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Dr Thomas Finegan

Dr Thomas Finegan

BTh (St. Patrick's College, Maynooth); MA (UCD); PhD (TCD)
Assistant Professor, Department of Theology and Religious Studies

Research interests

Philosophical-theological ethics, with focus on:

  • bioethics
  • freedom of conscience & religion
  • marriage/sex ethics
  • equal moral status/human dignity
  • religious education


Peer-Reviewed Journal Publications 

“Marrying Body and Theology: A Reply to Lawler and Salzman,” Irish Theological Quarterly (forthcoming)

“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”, (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


More information

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

Chair, Board of Governors, Anscombe Bioethics Centre (

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

Member, Working Group (Religious Education at Post Primary Level) of the Council for Catechetics, Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference 

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