Joseph Loconte

Joseph Loconte, Ph.D.

Former Director, B. Kenneth Simon Center for American Studies and AWC Family Foundation Fellow

Joseph was director of the B. Kenneth Simon Center for American Studies and AWC Family Foundation Fellow at The Heritage Foundation.

This expert is no longer a staff member at The Heritage Foundation.

Joseph Loconte, Ph.D., was the director of the B. Kenneth Simon Center for American Studies and AWC Family Foundation Fellow. Prior to arriving at Heritage, Mr. Loconte held the position of Associate Professor of History at The King’s College in New York City, where he taught courses on Western Civilization, American Foreign Policy, and International Human Rights. He is a scholar on John Locke and the religious influences on the development of liberal democracy.

Mr. Loconte is the author of the New York Times bestseller A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War: How J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis Rediscovered Faith, Friendship, and Heroism in the Cataclysm of 1914-1918 (Harper Collins, 2015). He is currently producing a documentary film series based on the book, and the film trailer can be found at He received the 2017 Best Article award from the Tolkien Society for his New York Times article “How J.R.R. Tolkien Found Mordor on the Western Front.”

Mr. Loconte’s other books include: God, Locke, and Liberty: The Struggle for Religious Freedom in the West (Lexington Books, 2014); The Searchers: A Quest for Faith in the Valley of Doubt (Thomas Nelson, 2012); The End of Illusions: Religious Leaders Confront Hitler’s Gathering Storm (Rowman & Littlefield, 2004); and Seducing the Samaritan: How Government Contracts Are Reshaping Social Services (The Pioneer Institute, 1997).

Mr. Loconte’s commentary on religion and public life has appeared in the nation’s leading media outlets, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, National Affairs, The National Interest, The Huffington Post, The New Republic, National Geographic, and National Review. For ten years he served as a commentator for National Public Radio’s All Things Considered.

Mr. Loconte is a Senior Fellow in Christianity and Culture at The King’s College in New York City, a Senior Fellow at The Trinity Forum in Washington, D.C., and a Scholar with The Faith and Liberty Discovery Center in Philadelphia. He previously served as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the School of Public Policy at Pepperdine University, where he taught on religion and public policy. He was a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. From 2001 to 2006, he served as the William E. Simon Fellow in Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation. From 1994 to 2000, he was Deputy Editor for Heritage’s bi-monthly journal, Policy Review.

Mr. Loconte served as a human rights expert for the 2005 Congressional Task Force on the United Nations, contributing to its final report, American Interests and U.N. Reform. He has testified before Congress on international human rights and U.N. reform. He also served as a speech writer on human rights and U.N. reform to British MP Andrew Mitchell, Shadow Secretary of State for International Development, contributing to Mr. Mitchell’s 2007 speech, “U.N. Peacekeeping and the Failure to Protect.” From 2001-2003, Mr. Loconte was an informal advisor to the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.

Find more from Mr. Loconte here:


Russia and Realism, American-Style Joseph Loconte, Ph.D.

May 2, 2022 6 min read


Renewing Respect for American Character, Citizenship Joseph Loconte, Ph.D.

Apr 21, 2022 3 min read


Locke’s Radical Claims for Conscience Joseph Loconte, Ph.D.

Apr 20, 2022 8 min read


Putin’s Bloody Leviathan Joseph Loconte, Ph.D.

Apr 5, 2022 3 min read


Realism, Religion, and the Republic Joseph Loconte, Ph.D.

Mar 1, 2022 4 min read


Christendom’s Greatest Satirist Joseph Loconte, Ph.D.

Jan 10, 2022 3 min read


Gorbachev’s Christmas Farewell to the Soviet Union Joseph Loconte, Ph.D.

Dec 27, 2021 4 min read