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Von Hügel Institute

for Critical Catholic Inquiry


Thomas Graff is the Academic Officer of the Von Hügel Institute, and a current doctoral student in theology at Trinity College Cambridge. His academic formation includes a BA in Philosophy & Theology and Italian Literature (Univ of Notre Dame), an MA in Italian Studies (Univ of Notre Dame), and an MPhil in Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of Religion (distinction). Thomas has taught in multiple prison-based educational contexts, including HMP Whitemoor (March, UK) and Westville Correctional Facility (Indiana, US), and has supervised Paper B13: Theology and Literature in the Faculty of Divinity.


Thomas’s doctoral research investigates the figure of Christ in Dante’s Commedia as realized in human communality. The project draws significantly upon Dante’s engagement with Augustine’s theology, in order to articulate therein the nature of human alienation, incorporation, and participation in Christ from both textual and meta-textual perspectives. His research more broadly considers topics in and interrelations between Christian systematic theology, literature and poetry, and civic life.


Key publications: 
  • '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): 178–97.
  • '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. 10.53129/gcsi_02-2020-08
  • 'Virgil the Theologian'. Le Tre Corone: Rivista internazionale di studi su Dante, Petrarca, Boccaccio 7 (2020): 119–32. 10.19272/202012101007

Book Reviews

  • 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.
Academic Officer

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A unique institute of advanced studies inspired by Catholic thought and culture, focussed on contemporary global realities, and dedicated to encounter, dialogue, and transformation