|Assistant Professor of Philosophy & Systematic Theology
emabry [at] stmarys.edu
Dr. Eric Mabry came to St. Mary’s in the summer of 2020. He previously served, from 2018 to 2020, as the department chair of systematic theology at Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora, New York. In 2016–17, he was the interim director for the Lonergan Research Institute in Toronto, an apostolate of the Jesuits in Canada.
Dr. Mabry received his bachelor’s degree in philosophy and theology from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas in 2011, and his master’s degree in philosophy from the Center for Thomistic Studies, also at the University of St. Thomas, in 2012. In 2018 he received his Ph.D. from the University of St. Michael’s College in Toronto. During his time in seminary education, he has also had the opportunity to participate regularly in the formation of permanent deacons and lay ministers, teachers, and catechists. He and his wife Hannah have been married for ten years and have six children.
Dr. Mabry is a Thomist deeply indebted to the thought of Erich Przywara, Etienne Gilson, and Bernard Lonergan. But both his teaching and his research have been significantly enriched by the continental legacy of thinkers such as Hans-Georg Gadamer, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Michel Henry, and Jean-Louis Chrétien. His historical research focuses on 12th– and 13th–century Christology, especially the theological synthesis of Thomas Aquinas. His systematic research explores theological questions regarding Christ’s human consciousness, the salvific efficacy of Christ’s human life, sacramental participation, and Eucharistic presence.
Dr. Mabry understands theology ecclesially and vocationally. Theology is not simply an academic profession but an integral component in the flourishing of the life of the Church—an ascetic invitation to deepen one’s knowledge and love of God. Theology is a disciplined and collaborative enterprise that is indispensable to priestly formation, both initial and ongoing. Christ handed on the mysteries of the divine life to his apostles so that they in turn could enrich the world with the power of the gospel (cf. Rom. 1:16), which is the extension of divine friendship to each human heart (ST 1a2ae.106.1c). For this reason, Dr. Mabry believes that friendship ought to play a decisive role in priestly and ministerial formation. God saved us by making us friends (cf. Rom. 5:8). If this is true, then it is only through friendship that we can become more like Christ. It is not good for any human to be alone (cf. Gen. 1:18); all humans are called to friendship, both with God and with each other (Gaudium et Spes, §12). Authentic priestly ministry, therefore, must consist in friendship because this is the model that Christ Jesus exemplifies in his own priestly ministry (cf. John 15:15).
Selected Courses Taught
- Philosophy of Nature
- Natural Theology
Service to the Church
- Co-Founder, International Conference for Collaborative Philosophy, Theology & Ministry
- Permanent Diaconate instruction
- RCIA instruction
- Parish retreats
- “In Illo Tempore: Being and Becoming in the Historical Life of Jesus Christ,” The Heythrop Journal1 (2017): 17–36
- “Inquantum est Temporaliter Homo Factum: Thomas Aquinas on the Contingent Being of Jesus Christ,” Lonergan Review (forthcoming)
Selected Conference Papers
- “Habeat Esse Creatum: The Mystery of Christ’s Being and the Christology of Thomas Aquinas,” paper presented at the “Aquinas and the Crisis of Christology” Conference, Ave Maria University, Ave Maria, FL, February 6–8, 2020
- “Passio Christi, Conforta Me: Horrors or Original Sin? Satisfaction and the Flesh of Christ,” paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion, San Diego, CA, November 23–26, 2019
- “Manifestatio Boni: Divine Beauty, Arguments from Fittingness, and the Psychological Analogy—Realigning the treatises De Trinitate and De Incarnatione,” paper presented at the 2019 International Conference for Collaborative Philosophy, Theology, and Ministry, February 22–23, 2019
- “Nihil Creatum: Some Thomistic Concerns about the Consensus Thomistarum regarding the esse of Christ,” paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Catholic Philosophical Association, November 8–11, 2018
- “Videbis Gloriam Dei: Finitude, Temporality, and Beatific Knowing in the Human Consciousness of Jesus Christ,” paper presented at the 2nd Triennial Dominican Colloquium at Berkeley, Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, Oakland, CA, July 12–15, 2017
- “Is Christ One or Two? Late Twelfth Century Approaches to the Union of Christ’s Body and Soul,” paper presented at the 41st International Patristic, Medieval, and Renaissance Conference, Villanova University, Villanova, PA, October 14–16, 2016
- “Christ Dwells in Our Hearts by Faith: An Exploration of the Intelligibility of the Invisible Mission of the Word,” paper presented at the 62nd Annual Convention of the College Theology Society, Rockhurst University, Kansas City, MO, June 2–5, 2016
- “‘No One Knows the Father Except the Son’: Addressing Questions of Finitude in the Human Consciousness of Christ—An Experiment in Christological Interiority,” paper presented at the West Coast Methods Institute, Lonergan Center, Loyola Marymount University, March 31–April 2, 2016
- Consortes Divinae Naturae: Toward a Positional Theory of the Lumen Gloriae in Aid of a Future Transposition,” paper presented at the West Coast Methods Institute, Lonergan Center, Loyola Marymount University, April 10-12, 2014
- “Misericordia eius in Saecula: Towards an Analogical Notion of Mercy secundum Mentem S. Thomae de Aquino,” paper presented at the North American meeting of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas, University of St. Thomas, Houston, TX, October 17–19, 2013
- “The Genuine Experience of Pain in the Human Nature of Christ: Patristic Questions and Medieval Answers to ‘Some Greatly Obscure Chapters of St. Hilary’,” paper presented at the 36th International Patristic, Medieval, and Renaissance Conference, Villanova University, Villanova, PA, October 21–23, 2011
- “Lonergan Today: The Relevance of His Thought for Our Contemporary Situation,” Short Address, Lonergan on the Edge Graduate Student Conference, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI (September 19, 2020)
- “‘A Pilgrimage with Christ to the Father’: Christological Principles and Pastoral Implications of Evangelii Gaudium,” Pastoral Formation Workshop, St. Mary’s Seminary & University, Baltimore, MD (October 7, 2020)
- “Spiritual Communion,” Systematically Podcast, Episode 37 (March 26, 2020)
- “The Role of Friendship in Seminary Formation,” Church Life Today Podcast, Redeemer Radio and McGrath Institute for Church Life (March 9, 2019)
- “Amor Habet Rationem Primi Doni: Matthias Scheeben and the Prospect for a New Starting Place in Pneumatology,” Plenary Address, Lonergan on the Edge Graduate Student Conference, Marquette University (September 24, 2016)
- Michel Henry, Words of Christ
- Romano Guardini, The Humanity of Christ: Contributions to a Psychology of Jesus
- Joseph Ratzinger [Benedict XVI], Jesus of Nazareth, vol. 1
- Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World
- K. Chesterton, St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Francis of Assisi
A Favorite Quotation
There is bound to be formed a solid right that is determined to live in a world that no longer exists. There is bound to be formed a scattered left, captivated by now this, now that new development, exploring now this and now that new possibility. But what will count is a perhaps not numerous center, big enough to be at home in both the old and the new, painstaking enough to work out one by one the transitions to be made, strong enough to refuse half measures and insist on complete solutions even though it has to wait.
— Bernard Lonergan, “Dimensions of Meaning,” in Collection, CWL 4: 245