Ordinary Academicians

Tracey Rowland

Prof. Dr.

Tracey Rowland

Date of birth 07 July 1963

Place Australia (Oceania)

Nomination 17 January 2023

Field Political and Cultural Theory; Theological Anthropology

Title St John Paul II Chair of Theology

  • Biography
  • Publications

Tracey Rowland was born in 1963 and educated by the Sisters of Mercy in Ipswich, Queensland and at The Range Convent and High School in Rockhampton. She initially studied law and government at the University of Queensland and earned a Bachelor of Laws in 1989. She then studied at the University of Melbourne, where she obtained a Bachelor of Letters in Philosophy and a Master of Arts degree in political philosophy in 1992, as well as a Graduate Diploma in German language, and the Goethe Institute's Certificate of German as a foreign language the following year. After winning a Commonwealth doctoral scholarship Rowland attended the University of Cambridge where she completed her PhD in 2001. Her doctoral dissertation was on twentieth century theological engagements with the idea of culture, with reference to the philosophy of Alasdair MacIntyre and the theology of Henri de Lubac and Joseph Ratzinger. In 2001 she became the inaugural Dean of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Melbourne, a role she held until 2017. During this period she continued her theological studies at the Pontifical Lateran University, where she obtained her Licentiate in Sacred Theology and a Doctorate in Sacred Theology. In 2010 she also graduated from the University of London with a degree in Education. In 2017 Rowland was appointed as the St. John Paul II. Research Professor of the University of Notre Dame Australia.

Rowland is a member of the editorial board of the English language edition of Communio: International Catholic Review. She is a patron of the Australian Catholic Students Association. She is a Dame of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre and a Dame of the Order of Knights of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem, Rhodes and Malta, commonly known as the Knights Hospitaller. In 2014 she was appointed as a member of Pope Francis' International Theological Commission. In 2016 she delivered the prestigious Cardinal Winning Memorial Lecture at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. In 2020 Rowland won the Ratzinger Prize for Theology, making her the first Australian and only the third woman to ever receive this award. An annual award to two individuals, and coming with AUD$125,000 prize money, Pope Francis announced in October 2020 that Rowland would share the award with French philosopher Jean-Luc Marion.

A reviewer of her second book Ratzinger's faith notes that the volume "is an important contribution to understanding not only Ratzinger the theologian but also the Roman Catholic Church after Vatican II--and the challenges and opportunities the church specifically and the Christian faith generally face in the early 21st century". Reviewers of her book Catholic Theology have said that it is "a work which deserves wide readership" and that "we are indebted to Tracey Rowland for this significant theological achievement and valuable teaching resource."

Rowland has published over 150 articles in all and is presently editing a collection of essays on the Anglican Patrimony for publication with Bloomsbury, a collection of essays on the subject of healing fractures in fundamental theology (with Peter McGregor) and a book on early-to-mid 20th century German theology with a special focus on the mentors of the Ratzinger generation, “Illuminating Hope: Defenders of Christian Humanism after Kant and Nietzsche” (London: Bloomsbury, 2021).


Culture and the Thomist Tradition: after Vatican II (London: Routledge, 2003). 

Ratzinger’s Faith/The Theology of Pope Benedict XVI (Oxford University Press, 2008). This has been translated and published in Polish, Portuguese and Spanish.

Benedict XVI: A Guide for the Perplexed (London: Bloomsbury, 2010).  This has been translated and published in Spanish.

Catholic Theology (London: Bloomsbury, 2017).  This has been translated into Polish and is in the process of publication.

The Culture of the Incarnation: Essays in Catholic Theology (Steubenville: Emmaus Academic, 2017).

Portraits of Spiritual Nobility (New York: Angelico Press, 2019).

Beyond Kant and Nietzsche: The Munich Defence of Christian Humanism (London: Bloomsbury, 2021).

Despre Permanenţa Adevặrului şi alte Eseuri (Oradea: Ratio et Revelatio, 2021).  This is a Romanian translation of a collection of essays first published in English in the journal Communio: International Catholic Review.  The translation of the Romanian title is: On the Permanence of Truth and Other Essays.

Professional Address

School of Philosophy & Theology
University of Notre Dame (Australia)
128-140 Broadway, Chippendale NSW 2047