Loyola University Chicago

Department of Theology

Faculty & Staff Directory

Mara Brecht, PhD

Title/s:  Associate Professor and
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

“Mary and Motherhood—A Comparatively-Informed Reconsideration,” The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Comparative Theology: A Collection in Honor of Francis X. Clooney, SJ (Wiley Blackwell), forthcoming 2023.

“Paschal Pedagogy,” Teaching and Learning Religion: Engaging the Work of Eugene V. Gallagher and Patricia O’Connell Killen, ed. Thomas Pearson and Davina C. Lopez (Bloomsbury), forthcoming 2023.

“The Muslim Ban: The Racialization of Religion and Soteriological Privilege,” Pathways for Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue (Palgrave MacMillan), forthcoming 2023.

“Comparative Theology: Present Experience, Remembered Pasts, Imagined Futures,” co-authored with Reid B. Locklin and Stephanie Wong, Catholic Theological Society of America Proceedings, 76 (2022): 42–66.