Skip to main content

All JST Faculty Profile Cards

William O'Neill
Professor Emeritus of Social Ethics

William O'Neill, S.J., Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus of Social Ethics at the Jesuit School of Theology. His writings address questions of human rights, ethics and hermeneutical theory, social reconciliation and conflict resolution, and refugee policy. He has worked with refugees in Tanzania and Malawi and has done research on human rights in South Africa and Rwanda.

He received a Newcombe Fellowship, a Lilly Theological Research Grant, and held the Jesuit Chair at Georgetown University from 2003-2004. Dr. O'Neill has served on the Editorial Board of The Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics and currently serves on the Board of the Society of Christian Ethics. He currently serves on the Board of the journal Theological Studies. He is a member of the Anglican/Roman Catholic (ARC) Ecumenical Dialogue in USA and the Jesuit Seminar.


CE 5002: Methods in Ethics
RSCE 2702: Restorative Justice
RSCE 3230: Christian Social Ethics
RSCE 4040: Methods in Moral Theology
RSCE 4294: The Ethics of Social Reconciliation
RSCE 4675: Thick or Thin? Ethical Criticism
RSCE 4872: Issues and Methods in Ethics (with Lisa Fullam, D.V.M., Th.D.)
RSCE 5003: Western Social Thought
RSCE 5150: The Ethics of Social Reconciliation
RSCE 5525: Seminar in Human Rights
ST 4302: Aesthetics and Ethics

  • Colloquium, "The Place of Displacement: A Theological Locus," The Australian and New Zealand Theological Review, Vol. 46, no. 1 May 2014
  • "Natural Rights," entry in Dictionary of Scripture and Ethics, ed. Jacqueline Lapsley, Rebekah Miles, and Allen Verhey, Baker Academic and Braxos Press, 2011
  • "Restoring Peace: Toward a Conversation between the Just War and Reconciliation Traditions," with Matthew Gaudet, The Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics, Vol. 31, no. 1 Spring/Summer 2011
  • "Hoping against Hope: Rights and Reconciliation in Cultural Context," chapter in Transformative Theological Ethics: East Asian Contexts. Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2010
  • "Bioethics and Public Policy," with Lisa Fullam, Theological Studies 71 (2010)
  • "The Violent Bear It Away: Christian Reflections on Just War," in_ The World"s Religions after September 11: Vol. I Religion, War, and Peace, ed. Arvind Sharma, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2009
  • "The Grammar of Dissent: Religion, Rights, and Public Reason," chapter in The World"s Religions after September 11: Vol. II Religion and Human Rights, ed. Arvind Sharma, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2009
  • Souvenir du Mal et Reconciliation Sociale, chapter in volume dedicated to Genocide in Rwanda and the Reconstruction of Knowledge: )Reit du Geocide, Traversee de la Memoire, La Pensee et les Hommes (52), n. 71, 2009
  • "No Longer Stangers (Eph. 2:19): The Ethics of Migration," in Word and World: Theology for Christian Ministry (Summer 2009), vol. 29, no. 3
  • "Christian Hospitality and Solidarity with the Stranger," in And You Welcomed Me: Catholic Social Teaching and Migration, Lexington Books, 2009
  • "What We Owe to Refugees and IDP"s: An Inquiry into the Rights of the Forcibly Displaced," in Refugee Rights (Georgetown University Press, 2008)
  • "Reflections on Evolutionary Theodicy: A Response to "Shadow Sophia in Christological Perspective"" in Theology and Science vol. 6, No. 1 (February 2008)
  • "Visions and Revisions: The Hermeneutical Implications of the Option for the Poor," chapter in a volume dedicated to Jon Sobrino (Orbis, 2008)
  • "Neither Thick nor Thin: Politics and Polity in the Ethics of Margaret A. Farley," chapter in A True and Just Love: Feminism at the Frontiers of Theological Ethics: Essays in Honor of Margaret A. Farley, (Notre Dame Press, 2007)
  • "What San Salvador Says to Nairobi: The Liberation Ethics of Ignacio Ellacuría," with Aquiline Tarimo, S.J. in Love That Produces Hope: Essays on the Thought of Ignacio Ellacuría (Liturgical Press, 2006)
  • "Modernity and Its Religious Discontents: Catholic Social Teaching and Public Reason," in the Journal of Law, Ethics and Public Policy of Notre Dame University (2006)
  • "Imagining Otherwise: The Ethics of Social Reconciliation," in The Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics (2002)
  • "African Moral Theology," in Theological Studies (March 2001)
  • "Babel"s Children: Reconstructing the Common Good" in The Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics (1998)
  • "Public Reason and the Common Good," in a Christian Spirituality and the Culture of Modernity: The Thought of Louis Dupré (1998)
  • "Rights of Passage: The Ethics of Immigration and Refugee Policy," in Theological Studies (March, 1998)
  • "Commonweal or Woe? The Ethics of Welfare Reform," in the Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy_ of Notre Dame University (1997)
  • "No Amnesty for Sorrow: The Privilege of the Poor in Christian Social Ethics" in Theological Studies (December 1994)
  • The Ethics of our Climate: Hermeneutics and Ethical Theory (Georgetown University Press, 1994)