Santa Clara University

Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley

Paul Crowley, S.J., Ph.D.Paul G. Crowley, S.J., Ph.D.

Professor of Systematic Theology, Courtesy of Santa Clara University


B.A. in Political and Legal Philosophy, Stanford University;
M.A. in Philosophy of Religion, Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary;
Ph.D. in Philosophical Theology, Graduate Theological Union



About the Professor

Paul Crowley, S.J., specializes in fundamental, philosophical, and constructive theology. He uses methods from the phenomenological and hermeneutical tradition of "continental" philosophy, as well as other intellectual sources. His approach to theological reflection is motivated by a desire to explore the conditions for the possibility of talking about "God" at all, and how this level of questioning should inform specific theological and intellectual questions. This requires a starting point planted in human experience, and questions about the meaning of experience - hence his indebtedness to Karl Rahner.

His field, method, and approach has allowed him to examine a range of topics, from the origins and development of doctrine (especially ancient Christian understandings of Jesus) and of the Christian church, to suffering, sexuality, spirituality, ecumenism, atheism, religious pluralism, and the relationship between religion and science in Western thought. Using this same method and approach, he has also done a good deal of work in the areas of Jesuit theology and education.

Major thinkers who figure in much of Crowley's work include Aquinas, Hans-Georg Gadamer, and Karl Rahner, as well as such contemporary thinkers as Jon Sobrino and Elizabeth Johnson. The work of Michael J. Buckley, S.J., has had an enduring influence on Crowley's thinking. Lately, Crowley has been reading more deeply in the "post-modern" theologians.

Crowley is a fourth-generation native Californian, and sees it as a natural seedbed for creative thinking. The overlapping of religions and cultures here, as well as innovative approaches to tackling problems, impact theology deeply. Santa Clara, notes Crowley, is an exciting place to be these days as, together, we undertake fresh approaches to theology.


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