Jill Raitt
Professor Emerita of Religious Studies
  • Ph.D., University of Chicago
  • MA, Marquette University
  • History of Christianity
  • Reformations: Protestant and Catholic
  • Spirituality

My interests are the history of Christianity, especially spirituality and the theology of the Eucharist, and a recent project,” Jesuit Spiritual Direction of Women: 1540-1773”. My areas of specialization are the Middle Ages and Reformation although I stretch back to Augustine and forward to Thomas Merton. I retired (sort of!) in August 2000, but have been teaching ever since: CSJ Endowed Chair in Catholic Thought, 2008-11; Visiting Professor, St. Louis University, 2012; Visiting Professor, Dept. of Religious Studies, 2013-present.

  • The Catholic Intellectual Tradition
  •  Heretics, Inquisitors, and Sects
  •  Medieval Women Mystics
Select Publications

The Encyclopedia of Martin Luther and the Reformation. Edited by Mark A. Lamport. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield: 2017. I served on the Editorial Advisory Board and contributed five articles.

“The Ecumenical Significance of Eucharistic Conversion” by  Robert J. Daly, S.J., Gary Macy, in Theological Studies Vol. 77, 2016, (1) pp. 7–31.

“Is Church Unity Possible Today?” Philosophy and Theology, Volume 27, Issue 2, November 2015. DOI: 10.5840/philtheol201511440

“De avondmaalsvroomheid van Theodore de Bèze in Théodore de Bèze: Zijn Leven, Zijn Werk.  Edited by Willem Balke, Jan C. Klok, Willem van’t Spijker.  Antwerp: Publishing House Kok, 2012, pp. 207-215.

“Theodor Beza and Augustine”, lemma in The Oxford Guide to the Historical Reception of Augustine,  edited by Karla Pollmann. 2008.

“Metonymy and Relation in the Eucharistic Theology of Theodore Beza and its Reception in the Seventeenth Century” in Théodore de Bèze, Réformateur et Homme de Lettres. Institut d’Histoire de la Réformation, Université de Genève, September 27– October 10, 2005.  Paris:  Presses Universitaires de Frances, 2006, pp. 295-307.

“A Matter of Substance: From Theodore Beza to René Descartes” Calvin, Beza and Later Calvinism: Calvin Studies Society Papers 2005.Ed. David Foxgrover.  Grand Rapids, Michigan: The Calvin Studies Society, 2006, pp. 165-178.


“Directors of Women in the 16th Century: A Comparative Study.” Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, October, 2014. New Orleans, Louisiana.

“Jesuit Direction of Women in the 16th and 17th Centuries: Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556), Friedrich Spee von Langenfeld (1591-1635), Jean Joseph Surin (1600-1665).” Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, October 24-27, 2013, San Juan, Puerto Rico

"Rahner and Ecumenism Today: Is Unity still 'An Actual Possibility'?" CTSA, San Diego, CA, June 5-8, 2014. panel member.

Is the Reformation Over? An Evangelical Assessment of Roman Catholicism. Panel member with Mark Noll and Carolyn Nystrom, authors. Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association, Atlanta, Georgia, Jan. 4-7, 2007.

Elizabeth I, Catholic or Protestant? for exhibition: "Elizabeth I, Ruler and Legend." Ellis Library, Nov. 9, 2006.

Metonymy and Relation in the Eucharistic Theology of Theodore Beza and its Reception in the Seventeenth Century for the international symposium: Théodore de Bèze, Réformateur et Homme de Lettres, Institut d'Histoire de la Réformation, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland, September 27- October 10, 2005. (To be published in 2006.)

A Matter of Substance: “From Theodore Beza to René Descartes” for the Calvin Studies Society, Grand Rapids, April 7-9, 2005.

Christian Feminism and Globalization at Villanova University, June 17, 2003.

The Vocation of a Theologian from the Center to the Margins, Plenary Address for the Annual Meeting of the Catholic Theological Society of America, Cincinnati, June 5-8, 2003.

Where the Spirit Blows: Reform from 1450-1700, Conference on Reforms in the Church, Fordham University, New York, August 3, 2002.


$1,400,000 grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts to establish Religion, the Professions, and the Public. December 10, 2002. April 1, 2003-May 30, 2005 to establish the Center for Religion, the Professions, and the Public.

$100,000 from the Ford Foundation to organize three Religion-Journalism Symposia, University of Missouri-Columbia: "American Religion and International Relations," March 1985; "Contemporary Islam," March 1986; "Religion and Politics in America," March 1987.

Fellow, National Center for the Humanities, Research Triangle Park, Durham, NC, 1987-88.

Professional Development

Conference on Prayer and Spirituality in the Early Church, Melbourne, Australia, July 5-8, 1996.

Participant in Summer Institute for Women in Higher Education Administration, Bryn Mawr College, July 5-30, 1980.