Department of Philosophy

Dr. Steven Frankel

Professor, Philosophy Department


Professor Steven Frankel received his Ph.D. from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago in 1997. Upon graduation, Professor Frankel joined the faculty at the American University of Paris, where he received the Board of Trustees Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2001. In 2003, Professor Frankel moved to Xavier where he teaches for the Department of Philosophy and Philosophy, Politics, and the Public (PPP) and the Smith Scholars ProgramAt Xavier, he established an international exchange program and a study program with the University of Paris. He also established a summer study program with the Jesuits at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Jerusalem. In 2017, the Xavier student body selected Professor Frankel as the Bishop Fenwick Teacher of the Year. In 2018, Professor Frankel helped establish an honors program in political economy, the Smith Scholars.  He currently serves as the Executive Director of the Stephen S. Smith Center in the Williams College of Business, where he is the Smith Professor of Political Economy. In 2022, the College of Arts and Sciences awarded Frankel the Roger A. Fortin Award for Outstanding Teaching and Scholarship in the Humanities.

Professor Frankel's scholarly work focuses on the relationship between philosophy and religion. His work has appeared in over a dozen journals including the Review of Metaphysics, Interpretation, Archiv fur Geshichte der Philosophie, The Review of Politics, International Philosophical Quarterly, Teaching Philosophy, and the Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy. His work has also appeared in various collections including Spinoza and Medieval Jewish Philosophy (Cambridge University Press), Reorientation: Leo Strauss in the 1930s (Palgrave Macmillan), and Liquider Mai 68? (Presses de la Renaissance, Paris). His books include French Studies: Literature, Culture, and Politics (with John Ray, Editions Honore Champion, Paris, 2014) and Civil Religion in Modern Political Philosophy (with Martin Yaffe, Penn State University Press, 2020).  His most recent book with John Ray is entitled  Equality and Excellence (SUNY Press, 2023).  He is currently writing a book, Commerce and Character, on Ralph Lerner’s interpretation of the American Revolution (University Press of Kansas, forthcoming).


Spinoza, Early Modern Philosophy

First Year at Xavier




  • Ph.D. (University of Chicago)