Loyola University Chicago

Department of Theology

Faculty & Staff Directory

Hugh Nicholson, PhD

Title/s:  Professor

Office #:  Crown Center 445

Phone: 773.508.2484

Email: hnicholson@luc.edu

CV Link: Nicholson CV


I do comparative work at the intersection of religious studies and constructive theology. I have a background in Christian theology and South Asian languages (Sanskrit and Pali). More recently I have taken an interest in relating religious phenomena to the cognitive sciences.


PhD. Boston College, 2001
MAR. Yale, 1994
BA. Brown, 1988

Program Areas


Research Interests

Comparative Religion, Comparative Theology, Buddhist Thought, Classical Indian Philosophy (in Sanskrit), Cognitive Science of Religion


2013, Sujack Family Award for Faculty Research Excellence

Selected Publications

Buddhism, Cognitive Science, and the Doctrine of Selflessness: A revolution in our self-conception (Routledge, 2023).

The Spirit of Contradiction in Buddhism and Christianity (Oxford 2016).

Comparative Theology and the Problem of Religious Rivalry (Oxford 2011)

"Reconciling Christian Identity and Interreligious Respect," in Hilda P. Koster and Rosemary Carbine, eds. The Gift of Theology: The Contribution of Kathryn Tanner, pp. 209-232 (Fortress Press 2015).

"Social Identity Processes in the Development of Maximally Counter-intuitive Theological Concepts:  Consubstantiality and No-Self," Journal of the American Academy of Religion 82:3 (2014), pp. 736-770.

"The History in Front of Comparison:  The Reception History of Eckhart and Indian Thought and the Future of East-West Comparison," Medieval Mystical Theology 23:2 (2014), pp. 127-141.

"The Unanswered Questions and the Limits of Knowledge," Journal of Indian Philosophy 40:5 (2012), pp. 533-552.

"The Reunification of Theology and Comparison in the New Comparative Theology," Journal of the American Academy of Religion 77:3 (June 2009), pp. 1–38.

"The Political Nature of Doctrine: A Critique of Lindbeck in Light of Recent Scholarship," Heythrop Journal 48:6 (November 2007), pp. 857–876.

"Two Apologetic Moments in Sankara's Concept of Brahman," Journal of Religion 87:4 (October 2007), pp. 528–555.

"Comparative Theology After Liberalism," Modern Theology 23:2 (April 2007), pp. 229–251.

"A Correlational Model of Comparative Theology," Journal of Religion 85:2 (April 2005), pp. 191–213.