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Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

Lisa Sowle Cahill

theology department

Lisa Cahill

J. Donald Monan Professor

Stokes N339
Boston College
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

Phone: 617-552-3890
Fax: 617-552-0794

Office Hours

Curriculum Vitae


AM, Ph.D., University of Chicago
AB, University of Santa Clara


Lisa Sowle Cahill received her BA from the Santa Clara University and her MA and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago Divinity School. She has taught at Boston College since 1976, and has been a visiting professor at Georgetown and Yale Universities. She and her husband Larry are the parents of five children.


Method in theological ethics; New Testament and ethics; Christology and Ethics; Ethics of Sex and Gender; Bioethics; Ethics of war and peacemaking; Social ethics, common good and globalization; Catholic social teaching.


Undergraduate Honors Program
Christian Ethics: Major Figures
Christian Ethics: Contemporary Figures
Ethics and Christology
Christian Perspectives on Bioethics
Bioethics and Social Justice
Feminist Theology and Ethics


Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1996-
Past President of the Society of Christian Ethics, l997-98
Past President of the Catholic Theological Society of America, l992-93
National Seminar on Jesuit Higher Education (Advisory Board to Conversations), 2010-2013
Board of Directors, Public Religion Research Institute, 2009-
Catholic Common Ground Initiative, Steering Committee, 1998-
Harvard Divinity School Visiting Committee, 2007-2011
Catholic Peacebuilding Network, Scholars Advisory Group, Theology/Ethics of
Just Peace Project, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies,
University of Notre Dame, 2005-2010
Divinity School Speaker, 500th Commencement Celebration, University of Chicago, 2009
John Courtney Murray Award, Catholic Theological Society of America, 2008
Barack Obama Catholic Advisory Committee (during 2007-08 presidential campaign)
College of St. Catherine, Myser Award, 2007
Mother Seton Award, College of St. Joseph (Ohio), 2001
Ignatian Award, Santa Clara University, 2001
Alumna of the Year, University of Chicago Divinity School, 1999
Eleven honorary degrees


Concilium, Board of Directors, 1990-2000, 2005-
Journal of Religious Ethics, Editorial Board, Assoc. Ed. and/or Board of Trustees, 1978-
Journal of Catholic Social Thought, Editorial Board, 2011-
Horizons, Editorial Advisory Board
Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, Founding Member,
Editorial Board and Board of Directors, 1989-97


Global Justice, Christology, and Christian Ethics (Cambridge University Press, 2013).
Genetics, Theology, Ethics: An Interdisciplinary Conversation (Crossroad, 2005).
Theological Bioethics: Participation, Justice and Change
(Georgetown Univ. Press, 2005).
Bioethics and the Common Good (Marquette University Press, 2004).
Family: A Christian Social Perspective (Fortress, 2000).
Sex, Gender, and Christian Ethics (Cambridge University Press, 1996).
'Love Your Enemies:' Discipleship, Pacifism and Just War Theory (Fortress, 1994).



Global Justice, Christology, and Christian Ethics (Cambridge University Press, 2013).

Articles and Chapters

"Sida, justicia global y ética social católica," in Javier de la Torre Díaz, ed., 30 Years of HIV-AIDS. An Overview and New Perspectives for Prevention, research by AristosCampus Mundus, international research project of Jesuit universities (Madrid: Universidad Pontificia Comillas, 2013); a translation of "AIDS, Global Justice, and Catholic Social Ethics," in AIDS, Concilium 2007/3, ed. Regina Ammicht-Quinn and Hille Haker (London: SCM Press) 91-101.

"Early Christian Ethics," in International Encyclopedia of Ethics, ed. Hugh LaFollette (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013).

"Introduction," Mary Beth Combs and Patricia Schmidt, eds., Transforming the World and Being Transformed, produced by the Jesuit Justice in Higher Education Conference Steering Committee (Fordham University Press, 2013).

Review of War and the American Difference: Theological Reflections on Violence and National Identity, by Stanley Hauerwas. Theological Studies (December, 2012).

"Mary Magdalene," in Not Less Than Everything: Catholic Writers on Heroes of   Conscience, from Joan of Arc to Oscar Romero, ed. Catherine Wolff  (HarperCollins, 2012).

"Theological Ethics as Political Ethics: A Conversation with Raymond Geuss," Studies in Christian Ethics 25/2 (2012) 153-59.

"Foreward," in Richard H. Hiers, Women's Rights and the Bible: Implication for Christian Ethics and Social Policy (Wipf and Stock, 2012) ix-xiii.

"Charity, Truth as Justice, and Hope," in Jude Uzochukwu Njoku and Simon O. Anyanwu, eds., In the Service of Charity and Truth: Essays in Honour of Lucius Ugorji (Peter Lang, 2012).

"Theological Ethics as Political Ethics: A Conversation with Raymond Geuss," Studies in Christian Ethics 25/2 (2012) 153-59.

Review of William T. Cavanaugh, The Myth of Religious Violence (Oxford University Press, 2009) in Modern Theology 28/3 (2012) 561-63.

"James Gustafson's Influence on Catholic Moral Theology," Journal of Catholic Moral Theology 1/1 (2012) 92-115.

"Gender and Christian Ethics," in Robin Gill, ed., Cambridge Companion to Christian Ethics, 2nd ed. (Cambridge University Press, 2011) 103-116.

"Voting and Living the Common Good," in Nicholas P. Cafardi, ed., Voting and Holiness: Catholic Perspectives on Political Participation (New York/Mahwah NJ: Paulist Press, 2011) 27-41.

"Catholic Moral Theology Since Vatican II," in Michael Lacey and Francis Oakley, eds., The Crisis of Authority in Catholic Modernity (Oxford University Press, 2011) 193-334.

"Teologia y etica," Selecciones de Teologia 49/195 (2010) 163-69 (originally published in Quinn, Wacker, Irarrazabal and Wilfred, eds., Evil Today and Struggles to be Human, 2009).

"The Art of Dying," Sojourners 39/5 (2010) 28-31.

"Religion and Theology," in Jeremy Sugarman and Daniel Sulmasy, Methods in Medical Ethics, 2nd ed. (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2010) 73-90.

"Religious Identity, Justice and Hope: The Case of Peacebuilding," Criterion 47/3 (2010) 2-9.

"A Theology for Peacebuilding," in Robert J. Schreiter, R. Scott Appleby, and Gerard F. Powers, eds., Peacebuilding: Catholic Theology, Ethics, and Praxis (Maryknoll NY: Orbis Books, 2010) 300-31.

"Editorial: Human Nature and Natural Law; A Critical Discussion," Lisa Sowle Cahill, Hille Haker, and Eloi Messi Metogo, eds., Human Nature and Natural Law (London: SCM Press, 2010) 7-16.

"Caritas in veritate: Benedict's Global Reorientation," Theological Studies 71/2 (2010) 291-319.

"Catholics and Health Care: Justice, Faith and Hope," Journal of Catholic Social Thought 7/10 (2010) 1-21.

"Nature, Change, and Justice," in Without Nature? A New Condition for Theology, ed. David Albertson and Cabell King (Fordham University Press, 2009) 282-303.

"Celebrate the Mystery You Imitate," in Martin Stuflesser and Stephan Winter, eds., 'Ahme nach, was du vollzieht...': Positionsbestimmungen zum Verhaltnis von Liturgie und Ethik (Regensburg: Verlag Friedrich Pustet, 2009) 137-49.

"AIDS, Women, and Empowerment," in Mary Jo Iozzo, Mary Doyle Roche, and Elsie Miranda, eds., Calling for Justice Throughout the World: Catholic Women Theologians and the HIV/AIDS Pandemic (New York: Continuum, 2009).

"Christian Theology and Ethics," in Regina Ammicht Quinn, et al, eds., Evil Today and the Struggles to Be Human (London: SCM, 2009), Concilium series 2009/1, 71-79.

"Religion and Politics: U.S.A.," Theological Studies 70/1 (March 2009) 186-91.

"Protection of Life: Priorities and Politics," in Richard W. Miller, ed., We Hold These Truths: Catholicism and American Political Life (Liguori Miss.: Liguori Press, 2008) 75-89.

"Germline Genetics, Human Nature, and Social Ethics," in Ronald Cole-Turner, ed., Design and Destiny: Jewish and Christian Perspectives on Human Germline Modification (London UK and Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 2008) 145-66.

"Aging, Genetics, and Social Justice," with Sarah Moses, in Catherine Read, Robert Green, and Michael Smyer, eds., Aging, Biotechnology and the Future (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, 2008) 216-31.

"Christ and Kingdom: The Identity of Jesus and Christian Politics," in Stephen J. Pope, ed., Hope and Solidarity: Jon Sobrino's Challenge to Christian Theology (Maryknoll NY: Orbis, 2008) 242-54.

"Challenges for The Challenge of Peace," in New Theology Review 21/2 (2008) 26-37.

"Introduction," and "Salvation and the Cross," in Jesus as the Christ, Concilium 3/2008, ed. Maria Clara Bingemer, Erik Borgmann, Lisa Sowle Cahill, Andres Torres Queiruga.

"A Theology for Peacebuilding," Origins 38/3 (2008) 38-42.

"Foreward," in John Witte, M. Christian Greene, Amy Wheeler, eds., The Equal Regard: Family and Its Critics (Eerdmans, 2007) xviii-xx.

"Hope: A Practical Virtue," Ben Birnbaum, ed., Take Heart: Catholic Writers on Hope in Our Time (Crossroad, 2007) 20-25.

"Moral Theology: From Evolutionary to Revolutionary Change," in James F. Keenan, ed., Moral Theology and the World Church (Continuum, 2007) 221-27.

"Practical Hope: Today's Challenge," in Johann Verstraeten, ed., Scrutinizing the Signs of the Times and Interpreting them in the Light of the Gospel (Orbis and Novalis, 2007) 311-25.

"Feminist Theology and Sexual Ethics," in Maura Ryan and Brian Linnane, eds., A Just and True Love: Essays in Honor of Margaret Farley (Continuum, 2007) 20-46.

"Global Health and Catholic Social Commitment," in Health Progress 88/3 (2007).

"AIDS, Global Justice, and Catholic Social Ethics," in AIDS, Concilium 2007/3, eds., Regina Ammicht-Quinn and Hille Haker (London: SCM Press) 91-101.

“L’éthique communautarienne et le catholicisme américain,” Recherches de science religieus 95/1 (2007) 21-40.

"Theological Ethics, the Churches, and Global Politics," Journal of Religious Ethics 35/3 (2007) 377-99.

"The Atonement Paradigm: Does it Still Have Explanatory Value?," in Theological Studies 68/2 (2007) 418-32.

In Press

"The Common Good and Development," in Johan Verstraeten, ed., Revisiting Populorum Progressio (Peeters).

"Love and Global Bioethics," Fred Simmons and Willis Jenkins, eds. Love and Christian Ethics (Yale University Press).

"Nature and Natural Law," Jacquest Haers S.J. and Lieven Boeve, eds., To Discern Creation in a Scattering World (Peeters).

"The Natural Law, Global Justice and Equality," John Berkman and William C. Mattison III, eds., volume on International Theological Commission Document on Natural Law (Eerdmans).

"Christian Bioethics, Interactive Traditions, and Permeable Borders," Christian Bioethics, Volume 18/3 (December 2012).

"Same-Sex Marriage and Catholicism: Dialogue, Learning, and Change," in Christine Firer Hinze, Michael Norko, and J.P. Hornbeck, eds., Sexual Diversity and the Catholic Church (Fordham University Press).

"Suffering: A Catholic Theological-Ethical View," in Ronald M. Green and Nathan J. Palpant, eds., Suffering in Bioethical Decision Making (Oxford).

"Moral reason, community belonging, and global justice," in John Perry, ed., God, the Good, and Utilitarianism (Cambridge University Press).

"Vatican II, Moral Theology and Social Ethics," in Andrea Vicini, SJ and Massimo Faggioli, eds., The Legacy of Vatican II.

"Accompanying the Dying: A Framework for the Role of Community in the Care of the Dying," with Autumn Ridenour, in Lydia Dugdale, ed., Art of Dying (Oxford).

"Nigel Biggar and the Renewal of Just War Tradition," Soundings

"Catholic Feminists and Traditions: Renewal, Reinvention, Replacement," Plenary Address, Society of Christian Ethics, Seattle, January 2014, revised for the Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics (2014).  

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