Monday, March 12, 2012

Noted expert on nonviolence to talk about social inequality Thursday at St. Bonaventure

Renowned nonviolence expert Robert L. Holmes, Ph.D., will talk about “Social Inequality, Affirmative Action, and Reparations” at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 15, in the Robert R. Jones Trustees Room in St. Bonaventure University’s Doyle Hall.

Holmes is the Lenna Endowed Visiting Professor this semester at St. Bonaventure.

Established in 1990, the Lenna Endowed Visiting Professorship is funded through gifts from the late Betty S. Lenna Fairbank and Reginald A. Lenna of Jamestown. It is designed to bring scholars of stature in their field to St. Bonaventure University and Jamestown Community College for public lectures.

Holmes is professor emeritus of philosophy at the University of Rochester. He specializes in ethics, and in social and political philosophy.

During his time at St. Bonaventure, Holmes is sitting in on Dr. Gan’s Philosophy of Gandhi class, making regular contributions to a better understanding of Gandhi’s philosophy.  He will also lecture on Aristotle in a Clare College class, and on professional ethics in a philosophy class. Holmes will also speak next week to two JCC classes, about Islam and just-war theory.

Holmes will be honored at an invitation-only dinner Tuesday, March 13, at St. Bonaventure.

He has written numerous articles and several books on those topics, and has been invited to address national and international conferences. He earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard College and Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Michigan, and joined the Rochester faculty in 1962.  His most well known books are “On War and Morality” (Princeton Univ. Press, 1989), “Nonviolence in Theory and Practice” (third edition, co-edited with St. Bonaventure’s Barry L. Gan, Ph.D.) and “Basic Moral Philosophy” (fourth edition).

At Rochester, he also has received the Edward Peck Curtis Award for Undergraduate Teaching in 2001 and the Professor of the Year Award in Humanities in 2006. At the 2007 convocation ceremony, Holmes won the Goergen Award for Distinguished Achievement and Artistry in Undergraduate Teaching. Also, Holmes is known for being one of the very few professors to receive perfect or near perfect reviews every year since the university began student review services in 2001.

He was the longtime adviser to the University of Rochester Undergraduate Philosophy Council.  He has served on the national board of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the oldest and largest interfaith peace organization in the world. He is a past editor of “Social Theory and Practice,” a leading philosophical journal.

Holmes was also a Fulbright Fellow at Moscow State University and a visiting professor at Notre Dame, Hamilton College, and University of Texas at Austin. He was the first Rajiv Gandhi Professor of Peace and Disarmament at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India. He taught for more than 47 years at the University of Rochester, retiring in 2010.

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