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David Hein

David Hein

Professor of Religion and Philosophy

Tel: 301-696-3435
Office: Chapel 205


  • B.A., University of Virginia
  • M.A., University of Chicago
  • Ph.D., University of Virginia


David Hein is a historian and humanities teacher based in Hood's philosophy and religious studies department. He regularly offers a wide range of courses in religion, philosophy, literature, and history. In all of his classes, he is committed to teaching the skills of perceptive reading, critical thinking, and excellent writing.

Professor Hein was educated at St Paul's School (Brooklandville, MD), the University of Virginia, and the University of Chicago. At his undergraduate school, UVA, he was elected to membership in the Raven Society and Omicron Delta Kappa; he was, in addition, an Echols Scholar and a Lawn Resident. During the summer following his third undergraduate year, he was an English-Speaking Union Scholar at Oxford University, where he read British literature with the legendary tutor Dorothy Bednarowska.

His PhD thesis became the first of his 10 books: Essays on Lincoln's Faith and Politics (coauthor with Hans J. Morgenthau; 1983), recently called a "pioneering" study in the Lincoln field by historian Mark Noll. The Episcopalians (2004) was a selection of the History Book Club.

Lately, Professor Hein has focused his research on the period of the Second World War: "In War for Peace: General George C. Marshall's Core Convictions and Ethical Leadership," Touchstone 26 (March 2013); "Counterpoint to Combat: The Education of Airborne Commander James M. Gavin," ARMY 63 (July 2013); and "Vulnerable: HMS Prince of Wales in 1941," Journal of Military History 77 (July 2013).

Professor Hein's writings also include more than 50 articles in Modern Age, the Mississippi Quarterly, Cross Currents, the Journal of Ecclesiastical History, the Christian Century, and other distinguished journals.

A well-known historian, David Hein has been interviewed by NBC News, the Christian Science Monitor, the New York Times, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Associated Press, Religion News Service, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and other media outlets.

In 2000-01 and 2007-08, he served as an interim Dean of the Faculty. Twice he has received his institution's highest faculty award for scholarship and teaching.

In 2011 he was nominated and elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (UK), in recognition of his "original" and "significant" contributions to historical scholarship.

Professor Hein has delivered a number of invited, endowed lectures, the latest of which was the Jaak Seynaeve Memorial Lecture at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, in 2012. Recent public lectures include "Churchill, Roosevelt, and HMS Prince of Wales" at the George C. Marshall Foundation, Lexington, VA.

His newest course is a first for Hood's liberal-arts program: Ethics and Leadership. In 2013 Professor Hein accepted an invitation to become an Affiliated Scholar of the John Jay Institute, an educational and professional civic leadership organization based in Philadelphia, PA.