Ben Brown, Ph.D.
Dr. Benjamin Brown is a well-respected teacher and scholar at Lourdes and nationally. Known for his balance of passion and academic rigor in the classroom, he enjoys bringing faith and reason together in challenging students to think deeply about the most important things. He has taught both undergraduate and graduate courses at Lourdes for twelve years, and has developed over twenty different courses.
Dr. Brown has published and presented in academic venues across the country on marriage and family issues, Christian ethics, justice and mercy, social justice, consumerism, restlessness and love, and a variety of other topics. He is particularly known for his scholarship on St. Anselm of Canterbury and Raymund Schwager, and was awarded a Lourdes University Faculty Fellowship grant for his work on a book chapter on Anselm.
A well-liked speaker, Dr. Brown is regularly sought for and has offered over one hundred popular presentations, day-long courses, seminars, or other classes in Ohio and Michigan. He teaches for the Toledo Diocese diaconate formation program, alternative educational programs in Ann Arbor, and the Mysterium Christi faith formation program. He has presented on dozens of different topics and delights in the opportunity to bring complex theological concepts to people in a way that shows the power of the truth to transform lives.
Dr. Brown has served at the national level on the Anglican-Roman Catholic ecumenical dialogue as well as an advisor for the U. S. Bishops Conference as a member of the National Advisory Council. He assisted for nearly ten years on the Toledo Diocese ecumenical commission, for which he offered presentations, reviewed materials and helped develop an ecumenical training program. He has helped Catholic schools in various consultation capacities and currently serves on the Board of the CTK Homeschool Community Group for which he helped to develop the high school curriculum.
Born and raised in Oregon State, he graduated from the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio with a triple major in math, computer science, and theology. His graduate work in theology took place at Catholic University of America, where he wrote his dissertation on Swiss theologian Raymund Schwager.
His interdisciplinary background manifests itself in his passion to bring a wide variety of disciplines together in the classroom. Dr. Brown has also drawn upon his technological training to lead an Ohio Learning Network Course ReVision Grant that helped Lourdes obtain the technology and training for its first Learning Management System a decade ago.
“The Christian Humanism of Anselm of Canterbury.” In A Companion to Medieval Christian Humanism: Essays on Principal Thinkers. Ed. John P. Bequette. Companions to the Christian Tradition, ed. Christopher M. Bellitto, vol. 69. Boston, MA: Brill, 2016.
“Justice and Mercy in Raymund Schwager’s Soteriology.” International Journal of Systematic Theology. Vol 17, no. 2 (2015): 212-228.
“St. Anselm’s Soteriology in Redemptor Hominis.” American Theological Inquiry. Vol. 6, no. 2 (2013): 59-71.
“Bonaventure on the Impossibility of a Beginningless World: Why the Traversal Argument Works.” American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly. 79 (2005): 389-409.
“Apologia pro Cur Deus Homo.” Fides Quaerens Intellectum. 2 (2003): 227-267.
“The Integration of Law and Virtue: Obedience in Aquinas’s Moral Theology.” Irish Theological Quarterly. 67 (2002): 333-351.
National Academic Conference Presentations
“‘We Shall See Him as He Is’: Moving from Skills-focused Busy-ness to Holistic Contemplative Formation.” Presented at the annual conference of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists at Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, MI. Oct. 28-29, 2016.
“Consumerism as Restless Detachment and Its Influence on Marriage and Family Life: Understanding a Key Issue for Social Work and Evangelization.” Presented at the annual conference of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists at Mount Saint Mary’s University, Emmitsburg, MD. Oct. 24-25, 2014.
“Love and Leisure: Retrieving Genuine Restfulness as a Moral Category.” Presented at the annual New Wine, New Wineskins Moral Theology conference at the University of Notre Dame. August 1-3, 2014.
“The Unity of Justice and Mercy in Anselm of Canterbury.” Presented at the annual New Wine, New Wineskins Moral Theology conference at the University of Notre Dame. July 26-27, 2013.
“‘The Truth Shall Set You Free: Raymund Schwager’s Theology of Jesus the Scapegoat.” Presented at the annual conference of the College Theology Society at Iona College, New York. June 3, 2011.
“Saint Anselm of Canterbury in Redemptor Hominis.” Presented at the 46th International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan. May 13, 2011.
“Rethinking Desire: Is a Kenotic Capitalism Possible?” Presented at the annual New Wine, New Wineskins conference at the University of Notre Dame. June 24-26, 2010.
“Family as First Teacher of Good Economic Practice.” Presented at the annual conference of the College Theology Society at the University of Portland. June 3-6, 2010.
“Justice, Grace and the God of Non-violence: An Analysis of Raymund Schwager’s New Proposal.” Presented at the annual conference of the College Theology Society at the University of Notre Dame. May 28-31, 2009.
“Consuming Marriage: The Roots of Marriage as a Consumer Good in American Life and a Counterproposal.” Presented at the annual conference of the College Theology Society at the University of Dayton. May 31-June 3, 2007.
Select Book Reviews
Review of Catholic Economics: Alternatives to the Jungle by Angus Sibley. Catholic Social Science Review. 2017.
Review of Commonwealth and Covenant: Economics, Politics, and Theologies of Relationality by Marcia Pally. Published at http://CatholicBooksReview.org. August, 2016.
Review of Jesus and Salvation: Soundings in the Christian Tradition and Contemporary Theology by Robin Ryan. Published at http://CatholicBooksReview.org. March, 2016.
Review of Faith and Unbelief by Stephen Bullivant. Published at http://CatholicBooksReview.org. February, 2015.
Review of Living the Truth: A Theory of Action by Klaus Demmer. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics 32 (2012): 227-28.
Review of Christ Our Hope: An Introduction to Eschatology by Paul O’Callaghan. Published at http://CatholicBooksReview.org. Sept., 2011.
Review of The Consumer Experience of Higher Education: The Rise of Capsule Education by Dierdre McArdle-Clinton. Teaching Theology and Religion 13, no. 4 (2010): 391-3.
Review of Being Consumed: Economics and Christian Desire by William T. Cavanaugh. Published at http://CatholicBooksReview.org. August, 2008. Reprinted in: In the Vineyard, June 18, 2009.
Boards, Councils & Consultations
CTK Homeschool Community Group, Ann Arbor, Board member, 2014-present
External Reviewer for St. Kateri Schools accreditation, 2013
Diocese of Toledo Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs Commission member, 2006-2013
National Advisory Council to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops member (4 year term, 2009- 2013)
Non-voting participant in the Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogue in the United States (ARC-USA)
Awards & Grants
Sabbatical awarded for work on a book, Love and Leisure: Finding Rest in a Restless World. Fall, 2014.
Lourdes University Scholarship Fellowship Grant for work on a book chapter on Anselm of Canterbury’s Christian Humanism, 2013-14.
Lourdes College Scholarship Fellowship Grant for work on a paper on family and economics, 2010-11.
Consultation on Catholic identity for Our Lady of Grace grade school, 2009
Ohio Learning Network Course ReVision grant facilitator, 2007-8
Faculty Excellence Award, Lourdes College, 2007-8.
National Catholic Education Association Catholic Elementary School Distinguished Graduate award, 2006.
Catholic University of America, Hubbard Dissertation Fellowship recipient, 2005.
Franciscan University Alpha Phi Delta Award, given to the graduating senior with the highest grade point average, 2000.
Select Popular Presentations
“Mercy as the Meaning of Life: Mercy, Trust, Humility, and Freedom at the Heart of the Gospel.” Presentation at Our Lady of Lourdes parish in Genoa, OH for Emmaus Days adult education and CEU. Aug. 4, 2016.
Interview on the virtue of hope and eternal life with Patricia Oedy-Murray for “The Virtuous Life” radio show, Annunciation Radio. April, 2016.
“Flying High with the Gospel of John.” Presentation at Our Lady of Lourdes parish in Genoa, OH for Emmaus Days adult education and CEU. Aug. 6, 2015.
“Romanesque and Gothic Architecture.” Presentation to St. Augustine’s Home School Tutorial. St. Patrick parish, Whitmore Lake, MI. Dec. 9, 2015.
“Typology and Prophecy in the Bible,” as a guest speaker for an Old Testament class. Christ the King homeschool co-op, Ann Arbor, MI. May 14, 2015.
Three presentations for seminar on The Theology of the Body and the New Evangelization: “Falling in Love with Christ,” “Living and Loving Deeply,” and “Embodying the Gospel of Love.” St. Michael the Archangel Parish, Findlay, OH. April 26, 2014.
“Mary’s Role in Salvation History.” Two presentations for the Toledo Catholic Men’s Conference. Seagate Conference Center, Toledo, OH. March 15, 2014.
“Baroque Art, the Enlightenment, and Neo-classical Art.” Presentation to St. Augustine’s Home School Tutorial. St. Patrick parish, Whitmore Lake, MI. Sept. 25, 2013.
“Why Marriage is Awesome.” Presentation for the Celebrate Marriage evening at St. Joseph parish, Maumee. Mar 9, 2013.
“Iconography and Gothic Art.” Presentation to St. Augustine’s Home School Tutorial. St. Patrick parish, Whitmore Lake, MI. Oct. 24, 2012.
Annunciation Radio show Faith Alive discussion about religious liberty. September 4, 2012.
“Religious Liberty.” Presentation and conversation with a group in Toledo, Ohio. May 31, 2012.
“Marital Spirituality.” Talk to engaged couples at Corpus Christi University Parish. Toledo, OH. Apr. 21, 2012.
“The Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation.” Presentation to faculty of Franciscan Academy of Lourdes University. Apr. 17, 2012.
“The Sacraments in General: The Beauty of God’s Plan?” Presentation to faculty of Franciscan Academy of Lourdes University. Apr. 3, 2012.
“Moral Theology and Contemporary Bioethics Issues.” A series of presentations and reflections for the Diocese of Toledo Deacon’s Conference. Findlay, OH. Nov. 4-5, 2011.
“The Catholic View of the Afterlife.” Class for teacher in-service. St. Pius X parish school, Toledo, OH. Nov. 2, 2010.
Keynote address at the Lourdes University Research Symposium: “Reflections on St. Francis and the Nature of Research.” April 20, 2010. Published in The Cord, “Reflections on St. Francis and the Nature of Research,” 63.2 (2013): 154-62.
“Church History: St. Thomas Aquinas to Vatican II,” for St. Luke’s Deanery at Our Lady of Lourdes parish, Toledo, OH. Mar 24, 2010.
“What Would a Catholic Do?: Decisions in the 20s to 40s.” Presentation for Rosary Cathedral Lenten lecture series. Toledo, OH. Mar 3, 2010.
“I’m Okay, You’re Okay: Is There a Source of Universal Values.” Panel Discussion at Bowling Green State University. Feb. 21, 2010.
“Eschatology” course taught for Diocese of Toledo permanent diaconate formation program. Fremont, OH. Dec. 3, 2016.
“Renaissance, Reformation and Early Modern World” course for St. Augustine’s Homeschool Enrichment Program in Whitmore Lake, MI. 2016-17.
“Old Testament” course for CTK Homeschool Community Group in Ann Arbor, MI. 2015-16.
“Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue,” a weekend course for diaconate formation program, Diocese of Toledo, Freemont, OH. Mar. 6-7, 2015.
“The Creed,” a day-long course taught for the Diocese of Toledo Mysterium Christi program. Toledo, OH. June 19, 2014.
“The Gospel Message,” a day-long course taught for the Diocese of Toledo Mysterium Christi program. Rossford, OH. Oct. 19, 2013.
“Thomistic Philosophy” course for St. Augustine’s Homeschool Enrichment Program in Whitmore Lake, MI. 2013-14.
“Moral Theology” three-day course taught for the Diocese of Toledo Mysterium Christi program. Rossford, OH. Winter, 2011-12.
“Introduction to the Gospel and Old Testament” three-day course taught for the Diocese of Toledo Mysterium Christi program. Catholic Center, Toledo, OH. Fall, 2010.
“Pneumatology and Eschatology” course taught for Diocese of Toledo permanent diaconate formation program. Catholic Center, Toledo, OH. Spring, 2007.
Courses Developed and Taught
THS 125: Foundations of Theology
THS 211: History of Christianity I
THS 212: History of Christianity II
THS 232: Theology of Marriage
THS 235: Survey of Catholic Belief
THS 265: Christian Ethics
THS 310: Trinitarian God and the Human Person
THS 312: Jesus the Christ
THS 316: Shape and Mission of the Church
THS 435: Peace, Justice, and Forgiveness
THS 490: Capstone Seminar
THS 600: Theological Foundations
THS 625: Theological Anthropology
THS 640: Ecclesiology
THS 645: Foundations of Moral Theology
THS 698: Capstone Seminar
MLS 615: Philosophy and Theology of the Human Person