Jesuit theologian Michael Paul Gallagher dies

Jesuit theologian and educator Michael Paul Gallagher died in Ireland on November 6 after a short illness.

Fr Gallagher, 76, was a former Professor of Fundamental Theology at the Gregorian University in Rome, where he was dean of the theology faculty from 2005 to 2008.

Fr Gallagher also lectured in University College, Dublin, as well as the Collegio Bellarmino in Rome.

Through contact with students in Dublin, Fr Gallagher became interested in the main topics he wrote about: Faith and unbelief, and culture and spirituality.

In 2009, he was one of the keynote speakers at the New Zealand Catholic Education Convention in Wellington.

Speaking by video-link, Fr Gallagher’s 2009 talk was titled —“The Courage of our Difference: Forming a Christian Imagination”.

He spoke of the key features that attract young people, and the challenge of bringing “active recognition” of the Lord.

Among his many students, he taught the Irish film directors Neil Jordan and Jim Sheridan.

While living in Paraguay, he realised that “Living with the poor, I saw that unbelief was more likely a product of life-style, than a set of ideas.”

Among his many books were “Clashing Symbols” and “Free to Believe”.

His funeral was held on Tuesday in Dublin.


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