Francis X. Clooney
BA, Fordham University
MDiv, Weston School of Theology
PhD, University of Chicago
Francis X. Clooney, S.J., joined the Divinity School in 2005, and has offered classes with and served on the Committee on the Study of Religion since then. He is Parkman Professor of Divinity and Professor of Comparative Theology and director of the Center for the Study of World Religions. After earning his doctorate in South Asian Languages and Civilizations (University of Chicago, 1984), he taught at Boston College 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.
Professor Clooney is the author of numerous articles and books, including most recently Beyond Compare: St. Francis and Sri Vedanta Desika on Loving Surrender to God (Georgetown University Press, 2008), The Truth, the Way, the Life: Christian Commentary on the Three Holy Mantras of the Srivaisnava Hindus (Peeters Publishing, 2008), and Comparative Theology: Deep Learning Across Religious Borders (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010). He recently edited The New Comparative Theology: Voices from the Next Generation (Continuum, 2010). His current major project is an exercise in dramatic theology, the reading of Bernard of Clairvaux's sermons on the Song of Songs along with Nampillai's commentary on Satakopan's Tiruvaymoli, in accord with the theme of the search for the absent God. He is a Roman Catholic priest and a member of the Society of Jesus; in July 2010, he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy.
Professor Clooney is currently teaching; his last leave was 2013-2014.
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