About Us

The Joan and Bill Hank Center
for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage

Cuneo Hall Final

About | Staff | Board


The Joan and Bill Hank Center, one of Loyola's five Centers of  Excellence, is a venue for faculty, students, and staff to learn about, and investigate, Roman Catholic thought and its links to all academic disciplines. With its strong emphasis on scholarly research and interdisciplinary engagement, The Hank Center is a productive space where the fruits of scholarship and inquiry can be encountered, discussed, and shared. 

The Center was founded in 2006 aiming to preserve and foster the Catholic intellectual heritage not only at Loyola University Chicago, but also in the broader community. On April 24, 2007, Loyola University Chicago renamed this Center of Excellence in honor of two generous friends and benefactors—Joan Los (BS'54) and Bill Hank.

The Center offers a host of programs, initiatives, and grants aimed at helping our community to connect with, research, and communicate the Catholic intellectual heritage in cross disciplinary and cross-cultural ways-- and always under the mantle of faith, justice, and reason. 

  • Connecting to Roman Catholic thought
    The CCIH Reading Groups offer faculty the opportunity to read and discuss a classic text in the Catholic intellectual tradition with their peers from across the disciplines and around the university.

  • Researching Roman Catholic thought
    Faculty research projects for both individuals and groups concerned with or connected to Catholic intellectual heritage are funded by the Center. The typical goal is a published text, but it can also include an organized conference or team-taught course.

  • Communicating Roman Catholic thought
    The Cardinal Newman Lecture Series provides an opportunity, each spring, for a noted scholar who has converted to Catholicism to offer faculty and students a reflection on how their identification with the Catholic Church and the Catholic intellectual tradition influences and impacts their own professional research and scholarship.

The Joan and Bill Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage stewards the Jesuit principle of finding God in all things, which is at the core of the mission of Loyola University Chicago. At the Center, the rich and variant lines of the Catholic intellectual tradition are explored, communicated, and renewed.

Get to know our Staff:

Michael P. Murphy
Director, The Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage
Senior Lecturer, Department of Theology


Michael Murphy is Director of Catholic Studies and Director of Loyola’s Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage.  He earned his doctorate in Theology, Literature, and Philosophy from the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, an MA in English from San Francisco State University, and undergraduate degrees in English and Great Books from the University of San Francisco. His research interests are in Theology and Literature, Sacramental Theology, and the socio-political cultures of Catholicism, but he also writes about issues in eco-theology and social ethics. Dr. Murphy, a Senior Lecturer in the Theology Department, is a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow. His first book, A Theology of Criticism (Oxford), was named a "Distinguished Publication" in 2008 by the American Academy of Religion.

Program Areas

Catholic Studies
Theology and Literature
Sacramental Theology
Ignatian Spirituality and Pedagogy

Research Interests

Mike’s work explores the idea that the Catholic intellectual tradition is not only an essential resource for content, but is also one with a deeply ingrained interdisciplinary method as well. With this theoretical framework in mind, Mike engages the following fields and subfields as projects in constructive, integral theology: ​

Theological Aesthetics
The Catholic Literary Tradition
The Literary and Political Cultures of Catholicism
Religion and Mimetic Theory
Systematic Theology (Christology, Trinitarian Theology)
Sacramental Theology
Christian Spirituality

Selected Publications

“Breaking Bodies: Flannery O’Connor and the Aesthetics of Consecration” in Revelation & Convergence: Flannery O’Connor and Her Catholic Heritage, M. Bosco and B. Little, eds., Washington DC: Catholic University Press, Forthcoming, 2016.

“Shame and the Signs of Hope: Encyclical as Examen,” Conversations Magazine, Fall 2016.

“Tantum Ergo: Fury Destroys the World” a theological introduction to the reissue of Robert Hugh Benson’s Lord of the World, Notre Dame: Ave Maria Press, 2016.

“Swipe left: A Theology of Tinder and Digital Dating,” America, 8/17/15.

“Suspicious Minds: The Spirituality of the Postmodern Nones,” America, 2/24/14.

“Hanging (onto) Words: Language, Religion and Spirituality in The Handmaid’s Tale” in Critical Insights: Margaret Atwood. New York: Ebsco/Salem Press,  2012.

A Theology of Criticism: Balthasar, Postmodernism, and the Catholic Imagination. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.

Naomi Fisher, PhD
Director of Catholic Studies

Naomi Fisher is Assistant Professor of Philosophy. Prior to coming to Loyola in 2018, she taught at Clark University in Massachusetts. She earned her Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame in 2016, and prior to that earned her M.S. in physics from UC Davis.

Her research focuses on Kant and German Idealism and Romanticism, specifically the relationship between nature, freedom, and rationality in Kant’s Critical philosophy and in Friedrich Schelling’s philosophy of nature. She also has interests in the broader history of philosophy, particularly the 19th century, the philosophy of science, and ethics.


PhD, University of Notre Dame 
MA, University of Notre Dame
MS, University of California - Davis
BS, Biola University 

Research Interests

Kant and German Idealism 

Selected Publications

"Organisms and the Form of Freedom in Kant’s Third Critique" (forthcoming in European Journal of Philosophy).

"Freedom as Productivity in Schelling’s Philosophy of Nature" in Schelling's Philosophy: Freedom, Nature and Systematicity, ed. G. Anthony Bruno (forthcoming with Oxford University Press).

"The Epistemology of Schelling’s Philosophy of Nature" in History of Philosophy Quarterly 34:3 pp. 271-290 (July 2017).

"Kant On Animal Minds" in Ergo 4:15, pp. 441-462 (2017).

"Natural and Ethical Normativity" in The Southern Journal of Philosophy 54:4, pp. 417-439 (December 2016).

Katie Arnold

Office Manager

OFFICE #Cuneo Hall 434

Phone: 773.508.6088

Email: karnold6@luc.edu

Katie Arnold is the Office Manager at the Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage. She has a Bachelors Degree in Public Relations and History from Purdue University and joins the Center from the field of public history. As a museum professional, Katie has experience working in a range of positions including most recently as a Project Manager of Exhibitions at the Field Museum of Natural History. She was also a Producer and Archival Researcher at a historical documentary production company, where she earned a Mid-Atlantic EMMY Award for her work on a documentary about female abolitionists in the mid-19th century.

Katie is currently serving as a leader for the Young Adult Ministry at St. Mary of the Lake and Our Lady of Lourdes. As a lifelong Catholic, she continues to dedicate herself to her own spiritual growth and seeks to create new opportunities for others to learn, experience and grow in the faith.

Adam Hii
Graduate Student Assistant

Adam Hii is the Graduate Student Assistant at the Hank Center. He is pursing a PhD in political science at Loyola University Chicago. He holds an MA in Women's Studies and Gender Studies from Loyola University Chicago, and a BA in Political Science from Aquinas College. 

Mary Countryman

Undergraduate Student Worker

Mary Countryman is an undergraduate in her second year, studying Human Resource Management and Information Systems in the Quinlan School of Business. She is pursuing a Catholic Studies minor and is involved in both the Catholic Student Club and the Pro-Life Club on campus.  

Matthew McKenna

Undergraduate Student Worker

Matthew McKenna is an Undergraduate Student Worker for the Hank Center. He is from Cleveland, Ohio, and graduated from Saint Ignatius High school in 2021. At Loyola, he is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in philosophy, with minors in Latin and the Catholic Studies program. His particular areas of interest in the Catholic intellectual tradition are Scholastic philosophy, systematic theology, Jesuit spirituality, and the history of ecclesiology, especially pertaining to the Protestant Reformation and the Great Schism. 

Stephen Schloesser, SJ
Teilhard de Chardin, SJ Fellow

Stephen Schloesser, SJ (Ph.D., Stanford University, 1999; B.A. University of St. Thomas, 1980) is Professor of History at Loyola University Chicago where he teaches courses in Western civilization, Modern European history, intellectual history, and histories of Catholicism and of Jesuits. In 2011, Schloesser came to Loyola from the Boston College History Department and the Weston Jesuit School of Theology (Cambridge, Mass.) where he had taught since 1999.

Schloesser has been the recipient of several awards and honors. In 2015, he received the Sujack Family Award for Faculty Research Excellence from Loyola Chicago's College of Arts and Sciences. His exhibit Mystic Masque (2008) received the Apple Valley Foundation’s Curatorial Excellence Award; and his monograph Jazz Age Catholicism (2005) was awarded the John Gilmary Shea Prize from the American Catholic Historical Association. In 2004, along with pianists Hyesook Kim and Stéphane Lemelin, Schloesser received a grant from the Calvin College’s Calvin Center for Christian Scholarship funding a collaborative performance and publication project on Olivier Messiaen’s Visions of Amen. From 2005-2007, Schloesser served as the LoSchiavo Chair in Catholic Social Thought in the Joan and Ralph Lane Center for Catholic Studies and Social Thought at the University of San Francisco; in 2001-2002 as a Bannan Research Fellow at Santa Clara University; and in 1998-1999 as a post-doctoral in-residence fellow at the Erasmus Institute, University of Notre Dame. Schloesser is a past recipient of awards from the Charlotte W. Newcombe Fellowship (Woodrow Wilson Fellowship Foundation), the Bourse Chateaubriand (Ambassade Culturelle de France), and the Georges Lurcy Fellowship. During the academic year 2015-2016 he occupied the Jesuit Chair as Visiting Professor in the History Department at Georgetown University.

Dominic Heesang Chai, SJ
Visiting Scholar

Dominic H. Chai, S.J. is a Jesuit Scholastic of the USA West Province and currently serves as a co-coordinator of the Vatican COVID-19 Commission’s Economy Taskforce at the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. He received a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, an M.A. in theological studies from Loyola University Chicago, and a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics. He has held faculty positions at Manchester Business School, Seoul National University, and Birkbeck, University of London. He has taught courses in strategic management and international business ethics and served as an executive advisor for a Korean multinational corporation. His research interests include examining companies as communities and their contribution to the common good. He currently holds a visiting scholar position at the Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage, Loyola University Chicago. 


Colby Dickinson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Theology
Loyola University Chicago

The Hon. Thomas M. Donnelly, J.D.
Associate Judge, Circuit Court of Cook County
Part-Time Faculty, School of Law
Loyola University Chicago

Fr. Dan Hartnett, S.J.
Sacramental Minister, St. Ignatius Catholic Church
Teacher, Institute of Pastoral Leadership, University of St. Mary of the Lake

D. Scott Hendrickson, S.J., DPhil
Associate Provost for Global and Community Engagement
Associate Professor, Department of Modern Languages and Literature
Loyola University Chicago

M. Therese Lysaught, Ph.D.
Professor and Director of Graduate Program in Healthcare Mission Leadership
Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics & Healthcare Leadership
Loyola University Chicago

Michelle Nickerson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of History
Loyola University Chicago

Seungho Moon, Ed.D.
Professor of Teaching and Learning, School of Education 
Loyola University Chicago

Lorraine A. Ozar, Ph.D.
Clinical Associate Professor and Andrew M. Greeley Endowed Chair in Catholic Education
Loyola University Chicago

Michael J. Schuck, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Theology
Founding Director, The Joan and Bill Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage
Loyola Univeristy Chicago