Rev. Prof. Michael A Conway

Professor in Faith and Culture


  • Priest of the Diocese of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora, ordained 1989. Undergraduate studies at NUIM and St. Patrick’s College Maynooth (B.Sc Mathematical Sciences, BD.); graduate studies at NUIM (M.Sc. Mathematics), Gregorian University Rome (STL), Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg i. Br. (D. Theol). Parish ministry (St. Brigid’s Parish, Ballybane, Galway (1990-1995). Director of Higher Diploma in Theological Studies (2000-2006), Lecturer in Systematic Theology, 2000, appointed Professor of Faith and Culture, 2006. Director of Irish Centre for Faith and Culture (2006-present). Editor of the Irish Theological Quarterly (2006-2013).

Research Interests:

  • The dialogue between Faith and Culture as evidenced in the so-called theological turn in contemporary Franco-German phenomenology – particularly in the wake /work of Emmanuel Levinas and Jean-Luc Marion.
  • Maurice Blondel – the relevance of his thought to contemporary debates in Fundamental Theology with a particular emphasis on dialogue with recent developments in Phenomenology, Pragmatism, Philosophy of Science, Hermeneutics, and Philosophy of Religion.
  • Theology and the natural sciences – the structure and philosophical foundations of the sciences, with a particular emphasis on the critical validation of their achievement and a dialogue with a religious worldview.
  • The changing nature of Irish culture in its relationship to religion, spirituality, and faith.

Select Publications:

  • The Science of Life: Maurice Blondel’s Philosophy of Action and the Scientific Method (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2000 [European University Studies; Series XX – Philosophy, Vol. 616])
  • ‘Faith and reason in René Descartes (1596-1650): An Appreciation and Critique from Maurice Blondel,’ Gregorianum 83 (2002): 111-130.
  • ‘Maurice Blondel and Early Anglo-American Pragmatism,’ Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses 79 (2003): 72–96.
  • ‘Maurice Blondel and the Structures of Science within a Positive Phenomenology,’ Irish Theological Quarterly 69 (2004): 377-401.
  • ‘Maurice Blondel and Phenomenology,’ Maynooth Philosophical Papers: Issue 2(2004). Current research from the Faculty of Philosophy, NUIM, Mette Lebech (ed.), and Thomas A. F. Kelly (general ed.), Maynooth: Faculty of Philosophy, 2004, 14-31.
  • ‘A Positive Phenomenology. The structure of Maurice Blondel’s early philosophy.’Heythrop Journal 47(2006): 579-600.
  • ‘From Neo-Thomism to St. Thomas: Maurice Blondel’s Early Encounter with Scholastic Thought,’ Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses 83 (2007): 1-22.
  • ‘Monade’ and ‘(Natur-)Wissenschaft,’ in Lexikon philosophischer Grundbegriffe der Theologie, Hg. Albert Granz, Wolfgang Baum, Karsten Kreutzer (Herder: Freiburg, 2003 / 2007).
  • ‘Blondel, Maurice’ in the Cambridge Dictionary of Christianity, ed. Daniel Patte, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.
  • ‘A Thomistic Turn? Maurice Blondel’s Reading of St Thomas,’ Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses, 84/1 (2008): 87-122.
  • ‘A Church in Changing Times,’ The Furrow, 59 (2008): 280-284.
  • ‘The Chaste Morning of the Infinite: Secularization between the Social Sciences and Theology,’ in The Taylor Effect: Responding to a Secular Age, ed. Ian Leask et al, London: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010.
  • ‘Maurice Blondel and Ressourcement’ in Ressourcement: A Movement for Renewal in Twentieth-Century Catholic Theology, ed., Gabriel Flynn and Paul Murray, London: Oxford Univ., 2011.
  • ‘Mathematics and the Mind of God’ in Having Life in His Name, ed., Brendan Leahy and Seamus O’Connell, Dublin: Veritas, 2011.
  • ‘“As if my eye were still growing”: Living Disability,’ Irish Theological Quarterly 3 (2013): 255-61.
  • With Mind and Heart: Maurice Blondel and the Mystic Life’ in Mystical Theology: Eruptions from France, ed., Louise Nelstrop (London: Ashgate, 2015).
  •  ‘Ministry in Transition,’ The Furrow 65 (2014): 131-49.
  •  ‘Intelligence and the Mystic Life for Maurice Blondel,’ Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses, 90/1 (2014): 1-39.
  •  ‘Christianity in Europe: a Future? The Furrow 65 (2014): 331-38.
  •  ‘Ministry in Transition,’ The Furrow 65 (2014): 131-146.
  •  ‘Priesthood, Authority, and Leadership,’ in Performing the Word (Festschrift for Ronan Drury), ed. Enda McDonagh (Dublin: Columba, 2014), 67- 73.
  •  ‘Beyond Sight: The Artist and Mystic Intuition, The Furrow 65 (2014): 592-99.
  •  ‘The Tensions of Ministry,’ The Furrow 66 (2015): 196-209.
  •  ‘An Open Space in the City: Galway Cathedral at Fifty Years,’ The Furrow 66(2015): 563-581.
  •  ‘Theology going Somewhere and Nowhere,’ The Furrow 67 (2015): 375-386.
  •  ‘Preface,’ to Foraging for the Spirit in the North Wall Community, ed. Martin Byrne (Dublin: Scribbles from the Margins Press, 2016), 7-11.
  •  ‘The Underdeveloped Heart,’ The Furrow 67 (2016): 259-265.
  •  ‘The Developing Heart,’ The Furrow, 67 (2016): 583-594
  •  ‘The Role of Free Will in Certitude: The Early Blondel and Freedom,’ Gregorianum, forthcoming (2017)
  •  ‘Sixth Station: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus, Reflection,’ in The Stations of Addiction, ed. Barry Matthews, forthcoming (2017)

Current Research:

  • Normativity, Freedom, and Ontology in the early Blondel
  • Mysticism in early twentieth century French discussions


  • FC 101: Revelation, Faith, and Culture
  • FC 207: Christian Faith and the Dynamics of Culture in A Secular Age
  • PG 464: Research in Theology: Historical and Methodological Appraoches
  • PG 427 Culture and Religion: A Critical Reading of Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age (Part I)
  • PG 447: Culture and Religion: A Critical Reading of Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age (Part II

Links and Other Interests