Rev. George F. McLean, Ph.D.
Professor George F. McLean, O.M.I., was a fellow of the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies starting in 2007. After studying philosophy and theology in Rome and at CUA, he was ordained in the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Since 1958 he had been Professor of Metaphysics in the School of Philosophy, where he was honored as Professor Emeritus. He was Secretary of the American Catholic Philosophical Society, and was President of the World Union of Catholic Philosophical Societies.
A special focus of Rev. McLean's work had been the development of philosophical answers to current challenges. For this work he developed The Council for Research in Values and Philosophy, of which he was Secretary-Treasurer, and its CUA footprint, The Center for the Study of Culture and Values, of which he was the Director. These institutions had been deeply involved in the transformations in Eastern Europe during the 1970s and 80s, with China in the 80s and 90s, and in building relationships with Islam since 1991; this, notwithstanding their work in Africa and Latin America.
Usually, the annual program of the Center includes a 10-week seminar each Fall, with 10 international scholars and professors from CUA and other universities; approximately 20 international conferences on subjects such as "Islam as seen from the West,” “Religion and Civilizations" etc, which take place in locations as varied as China, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Romania, Austria etc.; the continued publication of books in the already 175 volumes-large series, Cultural Heritage and Contemporary Change, which is distributed to 350 key university libraries across the world and available on Google Books and on www.crvp.org, a website that has been included in Encyclopedia Britannica’s list of select research sites.
All these endeavors of the Center are based on an awareness of the fact that a culture is the expression of the cumulative creative freedom of a people, in response to the challenges of their life and to the inspiration of the Spirit. Through all these efforts, the Center tries to enable this heritage to contribute in new ways to human life, especially given the current dangerous global situation.
One of Rev. McLean's books, Islam and the Political Order, co-edited with Imam Ahmad Iravani of Iran, was based on the proceedings of a high level meeting with a top delegation from Iran, which discussed Islam’s responses to questions such as the meaning of the person and political philosophy. Accordingly, the book examines key aspects of this topic, such as the place of man before God, and the proper interface between religion and the political order. The center’s intensive work with Islam continues across the Near East, Central, and South East Asia.
A conference on Cultural and Social Capital in Relation to Civil Society was organized in Rome with Mr. Giuseppe Moro, Director of the Foundation for an Active Citizenry, and was attended, among others, by Prof. Robert Putnam of Harvard University and Prof. Steven Schneck, Director of the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies. A parallel meeting with Prof. Moro studied The Role of NGOs in Political Decision Making, while a meeting in Hong Kong focused on the topic of ethics in public administration.
Rev. McLean's most recent publications included: Beyond Modernity: The Recovery of Person and Community in Global Times: Lectures in China and Vietnam (ISBN 9781565182578) and Religion and Culture (ISBN 9781565182561) published in 2010 and Unity and Harmony, Compassion and Love in Global Times (ISBN 9781565182592) published in 2011.