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Department ofReligious Studies


Remembering Paul Crowley, S.J.

Paul G. Crowley, S.J., the Santa Clara Jesuit Community Professor in the Department of Religious Studies, passed away on August 7, 2020, after a long illness. Father Crowley joined the faculty of Santa Clara University after joining the Jesuit Order in 1986. He was educated at Stanford University (BA) and Columbia University (MA), and received his Ph.D. from the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, where he studied under Fr. Michael J. Buckley, S.J.  He also pursued studies at Union Theological Seminary in New York and the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies in Toronto, and later at the Jesuit School of Theology, where he earned the STL degree.

He was a very active scholar, publishing seven books and twenty journal articles and book chapters in his field, Philosophical Theology. His scholarship was honored several times by the Catholic Press Association. His standing in his field is indicated by his service as editor of the Proceedings of the Catholic Theological Society of America from 1990 to1995 and as

Editor–in–chief of Theological Studies from 2016 to2020.  He was a beloved teacher, and he continued teaching small groups of students in independent studies when his illness prevented him from teaching regular classes. He also taught in Santa Clara’s Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries and mentored several doctoral students at the Jesuit School of Theology.

He was an inspired leader committed to service for the University. He served as chair of the Department of Religious Studies from 2005 to 2010, and is remembered by his colleagues for his visionary yet even-handed leadership of the department, and his compassionate commitment to his colleagues. He mentored many of us, providing both sound advice and attentive care. He served on countless committees for the University, College of Arts and Sciences and the department, including the Core Curriculum revision committee (2006-07) and the Presidential Search Committee (2008–09). He also maintained an active leadership role in his professional organizations, and created a local network of theologians in the Bay Area. Among his numerous service accomplishments, particular mention should be made concerning his leadership in bringing the Jesuit School of Theology into Santa Clara University. He served on three of the committees that worked to make this possible, and chaired two of them. Since the integration, he taught at the Jesuit School of Theology several times, and worked closely with faculty and students there.

In a final act of generosity, Paul donated many of his books in theology and scripture to the Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries. These donations, combined with gifts from the libraries of Fran Smith, S.J. and Michael Buckley, S.J., form the core of a small lending library for our students which we have designated the “Jesuit Community Collection” in their honor.