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Gerard Mannion

Senior Research Fellow

Department of Theology and Religious Studies

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November 9, 2019

Gerard Mannion: Lay Catholic Theologian Who Sought Reform

In an obituary of Senior Research Fellow Gerard Mannion, who passed away in September 2019, the Irish Times describes him as one of the Catholic Church's foremost contemporary theologians, one who played a globally significant role attempting to reform it.


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Until his death in September 2019, Gerard Mannion was the Joseph and Winifred Amaturo Chair in Catholic Studies in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at Georgetown University and a senior research fellow at the Berkley Center, where his work focused on the role of the church in the world, on social ethics, and on ecumenical and interreligious dialogue. Mannion published widely in the fields of ecclesiology, ethics, and public theology, as well as in other fields of systematic theology and philosophy. He was the founding chair of the Ecclesiological Investigations International Research Network and president of the International Network of Societies for Catholic Theology (2017-2020). His numerous books included Pope Francis and the Future of Catholicism: Evangelii Gaudium and the Papal Agenda (2017), Where We Dwell in Common: Pathways for Dialogue in the 21st Century (ed., 2015), The Routledge Companion to the Christian Church (2008, ed. with Lewis Mudge), Catholic Social Justice: Theological and Practical Explorations (2007, co-edited with Philomena Cullen and Bernard Hoose), Ecclesiology and Postmodernity: Questions for the Church in Our Times (2007), and Schopenhauer, Religion and Modernity (2003). He was also editor of the Bloomsbury Publishing series "Ecclesiological Investigations" and series editor, with Oxford University’s Mark Chapman, of Palgrave Macmillan’s “Pathways for Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue” series.

He held academic posts at the universities of Oxford, Leeds, Liverpool, Leuven (Belgium), and San Diego, where he was professor of theology and director of the Center for Catholic Thought and Culture. Mannion also held visiting professorships at the University of Tübingen, the Dominican Institute of Theology/St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto, and Chichester University. In addition, he was an honorary fellow of the Australian Catholic University, senior research fellow in public theology at the Centro per le Scienze Religiose of the Fondazione Bruno Kessler, a 2004 Coolidge Fellow at Union Theological Seminary/Columbia University, and a selected participant in the program on Teaching the Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of the Human Genome Project at Dartmouth College’s Ethics Institute. 

He served a full six-year term as founding co-chair of the Ecclesiology Program Unit of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) and continues to serve on the steering committees of both the AAR’s Ecclesiology and Vatican II Studies Program Units. In 2014 he was elected to membership of the American Theological Society and also serves on the editorial boards of Ecclesiology and Ecclesial Practices: the Journal of Ecclesiology, Ethnography and Congregational Studies. Mannion received a B.A. (Hons.) from King’s College at Cambridge University, followed by a M.St. and a D.Phil. from New College at Oxford University.