Faculty & Staff Directory

Rev. Emery A. de Gaál*, Ph.D., S.T.L.

Chairperson and Professor in the Departments of Dogmatic Theology and Pre-Theology



V.D., Dipl. Theol. University of Munich (Röm 3,21-31 als paulinischer Austrag des bereits als Traditionsgut vorgefundenen Rechtfertigungsgedankens); Ph.D. in Systematic Theology, Duquesne University. Associate Pastor, Instructor, Member of Catholic-Protestant Ecumenical Dialogue in Nuremberg, Germany, Author of The Art of Equanimity: A Study on the Theological Hermeneutics of Saint Anselm of Canterbury and The Theology of Pope Benedict XVI – The Christocentric Shift. Contributes articles and book reviews to a number of academic journals. Member of the American Academy of Religion, American Benedictine Academy, Catholic Theological Society of America, Medieval Academy of America, Société Internationale des Mediévistes, and The International Mariological Society.


Homilies at a First Mass: Joseph Ratzinger’s Gift to Priests

This book is a collection of homilies delivered at the First Masses of newly ordained priests at various times during the twentieth century. These homilies are filled with an understanding of priesthood and ecclesial ministry that only the likes of Joseph Ratzinger could articulate. He charges the newly ordained to abide in Christ, listen to Him, and draw their identity and mission from Christ’s own shared priesthood.

Edited by Fr. Emery de Gaál
Translated by David Augustine
The Art of Equanimity

It is not a question of using either the palpable world or the intellect when trying to prove God’s existence. Anselm apprehends being’s very intelligibility as making it amenable to divine traces–that turn out to be God’s &la” muted communication. Anselm practices in this sense &la” a blending of horizons–i.e. tradition (Plotinus, Augustine, Benedict). We human beings owe our own rationality to the same God who created the universe, us and our minds. The appreciation of a thus constituted reality unleashes a remarkable and refreshing fecundity (Mohler, Guardini, Barth, von Balthasar). Anselm seems to state: &la” Thinking–insofar as it is intelligible–is being. This makes Anselm’s approach topical for our days. Increasingly the world consists of information and news. Truth claims are filtered from what is thought. Perhaps it is this Anselmic &la” reduction of reality to thought which opens a perspective for genuine emancipation and authentic humanization. The monastery afforded the proper ambience to live and apprehend this &la” reduction. Contents: Hermeneutics–Monastic Theology–Plotinus–Benedict–Faith and Reason–Soteriology–Faith and Thought–Johann Adam Mohler–Romano Guardini–Karl Barth–Hans Urs von Balthasar–Rationalism–Fideism.

Peter Lang, 2002, 428 pages

The Spirit of Celibacy

Johann Adam Mohler

Trans. Cyprian Blamires

Ed. Emery de Gaal

In 1828, theology professors in the German university city of Freiburg issued a provocative statement calling for the abolition of mandatory celibacy for Catholic priests. They advanced two arguments: 1) Celibacy is no longer up-to-date and 2) there is a pressing shortage of priests. A young Catholic theologian and priest, Johann Adam Möhler (1796-1838) responded with an article called “Illumination on a Memorandum Concerning the Elimination of Celibacy Prescribed for Catholic Priests.” The consequence of Möhler’s article was a dramatic rise in vocations to the priesthood. Young men of all walks of life rediscovered priesthood as a way of following Christ and making him present to others, and as an invitation to discover a spiritual life that affirms the beauty of this world.

This book is the first English translation of this classic work on celibacy and speaks well to modern day concerns about priestly celibacy and the shortage of priests.  An insightful commentary by theologian and professor Dieter Hattrup of the University of Paderborn sheds more light into this discussion, making this a wonderful addition to priestly formation, sacramental and Holy Orders courses, or for anyone concerned about celibacy and the priesthood.

This title is part of the Hillenbrand Books imprint, Classics series.

Paperback, 6 x 9, 196 pages

The Theology of Pope Benedict XVI

The Theology of Pope Benedict XVI: The Christocentric Shift examines the man many have referred to as “the Mozart of Theology.” Who are the personalities and thinkers who have informed his theology? What events, and which religious devotions, have shaped his personality? What are the central themes of his complex scholarship encompassing more than 1500 titles? This study attempts to shed light on the unifying melody of the policies and positions of a pontificate charged with spiritual and theological depth. Especially in the 1970s an anthropocentric shift had occurred. Emery de Gaál argues that, amid a general lack of original, secular ideas stirring public opinion, Benedict XVI inaugurates an epochal Christocentric shift; by rekindling the Patristic genius, he provides Christianity with both intellectual legitimacy and the scholarship needed to propel it into the twenty-first century.

Palgrave/Macmillan, 2010, 365 pages

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