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Thomas J. Massaro, S.J., Ph.D.

Professor of Moral Theology

B.A., Amherst College;
Ma.Hum., Fordham University;
M.Div., S.T.L., Weston Jesuit School of Theology;
Ph.D., Emory University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Division of Religion, Department of Ethics and Society


About Fr. Massaro

Thomas Massaro, S.J., is a Jesuit of the Northeast Province who came to JST in 2012. After serving a four-year term as Dean, he will begin full-time classroom teaching in September 2017. A native New Yorker and a graduate of Regis High School in Manhattan, he entered the Society of Jesus immediately upon graduation from Amherst College in Massachusetts. After the usual Jesuit formation, which included two years of philosophy studies at Fordham University, he taught as Professor of Moral Theology for fifteen years at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry and its predecessor, Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge.

Fr. Massaro holds a doctorate in Christian social ethics from Emory University. His teaching and research interests include Catholic social ethics, theories of economic justice, sociology of religion and the history of Christian political thought. Besides teaching courses on many aspects of Catholic social teaching and the role of religion in public life, Fr. Massaro seeks to maintain a commitment to hands-on social activism. He has served on the Peace Commission of the City of Cambridge and is a founding member of Catholic Scholars for Worker Justice. He is an active member of two professional societies: the Society of Christian Ethics and the Catholic Theological Society of America.

Courses Recently Offered

CEST 4902: Ethics, Economics & Liberation (with Kevin Burke, S.J., S.T.D.)
SRC 9999: Special Reading Course: Catholic Social Ethics


From 2009 to 2013, Fr. Massaro wrote a regular column in America magazine. In addition, he has published dozens of articles and book reviews in scholarly journals as well as more popular venues. Among the eight books he has produced are two volumes offering an ethical evaluation of American social welfare policies, as well as four editions of the popular classroom text Living Justice: Catholic Social Teaching in Action. With Thomas A. Shannon, he co-authored Catholic Perspectives on Peace and War (2003) and co-edited American Catholic Social Teaching (2002). He frequently writes and lectures on topics concerning social justice and public policy, both in scholarly forums and for general audiences. Among the recent topics of his public addresses are the ethics of globalization, economic inequality, theology of labor, peacemaking, environmental concern, and developing a spirituality of justice in Ignatian rhythms. He is currently working on a volume on the social teachings of Pope Francis.

Fr. Massaro's selected publications

  • Living Justice: Catholic Social Teaching in Action: Third Classroom Edition (2015)
  • “The Role of Conscience in Catholic Participation in Politics since Vatican II,” pp. 65-83 in Erin Brigham, ed., The Church in the Modern World: Fifty Years After Gaudium et Spes (Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books. 2015).
  • The Option for the Poor in Catholic Social Teaching, in The Church in the Twenty-First Century Resources (Fall 2014): 32-33.
  • Living Justice: Catholic Social Teaching in Action: Second Classroom Edition (2012)
  • Living Justice: Catholic Social Teaching in Action: Classroom Edition (2008)
  • United States Welfare Policy: A Catholic Response (2007)
  • Catholic Perspectives on Peace and War, co-authored with Thomas A. Shannon (2003)
  • American Catholic Social Teaching, co-edited with Thomas A. Shannon (2002)
  • Living Justice: Catholic Social Teaching in Action (2000)
  • Catholic Social Teaching and United States Welfare Reform (1998)