Mathew Schmalz

professor mathew schmalz, religious studies

Religious Studies Department

Ph.D., University of Chicago


Fields: Global Catholicisms, Hinduism, Catholic esotericism, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Jehovah's Witnesses, religion and violence, religion and the erotic

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• Twitter: @MathewSchmalz


Office Phone: 508-793-2557
Office: Smith 404
PO Box: 27A
Office Hour


Mat is the founding editor of the Journal of Global Catholicism and professor of religious studies. He grew up in Western Massachusetts and worked as a volunteer for the Glenmary Order in the rural Oklahoma before attending Amherst College where he earned his B.A. in 1987. After managing a homeless shelter for the Pallottine Order in New York City, Mat went to the Divinity School of the University of Chicago and, in 1998, was awarded his Ph.D. in History of Religions. 

Mat has received Century, Watson, USED Fulbright, and AIIS Fellowships, and resided in India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka for a total of four years as a student and researcher. His publications engage global Catholicism (particularly in South Asia), Catholic theology and spirituality, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Jehovah's Witnesses. He is co-editor of Engaging South Asian Religions: Boundaries, Appropriations, and Resistances and author of Mercy Matters: Opening Yourself to the Life Changing Gift. 

Mat regularly contributes to media coverage of religion and religious issues. He has published opinion pieces in Newsweek, Salon, The Washington Post, Fortune, USNews & World Report, Commonweal Magazine, and The National Catholic Reporter. He has also provided expert commentary to USA Today, The New York Times, ABC's Good Morning America, NPR, BBC1 and BBC5, Agence France-Press, CNBC, Hardball with Chris Matthews, and NBC News.  Additionally, his non-fiction writing has appeared in the Best American Spiritual Writing series. 

Mat is a grateful husband and a father to two wonderful daughters.  Mat's family also spends a lot of time with their standard poodle (Harold), pot-belly pig (Half-Pint), Afghan leopard gecko (Mr. Wiggles), and two Buck Orpington chickens (Minerva and Louise).

Selected Academic Articles

Mathew N. Schmalz“ Ad Experimentum: Theology, Anthropology and the Paradoxes of Indian Catholic Inculturation,” Theology and the Social Sciences, ed. Michael Barnes (Maryknoll NY: Orbis Books, 2001), 161-180.


Schmalz, Mathew N. "The Faith and Rationality of Dalit Christian Experience." Asian Horizons 5.1 (2011): 24-35


Mathew N. Schmalz, “Thinking with Nostra Aetate: From the New Pluralism to Comparative Theology,” Revisiting Vatican II: 50 Years of Renewal, Vol. I: Keynote and Plenary Papers of the DVK International Conference on Vatican II, 31 January - 3 February 2013, ed. Shaji George Kochuthara, Bangalore: Dharmaram Publications, 2014, 450-465.


Schmalz, Mathew N. "Hypostatic Union and the Subtle Body: An Analysis of Christian Yogic Practice." Asian Horizons 6.2 (2012): 353-363.


Schmalz, Mathew N. "The Silent Body of Audrey Santo." History of Religions 42.2 (2002): 116-142.


Schmalz, Mathew N. "Images of the Body in the Life and Death of a North Indian Catholic Catechist." History of Religions 39.2 (1999): 177-201


Selected Journalistic Writing

The Conversation: Taxing the rich to help the poor? Here’s what the Bible says

The Conversation: