J. Matthew Ashley

J. Matthew Ashley


Primary Field of Study: Systematic Theology


Ph.D. University of Chicago Divinity School

Research and Training Interests

Ignatian spirituality and discernment of spirits; ecotheology and ecospirituality.

Selected Publications

Renewing Theology: Ignatian Spirituality and Karl Rahner, Ignacio Ellacuria, and Pope Frances, Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2022.

Interruptions: Mysticism, Politics and Theology in the Work of Johann Baptist Metz. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1998.

Take Lord and Receive all My Memory: Toward an Anamnestic Mysticism, 2015 Pere Marequette Lecture. Miwaukee: Marquette University Press, 2015.

"Pope Francis as Interpreter of Ignatius's Spiritual Exercises," Spiritus vol. 17, no.2 (Fall 2017).

Is it Providential, by Chance? Christian Objections to the Role of Chance in Darwinian Evolution, in Chance in Evolution, ed. Grant Ramsey & Charles Pence. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015.

"The Jesuit University as an Instrument of Mercy," Jesuit Higher Education: A Journal: Vol. 7 : No. 1, Article 3. (2018).


Matthew Ashley is Professor of Systematic Theology. He came to Notre Dame in 1993 after earning his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago Divinity School in 1993 and an M.T.S. from the (then) Weston Jesuit School of Theology, in Cambridge, Mass. Besides his teaching and research, he has served as a graduate program director for ten years (including seven years as Ph.D. program director) and department chair for seven years. He has written on the political theology of Johann Baptist Metz, and translated and edited four books of Metz’s work. He has also written on Latin American liberation theology, focusing in particular on El Salvador, with articles and book chapters on Saint Óscar Romero, Jon Sobrino, and Ignacio Ellacuría. Two other interests have come to the fore in the last two decades: the relationship between science and religion, and the history of Christian spirituality, Ignatian spirituality in particular. His most recent book, Renewing Theology (University of Notre Dame Press, 2022), considers how an understanding of Ignatian spirituality influenced the writings and work of three Jesuits: Karl Rahner, Ignacio Ellacuría, and Pope Francis. His love of nature, especially of the mountains of Colorado where he grew up, has led him to respond to Pope Francis’s call for an integral ecology with writing and teaching that focuses on areas of overlap and resonance between traditions of Christian mysticism and important voices in conservation and writing about nature in the U.S.



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