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Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

James Keenan, S.J.

theology department

James Keenan, S.J.

Canisius Professor

Director, The Jesuit Institute

Stokes N331
Boston College
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

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

Office Hours

Curriculum Vitae


S.T.L., S.T.D., Gregorian University, Rome
M.Div., Weston Jesuit School of Theology
A.B., Fordham University

Research Interests

university ethics, fundamental moral theology; history of theological ethics; Thomas Aquinas; virtue ethics; HIV/AIDS; 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
Catholic Theological Ethics, twelfth through eighteenth centuries
John and Virtue Ethics

Selected Publications


Doing Catholic Theological Ethics in a Cross Cultural and Interreligious Asian Context edited with Yiu Sing Lúcás Chan and Shaji George Kochuthara (Bangalore: Dharmaram Press, 2016), forthcoming.

The Bible and Catholic Theological Ethics edited with Yiu Sing Lúcás Chan and Ronaldo Zacharias (Orbis Press, 2016), forthcoming.

A Brief History of Catholic Ethics (Paulist Press, 2016), forthcoming.

University Ethics: Why Colleges Need A Culture of Ethics (Rowman and Littlefield, May 2015).

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

Catholic Theological Ethics, Past, Present, and Future: The Trento Conference edited (Orbis, 2011); (Bangalore: Theological Publications in India, 2012). (Manila: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2013).

A History of Catholic Moral Theology in the Twentieth Century: From Confessing Sins to Liberating Consciences (New York: Continuum, 2010). 


“To Follow and to Form Over Time: A Phenomenonology of Conscience,” David DeCosse and Kristin Heyer, ed., Conscience and Catholicism: Rights, Responsibilities, and Institutional Policies (Orbis Books, 2015): 1-15.   

“John Mair's Moral Theology and its Reception in the 16th Century,” John T. Slotemaker and Jeffrey C. Witt, eds., A Companion to the Theology of John Mair (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2015): 194-220.

“Temas emergentes na ética teológica” (“Emerging Issues in Theological Ethics”), Elio Gasda, ed., Enciclopedia Theologica LatinoAmericana (2015),  

“Redeeming Conscience,” Theological Studies 76.1 (May 2015): 129-147. Asian Horizons 9.1 (2015): 25-56.

"The Gallant Rule: A Feminist Proposal," Linda Hogan and Orobator, ed., Feminist Catholic Theological Ethics: Conversations in the World Church (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Press 2014) 219-231.

"Embodiment and Relationality: Roman Catholic Concerns about Transhumanist Proposals," Calvin Mercer and Derek Maher, eds., Transhumanism and the Body: The World Religions Speak (New York: Palgrave/Macmillan, 2014) 155-172.

"7 Reasons for Doing Virtue Ethics Today," Kathryn Getek Soltis and William Werpehowski, Virtue and the Moral Life: Theological and Philosophical Perspectives  (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2014) 3-18.

“The Style of Virtue Ethics,” End McDonagh, ed., Performing the Word: Festschrift for Ronan Drury (Dublin: Columba, 2014) 215-221.

“Spirituality and Ethics in the US: An Emerging History,”  Studien der Moraltheologie, Gunter Prüller-Jagenteufel, Fall 2014.

“The Decalogue and the Moral Manual Tradition: From Trent to Vatican II,”  Dominik Markl, ed., The Decalogue and its Cultural Influence (Sheffield: Phoenix Press, 2013) 214-229.

“Enhancing Prosthetics for Soldiers Returning from Combat with Disabilities: Theological Ethical Considerations on the War Industry’s Impact on Bioethics,” ET Studies 4.1 (2013): 69-88.

“Pope Francis and the Local Church: A Hope-filled Future for Moral Theology,” John Chathanatt, ed., Unto the Margins: Pope Francis and His Challenges (Bangalore: Claretian Publishhers, 2013) 78-90.


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