B.S., religious studies, the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh, 2009; M.A., historical and systematic theology, The Catholic University of America, 2011; Ph.D., systematic theology, Ave Maria University, 2017; High School Instructor, Freedom Project Academy, 2012-2019; Adjunct Professor, Ave Maria University, 2018-2019; Assistant Professor, Mount Mercy University, 2017 - 2021; Adjunct Professor, St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry, 2020-2021; Tutor, Thomas Aquinas College, 2021-.
Although he received a strong Catholic formation from his parents, by the time he was in high school, Dr. Taylor O’Neill was no longer a practicing Catholic. By God’s grace, however, a literature teacher brought him back to the Faith — by introducing him to the Great Books.
“He essentially taught us the Catholic faith through great works of literature, and he would work in Plato and Aristotle,” recalls Dr. O’Neill, a tutor om the New England campus. The experience ignited his curiosity for learning. “I knew that I wanted to study philosophy or theology after that, and my spiritual journey was molded by the liberal arts.”
Upon graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Dr. O’Neill enrolled in graduate school at The Catholic University of America. It was during this time that he met his future wife, Elizabeth, through a Catholic group in Washington, D.C., where she was working as a chemist. The couple married a short time after in 2011 and are today the parents of six children.
After completing his master’s degree in historical and systematic theology at CUA, Dr. O’Neill earned a doctorate in theology at Ave Maria University in Florida. From there, he and his family moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he spent the next four years as a professor of theology at Mount Mercy University.
Having joined the Thomas Aquinas College teaching faculty in 2021, he is now delighted to teach from the same Great Books that proved so instrumental in his own formation. “I don’t know of anywhere else in the world that is going to give students the opportunity, the space, and the guidance to spend four years thinking and contemplating the highest things in life,” he says. “Every student here is so invested to contemplate the highest things for the sake of themselves and others.” He also appreciates the opportunity to teach across the disciplines in the College’s integrated curriculum.
Moreover, the northeastern climate suits him well. “The East Coast experiences all four seasons, and pairing that with the TAC curriculum, it made so much sense for my family and me to come to Northfield,” he says. “This is where I’m meant to be.”
- Grace, Predestination, and the Permission of Sin: A Thomistic Analysis (Washington D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2019).
- She Orders All Things Sweetly: Sacra Doctrina and the Sapiential Unity of Theology, co-edited with Joshua Madden, Ph.D. (Cluny Media, forthcoming).
Peer Reviewed Journal Articles
- “Was Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange a Personalist? A Rapprochement Between the Individual-Person Distinction and the Primacy of the Common Good Contra Maritain’s Personalism” in Reality: A Journal for Philosophical Discourse (March 20, 2020). Online. Print forthcoming.
- “Mater Dei Ergo Gratia Plena: On the Predestination of Mary to Divine Maternity as the Reason for Her Radical Plenitude of Grace” in Ecce Mater Tua: A Journal of the International Marian Association, vol. 2 (May 31, 2019), 25 – 44.
- “Jacques Maritain and Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange on the Permission of Evil” in The Heythrop Journal 60, no. 5 (2019): 699 - 710.
Book Chapters Contributed
- “The Thomistic Doctrine of Exhaustive Divine Providence,” in T&T Clark Companion to Divine Providence, edited by Timothy G. Hardman (London: T& T Clark/Bloomsbury). Forthcoming.
- “The Meeting of Time and Eternity: Philosophy, Revelation, and The Book of Ecclesiastes,” in Wisdom and Wonder: How Peter Kreeft Shaped the Next Generation of Catholics, edited by Brandon Vogt (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2021)
- “The Dark Night of Mother Teresa, the Three Ages of the Spiritual Life, and the Witness of the Mystics” in Mother Teresa and the Mystics: Toward a Renewal of Spiritual Theology, edited by Michael Dauphinais, Brian Kolodiejchuk, M.C., and Roger W. Nutt (Ave Maria, FL: Sapientia Press, 2018).
- “The Primacy of the Speculative in All Things Practical: A Thomistic Critique of a so- Called Practical or Experiential Theology” in She Orders All Things Sweetly: Sacra Doctrina and the Sapiential Unity of Theology, edited by Joshua Madden and Taylor Patrick O’Neill (Cluny Media, forthcoming)
- That All Shall be Saved by David Bentley Hart in Nova et Vetera. Forthcoming.
- Divine Providence: God’s Love and Human Freedom by Bruce R. Reichenbach on The American Academy of Religion’s site Reading Religion (published online December 12th, 2016).
- General Principles of Sacramental Theology by Roger W. Nutt. “Demonstrating the Sacraments as the Spiritual Heartbeat of the Church,” on Thomistica (published online May 9th, 2017).
- Thomism and Predestination: Principles and Disputations edited by Steven A. Long, Roger W. Nutt, and Thomas Joseph White, OP. “Praemotio Physica and Predestination,” on Thomistca (published online January 1st, 2017).
Lecture and Conference Activity
- “Grace, Predestination, and the Permission of Sin”
Faculty of Philosophy Colloquium Series
Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas – Angelicum (Rome, Italy)
March 4, 2021
- “Faithful Citizenship & the Demands of Authentic Political Engagement”
St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry (Rochester, NY) September 22, 2020.
Conference Papers Presented
- “The Compatibilism of St. Thomas Aquinas and the Purchase of Creaturely Free Will at the Risk of Sin”
Symposium Thomisticum V’s “Aquinas on Action,” June 4-6, 2021
- “’Grace for Grace’: The Doctrine of Merit and the Heresy of Pelagianism from Augustine to Thomas to Trent”
The Sacra Doctrina Project and St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry’s “Development of Doctrine: Revelation, Magisterium, and Human Reason,” June 10 – 12, 2021
- “Hope, the ‘Behovely,’ and the Doctrine of Eternal Hell: The Thomism of Julian of Norwich”
Ave Maria University and The Aquinas Center’s “Hope and Death: Christian Responses,” February 11 – 13, 2021.
(Ave Maria, FL; attended remotely)
- “Josef Pieper’s ‘Primordial Revelation’ and the Historical Integrity of Philosophy”
American Catholic Philosophical Association’s 2019 annual meeting, “A Perennial Philosophy of Nature,” November 21 – 24, 2019.
- “Aquinas on Genesis and Original Sin: Harmonizing Scripture and the Contemporary Science of Death and Evolution”
St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology and the Aquinas Center of Ave Maria University’s “Aquinas the Biblical Theologian,” February 8-9, 2019.
(Ave Maria, FL)
- “Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange and Charles DeKoninck: A Rapprochement”
Franciscan University of Steubenville’s M.A. Program in Philosophy’s “Personalism and its Relation to the Christian Intellectual Tradition,” May 18-19, 2018
- “Mother Teresa’s Dark Night, the Unitive Way, and the Witness of the Mystics
The Aquinas Center for Theological Renewal’s “Mother Teresa and the Mystics: Toward a Renewal of Spiritual Theology” February 10-11, 2017
(Ave Maria, FL)
- “The Danger of Educational Libertarianism”
Donahue Academy’s “The Gravity of Education: Catholic Education 50 Years After Gravissimum Educationis” May 13 – 14 , 2016
(Ave Maria, FL)
- “Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange and Jacques Maritain on the Permission of Evil”
The Aquinas Center for Theological Renewal and The Thomistic Institute’s “Thomism and Predestination: A Theological Symposium” January 25 – 27, 2016
Leading Faculty & Presenter
- 2020 Summer Theology Program on St. Thomas’ Treatise on the Virtue of Faith.
The Albertus Magnus Center for Scholastic Studies in collaboration with the Aquinas Institute. Madison, WI. July 27 – 31.
(Leading seminar discussions of the text and presenting a lecture entitled, “Theology as Sacred Science”)
- 2019 Summer Theology Program on St. Thomas’ Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians.
The Albertus Magnus Center for Scholastic Studies in collaboration with the Aquinas Institute. Wausau, WI. August 12 – 16.
(Led seminar discussions of the text and presented a lecture entitled “Grace for Grace: St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine Contra Martin Luther on Grace, Freedom, and Justification by Works”