Jeffrey O. Nelson

Dr. Jeffrey O. Nelson

Jeff Nelson co-founded the Kirk Center with Annette Kirk and is currently Vice Chairman of the Center’s Board of Trustees. He served in 1986 and again in 1989 as Dr. Kirk’s personal assistant.

Dr. Nelson is Executive Vice President of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (Wilmington, Delaware). He also served as president of the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts (Merrimack, NH). He received his B.A. at the University of Detroit, an M.A. at Yale University Divinity School, and was awarded his Ph.D. in American History at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

Dr. Nelson founded ISI Books, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s now nationally recognized publishing imprint, in 1993. Under his direction, more than 110 books were published. During that time he also edited two respected journals of thought and opinion: The Intercollegiate Review and The University Bookman, and is publisher of Studies in Burke and His Time. He also is senior fellow of both the International G. K. Chesterton Institute (Toronto, ON) and the Centre for the Study of Faith and Culture in Oxford, England; and he is secretary of the Edmund Burke Society of America.

Dr. Nelson has edited two book collections: Redeeming the Time by Russell Kirk, and Perfect Sowing: Reflections of a Bookman by Henry Regnery; he co-edited an award winning treasury of the historian John Lukacs’ writings entitled Remembered Past; and was project director of the popular national college guide, Choosing the Right College: The Whole Truth About America's Top Schools. Dr. Nelson was featured in a New York Times front-page news article about a major reference work he co-edited, American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia; and he is series editor of The Library of Modern Thinkers. Jeff Nelson is a frequent and popular guest on radio and television talk shows across the country.

The moral imagination is the principal possession that man does not share with the beasts. It is man’s power to perceive ethical truth, abiding law, in the seeming chaos of many events. Without the moral imagination, man would live merely day to day, or rather moment to moment, as dogs do. It is the strange faculty—inexplicable if men are assumed to have an animal nature only—of discerning greatness, justice, and order, beyond the bars of appetite and self-interest.

Russell Kirk, Enemies of the Permanent Things, 1969

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Highlights

Historical Marker Project

Thank you! In preparation for the upcoming centennial of the birth of Russell Kirk, friends have successfully funded a historical marker for his birthplace of Plymouth, Michigan. We are grateful to all who participated. Here is a video of Annette Kirk and Andrea Kirk Assaf celebrating the end of the campaign. For more details, visit the GoFundMe campaign site. The project is being coordinated by Bart Smith, a former Wilbur Fellow.

Sep 2017

Kirk’s ongoing influence

We recently updated our page tracking people’s responses to the life and thought of Russell Kirk. In 2015, then-Governor Mike Pence noted that he hasn’t “taken a vacation in the last 25 years without a Russell Kirk book under my arm.” Seems like a good idea. (If you have other links to recommend for that page, please contact us.)

Jul 2017

Release of 2017 number of Studies in Burke and His Time

SBHT26 Cover The Edmund Burke Society of America announces a new issue of their journal, Studies in Burke and His Time. Volume 26 (2016–2017) features papers from a 2016 conference marking the completion of the Oxford University Press edition of Burke’s Writings and Speeches. The journal is being released as a PDF and is now available for download.

Jul 2017