Dr. Jack Mulder Jr.

Professor of Philosophy, Department Chair
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Jack Mulder ’00 joined the Hope College faculty in 2004. Jack currently chairs the Department of Philosophy at Hope. He is also the assistant director of the Saint Benedict Institute, a Catholic organization serving Hope College.

Jack writes and teaches in the areas of philosophy of religion, philosophy of race, Catholic thought, applied ethics and the thought of Søren Kierkegaard. His book Civil Dialogue on Abortion (co-authored with Bertha Alvarez Manninen) was published by Routledge in 2018. His book What Does It Mean to Be Catholic? (Eerdmans) was published in 2015. Many of his publications and presentations have been made possible by collaborative research with Hope students.


Jack specializes in the philosophy of religion, especially issues of Protestant-Catholic dialogue, interfaith dialogue and the thought of Søren Kierkegaard. He also has scholarly interests in sexual and reproductive ethics (especially the abortion debate) and the philosophy of race.


  • Ph.D., philosophy, 2004, Purdue University
  • MA, philosophy, 2003, Purdue University
  • BA, religion and philosophy, 2000, Hope College



Select Articles and Book Chapters

  • “Whiteness and Religious Experience,” International Journal for Philosophy of Religion, 2021
  • “Original Sin, Racism, and Epistemologies of Ignorance,” Zygon: A Journal of Religion and Science(special issue on Evolution and Original Sin), 2021
  • “The Philosophy of Conversation: We Owe It to Our Students to Teach Them to Disagree” (with Bertha Alvarez Manninen), Liberal Education, 2019
  • “Augustine and Kierkegaard on Martyrdom and ‘Polite Persecution,’” in Augustine and Kierkegaard, ed. Kim Paffenroth and John Doody, Rowman and Littlefield, 2017
  • “Grace and Rigor in Kierkegaard’s Reception of the Church Fathers,” in A Companion to Kierkegaard, Blackwell, 2015
  • A Short Argument against Abortion Rights,” Think: Philosophy for Everyone, 2013
  • “Why More Christians Should Believe in Mary’s Immaculate Conception,” Christian Scholar’s Review, 2012
  • “On Being Afraid of Hell: Kierkegaard and Catholicism on Imperfect Contrition,” in Kierkegaard Studies: Yearbook 2007, de Gruyter, 2007

“Must All Be Saved?  A Kierkegaardian Response to Theological Universalism,” International Journal for Philosophy of Religion, 2006

Outside the College

Jack is a member of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Holland, where he teaches occasionally in the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) program for new Catholics. He is married to Melissa Mulder (Spanish) and has two kids, Maria and Lucas. He enjoys punk rock, kids’ sports and going to the beach with his family.

Profile photo of Dr. Jack Mulder Jr.
Dr. Jack Mulder Jr.

Phone Number616.395.7294

Lubbers Hall-Room 213 126 East 10th Street Holland, MI 49423-3516
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