Rev. Richard P. McBrien



Emeritus Faculty

Crowley-O'Brien Professor of Theology (Emeritus)


Systematic Theology


A.A., St. Thomas Seminary, Bloomfield, CT, 1956

M.A., St. John Seminary, Brighton, MA, 1962

S.T.D., Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, 1967

Research and Teaching Interests

McBrien's scholarly interests are in the areas of ecclesiology, the relationship between religion and politics, and the theological, doctrinal, and spiritual dimensions of the Catholic tradition.

The first is reflected in almost all of his writings, including some of his earliest books, such as Do We Need the Church? (1969), Church: the Continuing Quest (1970), and The Remaking of the Church (1973); the second area is reflected in his Caesar's Coin: Religion and Politics in America (1987); and the third in his Catholicism (1980; rev. ed., 1994), Lives of the Popes (1997), and Lives of the Saints (2001), as well as The HarperCollins Encyclopedia of Catholicism (1995), of which he was general editor.

He has been president of the Catholic Theological Society of America (1973-74) and winner of its John Courtney Murray Award "for outstanding and distinguished achievement in Theology" (1976). He has written a syndicated weekly theology column for the Catholic press since 1966, and is a frequent on-air network commentator for Church-related events. He is a priest of the Archdiocese of Hartford, Connecticut. He is on sabbatical leave during the current academic year writing a one-volume ecclesiology, which will be published by HarperSanFrancisco in early 2008.

Recent Publications

Lectures: Inaugural St. Thomas More Newman Center Annual Lecture and discussion, St. Thomas More Newman Center, Columbia MO, February 11-12, 2005.

Lectures: "Being Catholic in a Time of Change" and "How Should We Be Church Today?", Third Annual Winter Grace lecture series, St. Mary Cathedral, Saginaw MI, November 30-December 1, 2004.

Lecture: "Vatican II: Its Abiding Significance", Department of Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara, January 13, 2005.

Article: "Challenges Facing the Next Pope", Church 20:4(Winter 2004): 5-8.

Interview: "Was Jesus Married? A Theologian Speaks Out", U.S. News & World Report, Collector’s Edition, 2004, p. 26.

Interview: "Is it Sinful to Engage in Sex within Marriage", for the book Secrets of the Code: The Unauthorized Guide to the Mysteries Behind the Da Vinci Code, ed. Dan Burstein, New York: Squibnocket Partners LLC, 2004, pp. 59-60.

Lecture: "Theological Issues in The Da Vinci Code", panel discussion for the Saturday Scholar Series, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame IN, September 25 2004.

Lecture: "The Future of the Papacy: An Agenda for Reform", Church of the Holy Family, Virginia Beach VA, September 28, 2004.

Lecture: "Justice in the Church: The Still Unfinished Business of Catholic Social Teaching", Annual Convention of the National Association of Catholic School Teachers, St. Louis MO, October 9, 2004.

Interview: "The Bishops and Politics", on "The O'Reilly Factor", FOX News, aired October 13, 3004.

Article: "Radcliffe's Talk Begs the Issues", in National Catholic Reporter, 40.38 (September 3 2004), 17-18.

Article: "Catholic Identity in a Time of Change", The Furrow, 55.9 (September 2004), 455-64.

Lecture: "The Church and Politics", Holy Family Parish Community, Inverness IL, September 7 2004.

Lecture: "The Church and Politics", Saint Mary's College, Moraga CA, September 16, 2004.

Lecture: "The Crisis Continues: Reflections on the State of the Church," Holy Family Parish Community, Inverness IL, November 13, 2003.

Interview: "Jesus, Mary, and Da Vinci", ABC News, corresp. Elizabeth Vargas, aired November 3, 2003.

Book: Catholicism IV: The Church, new ed., Shanghai 2000, 298 pp.

Book: Lives of the Saints: from Mary and St. Francis of Assisi to John XXIII and Mother Teresa, San Francisco 2001, 669 pp.

Book: Quale Chiesa? 101 Domande su presente e futuro del 'Popolo di Dio', Milano 2001, 192 pp.

Book: Os Papas: Os Pontifices de Sao Pedro a Joao Paulo II, Portugese ed. of Lives of the Popes, Sao Paulo 2000, 527 pp.

Book: Lives of the Popes, paperback ed., San Francisco 2000, 520 pp.

Book: 101 Tanya-Jawab tentang Gereja, Jakarta 1999, 198 pp.

Book: De Pausen: Van Petrus tot Johannes Paulus II, Dutch ed. of Lives of the Popes, Haarlem, The Netherlands 1998, 527 pp.

Book: Lives of the Popes: The Pontiffs from St. Peter to John Paul II, San Francisco 1997, 536 pp.

Book: Responses to 101 Questions on the Church, Mahwah NJ 1996, 166 pp.

Book: Inside Catholicism, San Francisco 1996.

Book, Editor: The Harper/Collins Encyclopedia of Catholicism, San Francisco 1995, xxxviii + 1349 pp.

Book: Catholicism, revised and updated ed., San Francisco 1994, 1328 pp.


281 Decio Hall