William Mattison

Contact Information

William Mattison William Mattison
Associate Professor; Senior Advisor: Theological Formation, Alliance for Catholic Education
313 Visitation Hall




Ph.D. University of Notre Dame, 2003
M.T.S. Weston Jesuit School of Theology, 1997
M.A.T. Trinity College, 1995
B.A. Georgetown University, 1993

Research interests

Bill Mattison’s teaching and research focus on fundamental moral theology, especially virtue ethics and the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas.  He also works in the areas of Scripture and ethics; marriage and family; and science and morality. 

Select publications


2017 The Sermon on the Mount and Moral Theology:  A Virtue Perspective, Cambridge University Press

Ed. (with John Berkman) 2014 Searching for a Universal Ethic;  Multidisciplinary, Ecumenical, and Interfaith Responses to the Catholic Natural Law Tradition, Eerdman’s

Ed. (with David Cloutier) 2014 Virtue, Journal of Catholic Moral Theology, Vol. 3.1

Ed. (with David Cloutier) 2012 Methodology in Catholic Moral Theology Today, Journal of Catholic Moral Theology, Vol. 1.1

2008 Introducing Moral Theology:  True Happiness and the Virtues, Brazos Press

Ed. 2005 New Wine, New Wineskins:  A Next Generation Reflects on Key Issues in moral Theology, Sheed & Ward


Book Chapters:

“Infused Virtues and the Scriptures:  Infused Prudence in Mt 6:19-34,” forthcoming from The Thomistic Institute, Utrecht, 2017

“The Deadly Sin of Anger,” forthcoming in a collection edited by David Cloutier and Jana Bennett from The Catholic University of America Press, 2017.

“The Human Person and the Sciences at a Catholic University,” Integritas 3.3 (Spring 2014): 118.

“Virtue in Contemporary Catholic Moral Theology:  a Review Essay” with David Cloutier, Journal of Catholic Moral TheologyVol. III:  Virtue (2014).

“Part of the ‘New Look” at Natural Law:  The Use of ‘Orientation’ Alongside ‘Inclination’” chapter in eds. William C. Mattison III and John Berkman Searching for a Universal Ethic Eerdman’s, 2014. 

“Introduction,” (with John Berkman) in eds. William C. Mattison III and John Berkman Searching for a Universal Ethic, Eerdman’s, 2014. 

Translated from French:  “An Introduction to the Document In Search of a Universal Ethic:  a New Look at Natural Law” by P. Serge-Thomas Bonino, O.P., in eds. William C. Mattison III and John Berkman Searching for a Universal Ethic, Eerdman’s, 2014.

“Friendship and Contemplation at a Catholic University,” Integritas 2.2 (Fall, 2012): 19-25.

“Hope:  A Virtue About the Next Life and for This One,” pp. 107-125 in Michael Austin ed.) Being Good: Christian Virtues in Everyday Life (Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 2011).   

 “Marriage,” entry in Cambridge Encyclopedia of Christian Ethics, Cambridge University Press, 2011. 

“Divorce,” entry in Cambridge Encyclopedia of Christian Ethics Cambridge University Press, 2011. 

Veritatis Splendor and the Fundamental Option:  Seeking Guidance from Thomas’ Doctrine of Infused Cardinal Virtue,” pp. 143-158 in in Christopher J. Thompson and Steven Long (eds.) Reason and the Rule of Faith, Lanham, MD:  University Press of America, 2011.

“Bodies Poured Out in Christ: Marriage Beyond the Theology of the Body,” pp. 206-225 in David Cloutier (ed.) Leaving and Coming Home:  New Wineskins for Catholic Sexual Ethics, Wipf & Stock, 2010

« Essor et déclin de la distinction personne / péché : La colère et Matthieu 5, 22 de S. Augustin à S. Thomas, » pp. 98-121 in Michael Sherwin and Craig Steven Titus, eds., Renouveler toutes choses en Christ: Vers un renouveau thomiste de la théologie morale: Hommage à Servis Pinckaers, o.p. Fribourg: Academic Press, 2009.

“Supernatural Living in a Natural World:  Grace and Virtue in the Christian Life,” pp. 198-215 in David McCarthy and Theresa Lysaught (eds.) Gathered for the Journey, Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdman’s Press, 2007. 

“Habits, Compartmentalization and Vocation,” with Marc Parisi, pp. 49-61 in Michael Miller (ed.) Doing More with Life:  Connecting Christian Higher Education to a Call to Service, Waco, TX:  Baylor University Press, 2007.

“‘When they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given to marriage;’ Marriage and Sexuality, Eschatology, and the Nuptial Meaning of the Body in Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body,” pp. 32-51 in Lisa Cahill (ed.) Sexuality and the U.S. Catholic Church:  Crisis and Renewal, New York:  Herder & Herder, 2006.   

“Dare We Hope Our Students Believe?  Patristic Rhetoric in the Contemporary Classroom”  pp. 77-101 in New Wine. New Wineskins:  A Next Generation in Catholic Moral Theology, Sheed and Ward, 2005.

“Introducing New Wineskins,” pp. 1-23 in New Wine. New Wineskins:  A Next Generation in Catholic Moral Theology, Sheed and Ward, 2005.



“The Resurgence of Virtue in Recent Moral Theology:  a Review Essay,” David Cloutier & William C. Mattison III, Journal of Moral Theology 3.1 (2014): 228-259

“The Beatitudes and Moral Theology:  A Virtue Ethics Approach,” Nova et Vetera 11.3 (2013): 819-848.   

“Movements of Love:  A Thomistic Perspective on Eros and Agape,” Journal of Moral Theology 1.2 (2012):31-60.

“Method in Catholic Moral Theology After Veritatis Splendor:  a Review Essay,” with David Cloutier, Journal of Catholic Moral Theology 1.1 (2012): 170-192.

“Can Christians Possess the Acquired Cardinal Virtues?” Theological Studies 72.3 (September, 2011):558-585. 

“Beatitude and the Beatitudes in the Summa Theologiae of St. Thomas Aquinas,” The Josephenum Journal of Theology 17.2 (2010): 233-249

“Thomas’ Categorizations of Virtue:  Historical Background and Contemporary Significance,” The Thomist 74.2 (2010):  189-235.

“The Lord’s Prayer and an Ethics of Virtue:  Continuing a History of Commentary,” The Thomist  73.2 (2009):  279-312. 

“Interpretation of Jesus' Prohibition of Anger (Matt 5:22): The Rise and Fall of the Person/Sin Distinction from Augustine to Aquinas,” Theological Studies 68.4 (2007): 839-864. 

“The Changing Face of Natural Law: The Necessity of Belief for Natural Law Norm Specification,” Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics 27.1 (2007):  251-277. 

“Christian Anger?  Beyond Questions of Vengeance.”  Journal for the Society of Christian Ethics 24.1 (Spring, 2004): 159-179.

“Explaining the Role of Emotions in the Moral Life:  Thomas Aquinas and Neuropsychology,” pp. 277-292 in Michael H. Barnes (ed.) Theology and the Social Sciences:  Annual Volume 46 of the College Theology Society, New York:  Orbis, 2000.


Prof. Mattison was born in Brooklyn, NY and grew up in Long Island. After earning degrees at Georgetown University and Weston Jesuit School of Theology - and spending two years as a Catholic elementary school teacher - he pursued doctoral studies at the University of Notre Dame. During these years he was fortunate enough to study Thomistic moral theology under Dr. Jean Porter, and spend a year on a Fulbright Fellowship in Fribourg, Switzerland doing dissertation research under the guidance of Fr. Servais Pincakers, O.P. After obtaining his degree, he spent two years teaching at Notre Dame, and another two at Mount St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg, MD before his appointment at the Catholic University of America’s School of Theology & Religious Studies.

Prof. Mattison spent ten years at The Catholic University of America.  He received tenure in 2012.  He directed six dissertations and taught courses at the doctoral, seminarian, and undergraduate levels.  He served as Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the School of Theology and Religious Studies from 2012 until 2015. In this role he oversaw the theology curriculum for the University and all undergraduate teaching in TRS.  He served as Interim Dean of the School of Theology and Religious Studies during the 2015-2016 academic year.  Prof. Mattison also served on a University wide Curriculum sub-committee to implement a new general curriculum at CUA, and a University wide Retention Committee.  Recently he has begun to write and speak on Catholic higher education. He was a participant in the 2013-2014 Boston College Roundtable on Catholic Higher Education.

Besides having served in leadership roles in the Ethics and Catholic Theology Group and Moral Theology Groups at the Society of Christian Ethics and Catholic Theological Society of America, respectively, Prof. Mattison co-founded and served as Executive Director of the annual New Wine, New Wineskins symposium for pre-tenure Catholic moral theologians.