September 21, 2016
DALLAS (SMU) – At a time when the Republican and Democratic nominees for president are verbally ripping each other to shreds, the new professor holding SMU’s university-wide Maguire Endowed Chair in Ethics has one thing on his mind: Love.
“The project I’m working on now is about, what does it mean to love one’s enemy?” says Stephen Long. “What I’d really like to do is facilitate a conversation across disciplines and different ways of organizing life about the good life and what it means to live as one should live, which is really what ethics is all about.”
Long began his association with SMU in summer 2015, but spent the past year on sabbatical finishing his latest book, The Perfectly Simple Triune God. He arrived on campus on Aug. 6 and will teach this semester.
“It’s a real privilege to be the Maguire Endowed Chair in Ethics,” Long says. “It’s a real opportunity as a Methodist, myself, to serve this institution and the tradition that made my own career possible.”
Long comes to SMU from Marquette University. An ordained United Methodist Minister, he has served churches in Honduras and North Carolina. Long has published more than 50 essays and 14 books on theology and ethics, including Divine Economy: Theology and the Market (London and New York, Routledge, 2000) The Goodness of God: Theology, Church and Social Order, (Brazos Press, 2001), John Wesley’s Moral Theology: The Quest for God and Goodness (Kingswood, 2005), Calculated Futures, (Baylor, 2007), Christian Ethics: Very Short Introduction (Oxford, 2010) and Saving Karl Barth: Hans Urs von Balthasar’s Preoccupation (Fortress Press, 2014) and The Perfectly Simple Triune God: Aquinas and His Legacy. This fall, he’ll teach a class on theology in economics, with a focus on traditional takes on managing money and the broader market in Christianity, Islam and Judaism.
“As a theologian, I’m always interested in the role God and the church can play in a university, which is always to be taken delicately,” Long says. “But when you have a seminary on campus, you can be a theologian on campus, which is important. I hope to connect with university organizations that are doing good work in the city and the surrounding areas and even internationally.”
SMU is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today, SMU enrolls approximately 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools.