2015 ACTI Faculty Fellows


Petrusek Matthew R. Petrusek is an assistant professor in the Department of Theological Studies.  He holds a doctorate from the University of Chicago Divinity School and a Masters of Arts in Religion from Yale University.  Dr. Petrusek’s interests and specializations include meta-ethics, the intersection of philosophical and theological ethics, Christian ethics, ethics and political theory, natural law, virtue theory, human rights, distributive justice, domestic and international poverty, and globalization. His project, The (In)vulnerable Soul: Catholicism’s Essential Contribution to the Idea of Human Dignity,  draws on the Catholic Intellectual Tradition to develop a distinctively Catholic conception of human dignity that can also serve as a normative model for other secular and religious views of universally equal human worth.


 Sager small Rebecca Sager is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology. She holds a doctorate and masters of Sociology from the University of Arizona.  Her work looks at the intersection of religion, politics, and social movements. She has published a number of articles on this topic and her book, Faith, Politics, and Power: The Politics of Faith-Based Initiatives (Oxford), looks at the role conservative evangelical movement actors played in promoting the faith-based initiative at the state level. Her project, Are You Better Off Alone?: Religious and Secular Partnerships in Social Service and Political Outreach researches the partnerships between Catholic and secular groups in political organizing and social services.  She will investigate questions such as: Do religious activists like working with secular leaders or do they feel it is compromising their values? Do secular activists feel like they have to give up too much to work with religious leaders or that religion infuses too much of their work?


Thomas Ward headshot Thomas M. Ward is an assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy. He holds a doctorate in Philosophy from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Master’s degree in Theology from the University of Oxford. His primary areas of specialization are medieval philosophy and philosophical theology, and he is the author of John Duns Scotus on Parts, Wholes, and Hylomorphism (Brill, 2014). His project, God, Morality, and Modality, will investigate theological accounts of the foundations of modality and morality. This project’s exchange between medieval and contemporary thought speaks of the relevance of this work for bringing the resources of medieval Catholic thought into dialogue with contemporary academic debates.


About the ACTI Faculty Fellows Program

ACTI is committed to dialogue and collaboration amongst the disciplines throughout LMU. This interdisciplinary focus allows scholars from across all of the university’s colleges and schools to participate in this fellowship opportunity to complete or to concentrate effort at a critical phase of a substantial research/creative project that is consistent with the mission of the Academy for Catholic Thought and Imagination. Each ACTI Fellow will receive a course release from one 3 or 4-unit course. Such projects may take diverse forms: developing, critically engaging, expanding, adding to, questioning, or explaining aspects of the Catholic intellectual tradition or its various concerns; entering into dialogue with Catholic thought or imagination from the perspective of a different faith tradition or no faith tradition; using the resources of the Catholic tradition to understand and respond to pressing contemporary issues; developing a creative work in dialogue with the imaginative and intellectual framework of the Catholic tradition, and so forth.  For more information and to apply, visit the ACTI website.