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Department ofReligious Studies

David DeCosse

David DeCosse

Adjunct Associate Professor, Religious Studies Department

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

  • Kenna Hall
  • Email
  • 408-554-5715

David DeCosse received his A.B. from Harvard University, an M.S. in journalism from Columbia University, an M.A. in theology from Fordham University, and a Ph.D. in theological ethics from Boston College. He has worked as a journalist and editor, including a stint at Doubleday Publishing Company. He has taught in the Religious Studies Department since 1999. He has been Director of Campus Ethics Programs at SCU since 2002. His research interests focus on the intersection of Catholic social thought, moral agency, and democracy.


TESP 4 The Christian Tradition
TESP 45 Christian Ethics
TESP 143 Theology and Ethics of Thomas Aquinas
TESP 159 Ethics of War and Peace
TESP 163 Christianity and Politics
ENGR 310 Engineering Ethics


“The Danish Cartoons Reconsidered: Catholic Social Teaching and the Contemporary Challenge of Freedom of Speech,” Theological Studies 71.1 (March 2010): 101-132

“Freedom of the Press and Catholic Social Thought: Reflections on the Sexual Abuse Scandal in the Catholic Church in the United States,” Theological Studies 68.4 (December 2007): 865-899

“Authority, Lies, and War: Democracy and the Development of Just War Theory,” Theological Studies 67.2 (June 2006): 378-394. Reprinted in Credereoggi, “Theology in North America,” n. 164 (March-April 2008)

But Was It Just? Reflections on the Morality of the Persian Gulf War ed. and intro. David E. DeCosse (New York: Doubleday, 1992). Edited essays by Michael Walzer, George Weigel, Jean Bethke Elshtain, Stanley Hauerwas, Sari Nusseibeh, and the editors of La Civilta Cattolica.

In the News

September 30, 2023

David DeCosse and Ann Skeet discuss the relationship between religion and business in the United States has moved into a decisive new phase in MarketWatch. Also in Morning Star.

December 22, 2022

David DeCosse discusses Russians escaping Putin's war on Ukraine finding a new home in Tbilisi, Georgia – and a moral dilemma: "What is the ethical framework around citizen responsibility in wartime?"

September 19, 2022

A new book, Conscience and Catholic Education: Theology, Administration, and Teaching, edited by Kevin Baxter and David DeCosse, brings together several essays that focus broadly on issues of conscience encountered in the educational field.