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Hilary Martin, OP

Professor Emeritus of Philosophy & Theology


  • PhD, UCLA
  • MLitt, Oxford (St. Catherine's)
  • MTh, STLr, St. Albert's College
  • BA, St. Albert's College

Research Interests

  • Church history, councils of reunion and reform
  • Thomas Aquinas on truth and politics
  • new developments in natural law
  • myths and rituals of aboriginal communities of North Central Australia

Courses Taught

  • Thomas Aquinas on Truth (PH-4211)
  • From Constance to Vatican II (HS-4163)
  • Papacy, Councils & Collegiality (HS-5123)
  • Thomas on Nichomachean Ethics (PH-4011)
  • Myth, Ritual, & Sacrament (HRST-4220)
  • Thomistic Texts on Politics (PH-4012)
  • Councils of Reunion & Reform (PH-4055)
  • Thomas Aquinas on Politics & Ethnic Activity (PH-4212)

Recent Publications

  • “Trouble in Eden.” New Blackfriars 1 (2009).
  • “The Ordination of Women and the Theologians in the Middle Ages.” In A History of Women and Ordination, ed. Bernard Looke and Gary Macy. Lanham, Maryland, and London: The Scarecrow Press, Inc. 2002.
  • People from the Dawn. Antioch: Solis Press, 2001.
  • The Reality of Myth. Antioch: Solis Press, 2000.
  • “Australian Aboriginal Religion.” In Teaching the Introductory Course in Religious Studies: A Sourcebook, ed. Mark Juergensmeyer. Atlanta: Scholar Press, 1991, p. 139-147.
  • “A Hierarchy of Values in Genesis: Can Religions Change.” Pacifica: Australian Theological Studies (Feb. 1990).
  • “The Four Senses of Scripture: Lessons from the Thirteenth Century.” Pacifica: Australian Theological Studies (Feb. 1989).
  • “Healing at Port Keats.” Nelen Yubu 37 (Summer 1988/9).
  • “The Healing of the Lord.” Compass: Theological Review (1988).

From the Professor

I enjoy conversation. I believe that honest and intelligent dialogue between professor and student, and students among themselves, is the best form of communication and sets down the deepest roots. I enjoy lecturing, but always in combination with discussion. Through this method students gain sufficient confidence so that they transmit both Catholic and classic traditions in a professional and pastoral manner. Through teaching, I hope to stir up enthusiasm for inquiry and deepen the critical judgments in my students. I also believe that art, music and ritual should not be neglected.

My interest in the history of the Church focuses on the way Gospel values have influenced Western and non-Western societies, while my interest in other cultures has shown me how the mystery of God can express itself through religious myth and ritual and historic revelation of all peoples.

I have spent a number of years in Australia, living with and in aboriginal communities, and have travelled to Indonesia. I am currently studying and working out the “fundamental narrative” (i.e. the basic symbolic history) found amid the myths and rituals of aboriginal communities of North Central Australia. I collect indigenous art and enjoy living out their ceremonies. I have also taught in Melbourne, Australia at Catholic Theological College (CTC) and at Yarra Theological Union (YTU) focusing on ecumenical councils of reunion and reform, and on new developments in natural law.

I am a member of American Academy of Religion, American Catholic Philosophical Association, American Historical Association, The Medieval Academy of America, The American Philosophical Association, Australian Association of the History of Religion, Australian Catholic Theological Association, Catholic Theological Society of America, Medieval Association of the Pacific and Society for the Scientific Study of Religion.