Gerard J. Ryan, SJ

B.A. (University of Toronto); M.Div. (Regis); S.T.L. (Regis); D.Phil. (Oxford).

Director, Basic Degree Programs
Assistant Professor, Political Theology

Teaching Level: Basic and Advanced Degree
Specialization: Political Theology
Cross-listed to Theological and Pastoral Theology

Gerard Ryan joined Regis College in 2020, having completed his doctoral studies in the Department of Theology and Religion, University of Oxford. His studies were supervised by Professors Werner G. Jeanrond and Graham Ward. Prior to arriving at Regis, Gerard was a Visiting Research Fellow at Trinity College Dublin. His current research explores recognition theories and vulnerability studies as resources for a theological understanding of mutual accompaniment.



Ecological Accompaniment in an Age of Loneliness: New Landscapes in Practical Theology (London: Routledge), in progress and expected in 2025.

  • Research Interests and Expertise

    Gerard’s thesis for his Master of Theology and Licentiate in Sacred Theology considered theological questions of solidarity.


    At Oxford, his doctorate set out to examine the interrelationship between recent theories of recognition and theology. Opting for Charles Taylor’s suggestive and much debated text “The Politics of Recognition” from 1992 as the starting point, Gerard developed arguments for its relevance for theology. In particular, the aim was a practice-orientated theological reflection emerging from and contributing constructively to the pastoral accompaniment of persons with disabilities. At the same time, the thesis argued that recognition theories can benefit from such a theological reflection, too. The ‘theological exploration’ moves in two directions, in other words: It examines recognition theories by way of theology and enlightens theology by way of recognition theories. The method of the thesis is hermeneutical-constructive, aiming at uncovering and developing theological resources for the practice of ‘mutual accompaniment’.


    His published work has examined implications for theological reflection drawing on aspects of recognition theory, particularly through the work of Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor.


    Current research interests:


    • Science of Loneliness and religion


    Further areas of interest and expertise:


    • Recognition theories and theology
    • Theologies of accompaniment
    • Narrative and vulnerability studies
    • Secularism and religion
    • Participation and pastoral theologies
    • Theology as a relational discipline
    • Transcendence and transformation
  • Courses

    • RGT3645H/ 6645H Political Theologies and Recognition Theories (Summer/ May, 2023)
    • RGT3xxx/6xxxH—Religious Meaning in a Secular World
    • RGT3xxx/6xxxHS—Human Beings as Embodied, Vulnerable and Social

  • Selected publications

    • Ecological Accompaniment in an Age of Loneliness: New Landscapes in Practical Theology (London: Routledge), in progress and expected in 2025.
    • Mutual Accompaniment as Faith-Filled Living: Recognition of the Vulnerable Other (New York: Palgrave MacMillian, 2022)
    Chapters in Books
    • “Ecological Accompaniment: From Connectivity to Closeness in an Age of Loneliness,” in Issues in Science and Theology, ed. Michael Fuller (Cham, Switzerland, Springer Nature, 2023). Forthcoming.
    Articles in Journals
    • Ryan, Gerard, ‘Charles Taylor and the Political Recognition of Difference as a Resource for Theological Reflection on Religious Recognition’, Open Theology 2, no.1 (2016): 907-23
    • Toronto Journal of Theology (TJT)
    Conference Presentations, 2022
    • The Twelfth International Conference on Religion & Spirituality in Society, University of Cordoba, Cordoba, Spain
    • ESSSAT: European Society for the Study of Science and Theology,
      Ålesund, Norway

  • Currently Teaching

    RGT1101HF—Foundations of Theology

  • Research Grants

    Recipient of American Association for the Advancement of Science Grant, “Climate Change and Theological Education (2024-2025),” $15,000 (USD).



    Recipient of The College of The Holy Cross International Visiting Jesuit Fellows Scholarship (Winter Term, 2024), $22,000 (USD).



    Recipient, along with Prof. John Berkman, of Science for Seminaries Seed Grant Initiative of the American Association for the Advancement of Science