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Rev. Dr. ROONEY, James Dominic (Alan), OP

Assistant Professor
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3411 7295
CEC 1008
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  • Organizer of Angelicum Faculty of Philosophy Colloquia Series (2020-2021)
  • Doctoral commission for the Angelicum Faculty of Philosophy (2020-2021)
  • Examiner in Licentiate Degrees for the Angelicum Faculty of Philosophy (2020-2021)
  • Reviewer of the following academic journals or presses: Theology and Science, Journal of Ecumenical Studies, Journal of Analytic Theology, Zygon, Comparative Philosophy, Faith & Philosophy, European Journal of Philosophy, Res Philosophica, Bloomsbury Academic, Roczniki Filozoficzne, CUA Press, American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly.


  • Ph.D. Philosophy, Saint Louis University, 2020.
  • M.A./M.Div. Theology, Aquinas Institute of Theology, 2015.
  • M.A. Philosophy, University of Toledo, 2009.
  • Ph.B. Philosophy, Catholic University of America, 2008.
Taught previously at:Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Rome), St. Louis University


Courses Taught currently
  • GFVM1036 Happiness: East and West
  • GTSU2016 Human Rights in a Multicultural World
Teaching area(s):
  • Metaphysics
  • Medieval Philosophy
  • Chinese Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Religion

Research Areas:


Free Will, Composition, Metaphysics of Science (esp. Biology and Physics), Meta-Metaphysics


Philosophy of Religion

Grace and Freedom, Group Activity (esp. Grace, Liturgy, Church), Religious Epistemology


History of Philosophy

Ancient, Medieval (esp. Thomas Aquinas), Chinese Confucianism (esp. Zhu Xi)


Political Philosophy

 Public Reason, Perfectionism, Natural Law

Current Projects:

  • Freedom and the Good: Beyond Classical Liberalism, edited volume on perfectionist traditions in political philosophy, with co-editor Patrick Zoll.
  • “Classical Theists are Committed to the Palamite Distinction Between God’s Essence and Energies,” in Classical Theism: New Essays on the Metaphysics of God, eds. R. Koons and J. Fuqua (Routledge, forthcoming).


Articles in progress:

  •  - “Metaphysical Fundamentality as a Fundamental Problem for CS Peirce and Zhu Xi,” 
  •  - “Survivalism, Suitably Modified,”
  •  - “Buddhists Don’t Need Glue,”
  •  - “A Neo-Banezian Alternative: Free Will and God’s Causality”

Recent Publications:

  • Material Objects in Confucian and Aristotelian Metaphysics: The Inevitability of Hylomorphism (Bloomsbury Academic, forthcoming).
  • “The Metaphysics of Creation: Secondary Causality, Modern Science” in the Cambridge Companion to Aquinas, 2nd edition, eds. E. Stump and T. White (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).
  • “Vocation to Love: Supererogation in Aquinas,” in International Journal of Systematic Theology (forthcoming). [IJST/SST Colin Gunton Memorial Essay Prize]
  • “Banez’s Big Problem: The Ground of Freedom,” in Faith and Philosophy (forthcoming).
  • “An Alleged Contradiction in Dignitatis Humanae” in Angelicum 98/2 (2021): 99-118.
  • “Eucharistic Locus of the Presbyterate in Aquinas and Zizioulas: A Proposal for a Theology of the Priesthood” in Antiphon, Vol. 24, No. 3 (Dec. 2020): 243-270.
Select Outputs
  • Material Objects in Confucian and Aristotelian Metaphysics: The Inevitability of Hylomorphism (Bloomsbury Academic, forthcoming).
  • “Why All Classical Theists Should Believe in Physical Premotions, But It Doesn't Really Matter (For Freedom)” in International Journal for the Philosophy of Religion, 88 (Feb. 2020): 139-166.
  • “What is the Value of Faith for Salvation? A Thomistic Response to Kvanvig,” in Faith and Philosophy, Vol. 36, Is. 4 (Oct. 2019): 463-490. 10.5840/faithphil20191125134
  • “Grounding Relations Are Not Unified: Aquinas and Heil Versus Schaffer” in International Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 59, Is. 1 (Mar. 2019): 59-64.
  • “Believing the Incomprehensible God: Aquinas on Understanding God’s Testimony” in Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association, Vol. 92 (2018): 111-122.
  • Review of Keith Ward’s The Christian Idea of God: A Philosophical Foundation for Faith (Cambridge University Press, 2017) in Religious Studies Review, Vol. 46, Is. 4 (Dec. 2020): 535.
  • Review of Richard Kim’s Confucianism and the Philosophy of Well-Being (New York, NY: Routledge, 2020) in Religious Studies Review, Vol. 46, Is. 3 (Sept. 2020): 390-391.
  • Review of David Oderberg’s The Metaphysics of Good and Evil (New York, NY: Routledge, 2020) in Religious Studies Review, Vol. 46, Is. 3 (Sept. 2020): 392-392.
Selected Conference Presentations:
  • “To be a ‘Buddhist Theist’” at the Global Philosophy of Religion Project Online Conference by the University of Birmingham. June 22 – 24, 2021.
  • “Freedom, Even if God Decrees It,” at Helsinki Analytic Theology Workshop (HEAT) 2021. Online. May 27-28, 2021.
  • “Whether Buddhists Need Glue,” at the American Philosophical Association Meeting, Central Division. Online. February 22-27, 2021.
  • “Confucian Hylomorphism: Zhu Xi Among the Aristotelians,” at the University of St. Thomas, Houston, TX, Center for Thomistic Studies Colloquium Series. December 2020.
Award / Selected Research Grants:
  • 2020 IJST/SST Colin Gunton Memorial Prize (£200): “Vocation to Love: Supererogation in Aquinas”
  • Honorable Mention for the St. Louis University College of Arts & Sciences Distinguished Dissertation Award 2021 ($150, one of two awards)
  • Recipient of a Civitas Dei Summer Fellowship (sponsored by the Thomistic Institute and the Institute for Human Ecology) on Faith, Reason, and the State, June 14-19, 2020
  • 2020 Collins Award for Graduate Student Excellence ($1250, SLU departmental award)
  • Visiting PhD student fellowship with “The Christian West and Islamic East: Theology, Science, and Knowledge,” at University of Missouri-St. Louis, 2019
Knowledge Transfer Activities / Projects
  • “Is it reasonable to believe we have immortal souls?” at the Thomistic Institute, Rome. Online. June 10th, 2021.
  • “Is it reasonable to believe we have immortal souls?” for the共融学会. Online. March 6th, 2021.
  • “The Illiberal Project Will Fail,” in the Catholic Herald (April 10th, 2021). Online:
  • “The Form of the Liturgy,” in Homiletic and Pastoral Review (April 2020). Online: