Edward Baring

Fellow: Awarded 2015

Field of Study: Intellectual and Cultural History

Competition: US & Canada

Edward Baring's work is situated at the intersections of history, philosophy, and theology. His first book was the first archival and contextual study of Jacques Derrida, one of the most influential but controversial intellectuals of the twentieth century. The Young Derrida (2011) won the Morris D. Forkosch Prize for the best book in intellectual history awarded by The Journal of the History of Ideas, and a related essay, "Ne me raconte plus d'histoires," was the joint winner of the 2014 Malcolm Bowie prize awarded by the Society for French Studies.

With the support of the Guggenheim fellowship, Baring plans to complete his second book, Phenomenology: The Making of a Continental Philosophy, which seeks to explain how a German philosophy was able to find such success in a range of different national and linguistic contexts in the first half of the twentieth century. It foregrounds the role of religious, especially neo-scholastic, networks in the diffusion of phenomenological ideas. From 1910, when Mgr. Léon Noël wrote the first article on Husserl's thought in French, through 1938 when the Franciscan Herman van Breda rescued the Husserl archives from Nazi Germany, to 1954, when Karol Wojtyła (the future John Paul II) tried to reconcile Thomistic and phenomenological ethics in Poland, neo-scholastics have drawn on the international connections of the Catholic Church to promote phenomenology in other countries.

Baring received his B.A. in Mathematics and History at the University of Cambridge and his Ph.D. in History at Harvard, where his dissertation was awarded the History Department's Harold K. Gross Prize. Since 2010 he has taught at Drew University in New Jersey. His work has been supported by the ACLS, the Mellon Foundation, the American Philosophical Society, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.