Claes G. Ryn
About Claes G. Ryn
Distinguished Senior Scholar and Founding Director Emeritusryn@cua.edu
Claes was professor of Politics at the Catholic University of America before retiring in 2021, where he was Chairman of his department for six years. He has also taught at Georgetown University, the University of Virginia, and Louisiana State University.
A naturalized American who was a doctoral and undergraduate student at Uppsala University in his native Sweden, Ryn has lived for most of his adult life in Washington, D.C. His teaching and research have been predominantly philosophical but interdisciplinary, combining study of ethics, culture, epistemology, and the history of Western political thought with study of American political thought, U.S. foreign policy, and international relations. His many books include America the Virtuous: The Crisis of Democracy and the Quest for Empire; A Common Human Ground: Universality and Particularity in a Multicultural Age; Democracy and the Ethical Life: A Philosophy of Politics and Community; Will, Imagination and Reason: Babbitt, Croce and the Problem of Reality; and the recent novel A Desperate Man, a moral-political drama.
In 2011 Ryn received the CUA Provost’s award for Distinguished Achievement in Research. In 1992 The CUA Graduate Students Association named him Outstanding Graduate Professor.
He is Editor of the scholarly journal Humanitas. Ryn was Chairman and co-founder of the National Humanities Institute, President of the Academy of Philosophy and Letters, of which he was also co-founder, and President of the Philadelphia Society. He has lectured widely in the United States, Europe, and Asia, especially China. A frequent visitor to China, he gave the Distinguished Foreign Scholar Lectures at Peking University in 2000. These lectures were published as a book in Chinese translation by Peking University Press in 2001. In 2012 he was named Honorary Professor at Beijing Normal University. Three of his books and many of his articles have been published in China. He is an Honorary Member of Sweden’s oldest and largest student association, Heimdal, at Uppsala University.
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- “A More Complete Realism: Grand Strategy in a New Key,” Humanitas, Vol. XXXV, Nos. 1 & 2 (2022): 7-27.
- “The Great Illusion: Foreign Policy Advocacy and the Problem of Knowledge,” Humanitas, Vol. XXXIV, Nos. 1 & 2 (2021): 6-28.
- “Definitions, Please!” The American Conservative, July-August Issue.
- “The Clear Flaws in Trump’s Mount Rushmore Speech,” The National Interest, July 9, 2020.
- “Catholics May be in Crisis, but the Laity is no Savior,” The American Conservative, March-April Issue.
- “Donald J. Trump and the ‘America First’ Fairytale,” The National Interest, Jan. 16, 2020.
- “Power Without Limits: The Allure of Idealism and the Crumbling of American Constitutionalism,” in Justin Garrison and Ryan Holston, eds., The Historical
Mind (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2020).
- “The Presidency Unchained,” Spectator USA, July 17, 2019.
- “History as Transcendence: What Leo Strauss Does Not Understand About Edmund Burke,” Humanitas, Vol. XXXI, Nos. 1 & 2 (2018): 81-112.
- A Common Human Ground: Universality and Particularity in a Multicultural World (University of Missouri Press, Columbia, MO, 2019 )