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School of Theology and Ministry

Catherine Mooney

associate professor of church history

Catherine Mooney

Contact Infomation | 617-552-6525
Simboli Hall 308


A.B., M.T.S., M.Phil., M.A., Ph.D. (Yale)

Areas of Interest

Her teaching and research interests include medieval saints and hagiography, mysticism, Christian spirituality with special attention to Franciscan and Ignatian spiritualities, and women and gender in Christian history.


Catherine Mooney holds a B.A. in History from Saint Louis University; an M.T.S. from Harvard Divinity School; an M.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D. in medieval history from Yale University.  She has taught at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia, at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, where she was also Co-coordinator of the Gender Studies graduate program, and at Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Her research awards include grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Women’s Studies in Religion Program of Harvard Divinity School, and the Franciscan Institute, St. Bonaventure University, NY.  She has served on a number of boards, including the Society for Medieval Feminist Studies, and the Franciscan Life in Ministry Directorate, Holy Name Province.  Currently, she is a board member for Monastic Matrix, an online scholarly resource for the study of women's communities from 400 to 1600 CE.

Besides lecturing in scholarly and pastoral venues, Dr. Mooney is active in human rights efforts.  Since 1990, she has served on the board of the Ignacio Martin-Baro Fund for Mental Health and Human Rights, named after one of the Jesuits murdered by the military in El Salvador in 1989.  She regularly circulates news to a list of thousands of followers about the ongoing struggle for justice of the Wichi Amerindians of northern Argentina, whom she first met while working as a pastoral and human rights advocate during Argentina's military dictatorship and “Dirty War.”


Catherine Mooney will be on Sabbatical during the Fall and Spring Semesters

Other Courses
Classics of Christian Spirituality: 1100 to the PresentSpiritual Autobiography
History of Christian Spirituality: 1200 to the Present
History of Western Christianity II
Ignatian Spirituality: Foundations and Traditions
Popes and the Papacy: From Peter to the Present
Seminar: Critical Perspective on Ignatian Spirituality
Seminar: Saints and Sanctity
Women Doctors of the Church: Hildegard of Bingen, Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila and Thérèse of Lisieux

Recent Publications

"Medieval Monastic, Mendicant, and Mystical Writers: Women, Men, and the Holy Spirit," in With the Holy Spirit: Responding to the Giver of Life, ed. Richard Lennan and Nancy Piñeda-Madrid (New York: Paulist Press, forthcoming)

Clare of Assisi and the Thirteenth-Century Church: Religious Women, Rules, and Resistance, The Middle Ages Series (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016).

“Teresa of Avila, Monastic Founder and Master of Prayer,” in All Holy Men and Women: A Paulist Litany of Saints, ed. Thomas A. Kane (Paulist Press, 2014).

 “Wondrous Words: Catherine of Siena’s Miraculous Reading and Writing According to the Early Sources,” in Catherine of Siena: The Creation of a Cult, ed. Jeffrey Hamburger & Gabriela Signori (Brepols 2013).

 “The ‘Lesser Sisters” in Jacques de Vitry’s 1216 Letter,” Franciscan Studies 69 (2011): 1-29.

“Ignatian Spirituality, A Spirituality for Mission,” Mission Studies 26 (2009): 192-213.

 “The Changing Fortunes of Angela of Foligno, Daughter, Mother and Wife,” in History in the Comic Mode: Medieval Communities and the Matter of Person, ed. Rachel Fulton & Bruce W. Holsinger (Columbia University Press, 2007), 56-67, 307-310. 

“Interdisciplinarity in Teaching Medieval Mysticism: The Case of Angela of Foligno,” Horizons 34.1 (2007): 54-77.

“Nuns, Tertiaries, and Quasi-Religious: The Religious Identities of Late Medieval Italian Holy Women,” Medieval Feminist Forum 42 (2006): 68-92. 

“Nuns: Christian Nuns,” in The Encyclopedia of Religion, ed. Lindsay Jones (Macmillan, 2005), 10: 6763-65.

Gendered Voices: Medieval Saints and Their Interpreters (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999). Editor; and Contributor: “Voice, Gender, and the Portrayal of Sanctity,” and Imitatio Christi or Imitatio Mariae? Clare of Assisi and Her Interpreters.”

Philippine Duchesne: A Woman with the Poor (1990; Wipf & Stock, 2007).  Translated also into Japanese (2000), Bahasa Indonesia (2012), and Korean (2015).