Christopher D. Denny

Associate Professor

Educational Background
Ph.D., 2004, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, Catholic Theological Tradition, Religion and Culture, Spirituality
M.A., 1998, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, Religion and Culture, Hermeneutics, Religion and Aesthetic
B.A., 1993, St. John’s College, Annapolis, MD, and Santa Fe, NM, Philosophy, History of Mathematics and Science, Classics

Dr. Denny received his B.A. in liberal arts in 1993 from St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD and earned both an M.A. (1998) and Ph.D. (2004) from the Catholic University of America.  He joined the faculty at St. John’s University in 2004 and was promoted to associate professor in 2010.  He is the coeditor of Empowering the People of God: Catholic Action before and after Vatican II (Fordham University Press, 2013), and of Finding Salvation in Christ (Pickwick, 2011).  His articles have appeared in journals such as Christianity and Literature, Communio, Horizons, the Journal of Ecumenical Studies, and the Journal of Hindu Christian Studies.  Denny has received best-article awards from the Conference on Christianity and Literature, the Catholic Press Association, and the College Theology Society.  He has served as the executive director of the American Academy of Religion’s mid-Atlantic region, and has been a board member of both the American Academy of Religion and the College Theology Society.  Dr. Denny has been a co-convener of Columbia University’s Studies in Religion Seminar.  He is currently an editorial board member for the Journal of Moral Theology and is a book review editor for the journal Horizons.

Research Interests

Dr. Denny’s research examines the connection between Christian theology and vernacular literatures from the late medieval period to the modern era.  He also works in the field of comparative theology, with a special interest in cross-cultural understandings of sacrifice and hermeneutics. 


Empowering the People of God: Catholic Action before and after Vatican II, eds. Jeremy Bonner, Mary Beth Fraser Connolly, and Christopher Denny.  Catholic Practice in North America.  New York: Fordham University Press, 2014.

Finding Salvation in Christ: Essays on Christ and Soteriology in Honor of William Loewe, eds. Christopher Denny and Christopher McMahon.  Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2011.

Articles and Essays

“Revisiting Dante’s Promised End: Eschatological Implications of Péguy’s Jeanne d’Arc Mysteries,” Christianity and Literature, 62/4 (Summer 2013): 533—63.

“Christians and Vedic Sacrifice: Comparing Communitarian Sacrificial Soteriologies,” Journal of Hindu-Christian Studies 26 (2013): 55-66.

“‘All Will Be Well’: Julian of Norwich’s Counter-Apocalyptic Revelations.” Horizons: The Journal of the College Theology Society 38/2 (Fall 2011): 193-210.

"Which Holy Child? German Romantic Rivals to Balthasar’s Theology of Youth."  Communio: International Catholic Review 36/4 (Winter 2009): 673-93.

“Iconoclasm, Byzantine and Postmodern: Implications for Contemporary Theological Anthropology," Horizons 36/2 (Fall 2009): 187-214.

“Interreligious Reading and Self-Definition for Raimundo Panikkar and Francis Clooney,” The Journal of Ecumenical Studies 44/3 (Summer 2009): 409-31.

"The Imitation of Christ's Spiritual Interiority Dramatized in Elckerlijc/Everyman."  In Everyman: Actes des Colloques de Janvier 2009 à Nancy-Université et à Toulouse-Le Mirail, edited by Elise Louviot, Colette Stévanovitch, Philippe Mahoux et Dominique Hascoët, 237-58.  Collection GRENDEL, vol. 10.  Nancy: L'AMAES, 2009.

“Discarded Woman, Cherished Icon: The Peaceful Silence of Browning’s Duchess.”  In Making Peace in Our Time, edited by Joan F. Hallisey and Mary-Anne Vetterling, 65-76.  Proceedings of the Northeast Regional Conference on Christianity and Literature.  Weston, MA: Peace Press, 2008.

“The Laity and Catholic Action in John Courtney Murray’s Church of the Future.”  In Vatican II Forty Years Later, edited by William Madges, 55-77.  College Theology Society Annual Volume 51.  Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2006.

“Greek Tragedies: From Myths to Sacraments?”  Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture, 9/3 (Summer 2006): 45-71.

Reviews and Encyclopedia Entries

Review of Stoicism in Early Christianity, eds. Tuomas Rasimus, Troels Engberg-Pedersen, and Ismo Dunderberg.  Catholic Books Review (May 17, 2012):

Review of The Command of Grace: A New Theological Apologetics, Paul D. Janz.  Horizons: The Journal of the College Theology Society 38/1 (Spring 2011): 138-39.

“Chaucer, Geoffrey”; “Dante Alighieri”; “Langland, William”; “Péguy, Charles.”  Encyclopedia of Christian Literature, eds. George T. Kurian and James D. Smith III.  Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2010.

Review of Late Medieval Mysticism of the Low Countries, eds. Rik Van Nieuwenhove, Robert Faesen, and Helen Rolfson.  Catholic Books Review (October 19, 2009):

“Unifying Knowledge for a Changing Culture.”  Review of The Etymologies of Isidore of Seville, ed. and trans. Stephen A. Barney, W. J. Lewis, J. A. Beach, and Oliver Berghof.  International Catholic History Discussion List (May 2007),

Review of Theological Aesthetics: A Reader, ed. Gesa Elsbeth Thiessen.  Horizons: The Journal of the College Theology Society 33/1 (Spring 2006): 156-58.

Courses Taught at St. John’s University

Theology 1000C, G357: Theology in the Middle Ages

Theology 1000C: Perspectives on Christianity: A Catholic Approach

Theology 2210: Perspectives on the Church

Theology 2500/2600: History of the Church

Theology 3210: The Human Mystery

Theology 3250: The Church, the Churches, and World Religions

Theology 3270: Theology in Literature

Theology 3550: Theology in the Middle Ages

Theology G355: The First Six Centuries

Theology G357: Theology in the Middle Ages

Theology 3530:  Religion and the Rise of Modern Culture