Faculty Directory

M. Cathleen Kaveny

Darald and Juliet Libby Millennium Professor


Cathleen Kaveny, a scholar who focuses on the relationship of law, religion, and morality, serves as the Darald and Juliet Libby Millennium Professor at Boston College, a position that includes appointments in both the Theology Department and the Law School. She is the first faculty member to hold such a joint appointment. Kaveny regularly teaches contract law to first-year law students. She also teaches a number of seminars that explore the relationship between theology, philosophy, and law, such as “Faith, Morality, and Law,” “Mercy and Justice,” and “Complicity.”

The author of four books and more than one hundred articles and essays, Kaveny has been published extensively in the areas of law, ethics, and medical ethics. Her books include Law’s Virtues: Fostering Autonomy and Solidarity in American Society (Georgetown University Press), A Culture of Engagement: Law, Religion, and Morality (Georgetown University Press), Prophecy without Contempt: Religious Discourse in the Public Square (Harvard University Press), and Ethics at the Edges of Law: Christian Moralists and American Legal Thought (Oxford University Press). In addition, she serves on the masthead of Commonweal as a regular columnist.

Kaveny is the chair of the Journal of Religious Ethics’ Board of Trustees. She has served as the president of the Society of Christian Ethics, the major professional society for scholars of Christian ethics and moral theology in North America. It meets annually in conjunction with the Society of Jewish Ethics and the Society for the Study of Muslim Ethics. She has served on a number of editorial boards including The American Journal of Jurisprudence, The Journal of Religious Ethics, the Journal of Law and Religion, and The Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics.

A member of the Massachusetts Bar, Kaveny clerked for the Honorable John T. Noonan Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and worked as an associate at the Boston law firm of Ropes & Gray in its health law group. She was the 2018-2019 Cary and Ann Maguire Chair in Ethics and American History at the Kluge Center of the Library of Congress. 

Kaveny has served as a visiting professor at Princeton University, Yale University and Georgetown University, and as a visiting scholar at the University of Chicago’s Martin Marty Center. From 1995 to 2013, she taught law and theology at the University of Notre Dame, where she was a John P. Murphy Foundation Professor of Law.