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Dr Thomas Finegan

Dr Thomas Finegan

BTh; MA; PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Theology and Religious Studies

Research interests

  • Matthew's divorce clause (monograph in progress)
  • Fundamental moral theology
  • Bioethics
  • Marriage/sex ethics


Peer-Reviewed Journal Publications 

“Assisted Suicide and Slippery Slopes: Reflections on Oregon,” The New Bioethics 30(2) (2024): 89–102

“Marrying Body and Theology: A Reply to Lawler and Salzman,” Irish Theological Quarterly 89(1) (2024): 41–60

“Clarifying Core Elements of New Testament Normativity,” Studies in Christian Ethics 36(1) (2023): 84–106

“Ideal and Mandatory Moral Norms,” Journal of Religious Ethics 50(4) (2022): 600–22

“Liberal Relativism’s Challenge to Conscience Rights,” Oxford Journal of Law and Religion 9(1) (2020): 79–104 

“Apology for the Reasonableness of Catholic Religious Education,” Louvain Studies 43(2) (2020): 141–63 

“Conscientious Objection to Referrals,” Journal of Medical Ethics 45(4) (2019): 277–79

“Intermediate Moral Respect and Proportionality Reasoning,” Bioethics 30(8) (2016): 579–87

Dignitatis Humanae: Public Funding and Divesting of Faith Schools,” Melita Theologica 66(1) (2016): 47–68 (with Fr. Éamonn Conway)

“Dworkin on Equality, Autonomy and Authenticity,” American Journal of Jurisprudence 60(2) (2015): 143–80

“A Matter of Consistency: Dignity and Personhood in Human Rights Biolaw,” Medical Law International 14(1-2) (2014): 80–99

“Levinas’ Faithfulness to Husserl, Phenomenology and God,” Religious Studies 48(3) (2012): 281–303

“The Conceptual Foundations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Rights, Dignity and Personhood,” Australian Journal of Legal Philosophy 37 (2012): 182–218

“Neither Dualism nor Monism: Holism and the Relationship Between Municipal and International Human Rights Law,” Transnational Legal Theory 2(4) (2011): 477–503

“An Unmarried Father’s Right to Guardianship of his Child and a Child’s Right to the Support of his/her Father: a Hohfeldian View of the Irish Constitution,” Dublin University Law Journal 32 (2010): 320–45

“Is the Compatibility of Jean-Luc Marion’s Philosophy with Husserlian Phenomenology a Matter of Faith?,” Yearbook of the Irish Philosophical Society 10 (2009): 133–49


Other Academic Publications (selection)

“Book Review: Christopher Kaczor, Disputes in Bioethics: Abortion, Euthanasia, and Other Controversies (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2020),” Studies in Christian Ethics 36(1) (2023): 187–91

"Credible Catholic" Religious Education programme (Irish ed.), (2021) (with Fr. Robert Spitzer, S.J.)

“Hopeful ‘Death’: The Cases of Euthanasia and Amoris Laetitia,” in Hope: Where Does Our Hope Lie?, ed. Miloš Lichner (Zurich: LIT Verlag, 2020), 425–36

“The Right to Life in International Human Rights Law”, in Heritage Foundation, First Principles on Human Rights (2020)

“International Human Rights Law and the ‘Unborn’: Texts and Travaux Préparatoires,” Tulane Journal of International and Comparative Law 25(2) (2016): 89–126

“The Normative Relevance of Articles 7(1), 9(3) and 18 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child for Irish Adoption Law,” Irish Journal of Family Law 13(3) (2010): 70–77


Submissions to Public Bodies (selection)

“Written Submission to the Joint Committee on Assisted Dying” (of the Oireachtas [Irish Parliament]); Opening Statement available here (September 2023)

“A Catholic Religious Education Critique of the Proposed Primary Curriculum Framework,” available here (2020) (with Conway E., Duffy E., Greer K., Lawler U., Murray J., Van Nieuwenhove R., O’Connell D., and Hession A.)

“The NCCA’s Proposed ERB and Ethics Curriculum for Primary Schools: a Critique,” available here (2016) (with Conway E., Greer K., Murray J., Van Nieuwenhove R., and Hession A.)

More information

Invited peer-reviewer for various journals including Journal of Ethics, Studies in Christian Ethics, Louvain Studies, Irish Theological QuarterlyJournal of Medical Ethics, Theology & Sexuality

Chair, Board of Governors, Anscombe Bioethics Centre (

Member, Bioethics Consultative Group of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference

Authored opinion pieces on theological, moral, and legal topics in Sunday Times, Sunday Independent, Sunday Business Post, Irish Times, Irish Independent, Irish Examiner, Irish Catholic,,,