The Heritage Foundation has announced that Ryan T. Anderson is the new William E. Simon Fellow in Religion and a Free Society.

Anderson, a writer, editor and researcher who specializes in natural law theory, will focus on justice and moral principles in economic thought, health care and education as part of Heritage’s Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society.

“Ryan joins the Heritage team at a time of increasing concern about the character of American culture,” said Jennifer A. Marshall, director of the DeVos Center, in a statement. “His moral reasoning will clarify the principles at stake in some of the most debated issues of our day.”

Anderson’s recent work has focused on the moral and constitutional questions surrounding same-sex marriage. He is co-author of the forthcoming book “What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense”

Anderson is editor of Public Discourse, the online journal of the Witherspoon Institute of Princeton, N.J., where he previously served as executive director. He has also worked as assistant editor of First Things and has been a journalism fellow at the Phillips Foundation.

The fellowship is endowed by the William E. Simon Foundation, which “supports programs that are intended to strengthen the free enterprise system and the spiritual values on which it rests: individual freedom, initiative, thrift, self-discipline and faith in God,” according the foundation’s Web site.

Anderson succeeds Ryan Messmore, who held the fellowship for five years.