Michael Anthony Abril, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology



  • Ph.D., Systematic Theology (University of Notre Dame – highest honors) – Minor in U.S. Latino/a Theology
  • M.T.S., Systematic Theology (University of Notre Dame – highest honors)
  • M.A., Theology and Christian Ministry (Franciscan University of Steubenville – highest honors)
  • B.A., Theology (Franciscan University of Steubenville)

About :

Born in Phoenix, AZ, I strive to engage important contemporary theological issues by integrating my experience as a Mexican American into a careful and rigorous retrieval of the broader Christian tradition in a way that recognizes the radical particularity of the Gospel—a Gospel that spoke to us in a particular time and place in the person of Jesus Christ precisely in order to continue to speak to new, particular needs and situations, providing a message for the world that is ever-new, even today. Although I love pondering abstract and lofty questions, I firmly believe that inasmuch as theology is ultimately oriented toward salvation, all good theology is ultimately oriented toward really and concretely transforming the world that we live in according to the awe-inspiring grace of God, which both makes a demand upon us and provides the only means for a genuine future. In this sense, theology is inherently political and inescapably contextual.

Some particular areas of interest for me include: theological anthropology, Christology, U.S. Latino/a theology, apocalyptic theology, mimetic theory, and postmodern theology. I also love incorporating the Bible, Christian mysticism, and women’s perspectives into my systematic theology. Some major figures that I enjoy reading include: Augustine, Catherine of Siena, Gertrude of Helfta, Thomas Aquinas, Søren Kierkegaard, Vladimir Solovyov, Karl Rahner, and René Girard. My dissertation was entitled The Beginning of the End: Original Sin and Apocalypse in View of Karl Rahner and René Girard. I am currently working toward a book on apocalyptic theology entitled The Apocalypse of Man.

I have a lovely wife, two daughters, and an infant son. I’m always up for chatting about gardening, woodworking, computer programming, sci-fi, or video games.

Courses Taught at Aquinas:

  • Christian Anthropology
  • Christology
  • Doctrine of God
  • Introduction to Theology & Theological Method


Selected Publications:

  • “Apocalypse at Tepeyac.” In New Frontiers in Guadalupan Studies. Edited by Virgilio Elizondo & Timothy Matovina. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2014.
  • “Lamentations 5:21 within the Development of Thomas Aquinas’ Theology of the Grace of Conversion.” International Journal of Systematic Theology 16, no. 3 (2014): 251–72.
  • Latino Studies: Catholicism.” In Oxford Bibliographies Online. Co-authored with Timothy Matovina.‌obo-9780199913701-0010.xml


Professional Associations:

  • ACHTUS (Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States
  • COV&R (Colloquium on Violence and Religion)
  • CTSA (Catholic Theological Society of America)
  • Karl Rahner Society