Samuel Newlands is the William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. Prior to joining the Notre Dame faculty, he received his Ph.D. in philosophy from Yale University. His research focuses on early modern philosophy, metaphysics, and philosophy of religion. He has received an NEH fellowship for his work on Spinoza, and he has published more than two dozen pieces in venues ranging from the very top philosophy journals (such as The Philosophical Review and Noûs) to the Wall Street Journal. He is also the editor of Metaphysics and the Good (Oxford 2009) and New Essays on Leibniz’s Theodicy (Oxford 2014).

In addition to his own research and teaching, Newlands currently serves as co-director of the Center for Philosophy of Religion at Notre Dame. In 2009, he and his fellow co-director, Michael Rea, received a $1.7 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation for a four-year research initiative, The Problem of Evil in Modern and Contemporary Thought. The project supports a broad range of worldwide research on early modern and contemporary responses to the problem of evil.

In 2014, Newlands and Andrew Chignell (Cornell University) will be launching Hope and Optimism: Conceptual and Empirical Investigations, a multiyear, $4.5 million investigation into the nature and norms of hope and optimism. This large research initiative includes funding for new research in philosophy, psychology, sociology, and analytic theology, as well as public engagements such as an amateur video contest on the role of hope in human life and a playwright competition.