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Bruce Morrill

Edward A. Malloy Chair of Roman Catholic Studies
Professor of Theological Studies
On leave Fall 2022 and Spring 2023

Dr. Bruce Morrill focuses his theological scholarship in the area of liturgy and sacraments, drawing upon a range of interdisciplinary resources in the fields of systematic and historical theology, ritual studies, cultural anthropology, and biblical studies. His other primary and strongly related interest is in political theologies, as they investigate the problems of suffering in social contexts.

His work has come together most comprehensively in his books, Practical Sacramental Theology: At the Intersection of Liturgy and Ethics (Cascade Books, 2021), Divine Worship and Human Healing: Liturgical Theology at the Margins of Life and Death (Pueblo/Liturgical Press, 2009), and Anamnesis as Dangerous Memory: Political and Liturgical Theology in Dialogue (Pueblo/Liturgical Press, 2000).

Other recent books include Encountering Christ in the Eucharist: The Paschal Mystery in People, Word, and Sacrament (Paulist Press, 2012) and The Essential Writings of Bernard Cooke: A Narrative Theology of Church, Sacrament, and Ministry (Paulist Press, 2016). His current research and writing projects include constructing a mystical-political theology (mystagogy) of the Easter Season.

Dr. Morrill is Past President of the North American Academy of Liturgy. He has lectured widely in North America, Europe, and Australia and has enjoyed appointments to visiting chairs and fellowships at a number of institutions in the USA, Belgium, and Ireland. Prior to coming to Vanderbilt, Professor Morrill was on the faculty of Boston College for fifteen years, where he served as Graduate Program Director in the Theology Department. At present he is Director of the new Doctor of Ministry program at Vanderbilt Divinity School.

Bruce Morrill is a Roman Catholic priest and member of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits). In Nashville he presides and preaches at area parishes, as needed, provides pastoral-liturgical ministry at state prisons (Riverbend Maximum Security Institute, Tennessee Prison for Women, and the Lois M. DeBerry Special Needs Facility) and serves as Spiritual Liaison for the local community of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. During Holy Week and Easter, 2019, he resumed his occasional pastoral service to Yup’ik eskimo villages in western Alaska, where he had made annual trips from 2001 to 2010, as well as in 2015.


Special Issue Editor, “Sacramental Theology: Theory and Practice from Multiple Perspectives,” Religions (2019). Open Access to this peer-reviewed publication.


Notable Interviews & Events:

INTERVIEW 8/31/16: Divinity Theological Librarian Chris Benda explores Professor Morrill’s The Essential Writings of Bernard Cooke: A Narrative Theology of Church, Sacrament, and Ministry.

INTERVIEW 5/3/16: Professor Morrill discusses the vision and impact of Pope Francis, including the spirituality of the Jesuit order of which he is a part, on “Focus,” the news analysis program of WCPI (public radio, McMinnville, TN).

INTERVIEW 9/14/12: Divinity Theological Librarian Chris Benda talks with Professor Morrill about his recently published Encountering Christ in the Eucharist: The Paschal Mystery in People, Word, and Sacrament.

ON CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME: Engaging Pope Francis’s Ecological Injustice Encyclical Conference

March 17-18, 2016

Videos of Both Days' Lectures

Morrill, Bruce T. "Good Table Manners? The Presence and Participation of Fellow Christians at Roman Catholic Mass." Liturgy 31, no. 3 (2016): 37-45.

Post-print:  free access  •  Published:  Vanderbilt access  | non-Vanderbilt access (purchase may be required)

Listen to an interview about this article.