Loyola University Chicago

Department of Theology

Faculty & Staff Directory

Mara Brecht, PhD

Title/s:  Associate Professor of Systematic Theology
Assistant Chairperson

Office #:  Crown Center 305

Email: mbrecht@luc.edu

CV Link: Mara_Brecht_CV


My research interests all circulate around a basic question: What does it mean to be formed as a Christian in a world of difference? I've explored this question in relation to interreligious dialogue, attending to how Christian theological self-understanding is shaped in response religious diversity, and I'm currently working on a constructive project that links this question specifically to racialized embodiment and identity. As a teacher, I think a lot about helping diverse students encounter theology and especially the Catholic intellectual tradition and find something meaningful for meeting the challenges of their day-to-day lives.


Ph.D. Fordham University (2011)
M.Phil. Fordham University (2008)
M.T.S. Harvard Divinity School (2006)
B.A. Oberlin College (2004)

Program Areas


Research Interests

Race, Theology, and Whiteness; Religious Diversity and Theologies of Religious Pluralism; Embodiment as a Theological Resource and Theme; Friendship as Theological Resource and Theme; Christian Formation in Contexts of Difference; Pedagogy, Teaching and Learning; Mission, Identity, and Catholic Higher Education


Monika Hellwig Award for Excellence in Teaching 2020, College Theology Society

Selected Publications

“Comparative Theology: Present Experience, Remembered Pasts, Imagined Futures,” Catholic Theological Society of America Proceedings (May 2022) *co-authored with Reid B. Locklin and Stephanie Wong, forthcoming in

“A Consideration of Teaching, Friendship, and Boundaries in Catholic Higher Education,” Journal of Moral Theology, Symposium on Paul J. Wadell (January 2021). *coauthored with Bridget Burke Ravizza

“A Widened Angle of Vision: Catholic Theology, Embodied Practices, and Lived Faiths,” Journal of Global Catholicism 5: 1 (2021): 20–29.

“Embodied Transactions” in Revelation and Hermeneutics, edited by Christiaan Jacobs-Vandegeer and Jean-Luc Marion (Springer: Contributions to Hermeneutics Series, 2020).

“See-Judge-… Act?: The Place of Action in the Antiracist Catholic Theological Classroom,” Religious Education 113:3 (2019): 202–213.

“Charismatic Circularity: Lay Faculty, Practices of Transmission, and Possibilities for Renewal,” Journal for Catholic Higher Education 38: 2 (2019): 99–120