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Grant Kaplan, Ph.D.

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

  • nineteenth-century religious thought
  • theologies of tradition
  • mimetic theory
  • German Catholic theology

Labs and Facilities

Grant Kaplan's website

Publications and Media Placements


  • Oxford History of Modern German Theology, Volume 1: 1781–1848, edited by Grant Kaplan and Kevin Vander Schel (Oxford University Press, 2023). 
  • Faith and Reason through Christian History: A Theological Essay (Catholic University of America Press, 2022). 
  • René Girard, Unlikely Apologist: Mimetic Theory and Fundamental Theology (University of Notre Dame Press, 2016; 2022 in paperback).
  • Answering the Enlightenment: The Catholic Recovery of Historical Revelation (Crossroad/Herder, 2006).  
Articles (last ten years)

  • “Enhancing Ressourcement: Johann Adam Möhler’s Retrieval of Anselm,” in Theological Studies 84:2 (2023): 312–36.
  • “Escalation to Academic Extremes? Revisiting Academic Rivalry in the Möhler/Baur Debate,” in Contagion: Journal of Violence, Mimesis, and Culture 30 (Spring 2023). 163–82.
  • “Revisiting Johannes Eck: The Leipzig Debate as the Beginning of the Reformation,” in Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture 24:2 (March 2021): 73–97.
  • “Locating Newman: Faith and Reason in Newman and the Johannes Kuhn,” in Newman Studies Journal 16:2 (2019): 5–27.
  • “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. Book Chapters

Book Chapters (last five years)

  • “Does the Neckar Flow into the Tiber? Walter Kasper's Reading of the Roman School,” in The Roman School Then and Now, eds. Levering, Pidel, and Anderson (Brill, 2024).
  • “Modernity and Postmodernity,” in The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Catholicism, 2nd edition, eds. Bauerschmidt, Buckley, Martin, and Pomplun (Wiley-Blackwell, 2024).
  • “Schleiermacher’s Influence on Roman Catholic Theology,” in Oxford Handbook of Friedrich Schleiermacher, eds. Dole, Poe, and Vander Schel (Oxford University Press, 2023), 557–74.
  • “The Catholic Tübingen School in its First Generation,” in Oxford History of Modern German Theology. Volume 1: 1781–1848, eds. Grant Kaplan and Kevin Vander Schel (Oxford University Press, 2023), 422–38.
  • “René Girard,” in The New Apologetics: Defending the Faith in a Post-Christian Era, ed. Matthew Nelson (Park Ridge, IL: Word on Fire, 2022), 101–5. 
  • “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 (Mohr Siebeck, 2021), 115–34.
  • (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.  

Public Theology (Selections from Last Decade)

  • “A Crisis in Catholic Theology” in America Magazine 224:7 (June 2021), 20–25.
  • Interview: Cesar Chavez’s Lawyer on the Faith and Nonviolence That Led to the Best Labor Law in the Country” America Magazine Online
  • “Girard, Scapegoating, and the Antidote to Annihilation” Interview in Word on Fire Blog (22 April, 2021)
  • “René Girard: The Last Nietzschean,” in Church Life Journal (23 December, 2020)
  • “Secularism as Sexism,” in First Things (August/September, 2020): 59–61.
  • “What 19th-Century German anti-Catholicism Can Teach Us about Our Own Church,” in America Magazine 221:7 (30 September, 2019): 36–39.
  • “Celebrating 200 Years of Catholic Theology’s Oldest Journal,” in Church Life Journal (4 March, 2019).
  • “From Tübingen to the Tiber: An Interview with Peter Hünermann,” in Commonweal 143 (7 October, 2016): 25–29.
  • “Celibacy as Political Resistance,” in First Things 239 (January, 2014): 49–54. 



Honors and Awards

  • Humboldt Foundation, Experienced Researcher Grant, eleven months (2015–2016)
  • Humboldt Foundation, Renewed Research Stay, three months (Berlin, summer 2019)
  • National Institute of Newman Studies, Experienced Scholar Grant, two weeks (2018, 2023)

Professional Organizations and Associations

  • American Academy of Religion
  • Catholic Theological Society of America
  • Colloquium on Violence & Religion