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College of Arts and Sciences

James Keenan, S.J.

theology department


James Keenan, S.J.

The Founders Professorship in Theology

Stokes N331
Boston College
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

Phone: 617-552-3765
Fax: 617-552-0794

Curriculum Vitae

Office Hours


STL, STD, Gregorian University, Rome
MDiv, Weston Jesuit School of Theology, Cambridge, MA
BA, Fordham University, New York


Jim Keenan has been a Jesuit of the New York Province since 1970 and an ordained priest since 1982.


Fundamental moral theology; history of theological ethics; Thomas Aquinas; virtue ethics; HIV/AIDS; genetics; Church leadership ethics


Fundamental Moral Theology
Virtue Ethics
Twentieth Century Catholic Moral Theology
New Testament and Ethics
The Church and Ethics: Contemporary and Historical Cases
The Human Body
The Ethics of Thomas Aquinas
Ethical Issues of HIV/AIDS
Genetics Seminar


  • Board of Directors, Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA). 2012-
  • Fellow, Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh.
  • Fellow, Center of Theological Inquiry, Princeton
  • Grant and Faculty Fellowship, Association of Theological Schools,
  • Tuohy Chair, John Carroll University;
  • Gasson Chair, Boston College
  • Alpha Sigma Nu National Book Award (2002) Catholic Ethicists on HIV/AIDS
  • Consultant to National Conference of Catholic Bishops for the Revision of the Ethical Guidelines for Catholic Health Care Institutions. 1988-1995
  • Editorial Board Member of Theological Studies. 1991-
  • Series Editor, Moral Traditions, Georgetown University Press. 1993-
  • Chair, Catholic Theological Coalition on HIV/AIDS Prevention. 1997-
  • Board of Trustees, John Carroll University. 1999-2002
  • Group Leader, Surgeon General’s Task Force on Responsible Sexual Conduct. 2000-2002
  • Advisor, Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance. 2000-
  • Board of Directors, Society of Christian Ethics. 2001-
  • Chair, Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church. 2003-
  • Adjunct Professor, Gregorian University, Rome: Loyola School of Theology, Manila.


“The History of Catholic Moral Theology,” Uzochukwu Jude Njoku and Simon O. Anyanwu, ed., In the Service of Charity and Truth: Essays in Honour of Bishop Lucius Ugorji (New York: Peter Lang, 2012) 13-22.

"Living the Truth: Fundamental Theological Ethics," Theological Studies 73.1 (2012) 151-168.

“Bernard Häring’s Influence on American Catholic Moral Theology,” Journal of Moral Theology 1.1 (2012) 23-42.

Catholic Theological Ethics, Past, Present, and Future: The Trento Conference. (Orbis, 2011); (Bangalore: Theological Publications in India, 2012).

“Conscience,” 167-168; “Contrition,” 175; “Double Effect, Principle of,” 246-247; “Habit,” 345-346; “Subsidiarity,” 755, In Dictionary of Scripture and Ethics edited by Joel Green, (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2011).

"Catholic Ethics in Manifold Voices: An Interview with James Keenan," Asian Christian Review 5.1 (2011) 4-10.

"Conscience," Dialogue: A Journal of Religion and Philosophy 36 (April 2011) 16-20.

"(The Lack of) Professional Ethics in the Academy," Louvain Studies 35 (2011) 98-116.

Co-authored with Andrea Vicini, "O futuro da Bioética" ("The Future of Bioethics") Bioethikos, 5.1 (2011) 10-20.

A History of Catholic Moral Theology in the Twentieth Century: From Confessing Sins to Liberating Consciences. (Continuum, 2010); (Bangalore: Theological Publications in India, 2011).

"What Happened at Trento 2010?," Theological Studies 72.1 (2011) 131-149.

The Ethics of the Word: Voices in the Catholic Church Today. (Rowman and Littlefield, 2010).

Edited With Agnes Brazal, Aloysius Cartagenas, and Eric Genilo, ed., Transformative Theological Ethics: East Asian Contexts (Quezon City: Ateoneo de Manila University Press, 2010).

Co-authored with Daniel Harrington, Paul and Virtue Ethics (New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2010).

“Contemporary Contributions to Sexual Ethics,” Theological Studies 71 (2010) 148-167.

Moral Wisdom: Lessons and Texts from the Catholic Tradition. Second, revised edition (Sheed and Ward, 2009).

"HIV/AIDS: The Expanding Ethical Challenge," Eugene Duffy and Patrick Hannon, ed., Beauty, Truth and Love: Essays in Honour of Enda McDonagh (Dublin: Columba Press, 2009) 126-148.

"Impasse and Solidarity in Theological Ethics," Catholic Theological Society of America Proceedings 64 (2009) 47-60.

The Works of Mercy: The Heart of Catholicism. Second edition (Sheed and Ward, 2007).

Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church: The Plenary Papers from the First Cross-cultural Conference on Catholic Theological Ethics. (Continuum, 2007).


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