Martin Rhonheimer

Martin Rhonheimer, born 1950 in Zurich, has been Professor of Ethics and Political Philosophy from 1990 to 2020 at the Faculty of Philosophy of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome. He remains associated with the university as a visiting professor. He is co-founder and president of the Austrian Institute of Economics and Social Philosophy and lives in Vienna.

He studied history, philosophy and political science in Zurich and theology in Rome. In 1977, he died his doctorate with Hermann Lübbe at the University of Zurich. From 1972-1978, he was assistant to Hermann Lübbe at the Philosophical Seminar of the University of Zurich. 1981/82 research assistant to Otfried Höffe at the University of Freiburg, Switzerland. Research fellow (habilitation project) of the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, Cologne. Since 1982 collaboration with Wolfgang Kluxen, Bonn. In 1983 he was ordained priest in Rome by Pope John Paul II (incardination in the Personal Prelature of Opus Dei).

He is a member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, founding member of the Lord Acton Kreis, and a member of the Friedrich A. von Hayek Society and of the Ludwig-Erhard-Stiftung.

Numerous publications in professional journals and anthologies, mainly in the fields of ethics and political philosophy as well as economic and social philosophy, including several books, some of which have been translated into various languages. Currently, his work focuses on economic and social-philosophical issues, in particular the study of the Austrian School of Economics and its philosophical, ethical, political social implications; the tradition of the “Social Market Economy”, the development of Christian social teaching, especially Catholic Social Doctrine, and the critical examination of the idea and reality of the welfare state as well as related political-philosophical and ethical issues, in particular those referring to the theory of justice.

Last books:

Christentum und säkularer Staat. Geschichte – Gegenwart – Zukunft (Mit einem Vorwort von Ernst-Wolfgang Böckenförde), Herder, Freiburg i. Br. 2012,

Homo sapiens: die Krone der Schöpfung. Herausforderungen der Evolutionstheorie und die Antwort der Philosophie, Springer VS, Wiesbaden 2016.

The Common Good of Constitutional Democracy. Essays in Political Philosophy and on Catholic Social Doctrine, Catholic University of America Press, Washington D.C., 2013.

Die Perspektive der Moral. Philosophische Grundlagen der Tugendethik, Akademie Verlag, Berlin 2001.

Libertad económica, capitalismo y ética cristiana. Ensayos para un encuentro entre economía de mercado y pensamiento cristiano, Unión Editorial, Madrid 2017.

Personal website:

Martin Rhonheimer’s Homepage at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome

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