Fr. David Pratt

Assistant Professor, Philosophy

Fields: Moral Philosophy
Ph.D., STD, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium; M.Div., St. Vladimir's Seminary; M.A., Dominican School of Philosophy & Theology, Berkeley; STL, Jesuit School of Theology, Berekely; B.A., Dominican School of Philosophy & Theology, Berkeley.

Old Main 373
5000 Abbey Way SE
Lacey, WA 98503


Fr. David Pratt combines an extensive career of academic, professional, personal, and theological experience to provide well-founded and multi-faceted subject matter expertise in just war ethics, bioethics, and decision theory. A career U.S. Navy chaplain ordained as an Eastern Orthodox priest, Fr. Pratt provided pastoral care in direct support of Marine Corps units across the United States and with service worldwide. His varied responsibilities took him to Africa, as an advisor for humanitarian projects in the US-West Africa maritime partnership, establishing relief efforts for victims of war, and led him to author the sponsorship model for suicide prevention entitled “The Other 28 Days”, now nationally standard in U. S. Marine Corps Reserve commands. At Saint Martin’s University, Fr. Pratt draws upon his collective experiences to teach philosophy courses such as bioethics, philosophy of self, philosophy of mind, ethics of war and torture, and ethical theory and practice. In addition to his courses, Fr. Pratt also advises the university’s recently formed student debate team, competing in the annual Independent Colleges of Washington Ethics Bowl. 

Select publications:

  • “The Reconciling Community: Dostoevsky, Pardon and Ontology” in Beliving in Community: Ecumenical Reflections on the Church. Edited by Peter De Mey, Peter De Witte, Gerard Mannion, 234-245. Leuven: Peeters Publishing, 2009.
  • “From Just War Fictions to Virtues of Benevolence: Renovating the Just War Theory” in Louvain Studies, 31.3-4 (2006): 276-305.
  • “Infinite Speech and Secular Compassion: Dostoevsky and Nussbaum, and the Demands of Forgiveness” in Healing, Reconciliation, and Forgiveness in Eastern Orthodox Perspectives. Proceedings of the Sophia Institute. Edited by Lev Smith, 235-243. New York: Sophia Institute/Scholars Press, 2015.
  • “Reconciliation as Moral Polyphony: Ontology, Forgiveness and the Christian East” in Reconciliation in Interfaith Perspective: Jewish, Christian and Muslim Voices. Edited by Reimund Bieringer and David J. Bolton, 185-202. Leuven: Peeters, 2011.
  • “Spatial Metaphors as a Guide to Absolute Knowledge: Pavel Florensky’s ‘Lonely’ Critique of Reason” in Faith in the Enlightenment? The Critique of the Enlightenment Revisited. Currents of Encounter 30. Edited by Lieven Boeve, et al., 206-216. Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi, 2006.
  • “Dual Trajectories and Divided Rationales: A reply to Alexander Webster on Justifiable War” in St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly, 47.1 (2003): 83-96.

Areas of interest (professional / personal): Moral psychology, action theory, theological anthropology, moral injury and resilience, autonomy problems in bioethics, just war theory.  He enjoys the music of Bach and Wagner, and follows various NFL teams.