Mary M. Keys

Mary M.  Keys
  • University of Notre Dame
  • Associate Professor
  • Residential Fellow (2015-2016)
  • "Pride, Politics, and Philosophy: The City of God and Augustine’s Apologia for Humility"

Mary M. Keys is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, where she is also a Fellow of the Medieval Institute and the Nanovic Institute for European Studies. Her research and teaching interests span a broad spectrum of political theory and history of political philosophy, with a special focus in Christianity, ethics, and political thought.

Professor Keys is the author of Aquinas, Aristotle, and the Promise of the Common Good (Cambridge University Press, 2006; paperback 2008). She is the author of articles that have appeared in the American Journal of Political ScienceHistory of Political ThoughtPerspectives on Political Science, and Quaestiones Disputatae, as well as of several book chapters and book reviews. She has served as consultant or manuscript reviewer for Cambridge University Press, Northwestern University Press, The Catholic University of America Press, University of Rochester Press, Routledge Press, The Journal of Politics, Perspectives on Politics, Political Theory, Political Research Quarterly, Law and Religion, The Review of Politics, American Political ThoughtDiametros, and The Thomist. Currently she serves on the editorial board of the academic monograph series Rochester Studies in Medieval Political Thought, The University of Rochester Press, and on the Faculty Advisory Board of Notre Dame’s Center for Ethics and Culture.

Professor Keys’s research has been supported by fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Earhart Foundation, the Martin Marty Center for the Advanced Study of Religion at the University of Chicago, the National Association of Scholars, the Erasmus Institute, and the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts of Notre Dame. She has held visiting research positions at the University of Chicago’s Martin Marty Center and at Harvard University’s Center for the Study of Constitutional Government in the Government Department. Professor Keys has received an Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C. Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching from the University of Notre Dame and a Best Paper in Politics and Literature Award from the American Political Science Association. In 2012 she gave a series of invited lectures at China’s Huazhong University of Science and Technology, and in 2014 invited lectures in Philosophy and Humanities at Emory University.


  • Pride, Politics, and Humility in Augustine's City of God

    Cambridge University Press, 2022

    Mary M. Keys

    Keys City Crop

    This book is the first to interpret and reflect on Augustine’s seminal argument concerning humility and pride, especially in politics and philosophy, in The City of God. Mary Keys shows how contemporary readers have much to gain from engaging Augustine’s lengthy argument on behalf of virtuous humility. She also demonstrates how a deeper understanding of the classical and Christian philosophical-rhetorical modes of discourse in The City of God enables readers to appreciate and evaluate Augustine’s nuanced case for humility in politics, philosophy, and religion. Comprised of a series of interpretive essays and commentaries following Augustine’s own order of segments and themes in The City of God, Keys’ volume unpacks the author’s complex text and elucidates its challenge, meaning, and importance for contemporary readers. It also illuminates a central, yet easily underestimated theme with perennial relevance in a classic work of political thought and religion.

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