Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

Brenna Moore

Assistant Professor
 and Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies, Rose Hill
Duane Library 145
(718) 817-4762

Th.D. - Harvard Divinity School 

M.Div. - Harvard Divinity School
B.A. - University of Colorado

Research Interests
Modern Catholic thought (with special interests in France); la nouvelle théologie; French Catholic literary revival; intellectual-cultural history in Europe; gender and religion.

Brenna Moore is the author of Sacred Dread: Raïssa Maritain, the Allure of Suffering, and the French Catholic Revival, 1905-1945 (University of Notre Dame Press, 2012). In Sacred Dread, the life and writings of Raïssa Maritain (1883-1960) are both the central topic and the environment for inquiry into the puzzling fascination with suffering that energized twentieth-century French Catholicism. In Sacred Dread and other projects, Professor Moore relies on close analysis of theological materials and situates them within European cultural and political history to illuminate broader topics of interest in the humanities. Conversations of particular interest include subject formation and theological anthropology, gender, religious difference, religious experience, and the revitalized interest in mysticism and spirituality among leftist intellectuals (both religious and secular) in twentieth-century Europe.  Professor Moore has participated in the National Endowment of the Humanities Summer Seminar on Religion, the Kanderstag Seminar on Religion in Europe for NYU’s Remarque Institute, and has presented widely at national and international conferences. For more information on Sacred Dread, click here.  For a recent review of Sacred Dread in America magazine, click here.

Professor Moore came to Fordham in 2008 from Harvard Divinity School, where she completed her doctorate in the History of Christianity with a focus on modern European Christian thought and practice.  Currently, Professor Moore is pursuing two new projects. The first explores the debates surrounding the ressourcement impulse that animated the theological circuits in early twentieth-century France and laid the ground work for the Second Vatican Council. She is examining the tumultuous relationship between two Jesuit historians of spirituality, Michel de Certeau and Henri de Lubac, to explore their divergent views on how modern scholars should best approach the study of Christian premodernity. In this effort to fill out a more complex picture of Catholicism’s “turn to the past,” she is also exploring the contributions of under-explored lay women medievalists, Marie-Therese d’Avlerny and Marie-Madeleine Davy, who both shared an  interest in the place of religious difference in Christian history (Christian encounters with Islam and Buddhism in particular). In a second project, Professor Moore explores the topic of friendship as a richer way to understand religious subjectivity.  At Fordham, she regularly teaches undergraduate courses on controversies in the modern Catholic Church, Christian thought and practice, and a new comparative religion course called “Religion as Human Experience.” At the graduate level, Professor Moore offers courses in late-modern Christian history and special seminars such as the new course “Medieval Modernisms” offered Spring 2013.

Sacred Dread: Raïssa Maritain, the Allure of Suffering, and the French Catholic Revival (1905-1945)(1905-1945) (University of Notre Dame Press, 2012).

“Friendship Renders the Sacred Real,” Reverberations: New Directions in the Study of Prayer. July 8, 2013.

“Philosemitism under a Darkening Sky: Jews and Judaism in the French Catholic Revival (1900-1940).” Catholic Historical Review. Vol 99, no. 2, April 2013

“How to Awaken the Dead: Michel de Certeau, Henri de Lubac, and the Instabilities Between the Past and Present,” Spiritus: A Journal of Christian Spirituality vol. 3 no. 12, Fall 2012.

“Suffering Femininity, Devotion, and French Catholic History: Raïssa Maritain (1883-1960) and Léon Bloy (1846-1917).”  Spiritus: A Journal of Christian Spirituality, vol. 1, no. 9, Spring 2009.

 “Into the Catacombs of the Past: Women, Wartime Trauma and Ressourcement in French Catholicism,” chapter in ‘God’s Mirror’: Renewal and Engagement in French Catholic Intellectual Culture in the Mid-Twentieth Century. Forthcoming with Fordham University Press.

“Cracks in the Theology of Contempt: The French Roots of Nostra-Aetate” (co-author with Richard Crane). Forthcoming in Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations.


THEO  3390-R01: Church in Controversy, TF 10:00-11:15
THEO 3390-R02: Church in Controversy, TF 11:30-12:45
THEO 6444-R01: Medieval Modernisms, T 4:00-6:30

FALL 2013

HPRH 3001-R02: Religion in the Modern World, TF 2:30-3:45
THEO 3853-R01: Spirituality and Politics, TF 10:00-11:15

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