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Matthew Cuddeback


Assistant Professor

Contact Information:
St. Catherine of Siena Hall 113


Ph.D. - The Catholic University of America, School of Philosophy

Area(s) of Expertise:

In his stirring encyclical letter “Fides et Ratio" (“Faith and Reason”), published in the same year that I was granted my PhD (1998), Pope John Paul II says that "philosophy needs first of all to recover its sapiential dimension as a search for the ultimate and overarching meaning of life….This sapiential dimension is all the more necessary today, because the immense expansion of humanity's technical capability demands a renewed and sharpened sense of ultimate values” (§81). John Paul invites philosophers to recover this sapiential or wisdom dimension by working “in organic continuity with the great tradition which, beginning with the ancients, passes through the Fathers of the Church and the masters of Scholasticism and includes the fundamental achievements of modern and contemporary thought” (§85). Moved by John Paul’s appeal, I have rooted my research and teaching in this “great tradition,” and I endeavor gratefully to pass along its insights. I strive to savor that essential insight of Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, and Thomas Aquinas: that the human person is made to seek, know, and enjoy God in communion with family and friends. In recent research and teaching I have focused on the anthropological and natural-law ground of the Catholic Church’s teaching on marriage, the family, sex, artificial contraception, and Natural Family Planning (NFP). Herein I draw from John Paul II's teaching that the family founded on the marriage of man and woman is the sanctuary of life and love, and "the first and fundamental structure for 'human ecology'." (See the three brief excerpts from John Paul’s writings below at "Click here for more information," including his exhortation to philosophers to "philosophize in Mary," Seat of Wisdom. See also the one-minute video on marriage and the complementarity of man and woman at the "video clip" link below, as well as the series of six short films at Any student who wishes to discuss these or other subjects, or who wishes to pursue an Independent Study, is welcome to contact me.

Selected Publications:

Cuddeback, Matthew. TV or The Rosary?. The Rhode Island Catholic, June 11, 2015., (available for download at "personal website"--click below).

Cuddeback, Matthew. Pope Francis: "Protect the Family!". The Rhode Island Catholic, April 16, 2015., (available for download at "personal website"--click below).

Cuddeback, Matthew. (2013). Personal Unity. Eds. R. Cessario, C. S. Titus, P. Vitz. Philosophical Virtues and Psychological Strengths (Sophia Institute Press, 2013)., 47-59.

Cuddeback, Matthew. (2009). Josef Pieper On The Truth of All Things And The World’s True Face. Eds. Bernard N. Schumacher. A Cosmopolitan Hermit: Modernity and Tradition in the Philosophy of Josef Pieper (The Catholic Univ. of America Press, 2009)., 228-248 (For a review of this volume see:

Cuddeback, Matthew. (2009). Thomas Aquinas on Divine Illumination and the Authority of the First Truth. Nova et Vetera, 7 (3), 579-602 (available for download at "personal website"--click below).

Recent Presentations:

Cuddeback, Matthew., (with Dr. Paul Gondreau), Providence College Anscombe Society, Providence College, "Pornography: Harm, Healing, and Hope". December, 2015.

Cuddeback, Matthew., Prudence and Truth in Pro-Life Activism, Providence College, "Principles for Practical Wisdom in Pro-Life Legislation". April, 2015.

Cuddeback, Matthew., Guinness and God (young adults), Providence, RI, "Love Made Edible: A Wholesome Philosophy of the Daily Meal". April, 2015.

Cuddeback, Matthew., St. Pius V Young Adults weekly meeting, Providence, RI, "'With My Body I Thee Worship': The Body in Everyday Life and Love". September, 2014.

Cuddeback, Matthew., "Nature as Norm", St. Paul Seminary and School of Divinity, St. Paul, MN, "Thomas Aquinas on the Natural Norms to Guide Human Dominion Over the Earth". June, 2011.

Cuddeback, Matthew., Humanae Vitae, the Person, and the Thought of John Paul II, St. Paul, Minnesota, "Toward a Thomistic 'Philosophy of the Body'". June, 2008.

Click here for personal website

Click here for more information

Click here for an audio/video clip