Dr. Robert Masson

RobertRobert L. Masson, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus

Robert L. Masson (Ph.D., Fordham University, 1978), specializes in Catholic systematics and philosophical theology with a particular emphases on religious understanding & language, and the theology of Karl Rahner. The focus of his current research is the role of metaphor, analogy, and symbol in religious understanding and theological argumentation, particularly in light of recent research in cognitive linguistics. He is also keenly interested, though with no claim to expertise, in the appropriation of black theology among Catholic theologians.

He was President of the College Theology Society (2004-2005), served as a board member of that society from 1980 to 1983, and was chair and editor of its Research and Publication Committee from 1983 to 1987. He was national coordinator of the Karl Rahner Society from 1995 to 1998 and member of the board of directors from 1991 to 2003. As Associate Editor of the journal Philosophy and Theology, he edited the “Rahner Papers” volumes from 1995 to 2002.

His is author of Without Metaphor, No Saving God: Theology after Cognitive Linguistics(Leuven: Peeters Press, 2014) and The Charmed Circle: Theology for the Head, Heart, Hands, and Feet (Kansas City, MO: Sheed & Ward, 1987).

He is the author of articles in a number of professional journals (e.g., Theological Studies, The Thomist, Horizons, The Heythrop Journal, Zygon) and book chapters. Recently published articles include: Section III of “The Johnson Case and the Practice of Theology: An Interim Report,” Horizons 38, 2 (2011) 304-330; “Interpreting Rahner’s Metaphoric Logic,” Theological Studies 71, 2 (2010) 380-409; and “Analogy as Higher-Order Metaphor in Aquinas,” in Divine Transcendence and Immanence in the Work of Thomas Aquinas, ed. Harm Goris, Henk Schoot, and Herwi Rokhof (Leuven: Peeters, 2009), 111-128.

Many of Dr. Masson's publications, including The Charmed Circle, are available online at Marquette e-publications.

Research Fields

  • Fundamental Theology & Religious Epistemology
  • Systematic Theology
  • Karl Rahner
  • Theology and Cognitive Linguistics