Dr. Matthew Philipp Whelan is Assistant Professor of Moral Theology in the Honors Program, where his research centers on Catholic social teaching, Latin American and liberation theologies, and ecological theology and ethics. Besides offering courses on these subjects, he also teaches scripture, church history, Christian theology and ethics, and both ancient and medieval great texts.
Dr. Whelan is the author of the award-winning book, Blood in the Fields: Óscar Romero, Catholic Social Teaching, and Land Reform (Catholic University of America Press, 2020), which argues that Romero’s advocacy for justice in the distribution of land—a commitment with deep roots in the Christian tradition and preserved in Catholic social teaching—illumines the meaning of his witness, along with that of other land and environmental defenders today. Dr. Whelan is currently at work on two additional book projects: the first, Christianity and Agroecology (under contract with Cambridge University Press), draws upon agroecology, a transdisciplinary science integrating ecological principles into agriculture, in order to deepen and concretize Christian ethical commitment. The second, Poverty, Luxury, and Art (co-authored with Natalie Carnes), asks how Christians faithfully negotiate the excesses of art in a world of need. His articles can be found in Modern Theology, Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics, International Journal of Systematic Theology, Journal of Moral Theology, Communio, Nova et Vetera, Crosscurrents, among other venues.
Dr. Whelan’s scholarship is informed by his years working with farming communities in Central America, as well as his involvement in COMPARTE (Spanish for “Share”), a Jesuit-affiliated network of learning and action that works with producer organizations and other social actors to envision and embody alternatives to dominant models of development. He is an avid gardener and composter, and he and his wife Natalie have three daughters.