Michael Rubbelke

Assistant Professor of Spirituality and Monastic Studies

B.A., in Theology and English, Saint John's University, 2008
M.T.S., in Systematic Theology, University of Notre Dame, 2010
Ph.D., in Systematic Theology, University of Notre Dame, 2018

Email: [email protected]

Areas of Teaching and Research
  • Monastic Studies, Spirituality
  • Courses focus on the history of monasticism with an emphasis on the Benedictine tradition; descriptions of growth, spiritual practices and theological themes among Christian schools of spirituality; and the integration of theology with spirituality in the work and formation of Christian theologians.
  • Current research in procress: an article on the concept and performance of stabilitas in the work of Christophe Lebreton OCSO; a book on the status, sources, and contemporary relevance of Karl Rahner's concept of mysticism; and a book on the interrelationship of spiritual practices, memory, and communal and self-identity in four representative Benedictine figures.

  • Michael first became interested in theology while attending Vespers at St. John's Abbey as a requirement for his THEO 100 course at CSB/SJU. After pursuing this interest in Collegeville (B.A.: 2008) and at the University of Notre Dame (M.T.S.: 2010), he spent two years teaching high school religion in Bismarck, North Dakota, before working for his doctorate at Notre Dame (Ph.D.: 2018). His dissertation unpacked the variable meanings of "mysticism" in the works of Karl Rahner, as well as the neo-Scholastic background and mystical theologies informing Rahner's approach. True to his first introduction to theology, Michael's teaching and research highlight the necessary interrelationship between spirituality and theology, particularly in monastic settings. He is particularly interested in how certain monastic practices--especially psalmody and lectio divina--alter and inform Christian memory and identity, both individual and communal. 

  • Reading Rahner’s Evolutionary Christology with Bonaventure.” Philosophy & Theology 30.2 (2018): 507-529. )
  • “Words Uttered by God: Reformulating ‘Source and Summit’ Language with Karl Rahner.” In Liturgy + Power. Volume 62 in The Annual Publication of the College Theology Society. Eds. Brian P. Flanagan and Johann M. Vento. Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 2017.

  • “‘Strangers to the World’: Fear, Community, & Benedictine Options in Post-Christian America,” Selected Session: “After The Benedict Option: Benedictine Approaches to Grace in the World,” Catholic Theological Society of America, Indianapolis, IN, June 2018.
  • “Christ, Creation’s Center; Humans, Creation’s Microcosm: Reading Rahner’s Evolutionary Christology with Bonaventure,” Karl Rahner Consultation, Catholic Theological Society of America, Albuquerque, NM, June 2017.
  • “Words Uttered by God: Prayer, Poetry, Christ, and Sacrament in Karl Rahner,” Systematic Theology session, College Theology Society, St. Louis, MO, June 2016.

  • Book Review of The Christology and Mystical Theology of Karl Rahner, by Joseph H. Wong and Harvet D. Eagan. Theological Studies 81.4 (December 2020): 961-962.
  • Book Review of Divine Blessing: Liturgical Formation in the RCIA by Timothy P. O'Malley. Antiphon. 24.3 (2020): 308-311.

Special Committees/Organizations
  • American Academy of Religion
  • Catholic Theological Society of America
  • College Theology Society
  • Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality