Corey Stephan

Academic Statement

I anticipate defending my dissertation in the Department of Theology at Marquette University in January (2022), at which time I will hold a Ph.D. in Religious Studies in the area of historical theology. I hold a Master of Theological Studies from the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry (2017) and a Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude with majors in Theology and Classical Languages and a minor in Spanish from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota (2015), both of which I earned precisely with the goal of receiving a doctoral degree in historical theology.

My broad fields of study are patristics and the theology of the Latin Middle Ages and Greek Byzantine periods. My research interests include the late Fathers of the Church (e.g. Sts. Maximus the Confessor, Gregory the Great, and John of Damascus) and their reception among the Latin Scholastics. I am an active member of the North American Patristics Society (NAPS), the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL), and the Association for Computers and the Humanities (ACH). Beyond my focus in historical theology and the history of Christianity, I engage the spectrum of the Catholic theological tradition from Biblical Studies to modern systematics.

The title of my dissertation is Maximus the Confessor in Aquinas’s Christology. First, I tell the story of how St. Maximus the Confessor’s thought made it to St. Thomas Aquinas, including several pieces of previously unnoticed manuscript evidence. This reception history constitutes a majority of the project. Next, I explain how Thomas restored Maximianism in the Latin West, following his turn toward the Greek East for theological inspiration by walking chronologically through his corpus. Finally, I explore the place of Thomas’s Maximianism in Catholic theology today, as well as the relationship between my work and the cause for Catholic and Orthodox re-communion.

What underlies all of my historical and theological research is the desire to make the richness of the Catholic intellectual tradition known to the next generation. Lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi is my perennial intellectual theme.

Also see my curriculum vitae, stand-alone publication record, and blog.

Updated on August 18, 2021.