Welcome to the Theology Department
The Theology department provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary for reasoned reflection on their own values, faith, and tradition, as well as on the religious forces that shape our society and world. The department’s five primary areas of research include biblical studies, historical theology/history of christianity, comparative theology, systematic theology, and theological ethics.
"Such generous attention and high-quality interaction shaped and sharpened me into the interpreter of ancient texts that I am today."
- Noemí Palomares
Theology PhD Recent Graduates
"Aimee synthesizes resources from responsibility ethics, ecclesiology and Native studies to offer a nuanced and compelling migration ethic; she interrogates the function and costs of nations' founding myths and analyzes the consequent demands of reparative justice in ways that will be valuable to ecumenical scholars and practitioners alike."
Prof. Kristin Heyer, dissertation director
"Derek's brilliant study of the theme of "decision" in the works of Carl Schmitt, Jacques Derrida, Søren Kierkegaard, and James Cone offers a powerful new vision of a postmodern political theology that is ready to tackle the intersecting injustices of racism and late capitalism."
Prof. Andrew Prevot, dissertation director
“This dissertation offers a brilliant response to the question of the practical application of Trinitarian theology by showing how Gregory of Nyssa’s Nicene Trinitarian theology can be the foundation for a comprehensive program for Christian discipleship.”
Prof. Khaled Anatolios, dissertation director
“Kim Bauser-McBrien applied contemporary studies of memory to sample cases of variants in sayings and parables attributed to Jesus. She joins a growing cadre of scholars who reject the older quests for a single ‘historical Jesus’ in favor of the ‘many-faceted’ figure of early Christian memory.”
Prof. Pheme Perkins, dissertation director
"St. Bonaventure's portraits of the Biblical presentations of ‘Image and Likeness’ unite the theological understanding of the nature of beatific enjoyment and the spiritual way of life that leads to its attainment."
Prof. Emeritus Stephen Brown, dissertation director
Peter Folan, SJ
"Peter has undertaken a careful, textured study of the overlooked role of biblical hermeneutics in the sixteenth century justification debates to demonstrate how a mature biblical theology can help the Christian churches creatively address some of enduring doctrinal issues that still divide us."
Prof. Richard Gaillardetz, dissertation director
“Dr. Harmakaputra’s dissertation is a pioneering comparative study of major contemporary Catholic and Protestant perspectives on sainthood and the ‘communion of the saints,’ contrasted with classical Muslim theological understandings of the ‘friends of God’ and their role as perennial vehicles of God’s guidance, proximity, and acts of grace.”
Prof. James Morris, dissertation director
“Won-Jae’s dissertation declared that Christian theology has not provided an adequate model of the body that can concretely inform Christian experience of the body and guide Christian practice. His ground-breaking dissertation demonstrates how comparative theological analysis can suggest profound new possibilities for addressing that problem.”
Prof. John Makransky, dissertation director
"Jaisy has creatively brought together postcolonial theory and ethnographic research on three diasporal Eastern Catholic communities to deepen our appreciation for what catholicity might look like in a global church."
Prof. Richard Gaillardetz, dissertation director
Léocadie Lushombo, it.
“Leo Lushombo brilliantly refashions Christian ethics to empower women in the Democratic Republic of Congo, employing biblical hermeneutics, African traditions and theologies, Catholic social teaching, liberation theology, and the ‘solidaristic anger’ of survivors of rape as a weapon of war.”
Prof. Lisa Sowle Cahill, dissertation director
“Bringing classical Jewish and Christian interpretations of the Ten Commandments into dialogue, Andrew's dissertation develops important new directions for contemporary understandings of this shared text.”
Prof. Ruth Langer, dissertation director
Ligita Ryliškytė, SJE
“This dissertation is a model for the constructive use of history in systematic theology. By tracing variations in Paul, Augustine, Aquinas, and Lonergan, Ligita not only reveals an emergent synthesis, but brilliantly develops it as a theological response to secularity.”
Prof. Jeremy Wilkins, dissertation director
“Dr. Selak’s dissertation is courageous, imaginative, and prophetic. Bringing trauma studies into dialogue with Karl Rahner’s ecclesiology, this work responds to the cries of faithful women and men who yearn for a church where sexism and racism are no more.”
Prof. Nancy Pineda Madrid, dissertation director
Marcel Uwineza, SJ
“Jesuit Marcel Uwineza’s groundbreaking dissertation analyses history, religion, culture, and society to re-vision a theology that faces the wounds of Rwanda’s genocide against the Tutsi and that wrestles with ecclesial, moral, and existential demands of memory for authentic forgiveness and reconciliation.”
Prof. Emerita M. Shawn Copeland, dissertation director
“Daniel Vos has offered an impressive analysis of how ancient Near Eastern legal restrictions against violating a neighbor's property boundaries came to serve as an important theological rubric for describing sin more generally and the necessity for observing Torah in particular.”
Prof. David Vanderhooft, dissertation director