Charles Taliaferro
Professor of Philosophy, Department Chair

Ph.D., M.A., Brown University; M.T.S., Harvard University; M.A., University of Rhode Island; B.A., Goddard College

  • Office Hours
  • Monday 1:00-3:30 pm
  • Tuesday 1:30-4:00 pm
  • Thursday 2:15-4:00 pm
  • Or by appointment
CTaliaferro
Charles Taliaferro is the author, co-author or editor of over twenty books and is the Editor-in Chief of the journal Open Theology, based in Berlin, Germany. Recent books include The Golden Cord; A Short Book on the Sacred and the Secular,  The Image in Mind and Turning Images, with Jil Evans, and the co-editor of The Routledge Companion to Theism, A Brief History of the Soul co-authored with Stewart Goetz, and The Blackwell Companion to Philosophy of Religion. One of Charles’ longstanding interests is the 17th century school of philosophy, the Cambridge Platonists.  See his co-edited Cambridge Platonist Spirituality. He has had publications translated into Persian, Russian and Korean. The title page of his book Evidence and Faith, printed in Russian, can be viewed at the bottom of this page.
Taliaferro’s most recent work includes being the co-editor of The Routledge Companion to Theism and co-editing The Ashgate Companion to Theological Anthropology. He is the senior co-editor of a six volume work, The History of Evil, to be published late in 2017 by Routledge.
He has given lectures or been a visiting scholar at Oxford, Cambridge, St. Andrews (Scotland), Princeton, Yale, New York University, Columbia, the University of Chicago, and elsewhere.  Taliaferro has co-authored many articles and book chapters with St. Olaf students including a chapter in The Rolling Stones and Philosophy: “You’re so vain. You probably think this chapter is about you” and “Praise and Blame in Philosophy of Religion” with Austin Dressen (Class of 2013) in the Toronto Journal of Theology. He recently gave the ‘last lecture‘ at st. Olaf college.
For a link to Taliaferro’s collection of creative nonfiction essays, see Love. Love. Love. Taliaferro has appeared in a dozen episodes of the show Mental Engineering.  See the following episode for a discussion on perfume: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtOt43w_0Xo
Charles was a guest on an Australian radio show in February 2015. The subject of this broadcast was “Soul Searching”. To listen to the broadcast, click here.
For a recent publication in metaphysics by Professor Taliaferro, see ““Abstract Objects: Bringing causation back into contemporary Platoinism,” appearing in Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia.

Professor Taliaferro’s CV can be found here.

Charles spent two weeks in Venice in January, 2017 with American Artist Jil Evans to prepare for a one day course they are offering at the University of Minnesota Continuing Education Center on March 25.

Charles in Venice

Charles Taliaferro lecturing during Reunion weekend 2016

Charles talking about unconditional love during reunion weekend at St. Olaf college in 2016.

Charles and recent graduate Thomas Churchill (’14) attended a conference in Tehran during the summer of 2014. Here are some photos of this event:

Tehran8     Tehran7    Tehran6    Tehran5-1024x768    Tehran4-1024x768    Tehran3-1024x768    Tehran2-1024x768    Tehran1-1024x768

The front cover of the second edition of Environmental Ethics: Contemporary Prospectives, which Charles uses in his Environmental Ethics course.

the second edition of Environmental Ethics - Contemporary Perspectives for Environmental Ethics

The title page of Evidence and Faith, in Russian.

Evidence and Faith in Russian

Professor Taliaferro rarely uses conventional mid-term or final exams.  Instead, Taliaferro assigns students “creative finals” in which they can create some final project that reflects some aspect of the course they have taken.  In the course Philosophical Theology two students made a casket with the writings of Kierkegaard printed on the inside and outside, encouraging the professor and class members to enter the casket to contemplate the meaning of life and death.

Prof. Taliaferro contemplating Kierkegaard.