Departmental News

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Dr. Massimo Faggioli's most recent book, "The Liminal Papacy of Pope Francis," was published by Orbis Books in March 2020.

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Dr. Rachel Smith participated in a three-day symposium at Harvard University, "Love in the Middle Ages" on March 5-7, 2020.  

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Two faculty members contributed essays to The Oxford Handbook of Mystical Theology published in March 2020. Dr. Kevin Hughes wrote "Living in the Word," and Dr. Rachel Smith co-wrote "Christology". 


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

The following TRS professors' proposals to the 2020 University Summer Grant Program have been approved for funding:

Dr. Gerald Beyer - Karol Wojtyla’s Katolicka Etyka Spoleczna as Precursor and Hermeneutic Key to Pope John Paul II’s Economic Teaching

Dr. Brett Grainger - Fusion Religion

Dr. Christiane Lang Hearlson: Ecological Conversion in a Buy Nothing Group

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

On February 22, Brett Grainger gave the keynote address on "The Twisted Roots of Nature Spirituality in America," for the 2020 Christian Philosophers at Villanova (CPaV) Conference on "Spirituality in Theology and Philosophy."

photo of Gutkowski

Sharon Gutkowski presented a paper, "Augustine and the Human Will: The Role of God’s Grace in Proverbs 8:35"

Ms. Gutknowski's paper was presented at the Spirituality in Philosophy and Theology Christian Philosophy at Villanova (CPaV) conference on February 22, 2020 at The Inn at Villanova.

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Dr. Stefanie Knauss has two recent publications as of February 2020.

Dr. Knuass has recently authored "Religion and Film: Representation, Experience, Meaning," in Brill Research Perspectives in Theology 4/1 (2020), 1–103; and is co-author with Carlos Mendoza-Álvarez on "Queer Theologies: Becoming the Queer Body of Christ." Concilium 2019/5.

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Dr. Massimo Faggioli had a number of items published in January and February of this 2020.

Dr. Faggioli, completed a book chapter “'The Teaching of Contempt' to Nostra Aetate: The Shift of Vatican II on the Relations with the Jews," in Jesus Wasn’t Killed by the Jews - Reflections for Christians in Lent. January 2020. He also published in January - February, the following articles: 1) "The Catholic Church begins its Own Roaring Twenties," La Croix International; 2) "The Myth of the Self-regulating Institution of 'Pope Emeritus,'" National Catholic Reporter; 3) "The Emeritus and the Media. Integration and Disintegration of Catholicism," La Croix International; 4) "Theological Drift. Benedict’s Estrangement from Ratzinger," Commonweal; 5) "Canossa Reversed: The Church and the Secular State in the Abuse Crisis," La Croix International; 6) "The Importance of Papal Diplomacy," Commonweal.

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Dr. Timothy Brunk presented "Ecumenism and Roman Catholic Eucharist" at the 2020 meeting of the North American Academy of Liturgy in Atlanta in January 2020.

photo of Dr. Delio holding degree

Dr. Ilia Delio Receives Honorary Degree

Dr. Delio was granted an honorary degree on February 4, 2020 from Sacred Heart University during a special academic convocation. She was also the recipient of a Templeton Course in Science and Religion award. 

book cover Break Every Yolk

Dr. Vincent Lloyd has co-authored a book with Joshua Dubler, Break Every Yoke: Religion, Justice, and the Abolition of Prisons, for Oxford University Press. 

The book, published in December 2019, grows out of several years of collaboration between Lloyd and Dubler, and mixes ethnography, history, theory, and theology.

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Dr. Massimo Faggioli signed a contract in fall 2019 with Brill Publishers as co-editor of a new book series “Global Catholicism."

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

The Reverend Naomi Washington-Leapheart has been hired as director for Faith-Based and Interfaith Affairs at the Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Public Engagement.

Washington-Leapheart began her role in this position in October 2019.

image of book cover Birth of a Dancing Star

Dr. Ilia Delio, Birth of a Dancing Star: My Journey from Cradle Catholic to Cyborg Christian, Orbis Books, 2019.

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Dr. Paul Danove had a book published in November titled Theology of the Gospel of Mark: A Semantic, Narrative, and Rhetorical Study of the Characterization of God (London/New York: T&T Clark, 2019), 254 pages (ISBN: 978-0-5676-8406-6).

Book cover of Kierkegaard and the Question of Concerning Technology

Dr. Chris Barnett has published a new book: (Aug 2019): Kierkegaard and the Question Concerning Technology (New York: Bloomsbury Academic).

Book cover Theology of the Presence and Absence of God

Dr. Tony Godzieba’s recent book, A Theology of the Presence and Absence of God (Liturgical Press, 2018) was the focus of a discussion session at the Catholic Theological Society of America annual convention (June 2019). 

The book was also an award winner at the 2019 Catholic Press Association Awards (Theological and Philosophical Studies, 2nd place).

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Dr. Gerald Beyer and his co-editors received the 2019 FENIKS Award for Best Edited Volume by the Catholic Publishers Association of Poland.

The award was granted for "Karol Wojtyła, Katolicka etyka społeczna," edited by Gerald J. Beyer, Agnieszka Lekka-Kowalik, Alfred Wierzbicki (Lublin: Wydawnictwo KUL, 2018).

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Congratulations to Sister Trang! Her paper proposal has been accepted by the American Academy of Religion.

She will present her paper at the conference in San Diego in November 2019.

Villanova CLAS

In summer 2019, Dr. Paul Danove chaired and presented a number of papers in Italy, Germany and Scotland. 

He chaired three sessions of the Hellenistic Greek Language and Linguistics section of the International Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in Rome Italy (July) and three sessions of the Greek of the New Testament Seminar of the Society of New Testament Studies in Marburg, Germany (July/August). He also presented the following papers: while in Italy, “The Usages of Φέρωand Φέρω-Compounds in the New Testament”; in Germany, “What God Has Through Reception in the Gospel of Mark”; and at the Triennial Meeting of the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies in Aberdeen Scotland in August, he  presented “InterpretingἌγω& Its Compounds in the Septuagint: A Semantic, Syntactic, & Lexical Study.”

Villanova CLAS

Congratulations to John Cacchione who is the 2019 winner of the Graduate Research Prize for his essay, “Saint Albert the Great’s Revolution.” 

The essay is being published in Villanova University’s Interdisciplinary Journal of Graduate Studies CONCEPT, Volume XLII, Spring 2019.

Picture of Dr. Massimo Faggioli

Congratulations are in order for Dr. Massimo Faggioli who is the recipient of Barry University’s "Yves Congar Award for Theological Excellence" for 2019.

Dr. Massimo Faggioli continues to be quoted by many news outlets regarding the sex abuse crisis within the Church as well as publishing many articles on the subject. This award reflects his Theological academic distinction and hard work! 

photo of Dr. Massimo Faggilli

Congratulations to Dr. Massimo Faggioli appointed to conjoint professor at BBI - the Australian Institute of Theologicial Education

Massimo Faggioli, PhD, professor of Theology and Religious Studies in Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, was appointed as cojoint professor at The Australian Institute of Theological Education.

To read the full press release, click here

photo of Dr. Vincent Lloyd

Congratulations to Dr. Vincent Lloyd who was awarded $200,000 Grant from Henry Luce Foundation

Vincent Lloyd, PhD, associate professor of Theology and Religious Studies in Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, received a two-year grant of $200,000 from the Henry Luce Foundation to support an interdisciplinary network of scholars exploring the intersection of religion and politics.

To read the full press release, click here

Journal of Religious Ethics cover

Congratulations to Dr. Vincent Lloyd, on the special issue publication of "The Religious Ethics of Labor" journal which he co-edits.

“The Religious Ethics of Labor,” with essays by six scholars, including an essay by Gerald Beyer, and an introduction co-authored by Fred Glennon and Dr. Vincent Lloyd, appears as Journal of Religious Ethics 45:2. Essays range in topics from contemporary interfaith activism to Simone Weil and Henry David Thoreau’s spiritual theories of work to perspectives on labor from systematic theology.

Congraulations to Dr. Lloyd and click here to get more information on the journal


theo in dialogue photo

Congratulations to PhD student, Jacob Given on the release of "Theology in Dialogue" Podcast

On Friday, April 7, 2019 the Theology in Dialogue Podcast went live! Check it out the first episode below titled "Hagiography and Religious Truth Part 1" where Luke Hopkins interviews Dr. Rachel Smith, Dr. Kerry San Chirico and Rico Monge on Hagiography and Religious Truth!  

Click here to download and subscribe in iTunes!

Click here to download and subscribe in Google Play!


Danove Outstanding Faculty Award Lecture poster

Congratulations to Dr. Paul L. Danove on receiving the 2017 Outstanding Faculty Research Award!

He will be giving the 2017 Outstanding Faculty Research Award Lecture on Monday April 24th at 1:00pm in the Idea Accelerator in Falvey Memorial Library! He will be presenting "Semantic and Narrative Study of the Bible." He will discuss some of the discoveries of his research on the Greek grammar of the Bible and his narrative studies of Mark's Gospel.

Paul L Danove, PhD, STL, MDiv, BS, professor of New Testament Studies, will highlight the extensive research that lead him to win the coveted Outstanding Faculty Research Award. Dr. Danove, a 22-year member of Villanova's Department of Theology and Religious Studies, is an internationally recognized expert on the semantic study of the Greek Old Testament and New Testament and the nattive study of the Gospel of Mark.  

Light refreshments will be served.

We hope to see you there and congratulations once again to Dr. Danove! 

Catholicism and Citizenship book

Congratulations to Dr. Massimo Faggioli on the publication of his new book "Catholicism and Citizenship: Political Cultures of the Church in the Twenty-First Century"

Published on March 29th, 2017, Dr. Massimo Faggioli uses this book to focus on the meaning, legacy, and reception in today's world of the ecclesiology of Vatican II, starting with Gaudium et Spes: “This council exhorts Christians, as citizens of two cities, to strive to discharge their earthly duties conscientiously and in response to the Gospel spirit.” Catholicism and Citizenship is a call for a rediscovery of the moral and political imagination of Vatican II for the Church and the world of our time.

Congraulations to Dr. Faggioli and stop by the Department of Theology and Religious Studies to check out a copy of the book. 


Dr. Kathleen Grimes Book

Congratulations to Dr. Kathleen Grimes on the publication of her book "Fugitive Saints: Catholicism and the Politics of Slavery"

Published on April 1, 2017, Dr. Kathleen Grimes asks the burning questions of a growing and improving Church. How does the Church acknowledge a history riddled with racial injustice, not the least of which is slavery? How does the Church justify the canonization of saints who had direct dealing with such injustice while failing to recognize would-be saints of color? With this debut work, Dr. Grimes makes her mark on the field of political and historical theology. 




Congratulations to Dr. Martin Laird, OSA on the publication of his book "The Practice of the Presence of God."

Published in December 2016, Dr. Martin Laird, OSA and Sheelah Trefle Hidden explore unity within the practice of theology. It draws together insights from world-class theologians including Rowan Williams, Andrew Louth, Frances Young, Margaret R. Miles, and our very own Rachel Smith. 

Stop by the Theology & Religious Studies department to check out a copy of the book.


judth hadley reception

Congratulations to Dr. Judith Hadley!

On Tuesday January 17, 2017, Theology and Religious Studies faculty and staff gathered for a lovely retirement reception for Dr. Judith Hadley. The Chair gave a speech highlighting Dr. Hadley's involvement in both the department and the university before mentioning just a few of her extensive collection of articles and scholarly papers thoughout the years.

While Dr. Hadley will be missed, we will her and her husband the best of luck as they plan to move to Australia in the future.  

vincent lloyd

Congrautlations to Dr. Vincent Lloyd for his appointment as Editor of the American Academy of Religion's book series, Reflections and Theory in the Study of Religion

Congratulations to Dr. Vincent Lloyd, associate professor of Theology, was appointed Editor of the American Academy of Religion’s book series, Reflection and Theory in the Study of Religion, published by Oxford University Press. The book series features work on theories of religion, philosophy of religion, and the history and nature of religious studies and theology. By virtue of the appointment, Dr. Lloyd am also now a member of AAR’s Publications Committee.

Click the link to read more about the AAR


Congratulations to Dr. Brett Grainger, Associate Editor, on the Winter 2016 publication of American Catholic Studies: Journal of the American Catholic Historical Society. 

Congratulations to Dr. Massimo Faggioli for receiving the coveted Catholic Library Association's 2017 St. Jerome Award

photo of faggioli

Congratulations to Massimo Faggioli, PhD, professor of Theology, who has received the Catholic Library Association's 2017 St. Jerome Award! It recognizes outstanding contribution and commitment to excellence in scholarship which embody the ideals of the Catholic Library Association. 

Click the link to read more about the Jerome Award 

Congratulations to Dr. Timothy Brunk for being named to the Board of the Philadelphia Liturgical Institute

tim brunk

We congratulate Dr. Tim Brunk for being named to the Board of the Philadelphia Liturgical Institute!

Click the link to read more about Philadelpha Liturgical Institute

Launch of Inagural PhD in Theology Class


Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences officially welcomed the inaugural class of its new doctoral program in Theology. The students were recognized at a special on-campus gathering on Oct. 20, celebrating the launch of the PhD in Theology program.

To read more, click here

Check out Dr. Massimo Faggioli's interview

photo of faggioli

Check out Dr. Massimo Faggioli's interview with Salt and Light TV about his latest book, "The Rising Laity: Ecclesial Movements since Vatican II."

For more information on his book, we have a copy in the department - feel free to stop by and take a look at it!

Welcome Professor Vincent Lloyd to Villanova

photo of Lloyd

Professor Lloyd will join our faculty in fall 2016. He comes to us from Syracuse University.

Welcome Professor Brett Grainger to Villanova

photo of Grainger

Professor Grainger joins the Department of Theology and Religious Studies in fall 2016. His areas of expertise are History of Christianity and Spirituality.

Welcome Professor Massimo Faggioli to Villanova

photo of faggioli

Professor Faggioli will join the Department of Theology and Religious Studies in fall 2016.

image of knauss

Dr. Stefanie Knauss won the 2016 Catholic Press Award, First Place, for her review in American Catholic Studies, "Review of More than a Monologue: Sexual Diversity and the Catholic Church, Volume I and Volume II”.

image of beyer

Dr. Gerald Beyer won the College Theology Society Award, Best Article Published in Theology in 2015. He received the award at the CTS Annual Convention on June 4, 2016 at Rockhurst University, Kansas City, Missouri. The article selected was "Labor Unions, Adjuncts, and The Mission and Idenity of Catholic Universities."  It was published in Horizons (42,1) June 2015.

Villanova University Implements New Doctoral Program in Theology

photo of 3 faculty and 2 administrators

With a focus on faith engaging culture, the program will offer theological studies within the Augustinian tradition