Faculty & Staff Directory
Michael Patrick Murphy, PhD
Michael Murphy is 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, Systematic Theology, and the socio-political cultures of Catholicism-- but he also writes about issues in eco-theology, media ecologies, 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. His current scholarly project is a monograph, The Humane Realists: Catholic Fiction, Poetry, and Film 1965 - 2025.
A 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
Catholic Studies; Catholic Intellectual Tradition; Catholic Social Teaching and Tradition; Jesuit/Ignatian Traditions
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/Hans Urs von Balthasar
The Catholic Literary Tradition
The Literary and Political Cultures of Catholicism
Religion and Mimetic Theory
Digital Cultures/New Media Ecologies
Systematic Theology (Christology, Trinitarian Theology)
Finalist, Ignatius of Loyola Award, LUC Faculty Center for Ignatian Pedagogy, 2016
Finalist, Kolvenbach Award, LUC Faculty Center for Ignatian Pedagogy, 2015
Alpha Sigma Nu, Centenary Faculty Inductee, Loyola University Chicago, 2014-2015
Loyola University Chicago USGA Teaching Award: Faculty Member of the Year, 2013-2014
Loyola University Chicago Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs Diversity Award, 2013- 2014
CCIH Fellowship: $6,000 Research Grant for Vatican II at 50
USF Distinguished Adjunct Nominee, 2011 and 2012
2011 American Academy of Religion Distinguished Book: 2008
“The Tinderization of Theology" in Theological Discourses on Social Media, Christopher B. Barnett, Clark J. Elliston, and Trevor B. Williams, eds. In preparation; forthcoming from Routledge in 2025.
"Panem et Circenses: Michel Houellebecq, Submission, and the Liturgies of Spiritual Exhaustion" in The Call of Literature (Forthcoming from Routledge in 2024)
“Cultivating Catholic Studies and Charism through Co-Curricular Programs: The Annual John Courtney Murray, S.J., Forum @LUC,” in Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture, McKenzie and Sherry, eds., Volume 26, Number 5 (August, 2023).
“A look inside the Vatican meeting that brought Pope Francis and Martin Scorsese together,” America Magazine, 6/8/2023.
“Apocalypse Now? Yes, Please: Notes on Navigating the Digital Revolution,” in Nexus: Conversations on the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, Vukov and Burns, eds. Volume 2 (May, 2023).
“You are What You Eat: St. Ignatius and Doing Advent Right,” in Heroes of the Ignatian Tradition, The Jesuit Conference, 11/30/2022
“Response: Innovate in Tradition,” Dialogue on Mission Drift in Catholic Higher Education in Conversations in Jesuit Higher Education, 2/9/2022
“Childhood and the Terrain of Transformation: A Tale of Two O’ Connors” in Living Life to the Full: Literature and a Catholic Philosophy of Life, David Torevell, ed., Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars, 2021.
“Houellebecq's Cautionary Tale About Liturgy Gone Awry,” in Church Life Journal, University of Notre Dame, 6/20/2021
“‘for flesh to make known’: Poetry as an Act of Faith” volume introduction to this need to dance/this need to kneel: Denise Levertov and the Poetics of Faith, M. Murphy and M. Bradshaw, eds., Eugene: Wipf and Stock, 2019.
“Fragile Beauty: Tension and Transcendence in Denise Levertov’s Eco-Theological Poetics” in this need to dance/this need to kneel: Denise Levertov and the Poetics of Faith, M. Murphy and M. Bradshaw, eds., Eugene: Wipf and Stock, 2019.
“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, 2017.
A Theology of Criticism: Balthasar, Postmodernism, and the Catholic Imagination. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008
The Humane Realists: Catholic Fiction, Poetry, and Film 1965-2025 (in preparation)