Our award-winning faculty are engaged in dynamic and active research projects, and their many books, translations, journal articles and poetry collections have appeared in a wide range of venues.

The Department of Humanities faculty have won major awards in scholarship, teaching, and service to the College and University, to the Catholic Church, and to Humanities education.

Theology and philosophy lead the way in our approaches to political science, literature, economics, ethics, history and architectural history.



Eugene McCarraher's book, "The Enchantments of Mammon: Capitalism as the Religion of Modernity"

Paul Camacho discusses the “Weight of Love” in Augustine’s Confessions and Veronica Roberts Ogle considers “The Heart of the Father in Augustine’s Moral Thought” in this edited volume. 

Eugene McCarraher's book, "The Enchantments of Mammon: Capitalism as the Religion of Modernity"

Jesse Couenhoven makes an argument for “Why Christians Should (Still) Be Compatibilists” in this 2023 volume about free will in analytic and philosophical theology.

Margaret Grubiak's book, "Monumental Jesus: Landscapes of Faith & Doubt in Modern America"

Margaret M. Grubiak, Monumental Jesus: Landscapes of Faith & Doubt in Modern America (University of Virginia Press, 2020)

The American landscape is host to numerous works of religious architecture, sometimes questionable in taste and large, if not titanic, in scale. In her lively study of satire and religious architecture, Margaret Grubiak, PhD, challenges how we typically view such sites by shifting the focus from believers to doubters, and from producers to consumers. Dr. Grubiak considers an array of sacred architectural constructions―from "Touchdown Jesus" at the University of Notre Dame to the Wizard of Oz Mormon temple outside Washington, D.C., to the renamed "Gumby Jesus" of the Christ of the Ozarks statue in Eureka Springs, Arkansas―that show how religious doubt is made manifest in the humorous, satirical, blasphemous, and popular culture responses to religious architecture and image in modern America.

Eugene McCarraher's book, "The Enchantments of Mammon: Capitalism as the Religion of Modernity"

Eugene McCarraher, The Enchantments of Mammon: Capitalism as the Religion of Modernity (Belknap Press: An imprint of Harvard University Press, 2022)

Now in paperback, this book has been described as “an extraordinary work of intellectual history as well as a scholarly tour de force, a bracing polemic, and a work of Christian prophecy.” McCarraher challenges the conventional view of capitalism as a force for disenchantment. He argues that, from Puritan and evangelical valorizations of profit to the heavenly Fordist city, the mystically animated corporation, and the deification of the market, capitalism has hijacked our intrinsic longing for divinity, laying hold to our souls.

Anna Bonta Moreland's book, "Muhammad Reconsidered: A Christian Perspective on Islamic Prophecy"

Anna Bonta Moreland, Muhammad Reconsidered: A Christian Perspective on Islamic Prophecy (University of Notre Dame Press, 2020)

Scholarly attempts to understand Islam in the West over the past several years have failed to take Islamic theology seriously. This book engages Islam from deep within the Christian tradition by addressing the question of the prophethood of Muhammad. Anna Bonta Moreland calls for a retrieval of Thomistic thought on prophecy to view Muhammad within a Christian theology of revelation, without either appropriating the prophet as an unwitting Christian or reducing both Christianity and Islam to a common denominator. This historical recovery leads to a more sophisticated understanding of Islam, one that honors the integrity of the Catholic tradition and, through that integrity, argues for the possibility in principle of Muhammad as a religious prophet. Muhammad Reconsidered not only is a constructive contribution to Catholic theology but also has enormous potential to help scholars reframe and comprehend Christian-Muslim relations.

Eugene McCarraher's book, "The Enchantments of Mammon: Capitalism as the Religion of Modernity"

Veronica Roberts Ogle, Politics and the Earthly City in Augustine's City of God (Cambridge University Press, 2020)

In this volume, Veronica Roberts Ogle offers a new reading of Augustine's political thought as it is presented in City of God. Focusing on the relationship between politics and the earthly city, she argues that a precise understanding of Augustine's vision can only be reached through a careful consideration of the work's rhetorical strategy and sacramental worldview. Ogle draws on Christian theology and political thought, moral philosophy and semiotic theory to make her argument. Laying out Augustine's understanding of the earthly city, she proceeds by tracing out his rhetorical strategy and concludes by articulating his sacramental vision and the place of politics within it. Ogle thus suggests a new way of determining the status of politics in Augustine's thought. Her study clarifies seemingly contradictory passages in his text, highlights the nuance of his position and captures the unity of his vision as presented in City of God.

Eugene McCarraher's book, "The Enchantments of Mammon: Capitalism as the Religion of Modernity"

Terence Sweeney writes about “Blessed and Blessing: William Desmond’s Ethics of the Beatitudes and Works of Mercy” in this 2023 study of philosopher William Desmond and the Bible.

Eugene McCarraher's book, "The Enchantments of Mammon: Capitalism as the Religion of Modernity"

Helena Tomko contributes a chapter on German Catholic writer Gertrud von le Fort to this 2024 introduction to twelve Catholic women novelists from the past two hundred years, presenting their fascinating lives, spiritual biographies and sacramental vision.

Eugene McCarraher's book, "The Enchantments of Mammon: Capitalism as the Religion of Modernity"

Michael Tomko writes about “Catholic Literature and Print Culture in English” in this third volume of the Oxford History of British and Irish Catholicism, which addresses the literary, intellectual and cultural expressions of Catholicism in Britain and Ireland.  



Our Humanities faculty have been recognized for outstanding contributions in their fields.

Anna Bonta Moreland, PhD, Principal Investigator, $223,201 grant, “Hope in Higher Education: Networking, Resource Sharing, and Building a Brighter Future,” John Templeton Foundation, 2021–24

Paul Camacho, PhD, Lilly Fellows Program Small Grant to support project to film four Augustinian Heritage sites in Italy using 3D Object Capture technology, 2024

Anna Bonta Moreland, PhD, Mackey Award for Catholic Thought, Chaminade University, Honolulu, 2023

Jahdiel Perez, DPhil (Oxon), $25,000 grant, “Between Belief and Grief: the Psychology of Theodicy,” University of Birmingham under the John Templeton Foundation, 2023–2025

Helena M. Tomko, DPhil (Oxon), Honors Program Thesis Mentor Award, Villanova University, 2023

Jesse Couenhoven, PhD, Principal Investigator, $3,997,872 grant, “Collaborative Inquiries in Christian Theological Anthropology,” Templeton Foundation, 2020–2023 

Paul Camacho, PhD,  Junior Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2020

Jesse Couenhoven, PhD, Principal Investigator, Planning Grant, Science-Engaged Theology, Templeton Foundation, 2018–2020 

Michael Tomko, PhD, Mid-Career Scholar Award, Villanova University, 2018 

Thomas W. Smith, PhD, and Kevin Hughes, PhD, the first two chairs of the Department of Humanities, papal Cross pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, 2018 

Margaret Grubiak, PhD, Catherine Bishir Prize for Best Article in Vernacular Architecture, Vernacular Architecture Forum, 2017 

Michael Tomko, PhD, Book of the Year Award, The Conference on Christianity & Literature, 2016 


For more on our faculty’s writing, publishing, speaking and research


Jesse Couenhoven is a humanities professor.

Jahdiel Perez, DPhil (Oxon), has received a $25,000 grant from the University of Birmingham, UK, under the John Templeton Foundation, to pursue his research in science-engaged theology, “Between Belief and Grief: The Psychology of Theodicy.” A postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Humanities since 2022 and assistant professor since 2024, Dr. Perez’s research draws from and informs his dynamic teaching. He teaches both the God and World Humanities Seminars, as well as electives on “C.S. Lewis and Nietzsche” and the intersection of science and religion. Dr. Perez studied philosophy at UMass Boston before earning an MDiv in Christian theology at Harvard University and receiving his doctorate (DPhil) in theology from the University of Oxford in 2023.



Carrie Sweeney, '22

Christopher Cokinos, ’24 CLAS, was awarded the 2024 Karol Wojtyla Medallion for Excellence in the Humanities. The award recognized his “seemingly insatiable desire to know more about everything from architecture to ancient philosophy and a quiet leadership inside and outside the classrooms that draws others deeper into the great questions of human life.” During his years at Villanova University, Chris played a leadership role with Villanova’s Mock Trial Team and was station manager of WXVU. He is now studying law at New York University.

Department of Humanities

St. Augustine Center Room 304
Villanova University 
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085

Chairperson: Dr. Michael Tomko