The Executive Director

Dr. Phillip Thompson

Phillip Thompson

Dr. Phillip Thompson has been the Executive Director of The Aquinas Center of Theology at Emory University since 2008.

The Aquinas Center under his leadership has:

  1. Doubled the number of yearly programs to more than thirty
  2. Quadrupled the number of contacts with people attending events
  3. Tripled the number of yearly media articles


  • Ph.D. in History of Culture from the University of Chicago
  • J.D. from the University of Georgia
  • LL.M. in Health Law from DePaul University

Non-Profit Boards

  • The Atlanta Catholic Charities (2010-2012)
  • The Neshama Interfaith Center (2012-2015)

News for Dr. Phillip Thompson


Dr. Thompson has published more than 30 articles on topics like St. Augustine, natural law, capital punishment, Catholicism and science, religion and technology, liturgy, bioethics, medical ethics, business ethics, and the papacy.

To read some of his academic writings visit

His Books

  • Lights In The Darkness: Exploring Catholic Themes In Twelve Extraordinary Movies (Cascade, 2017)
  • Chapter 6. “The Eucharist in Roman Catholicism” in Ellen Idler, ed., Religion as a Determinant of Public Health(Oxford University Press, 2014)

  • Returning to Reality, Thomas Merton’s Wisdom for a Technological World (Wipf and Stock, 2013). 

  • “Questioning the Goal of Biological Immortality: Mertonian Reflections on Living Eternally” 24 Merton Annual (2012), 67-82.

  • “Balancing Mercy and Judgment: St. Augustine and the Death Penalty” Augustinian Studies(Spring, 2010)

  • Between Science and Religion: The Engagement of Catholic Intellectuals with Science and Technology in the Twentieth Century (Lexington Books, 2009).

  • “Prayer and High Technology” 21 Merton Annual (2008), 185-202.

  • “Thomas Merton and Leo Szilard: The Parallel Paths of a Monk and a Nuclear Physicist” 39 Zygon(December, 2004), 979-986.

  • With Kevin Lee, “Insights and Hindsights from Seeking a Global Ethic” in Mark J. Cherry, ed.,Natural Law and the Possibility of a Global Ethics (Dordrecht: Kluwer Publishers, 2004), 163-188. (vol. 11 of the Philosophical Studies in Contemporary Culture Series, Tristram Engelhardt, Jr., Series Editor).

  • “The Problem of Moral Pluralism in Bioethics: A Review Essay of Kevin Wildes, S.J., Moral Acquaintances” 16 HealthCare Ethics Committee Forum: An Interprofessional Journal on Healthcare Institutions’ Ethical and Legal Issues (June, 2004), 114-128. Silent Protest: A Catholic Justice Dissents in the Case of Buck v. Bell” 77 St. John’s Law Review-The Catholic Lawyer (spring, 2004), 101-122.

  • “The Stunted Vocation: An Analysis of Jack Welch’s Vision of Business Leadership” 25 Review of Business (winter, 2004), 44-55.

  • Op/ed article-“Attitude Toward Human Cloning Reflects Human Condition” Austin American-Statesman February 19, 2001, A13.

  • “Ethical Leadership and Higher Education”- Paper presented at the Models of Ethical Leadership for a Changing World Conference that was published by the University of Texas LBJ School of Public Affairs (January, 2001), 132-137.

  • Book Review for the Journal of Religion (spring, 2001) of Lloyd Steffen, Executing Justice the Moral Meaning of the Death Penalty and Glen H. Stassen, ed. Capital Punishment: A Reader 500-501..

  • “The Technological Critique of Thomas Merton” The Merton Annual (fall, 2000), 8-18.

Videos of Dr. Phillip Thompson

"Buck v. Bell and the Catholic Opposition to Eugenics"

"OMG: Thomas Merton’s Wisdom for a Google World"

Prior Executive Directors

  • 2006-2008 - Dana Greene
  • 2004-2005 - Board
  • 1999-2003 - Victor Kramer
  • 1992-1998 - Philip Reynolds
  • 1988-1991 - Ann Mayeaux
  • 1988-1991 - Roberto Goizueta, Jr.