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Fáinche Ryan
Assistant Professor, Loyola Institute

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

2016 On Consulting the Faithful in Matters of Doctrine in, editor(s)Cornelius J.Casey, Fáinche Ryan , Good riddance or good influence? Social and Political Roles of Church in Today's Pluralist Society, USA, Notre Dame University Press, 2019, [Fáinche Ryan] Book Chapter, 2019

Cornelius J.Casey, Fáinche Ryan eds, Good riddance or good influence? Social and Political Roles of Church in Today's Pluralist Society , USA, Notre Dame University Press, 2019 Book, 2019

Fáinche Ryan, Reflections at the Burning Bush: Doing Theology Practically with Thomas Aquinas, Practical Theology, 2017 Journal Article, 2017

Fáinche Ryan, Thomas Aquinas and the Priesthood of All the Believers: Aquinas' Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews, Biblica et Patristica Thoruniesia, 9, (3), 2016, p133 - 148 Journal Article, 2016 DOI

Vatican II and the Question of Ministry in, editor(s)Dermot Lane. , Vatican II in Ireland, Fifty Years On: Essays in Honour of Padraic Conway, Oxford, Peter Lang, 2015, pp331 - 349, [Fáinche Ryan] Book Chapter, 2015

Fáinche Ryan, Why do we still need Aquinas?, New Blackfriars, 95, (1056), 2014, p160 - 176 Journal Article, 2014

The Christian God and the Stark Reality of Evil in, editor(s)Moreno Bonca, Simon Bacon , Seductive Concepts. Perspectives on Sins, Vices and Virtues, Oxford, Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2014, pp3 - 15, [Fáinche Ryan] Book Chapter, 2014

Liturgical Roles for Women: The Latin Tradition in the Middle Ages in, editor(s)Au ra Vasiliauskienė , Lietuvos Did iosios Kunigaik tystės Moterų Vienuolijos: Tradicija Ir Paveldas. Mokslo Straipsnių Rinkinys., Vytauto Did iojo universitetas, 2014, pp13 - 21, [Fainche Ryan] Book Chapter, 2014 URL

From the Bishops down to the last of the lay faithful in, editor(s)Enda McDonagh. , Performing the Word: Festschrift for Ronan Drury, Dublin, Columba Press, 2014, pp87 - 92, [Fáinche Ryan] Book Chapter, 2014

Fáinche Ryan, A Papal Interview: Women, The Furrow, 64, (11), 2013, p589 - 591 Journal Article, 2013

Fáinche Ryan, Christian Anthropology: Theology for Today Volume Two, Dublin, The Priory Institute, 2012, 1 - 156pp Book, 2012

Fáinche Ryan, The Eucharist: What do we believe?, Dublin, Columba Press, 2012, 1 - 96pp Book, 2012

Fáinche Ryan, Christian Anthropology: Theology for Today, Dublin, The Priory Institute, 2012, 1 - 104pp Book, 2012

REA: A Journal of Religion, Theology and the Arts, 7, (2011), Fáinche Ryan, Mary Shanahan, [eds.] Journal, 2011

Fáinche Ryan, Sign of Contradiction. Towards a Renewed Priesthood in the Wake of Scandal, Milltown Studies, 67, 2011, p16 - 33 Journal Article, 2011

Fáinche Ryan, Review of Thomas Aquinas. The Academic Sermons., by Mark-Robin Hoogland , New Blackfriars, 92, 2011, p628-629 Review, 2011

"Code Fixation", Dilemmas and the Missing Virtue: Practical Wisdom in a Secular Age in, editor(s)Ian Leask, Eoin Cassidy, Alan Kearns, Fáinche Ryan, Mary Shanahan , The Taylor Effect: Responding to a Secular Age, Newcastle, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010, pp175 - 190, [Fáinche Ryan] Book Chapter, 2010

Fáinche Ryan, Padraic Conway, Karl Rahner: Theologian for the Twenty-First Century , Bern, Peter Lang, 2010, 1 - 251pp Book, 2010

Fáinche Ryan, Searching for Hope, Spirituality, 2010, p334 - 339 Journal Article, 2010

"Rahner and Aquinas: The Incomprehensibility of God" in, editor(s)Padraic Conway, Fáinche Ryan , Karl Rahner: Theologian for the Twenty-First Century, Bern, Peter Lang, 2010, pp41 - 60, [Fáinche Ryan] Book Chapter, 2010

Fáinche Ryan, Ian Leask, The Taylor Effect: Responding to a Secular Age, Newcastle, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010, 1 - 216pp Book, 2010

Fáinche Ryan, Why were we silent? The Role of the 'Simple Faithful' in Ecclesial Structures, Doctrine and Life, 60, 2010, p15 - 26 Journal Article, 2010

Fáinche Ryan, 'Salvation is from the Jews' (Jn 4:22): Aquinas, God, and the People of God, Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations, 5, (1), 2010 Journal Article, 2010

Darwin and Aquinas. Descent with Modification in, editor(s)Louis Caruana , Darwinism and Catholicism. The Past and Present Dynamics of a Cultural Encounter, London/New York, T&T Clark, 2009, pp43 - 59, [Fáinche Ryan] Book Chapter, 2009

Fáinche Ryan, Theology, a road to sanctification?, Irish Theological Quarterly, 74, 2009, p75 - 88 Journal Article, 2009

Teaching to Think: St Thomas as Pedagogue in, Yearbook of the Irish Philosophical Society, 2009, pp93 - 105, [Fáinche Ryan] Book Chapter, 2009

Fáinche Ryan, Sacra doctrina, discourse about God, is a formation in holiness, Rome, Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas, 2007, 1 - 139pp Book, 2007

Fáinche Ryan, Formation in Holiness. Thomas Aquinas on Sacra doctrina. , Leuven, Thomas Instituut Utrecht - Peeters , 2007, 1 - 217pp Book, 2007

Fáinche Ryan, Auctoritas in the Theology of Thomas Aquinas, New Blackfriars, 88, 2007, p443 - 456 Journal Article, 2007

Divine Transcendence and Immanence in the Thought of Thomas Aquinas in, editor(s)Henk Schoot , Jaarboek 2005 Thomas Instituut te Utrecht, 2005, pp75 - 100, [Fáinche Ryan] Book Chapter, 2005

Non-Peer-Reviewed Publications

Fáinche Ryan, Catholic Social Teaching' and the Christian 'Theological' virtue of Hope', Enacting Catholic Social Tradition: Making a Difference on the Ground, Rome, January 12-14, 2017, 2017 Conference Paper, 2017

Fáinche Ryan, On Consulting the Faithful in Matters of Doctrine: From Newman to Vatican II and Beyond, Studies, The Role of Church in a Pluralist Society , Trinity College Dublin, June 2016, edited by Dr Bruce Bradley SJ , 106, (423), 2017, pp344 - 355 Conference Paper, 2017

Fáinche Ryan, Will Post-truth Set us Free?, Factions, Fears and Fake News, Trinity Long Room Hub, 7 November, 2017 Conference Paper, 2017

Fáinche Ryan, 'Post-truth' in the light of Aquinas' analysis of truth-telling (veritas sive veracitas (ST 2.2 109, 1c), Aquinas and Analytic Philosophy, Trinty College Dublin, 27-28th January 2017, 2017 Conference Paper, 2017

Fáinche Ryan, Imbalanced Leadership Within the Church, Faith Responding To Changing Times, Dromantine Retreat and Conference Centre, Newry, Co. Down., 7th-9th July, 2017, Society of African Missions Invited Talk, 2017

Dr Con Casey and Dr Fáinche Ryan, The Book of Kells: 'The most purely Irish thing we have' - James Joyce, 2015, - Miscellaneous, 2015

The Times They Are A-Changin' in, editor(s)John Littleton, Eamon Maher , The Francis Factor. A New Departure, Dublin, Columba Press, 2014, pp125 - 132, [Fáinche Ryan] Book Chapter, 2014

Fáinche Ryan, "Continuity and Radical Discontinuity: Temple Vocabulary and Priestly Ordination", Doctrine and Life, 64, 2014, p22 - 38 Journal Article, 2014

Fáinche Ryan, Review of Aquinas at Prayer: The Bible, Mysticism and Poetry, by Paul Murray , Doctrine and Life, 63, (7), 2013, p61-64 Review, 2013

Fáinche Ryan, Review of The Bible in Medieval Tradition: The Letter to the Galatians, Ian Christopher Levy , Theology, 2012, p131-132 Review, 2012

Fáinche Ryan, Review of New Short History of the Catholic Church, by Norman Tanner , Milltown Studies, 2012 Review, 2012

Fáinche Ryan, A Theology of Ministry, The Furrow, 60, 2009, p588 - 595 Journal Article, 2009

A Lingering Shame in, editor(s)Tony Flannery , Responding to the Ryan Report, Dublin, The Columba Press, 2009, pp148 - 161, [Fáinche Ryan] Book Chapter, 2009

Fáinche Ryan, Review of Exchanges of Grace: Essays in Honour of Ann Loades, by Natalie K. Watson, Stephen Burns , Irish Theological Quarterly, 74, 2009, p236-237 Review, 2009

Fáinche Ryan, Review of The Kindness of God: Metaphor, Gender, and Religious Language , by Janet Martin Soskice , Irish Theological Quarterly, 73, 2008, p202-203 Review, 2008

Fáinche Ryan, Litir ón Róimh., Timire, 2005 Journal Article, 2005

"To Make Us Holy: The Mission of Theology in, editor(s)J. Egan, B.McConvery , Faithful Witness. Glimpses of the Kingdom, Dublin, 2005, pp310 - 322, [Fáinche Ryan] Book Chapter, 2005

Fáinche Ryan, Are Priests not People? , Doctrine and Life, 55, 2005, p51 - 57 Journal Article, 2005

Fáinche Ryan, A Life of Consecrated Celibacy, Religious Life Review, 41, 2002, p330 - 339 Journal Article, 2002

Research Expertise


Major research interests: 1) Truth, the virtue of truth telling in Thomas Aquinas - and how his thought might engage in debate and the formation of society in a post-truth culture. 2) The development of new ideas in the theology of leadership and ordination. The aim of this research project is to influence the widespread debate on these topics in such a way that effective change will result. To this end I plan to publish a monograph on topics which pertain to this topic. There will be two sections in the monograph. The first will offer historical research. The second section will offer a theology of Eucharist and sacramentality in the Catholic tradition. The aim is to indicate how, with new thinking, these vital aspects of Church life, can be carried through with new structural arrangements. Over the last few years I have both published and given papers in the area of ordination, ecclesial leadership and Eucharist, as part of the preparatory work for this monograph. Quality leadership: In research for the monograph I place particular focus on the role of women in leadership. It is crucial that serious historical retrieval of the role of women in ecclesial traditions be brought to the forefront in current debate. 3) The theology of Aquinas in the context of the God question today. The texts of Thomas Aquinas are classic texts in the tradition. They have a remarkable capacity to generate new lines of exploration and to bring a profundity of understanding to contemporary themes and topics. It is also true that the texts of Aquinas have a capacity to be at the centre of cultural wars within the theological tradition, in the sense that they have often been brandished as evidence that all the big questions have long since been answered in the past. In my ongoing research I work hard to demonstrate that this approach fails to do justice to the richness of thinking to be found in the writings of Aquinas. To this end, as well as writing numerous papers, I have published a monograph in an important series with the Thomas Instituut te Utrecht, and am currently working on a monograph on the theological anthropology of Aquinas. 4) The study of the Book of Kells in theological perspective. Since coming onto the staff of Trinity I have developed a new area of research interest in the theology that is embedded in the Insular art of the early medieval period. I have concentrated on the art work of the Irish High Crosses and in the illuminated gospel books, in particular The Book of Kells. With my colleague Dr. Cornelius Casey, I have developed and taught a module entitled the Book of Kells: A Theological Reading. We have published a popular article in the Irish Times [at]and plan to publish again in this area. This is an area of research with good possibilities for interdisciplinary links, and to this end Dr Casey and I have initiated discussions with colleagues in other departments, with specialisms in these areas.


; Theology



Irish Theological Association (Currently President) 1998

Irish Biblical Association 1998

European Society for Catholic Theology (ESCT) 2003

Catholic Theological Association (GB) 2006