RESEARCH AND SCHOLARSHIP

Read about where our faculty and graduate students have recently been published or featured as speakers, or the topics of their newest books.

FACULTY PUBLICATIONS

 "Joe Biden and Catholicism in the United States" book cover

In his latest book, Joe Biden and Catholicism in the United States, Professor Faggioli provides a history of Catholicism in American political life, recounting anti-Catholicism sentiment that faced presidential candidates from 1928 to 2020. Faggioli discusses the current tense state of relations between the U.S. and the Vatican; explains the Catholic crisis of globalization; and illustrates Biden’s position between the past and future of American Catholicism.

Faggioli sat down with Commonweal to discuss The Second Catholic President and what it means for a divided country.

 "Just Universities: Catholic Social Teaching Confronts Corporatized Higher Education" book cover

Gerald Beyer, PhD and professor of Christian ethics, argues that the corporatization of the university hinders the ability of Catholic institutions to create an environment imbued with bedrock values and principles of Catholic Social Teaching such as respect for human rights, solidarity, and justice. He examines where Catholic institutions have fallen short of justice and equality in the specific areas of just wages, gender, race, fair treatment of adjuncts, unionization of faculty, admissions, and financial aid, among others, and provides examples of how institutions are embodying CST in these areas.  The book aims to promote greater dialogue on Catholic campuses about how policies and practices that cohere with CST are crucial to the mission of Catholic higher education.  Just Universities is available through Falvey Memorial Library in digital format here.

 

View recent publications and talks by our faculty and graduate students in the lists below. To see more works, visit the faculty websites listed under full-time faculty.

 

Gerald Beyer, PhD, associate professor

Just Universities | Catholic Social Teaching Confronts Corporatized Higher Education, Fordham University Press, 2021. 
Beyer discusses ways that U.S. Catholic institutions of higher education have embodied or failed to embody Catholic social teaching in their campus policies and practices. He argues that the corporatization of the university hinders the ability of Catholic institutions to create an environment imbued with bedrock values and principles of Catholic Social Teaching such as respect for human rights, solidarity, and justice. Read more.

Timothy Brunk, PhD, associate professor

The Sacraments and Consumer Culture, Liturgical Press, 2020. 
This book examines how consumer culture has had a corrosive effect on the sacraments and assesses how sacramental worship can provide resources for responsible Christian discipleship in today’s consumer culture.  Read more.

Ilia Delio, OSF, PhD, professor, Josephine C. Connelly Endowed Chair 

Re-Enchanting the Earth: Why AI Needs Religion, Orbis Books, 2020.
“Scientist and theologian Ilia Delio takes up the challenge of devising a rapprochement between science and religion, with particular attention to the role of Artificial Intelligence, or AI. If the ‘first axial age’ gave rise to the great religions, she sees us now on the cusp of a 'second axial age,' in which AI, oriented by new religious sensibilities, can bring about an ecological re-enchantment of the earth.” Read more.

Massimo Faggioli, PhD, professor

Joe Biden and Catholicism in the United States, Bayard Inc., 2021.
"Our rosary-carrying second Catholic president, who sprinkles his speeches with references to popular hymns and quotes from saints, is sure to evangelize in a way few other public Catholics have. Massimo Faggioli s in-depth examination of Joe Biden s Catholicism is helpful and necessary as we embark on this historic presidency." - Heidi Schlumpf, Executive Editor, National Catholic Reporter. Read more.

John Edwards, PhD, affiliate faculty

James Alison and a Girardian Theology: Conversion, Theological Reflection, and Induction, T&T Clark Academic/Bloomsbury Press, May 2020.
“This volume grounds Alison's theological method in his understanding of the ongoing interaction between conversion and theological reflection, which is informed by his use of mimetic theory. While Alison describes this method as “theology in the order of the discovery,” the author refers to it as an “inductive theology.” Read more.

Stefanie Knauss, ThD, associate professor

Completed a book chapter: Zweideutigkeiten: Theologische Überlegungen zu Sexualität, Gesellschaft und Medien. In: Fischer, I.; Poplutz, U. (eds.), Jahrbuch für Biblische Theologie, vol. 33: Sexualität. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2020.

Vincent Lloyd, PhD, associate professor

Vincent Lloyd launched a new book series, Transforming Political Theologies, together with Prof. Judith Gruber, Director of the Centre for Liberation Theologies at KU-Leuven (Belgium), and Prof. David True of Wilson College. The series will be published by Routledge, and it aims to expand the scholarly conversation about political theology by introducing national and regional contexts, religious traditions, scholarly methods, questions, and authorities that will transform the field, provincializing its origins and expanding its future possibilities. Read more.

Jonathan Yates, PhD, professor

Dr. Yates has completed a book chapter titled “Augustine and James 1, 17: A Diachronic Investigation” in Nos sumus tempora: Studies on Augustine and His Reception Offered to Mathijs Lamberigts. December 2020

Yates is co-editor of The Bible in Christian North Africa. Part I: Commencement to the Confessiones of Augustine, De Gruyter, 2020. 
“This handbook explores the formation of Christianity in Northern Africa from the second century CE until the present. It focuses on the reception of Scripture in the life of the Church, the processes of decision making, the theological and philosophical reflections of the Church Fathers in various cultural contexts, and schismatic or heretical movements. Volume one covers the first four centuries up until the time of Augustine.” 

Chris Barnett, DPhil, associate professor

“The ‘Lonely Game’: Baseball, Kierkegaard, and the Spiritual Life,” Horizons: The Journal of the College Theology Society, 2020.

Timothy Brunk, PhD, associate professor

"Fast and Abstinence and COVID," Pray Tell blog, February 2020.

"Watching in Advent 2020," Pray Tell blog, December 2020.

"All the Saints, All the Souls, and All of Us," Pray Tell blog, November 2020.

Paul Danove, PhD, associate professor

“What God Has Through Reception in the Gospel of Mark,” Filología Neotestamentaria, 2020. 

“The Licensing Properties of Cognate Nouns of Communication Verbs in the New Testament,”  Journal of Biblical and Ancient Greek Linguistics, 2020.

“The ‘History’ of God’s Actions in the Gospel of Mark,” Revue Biblique, 2020.

Ilia Delio, OSF, PhD, professor, Josephine C. Connelly Endowed Chair 

Read this article, "Marshall McLuhan: A Prophet of Teilhard’s Vision" and other articles by Delio on her blog at the Center for Christogenisis.

Suffering and Sacrifice in an Unfinished Universe: The Energy of Love,” Religions, 2020.

“Is Artificial Intelligence 'Artificial'?,” Researcher - European Journal of Humanities & Social Science, 2020.

Massimo Faggioli, PhD, professor

"Dysfunctional fantasists and clever manipulators,” La Croix International, December 2020.

"Pope Francis and the Nation-State: Fratelli Tutti as Critique of Radical Orthodoxy," The Berkley Forum hosted by Georgetown University - Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs, October 2020.

"A Church That Is Poor? Money, Sectarianism, & Catholic Tradition," Commonweal Magazine, July 2020.

"Modernization of the Papacy and Catholicism in the Postmodern: Legacy and Challenges to Vatican I," Horizons, May 2020.

"Ecclesial Lay Movements in 21st-Century Global Catholicism: Open Questions in Light of the Sex Abuse Crisis," Japan Mission Journal, 2020.

"'The Two Popes' and two kinds of relations between Francis and Benedict," Pastoral Review (UK), 2020.

Kathryn Getek Soltis, PhD, assistant professor

Getek Soltis authored a chapter "Family Relationships and Incarceration" in the volume Sex, Love, and Families: Catholic Perspectives, April 2020.

Brett Grainger, ThD, associate professor

"Making Spirituality Safe for Evangelicals," Harvard Divinity Bulletin, Spring/Summer 2020.

Nathaniel Grimes, doctoral student

Collaborated on "Challenging the Police - Abolition and Christian Ethics," The Bias Magazine, July 2020. 

Tim Hanchin, PhD, assistant professor

Co-authored “Educating for Ecological Conversion: An Ecstatic Pedagogy for Christian Higher Education amid Climate Crisis,” sponsored by the VERITAS Faculty Research Program, June 2020.

Kevin Hughes, PhD, professor 

Biden responds to St. Augustine's question. "Common Loves," Commonweal, January 31, 2021.

Hughes contributed an essay to The Oxford Handbook of Mystical Theology titled "Living in the Word,” March 2020.  

Stefanie Knauss, ThD, associate professor 

Co-edited journal issue: Abraham, Susan; De Mori, Geraldo; Knauss, Stefanie (eds.), Masculinities. Concilium 56.2 (2020).

The Rev. Christiane Lang Hearlson, PhD, assistant professor

Co-authored “Educating for Ecological Conversion: An Ecstatic Pedagogy for Christian Higher Education amid Climate Crisis,” sponsored by the VERITAS Faculty Research Program, June 2020.

Mark Levand, adjunct faculty

Co-authored "Sexuality Education as a Moral Good: Catholic Support for Accurate, Holistic Sexuality Information,” Theology & Sexuality, 2021.

"Sexual Science and the Catholic Church: Areas of Common Ground,” American Journal of Sexuality Education, 2021.

Co-authored “Areas of Support and Barriers to Change around Issues of Sexuality in Catholic Higher Education,” Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 2021. 

Vincent Lloyd

Co-authored an article, “Restructuring a World Without Prisons,” Sojourners, December 2020.

Offered a response on "Wrath" for the Sins and Virtues in American Public Life symposium, Syndicate, September 2020.

Collaborated on "Challenging the Police - Abolition and Christian Ethics," The Bias Magazine, July 2020. 

"Human Dignity is Black Dignity ," Church Life Journal (University of Notre Dame), June 2020.

The Work of Mourning and the Privilege of Black Death, ABC Religion and Ethics, June 2020.

The End of the World: Reflections from Black Activism, The Berkley Forum hosted by Georgetown University - Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs, June 2020.

Andre Price, PhD student

"Kanye West, Jesus is King," Journal for Religion, Film and Media, Religion and Popular Music issue, November 2020.

Kerry San Chirico, PhD, associate professor

“Dharma and the Religious Other in Hindi Popular Cinema: From Nehru through Modi,” Journal of Religion, Film and Media, 2020.

Rachel Smith, PhD, associate professor

Smith contributed a co-written essay to The Oxford Handbook of Mystical Theology titled "Christology," March 2020.  

Rev. Naomi Washington-Leapheart, MDiv, adjunct professor

"Do Black lives matter only after someone’s death?" op-ed for the Philadelphia Inquirer in collaboration with members of the Philadelphia Mayor’s Commission on Faith-Based and Interfaith Affairs, November 17, 2020.  

Trevor Williams, doctoral student

“Frankenstein: A Theological Meditation on Spiritual Death,” Perspectives in Religious Studies 47, no. 3 (Fall 2020): 317-38.

"Resisting the Modern Desire for Dominance," Genealogies of Modernity, December 2020.

Chris Barnett, DPhil, associate professor

Kierkegaardian Resources for Living through a Pandemic," Søren Kierkegaard Society, Youtube panel, May 2020.

Gerald Beyer, PhD, associate professor

Panelist for Philadelphia Catholic Professor panel; topics included health care policy, climate change, racism, poverty, workers' right and the election, October 21, 2020. This event was not sponsored by Villanova nor did it express the views of the university.

Reopening Justly or Just Reopening? - Catholic Social Teaching, Universities and COVID-19,” Fordham University online forum, July 14, 2020.

COVID-19 and Higher Education, Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church, June 1, 2020.

Solidarity and Social Distancing, Together for the Common Good, April 2020.

Timothy Brunk, PhD, associate professor

"The Encyclical and the Election: Pope Francis and November 3," panelist for a discussion of Fratelli Tutti and its relevance for the upcoming vote in the United States, Villanova University, October 23, 2020.

Ilia Delio, OSF, PhD, professor, Josephine C. Connelly Endowed Chair 

“Exploring Theogenesis,” Center for Christogenisis with Peter Todd podcast, December 2, 2020.

“The Infinite Within,” Center for Christogenisis, October 24, 2020.

“Love and the Evolution of Consciousness,” The Aspen Chapel, 2020.

"Earth: A Mirror of God?" Mercy Week keynote speaker, Maria College, September 21, 2020.

Massimo Faggioli, PhD, professor

Panelist at the annual conference of the American Academy of Religion, Vatican II Studies Unit; "Vatican II in a Largely Post-Institutional Theological and Ecclesial Ecosystem," and "Illiberal Religion and the Question of Community." December 2020.

"Human Fraternity in the Age of Walls: Pope Francis’ Encyclical Fratelli Tutti," St. Thomas University Houston, October 29, 2020.

Panelist on "Unsettled Questions and New Directions: The Vatican and the Holocaust," symposium organized by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, October 19-21, 2020.

Mark Graham, PhD, associate professor

"The Encyclical and the Election: Pope Francis and November 3," panelist for a discussion of Fratelli Tutti and its relevance for the upcoming vote in the United States, Villanova University, October 23, 2020.

Brett Grainger, PhD, associate professor

Grainger gave the keynote address, "The Twisted Roots of Nature Spirituality in America," for the 2020 Christian Philosophers at Villanova (CPaV) Conference "Spirituality in Theology and Philosophy" in February 2020.

The Rev. Christiane Lang Hearlson, PhD, assistant professor

Invited to participate in "Congregations Reimagined: Reframing the Narrative," a consultation with the Center for Congregations, September 2020.

Vincent Lloyd, PhD, associate professor

“The Political Theology of Aimé Césaire,” University of Chester, October 28, 2020.

"Abolition, Black Religions and US Empires," Yale University, October 27, 2020.

Panelist on "Rest and Unrest: Death and Dying in 2020," Villanova University, October 8, 2020.

"Break Every Yoke – Religion, Justice, and the Abolition of Prisons," Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life, Columbia University. September 23, 2020.

Panelist on "To Set the Oppressed Free," police and prison abolition and its relationship to Christian thought and political action. Institute for Christian Socialism. September 16, 2020.

"Black Dignity and Augustinian Political Theology," webinar sponsored by Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, September 1, 2020. 

Panelist on “COVID and the Color Line: Religion, Race, and Public Health,” Lumen Christi Institute, July 30, 2020.

Racial Capitalism and Conjuring a New World through Protest,” Vanderbilt Divinity School online interview, July 22, 2020. 

Co-speaker on "Black Dignity: the Moral Vocabulary of Black Lives Matter," the University of Toronto Centre for Ethics, July 8.

Jessica Murdoch, PhD, associate professor

Murdoch was named the 2020 distinguished scholar of the annual Shults Lecture series at St. Bernard's School of Theology and Ministry. This year’s theme addressed theological topics as they relate to the understanding and practice of ministry in the Church. "Are Souls Still Worth Saving? Zeal as a Profession of Hope,” December 2020.

Rachel Smith, PhD, associate professor

Smith participated in a three-day symposium at Harvard University, "Love in the Middle Ages," March 2020.

Brandon Ambrosino, doctoral student and writer for Politico Magazine, was awarded first place for Excellence in Magazine News Religion Reporting by The Religion News Association.

Jesse Couenhoven, PhD, received a $4.7 million grant from The John Templeton Foundation for his project, "Collaborative Inquiries in Christian Theological Anthropology." This project started in August 2020 and will run for three years. It will fund 14 research projects at schools around the US that relate topics in theological anthropology to predominately social science research. The funds will also be used to run a number of programs that help theologians develop deeper partnerships with philosophers and scientists. Couenhoven holds a dual faculty appointment with the Departments of Theology and Religious Studies, and Humanities. Read more about this grant.

Jacob Given, doctoral student, received a competitive Summer Research Fellowship and was selected as one of nine students to participate in the Graduate Student Symposium in October. A three-minute video about his summer research was presented during the symposium and be can viewed. More.

The Rev. Christiane Lang Hearlson, PhD, Was accepted to the Wabash Center's "Tending to the Body and Soul of Theological Educators" Digital Salon for 2020-21. Digital Salons, facilitated by peer facilitators, are cohorts of faculty from across the nation that meet for an academic year to grapple with changes in teaching sparked by the pandemic. A non-competitive research grant is available to each participant at the conclusion of the program.

Ailie Posillico, doctoral student, received the 2020 Rodger Van Allen Award For Excellence in Historical Theological Studies, sponsored by The American Catholic Historical Society, for her paper “Customs.”

Department of Theology and Religious Studies
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Theology in Dialogue podcast

Theology in Dialogue was produced by graduate students in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies featuring interviews with distinguished faculty and theologians.

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