Institute for Religion & Critical Inquiry

Professor Francis Clooney SJ

Professor Francis Clooney SJ

Catholic Thought & Practice

BA (Fordham), MDiv (Weston), PhD (Chicago)

Professor Clooney is Parkman Professor of Divinity and Professor of Comparative Theology, Harvard Divinity School and Professorial Fellow at Australian Catholic University. He is currently director of the Center for the Study of World Religions, Harvard Divinity School. served as acting director of the CSWR during the 2008 spring term and began a long and active relationship with the Center before coming to HDS, participating in many CSWR programs and events. After earning his doctorate in South Asian languages and civilizations (University of Chicago, 1984), he taught at Boston College for 21 years, until coming to Harvard. His primary areas of scholarship are theological commentarial writings in the Sanskrit and Tamil traditions of Hindu India, and the developing field of comparative theology, a discipline distinguished by attentiveness to the dynamics of theological learning deepened through the study of traditions other than one’s own. He has also written on the Jesuit missionary tradition, particularly in India, and the dynamics of dialogue in the contemporary world.. In July 2010 he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy.

Key publications

His Hiding Place Is Darkness: A Hindu-Catholic Theopoetics of Divine Absence. Stanford University Press, 2013.

Comparative Theology: Deep Learning across Religious Borders. Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.

The New Comparative Theology: Voices from the Next Generation. Continuum, 2010

The Truth, the Way, the Life: Christian Commentary on the Three Holy Mantras of the Srivaisnava Hindus. Peeters Publishing, 2008.

Beyond Compare: St. Francis de Sales and Sri Vedanta Desika on Loving Surrender to God. Georgetown University Press, 2008.