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Von Hügel Institute

for Critical Catholic Inquiry


Sr. Gill Goulding joined the VHI as a Senior Research Associate in 2018. In 2017 she has been promoted to Professor of Systematic Theology at Regis College, the Jesuit school of Theology at the University of Toronto, which she joined in 2001.

Her doctoral studies were undertaken at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, where she was elected a Research Fellow on completion of her PhD. She lectured in Systematic Theology for the University of Edinburgh, the Roman Catholic National Seminary in Scotland and the Theological Institute of the Scottish Episcopal Church. In addition she was a regular contributor to BBC Scotland’s 'Thought for the Day' and an active member of 'Church Action on Poverty', an ecumenical organization working for the alleviation of poverty in the UK. She has held Visiting Fellowships at the University of Cambridge, UK, the Western Jesuit School of Theology, Cambridge MA, Georgetown University, Washington DC, and Boston College.

Professor Goulding has contributed internationally as a member of several ecclesial committees and commissions. In 2012 she was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as a theological expert at the Synod on the New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith. In 2013 she was awarded a Lonergan Fellowship at Boston College, and a Theological Research Fellowship, and in 2016 a Henry Luce III Fellowship for her sabbatical project on the importance of mercy in the mission of the church. In October 2017 she participated in 'The World Congress on The Dignity of the Child in the Digital Age' in Rome, which addressed the global problem of the exploitation of young people online. In addition she has been asked to serve as a Vice President for the Canadian Council of Churches.


Over the past 18 Prof Goulding has taught in the areas of Ecclesiology and Trinity with a special emphasis on the works of Hans Urs von Balthasar. Her past research and publications focus in the areas of: spiritual hermeneutics; the theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar; contemporary ministry within the Catholic Church and Ignatian Ecclesiology. She is currently completing a book entitled The Dynamic Impact of Mercy on the Mission of the Church, which looks at the theological underpinning of mercy and the way Pope Francis uses mercy as a hermeneutical lens for his papacy. Her most recent research has been focused in the area of Twentieth century Trinitarian theology, Ecclesiology and Hermeneutics.

Professor Goulding's other ongoing research interests include: The inextricable link between contemplation and theology in the quest for profound truth; The ‘place’ of fragmentation and organic vision in current theological research methodology; The theology of Romano Guardini; The imperative of love in the theology of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and Pope Benedict XVI. Sr. Gill is especially cognizant today of the need to encourage young women in the academic setting.


Key publications: 


  • A Church of Passion and Hope: The Making of An Ecclesial Disposition (London: T&T Clark, Bloomsbury Press, 2015)
  • Creative Perseverance: Sustaining Life-Giving Ministry in Today's Church (Ottawa: Novalis, 2003)
  • On the Edge of Mystery: Towards A Spiritual Hermeneutic of the Urban Margins (Bern: Peter Lang, 2000)


  • ‘A Child my Choice’ The Inspirational Witness of Robert Southwell SJ for the formation of clergy’ in Saints as Role Models, ed. James Keating (Omaha: Institute of Priestly Formation Publications, 2018)
  • “Holiness of Mind and Heart: The Dynamic Imperative of Conversion and Contemplation for the Study of Theology” in Entering Into the Mind of Christ: The True Nature of Theology, ed. James Keating (Omaha: Institute of Priestly Formation Publications, 2014), 91-120
  • “Hans Urs von Balthasar’s Theology of Vocation” in Living in Christ: A Contemporary Theology of Vocation (London: Bloomsbury, T & T Clark, 2013) 115-138
  • “Balthasar and The Contemplation of Truth” in ed. Lambert Zuidervaart, Truth Matters (Montreal: McGill Queen’s University Press, 2013) 245- 262
  • “The Irreducible Particularity of Christ in the work of Hans Urs von Balthasar” in International Theological Symposium on The Eucharist as Communion, (Maynooth: National University of Ireland, 2013) 266-286
  • Love Alone is Credible" in Renewing Apostolic Religious Life, ed. R Gribble (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 2011) 111-127


  • “Transcending Gender Polarities” article for Conference of Religious Spring 2017 (peer reviewed by Theological Commission of COR)
  • “Reformation and Recusants: Christian Unity and the Community of Saints, Pro Ecclesia Winter 2017
  • “Credible Communion – The Witness of Contemporary Religious Life” Pastoral and Homiletic Review, December 3 2012
  • “The Jesuit Imprint: Ignatian Themes in the Theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar” Ultimate Reality and Meaning (University of Toronto Press)32 (2012), 75-89
  • “Mary Ward and the Ignatian Charism” The Way, 51/3, 2012, 43-58
  • Foreword to the 2007 edition of St. Ignatius Loyola:Letters to Women, ed. Hugo Rahner SJ, [New York: Crossroad,2007] xxv-xxvii
  • "Passion, Prophecy and Perseverance - The leitmotif of Carmel", Toronto Journal of Theology, 21/2, Spring 2005, 169-181


Senior Research Associate
Professor of Systematic Theology, Regis College, Toronto
Professor Gill  Goulding

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