Regular Faculty

Fr. Michael Dodds, OP

DSPT Professor - Fr. Michael Dodds, OP

Professor of Philosophy and Theology

Office Location: East 201
Phone: 510-883-2080
Office Hours: Mondays and Thursdays, 11:00 am-12:00 pm



BA (Philosophy), MA (Philosophy), St. Albert College; MDiv, MA (Theology), Dominican School of Philosophy & Theology; STD, University of Fribourg, Switzerland.


Fr. Michael was born in Des Moines, Iowa. When he was thirteen, his family moved to Seattle, where he went to Blanchet High School and Seattle University before joining the Dominicans in 1970. After ordination, he taught for three years with the Christian Brothers at St. Mary's College, Moraga, California, and then went to the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, for doctoral work. He has taught at DSPT since 1985. He has served as Academic Dean at DSPT, as the Theology Area Convener at the GTU, and as Student Master, Regent of Studies, and Vicar Provincial for the Western Dominican Province.

Courses Taught:

Research Interests:

Fr. Michael's research interests are generally aimed at fostering a dialogue between the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas and contemporary philosophy and science. In philosophical anthropology, he is studying the mind-brain problem and human wholeness, retrieving Aquinas's notion of formal causality. In the area of "Divine Action", he is interested in showing how the discoveries of contemporary science invite a retrieval of Aquinas' understanding of efficient, formal, and final causality.

Selected Publications:

  • Unlocking Divine Action: Contemporary Science and Thomas Aquinas Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 2012. Order page.
  • The Philosophy of Nature, Oakland, CA: Western Dominican Province, 2010. Order page.
  • The Unchanging God of Love: Thomas Aquinas and Contemporary Theology on Divine Immutability. Second Edition. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 2008. Order page.
  • Bill Dodds and Michael J. Dodds, O.P. Happily Ever After Begins Here and Now:  Living the Beatitudes Today. Chicago, IL: Loyola Press, 2010 (1997). Order page.
Articles and Chapters
  • "God, Proofs for the Existence of." In New Catholic Encyclopedia Supplement 2012-13: Ethics and Philosophy (forthcoming). 
  • "Causality, Divine," in New Catholic Encyclopedia Supplement 2012-13: Ethics and Philosophy (forthcoming).
  • "The Doctrine of Causality in Aquinas and The Book of Causes: One Key to Understanding the Nature of Divine Action." In Aquinas's Sources: The Notre Dame Symposium, edited by Timothy L. Smith. South Bend, IN: St. Augustine's Press, (forthcoming).
  • "Top Down, Bottom Up or Inside Out? Retrieving Aristotelian Causality in Contemporary Science." In Science, Philosophy and Theology,edited by John O'Callaghan. South Bend, IN: St. Augustine's Press, (forthcoming).
  • "Daily Meditations for December, 2012." In My Daily Visitor 55, no. 6 (November/December, 2012), edited by Monica Dodds and Bill Dodds. Huntington IN: Our Sunday Visitor, Inc.
  • "Scientific Vetoes and the 'Hands-off' God: Divine Immanence, Quantum Mechanics, and the Search for a Better Way." Response to Thomas Tracy, "Scientific Vetoes and the "Hands-off" God: Can We Say that God Acts in History?" Theology and Science 10 (2012): 89-94.
  • "Keys to Divine Action: Thomas Aquinas and Contemporary Science," pdf Ad Gentes Winter 2012 (Berkeley, CA:  Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology).
  • "Hylomorphism and Human Wholeness: Perspectives on the Mind-Brain Problem." Theology and Science 7 (2009): 141-62.
  • "Unlocking Divine Causality: Aquinas, Contemporary Science, and Divine Action." Angelicum 86 (2009): 67-86.
  • "The Teaching of Thomas Aquinas on the Mysteries of the Life of Christ (Summa Theologiae, Part III, Questions 27-45)." In Thomas Aquinas and Christian Doctrine. Edited by Thomas G. Weinandy, OFM. Cap., et. al., 91-115. London: T&T Clark/ Continuum, 2004.
  • "Science, Causality and Divine Action: Classical Principles for Contemporary Challenges." CTNS Bulletin 21, no.1 (Winter 2001): 3-12.


Book Reviews
  • D. Z. Phillips, The Problem of Evil and the Problem of God. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2004. Nova et Vetera (forthcoming).
  • Nicholas E. Lombardo, O.P. The Logic of Desire: Aquinas on Emotion. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 2011. Pro Ecclesia (forthcoming).
  • Dietrich von Hildebrand, The Heart: an Analysis of Human and Divine Affectivity. South Bend, IN: St. Augustine's Press, 2007. Review of Metaphysics (forthcoming).
  • James E. Dolezal, God Without Parts: Divine Simplicity and the Metaphysics of God's Absoluteness. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2011. The Thomist (forthcoming).
  • James F. Keating and Thomas Joseph White, O.P., editors, Divine Impassibility and the Mystery of Human Suffering. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2009. Pro Ecclesia 19 (2010): 460-63.

Other Publications and Events

Public Speaking Engagements and Talks