend, helping us to better love you with our minds. In fellowship with one another, help us come to greater understanding of you, and in understanding grow in love. With the training and new challenges offered to us this weekend, help us learn how to better appreciate the intellectual dignity of our neighbors, creating truthful and absorbing writing that will bring the Spirit to our readers. And let us offer up our shortcomings and struggles in humility, always remembering how our intellects depend utterly on you.

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Meghan Sullivan

Meghan Sullivan is a Professor of Philosophy and the Rev. John A. O’Brien Collegiate Chair at Notre Dame. She also serves as the Director of the University Philosophy Requirement. Sullivan’s research tends to focus on philosophical problems concerning time, modality, rational planning and religious belief (but rarely all four at once). She teaches courses at all levels, including large introductory courses like God and the Good Life and specialized graduate seminars on metaphysics, philosophical logic, and rationality. She also works on developing the philosophy component of Notre Dame’s core curriculum. Sullivan has degrees from UVA (BA with highest distinction: Philosophy and Politics–2005), Oxford (B.Phil: Philosophy–2007), and Rutgers (Ph.D.: Philosophy–2011). She studied at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. Sullivan has spent her career so far at Notre Dame, where she was awarded tenure in 2015. She was the Rev. John O’Brien Collegiate Associate Professor from 2015-2017 and was promoted to Professor in 2017. Sullivan has published work in many of the leading generalist philosophy journals, including Nous, Ethics and Philosophical Studies. She has recently published her first book—Time Biases—with Oxford University Press (2018). Time Biases develops a theory of diachronic rationality, personal identity and rational planning. Sullivan also regularly writes shorter public philosophy essays—including publications in The Huffington Post, Commonweal and First Things—and gives public philosophy talks. She is a co-editor for the Philosophy of Religion portfolio of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. She serves on (too) many committees and frequently collaborates with grad students. When not philosophizing, Sullivan enjoys cooking, biking, building elaborate Star Wars Lego sets, reading science fiction, and traveling the world.

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