Thomas Graff

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Areas of Expertise

Systematic Theology, Religion and Literature
Augustine, Dante Alighieri, Hans Urs von Balthasar, Primo Levi

Courses Taught

Dante and Mass Incarceration
Between Religion and Literature: Meaning, Vulnerability, Human Existence


Following study in Philosophy, Theology, and Italian Literature (BA) and in Italian Studies (MA) at the University of Notre Dame, Thomas Graff pursued graduate research in Theology at Trinity College, Cambridge (MPhil, PhD). Graff’s doctoral thesis, ‘Dante, Augustine, and the Body of Christ in the Commedia’, charted the Augustinian substructure of Dante’s Christology, and its implications for better understanding Dante's theology as a whole. His research interests broadly include Christian systematic theology, its relation to literary form and to liberatory pedagogies, and the role of the humanities in the age of mass incarceration. Concurrently, at St Edmund's College, Cambridge, Thomas is a Bye-Fellow, Director of Studies in Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of Religion, and Academic Officer at the Von Hügel Institute for Critical Catholic Inquiry. Alongside supervising undergraduate papers (B10, B13, C11) for the Faculty of Divinity, Cambridge, Thomas has taught in multiple prisons, including HMP Whitemoor (March, UK) and Westville Correctional Facility (Indiana, US).

Selected Works

‘Hermeneutics and Resurrection: Re-reading Virgil in Purgatorio 21–22’. In The Power of the Word, volume 6, edited by David Lonsdale and Brett H. Speakman (forthcoming).

‘Newman and Wittgenstein’. Noesis: Theology, Philosophy, Poetics 9 (2022): 115–27.

‘Notes on Intermedial Essayism: Pirandello’s Six Characters as Adapted by Patrick Vassel’. Pirandello Studies
41 (2021): 106–25.

‘Predestination in Dante’s Commedia in Light of Augustine’. Literature and Theology 35, no. 2 (June 2021):

In societatem filii eius: Predestination in/as Friendship with God in Thomas Aquinas’. Neue Zeitschrift für
Systematische Theologie und Religionsphilosophie 63, no. 1 (2021): 66–85.

‘Providence in Ordinary: On Human Language in Giambattista Vico’s The New Science’. Giornale Critico di
Storia delle Idee: Rivista Internazionale di Filosofia 2 (2020): 133–49.

‘Virgil the Theologian’. Le Tre Corone: Rivista internazionale di studi su Dante, Petrarca, Boccaccio 7 (2020):

Review of The Judgment of Love: An Investigation of Salvific Judgment in Christian Eschatology, by James M.
Matarazzo Jr. Religion and the Arts 25, no. 5 (December 2021): 689–92.

Review of Conversion and the Rehabilitation of the Penal System: A Theological Rereading of Criminal
Justice, by Andrew Skotnicki. Reviews in Religion & Theology 27, no. 3 (July 2020): 413–16.