Loyola University Chicago

Department of Theology

Faculty & Staff Directory

Mara Brecht, PhD

Title/s:  Associate Professor

Office #:  Crown Center 437



Mara Brecht is an Associate Professor of Theology at Loyola University Chicago. Dr. Brecht’s research interests are in the area of Christian faith formation in contexts of diversity, racial and religious. Her first book drew on women’s in interreligious dialogue to make sense of how Christians maintain lives of faith in and through engagement with religiously diverse others (Virtue in Dialogue, Pickwick Press: 2014). Dr. Brecht’s second major project, a grant project and edited volume, investigated how the culturally hybrid identity of millennial students shapes their engagement with religious “others” on campus and in the classroom (Comparative Theology in the Millennial Classroom, Routledge: 2016). Her current project argues that responsible Christian interreligious engagement must take racialized categories of belonging into account, and acknowledge the close historic ties between whiteness and Christian belonging.

Dr. Brecht previously served as Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at St. Norbert College  in De Pere, Wisconsin and the Barbara and Patrick Keenan Visiting Chair in Religious Education on the Faculty of Theology at the University of St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto. Dr. Brecht earned a bachelor of arts in religion and history at Oberlin College (2004), a master of theological studies at Harvard Divinity School (2006), and a doctorate in systematic theology at Fordham University (2010).

Research Interests

Systematic theology, theology of religious pluralism, gender and race, feminist theology, philosophy of religion, epistemology, education and pedagogy

Selected Publications

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

“Embodied Transactions” in Revelation and Hermeneutics, edited by Christiaan Jacobs-Vandegeer and Jean-Luc Marion (Springer: Contributions to Hermeneutics Series, forthcoming 2019).

Comparative Theology in the Millennial Classroom: Hybrid Identities, Negotiated Boundaries, co-edited with Reid B. Locklin (Routledge Press: Research in Religion and Education Series, 2016).   

“Soteriological Privilege” in Teaching Comparative Theology in the Millennial Classroom: Hybrid Identities, Negotiated Boundaries, edited by Mara Brecht and Reid B. Locklin, 85­–97 (Routledge, 2016).

“An Unsettled Frontier: Religious Diversity and Interfaith Encounter in America,” Studies in Interreligious Dialogue 25:2 (2015): 240­–264.

 “God Talk Across and In Between the Boundaries of Traditions,” Journal of Catholic Higher Education 34:2 (2015): 151–172.