Promising Young Theologians

Paul G. Crowley, S.J., offers a hopeful look at the next generation of Catholic theologians in the February 7 issue of America. Though Fr. Crowley does not name specific young theologians in his article, he kindly offered this list for online posting. The individuals below are just beginning their academic careers: none of them have tenure. Fr. Crowley admits his list his subjective, and shaped by his own West Coast location, but it nonethless offers a window into the work of promising young theologians today. Others are welcome to add their own candidates in the comments boxes below.

Nancy Pineda-Madrid, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. Professor Pineda-Madrid is a faculty member of both the theology department and the Institute of Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry at BC. Her area of interest is the intersection of systematic theology and practical theology.

Cecilia González-Andrieu, Loyola Marymount University. Among Professor González-Andrieu's areas of research are the theological study the poet-playwright Federico García Lorca and the teaching of theology "to communities that value and practice other ways of knowing."

Tracy Sayuki Tiemeier, Loyola Marymount University. Professor Tiemeier specializes in comparative theology, particularly Hindu-Christian dialogue. Read her 2008 article from America, "Life in the Borderlands."

Mark Miller, University of San Francisco. Professor Miller wrote his dissertation at Boston College on the Jesuit Bernard Lonergan, and has taught abroad at Ateneo de Zamboanga and the University of Asia and the Pacific.

Lilian Dube, University of San Francisco. In addition to serving in the theology department, Professor Dube is chair of African Studies at USF. She teaches courses in feminist theology and her areas of interest include gender, HIV and AIDS.

Richard Miller, Creighton University. Professor Miller teaches the theology of Thomas Aquinas and Karl Rahner, and has written about the problem of suffering and evil. he has edited several books, including We Hold These Truths:  Catholicism and American Political Life (Liguori).  

Anh Tran, S.J., Georgetown University. Fr. Tran is a Ph.D. candidate in theology at Georgetown, where he is studying religious pluralism. He was ordained a priest in 2005, and previously worked in health care ethics.

Walter Sandell
6 years 3 months ago
"Rather, faith is the acceptance of the gift of God’s love in the person of Jesus."
This definition seems to exclude the experience of faith outside of Christianity.

As a 'lay chaplain' of fire and ambulance services, I have often gone to the Declaration of Independence for the lead to invocations:  "Wonderful Creator, God of Being, Life and Love; God of Justice, Mercy and Forgiveness; God of Knowledge, Understanding and Wisdom.
Thank you for the many gifts You constantly shower upon us.
Help us to see all people and things as You see them, and to act accordingly. 
(Continue as appropriate to the situation.)"

Vincent Murphy
6 years 3 months ago
It's very interesting that of the seven theologians listed four are women.  Isn't it about time to invite them into enjoying seven sacraments?
Vincent  Murphy
Julianne Wallace
6 years 3 months ago
Another East Coast Young Theologian to add to your list: Br. Dan Horan, OFM.  Br. Dan teaches at Siena College in Albany, NY.  His areas of scholarly interest include Medieval Franciscan theology, Radical Orthodoxy, and the spirituality and theology of Thomas Merton.  Br. Dan has been published in America ( and he is currently working on a book project by the same name.  Br. Dan also updates his Blog daily at
Tony Green
6 years 3 months ago
All the promising theologians listed hearken from Jesuit faculties.  Coincidence?  I think not!
6 years 3 months ago
One is hard pressed to know what to make of Fr. Crowley's claim(2/7/11) that " Their hopes(young theologians) do not issue from any failure of their elders to embrace the Second Vatican Council, for this generation was born long after the council, which they identify(rightly) as a mid-20th century event, a product of the waning days of modernity and its optimism." What if the Council was in fact far more than that parody, but rather a new Pentecost as John XXIII described it and the product not of thin optimism but of solid hope, a true gift of the Holy Spirit. As a priest rapidly approaching his 80th birthday, it sounds to me as though the issues Fr. Crowley descirbes as capturing the interest of young theologians today are pretty much the same as those of the post-Vaican ll era; peace,justice,feminism, inter-religious and inter-cultural dialgoue, to mention only a few. What was the Council all about, if not to seek as the young theologians do today, "a vital, Gospel-imbuded Catholicism that is contemporary? The tragedy is not that Vatican ll was a mere mid-century event produced by optimism,but that, as Rahner noted early on, even before the ink had dried on the documents,reactionary forces in the Curia were at work to abort it. Today, young Catholic theologians enjoy the fruits of that Council and they can only be enriched by mining its treasures.

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