A A Email Print Share

Michael Harrington

Associate Professor
McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

College Hall 328, Office Hours: R 12:15–2:15
Phone: 412.396.6498


Ph.D., Philosophy, Boston College, 2001
M.A., Classics, Dalhousie University, 1997
B.A., St. John's College, 1995

Michael Harrington works primarily on medievalism in both its Western and Eastern forms. He looks at the genesis of medieval philosophy in Late Antique Neoplatonists such as Iamblichus, Augustine, and Dionysius the Areopagite, and how their texts and practices percolate through a commentary tradition that stretches over the next thousand years. In the field of Chinese philosophy, he looks at how the Song and Ming dynasty Confucians appropriate certain Buddhist and Daoist concepts to form the what later Chinese philosopher Hu Shi refers to as a Chinese Middle Ages. Finally, he looks at how certain medieval concepts remain at play in contemporary philosophy, especially in the spiritual exercises of Pierre Hadot and François Jullien, and in the philosophy of place.

He is currently working on three projects: 1) a monograph entitled Medievalism: East and West, which will explore medievalism as a philosophical project rather than a historical period, and which will work with texts from both the Greek and Latin West and the Chinese East; 2) an edition and translation of the thirteenth-century Latin version of Dionysius the Areopagite's On the Divine Names, following the same model as his previously published editions of Dionysius' Mystical Theology and Ecclesiastical Hierarchy; 3) a complete translation of the Song dynasty Confucian Cheng Yi's commentary on the classical Chinese Yijing or Book of Changes.


Courses taught above the 100 level:

Yoga Philosophy and Practice (PHIL 237)

Asian Thought (PHIL 280)

Augustine and Dionysius (PHIL 606)

Confucianism and Zen (PHIL 310/402W)

Confucianism: Philosophy of Change (PHIL 608)

Medieval Philosophy (PHIL 301)

Medieval Women Philosophers (PHIL 624)

Rethinking Place (PHIL 552)



On the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy: The Thirteenth-Century Textbook Edition (Leuven: Peeters, 2011).

Sacred Place in Early Medieval Neoplatonism (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004).

A Thirteenth-Century Textbook of Mystical Theology at the University of Paris (Leuven: Peeters, 2004).

Recent Articles and Book Chapters:

"A Confucian Slippery Slope Argument." Confucian Academy: Chinese Thought and Culture Review 4:1 (2017): 89-101. Also published in Chinese: 儒家的"滑坡论证." 孔学堂 4:1 (2017): 78-86.

"Principle and Place: Complementary Concepts in Confucian Yijing Commentary." Philosophy East and West 66:3 (2016): 861-82.

"Church Walls and Wilderness Boundaries: Defining the Spaces of Sanctuary," in Toward an Ecology of Transfiguration: Orthodox Christian Perspectives on Environment, Nature, and Creation (New York: Fordham University Press, 2013), pp. 235-42.

"The Emperor Julian's Use of Neoplatonic Philosophy and Religion," in Religion and Philosophy in the Platonic and Neoplatonic Traditions: from Antiquity to the Early Medieval Period (Sankt Augustine: Akademie Verlag, 2012), pp. 65-79.

"What Are the ‘Hypothetical Logoi' of Dionysian Mystical Theology?" in Studia Patristica XLVIII (2010): 177-82.

With Kevin Corrigan. "Pseudo-Dionysius," in The History of Western Philosophy and Religion (Chesham, UK: Acumen, 2009), pp. 277-90.

"Recent Attempts to Define a Dionysian Political Theory," in American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly vol. 82, no. 4 (2008): pp. 639-60.