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Grant Kaplan, Ph.D.

Steber Chair; Professor of Theology

Courses Taught

Atheism and Christianity, Theological Method, Theological Foundations, Nineteenth-Century Religious Thought in Germany


Ph.D. in Systematic Theology, Boston College, 2003
B.A. in History and Theology, Boston College, 1996
Additional studies in Tübingen (1996–97) and Fribourg (2002–03)

Practice Areas

Religion and violence, anti-Catholicism, the Vatican, mimetic theory, German theology

Research Interests

  • Mimetic theory
  • Nineteenth-century German Catholic theology
  • Fundamental theology
  • Modern theology

Labs and Facilities

Grant Kaplan's website

Publications and Media Placements

René Girard, Unlike Apologist: Mimetic Theory and Fundamental Theology (2016)
Faithfully Seeking Understanding: The Selected Writings of Johannes Kuhn (2009)
Answering the Enlightenment: The Catholic Recovery of Historical Revelation (2006)

“Locating Newman: Faith and Reason in Newman and the Johannes Kuhn,” in Newman Studies Journal 16:2 (2019)
“Did Schelling Live on in Catholic Theology? An Examination of his Influence on Catholic Tübingen,” in International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 80:1 (2019): 57–70.
“What Has Prussia to Do with Tübingen? The Political-Ecclesial Context of Möhler’s Symbolik,” in Pro Ecclesia 27:1 (2018): 81–112.
“Retrieval and Renewal: Chenu, the Tübingen School, and the Renewal of Theological Method in Optatam Totius,” in Theological Studies 77:3 (September 2016): 567–92.
“Between Rome and Tübingen: Rethinking Johann Adam Möhler’s Political Theology,” in Journal of Church and State 58:2 (Spring 2016): 234–60.
“Vatican II as a Constitutional Text of Faith,” in Horizons 41:1 (June 2014): 1–21.
“New Paths for a Girard/Lonergan Conversation: An Essay in Light of Robert Doran’s The Trinity in History,” in Method: Journal of Lonergan Studies 4:1 (2013): 23–38.
“Widening the Dialectic: Secularity and Christianity in Conversation,” in Lonergan Workshop Journal 24 (2013): 133–68.

Book Chapters
“Roman Catholic Perspectives: The Nineteenth Century,” in Oxford Handbook of the Reception of Christian Theology, eds. Sarah Coakley and Richard Cross (Oxford University Press, no est. publication date
“Theology as Wissenschaft in the Catholic Tübingen School: J.S. Drey and J. Kuhn,” in Theology, History, and the Modern University, eds. Michael DeJonge and Kevin Vander Schel (Oxford University Press, est. 2020)
(with Holly Taylor Coolman) “The Development of Doctrine: The Tübingen School and John Henry Newman” in Oxford Handbook of Catholic Theology, eds. Lewis Ayres and Medi Volpe (Oxford University Press, 2019): 612–29.
“Freiheit in der Dogmengeschichte? Das Verständnis kirchlicher Freiheit in der Tübinger Schule im Gespräch mit Raymund Schwagers Lehre von der Dogmenentwicklung,” in Das Drama der Freiheit im Disput: Das Kerngedanken der Theologie Raymund Schwagers, ed. Jozef Niewiadomski (Herder Verlag, 2017): 213–29.
“Saint vs. Hero: René Girard's Undoing of Romantic Hagiology,” in Postmodern Saints of France, ed. Colby Dickinson (T&T Clark/Continuum, 2013): 153–67.
“The New Atheism: Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens,” in The Palgrave Handbook of Mimetic Theory and Religion, eds. Wolfgang Palaver and James Alison (Palgrave MacMillan, 2017): 423–30.

Public Theology
What 19th-Century German anti-Catholicism Can Teach Us about Our Own Church,” in America Magazine 221:7 (30 September, 2019).
(with Anna Bonta Moreland) “Kindling the Desire to Find All Things in God,” in Church Life Journal (15 August, 2019)
Celebrating 200 Years of Catholic Theology’s Oldest Journal,” in Church Life Journal (4 March, 2019).
A Castle of Thought” in First Things online (11 July, 2017).
“From Tübingen to the Tiber: An Interview with Peter Hünermann,” in Commonweal 143 (7 October, 2016): 25–29.
The Da Vinci Code All Over Again,” in First Things online (21 June, 2016).
René Girard and the Peculiar Nature of Human Desiring,” in America Magazine online (6 November, 2015).
“Renewing the Tradition: The Theological Project of James Alison,” in America Magazine 210 (19 May, 2014): 25–27.
Celibacy as Political Resistance,” in First Things 239 (January, 2014): 49–54.

Honors and Awards

Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Experienced Researcher (2015)
Peter Thiel Foundation, Monograph Grant (2012)

Professional Organizations and Associations

American Academy of Religion, Colloquium on Violence and Religion, Academy of Catholic Theology

Community Work and Service

Parish Council member, Saint Margaret of Scotland Church, Saint Louis