In recognition of his contribution to the promotion of French culture, Arnold I. Davidson has been named to the rank of Officer in the Ordre des Palmes Académiques. Entering with the rank of Officer means that Prof. Davidson enters this prestigious chivalric order with special distinction.
The Ordre des Palmes Académiques (Order of Academic Palms) is an Order of Chivalry of France for academics and cultural and educational figures, comprised of three ranks (Knight, Officer, and Commander). It was founded by the Emperor Napoléon as a reward for devotion and accomplishment in the realm of teaching, scholarship, and research. Later, it was extended to non-French citizens to acknowledge their promotion of French language or significant achievement in the field of education.
Davidson is the Robert O. Anderson Distinguished Service Professor in the Departments of Philosophy, Comparative Literature, Romance Languages and Literatures, and in the Divinity School (Philosophy of Religions and History of Judaism). He is also on the Committee on the Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science. He is interested in the historical and systematic relationships between philosophy and theology and has written about twentieth-century European philosophy and theology, as well as on the history of philosophy and theology. He is especially interested in the tradition of spiritual exercises and the related ideas of philosophy and religion as a way of life and moral perfectionism.