Faculty Directory

Thomas Cattoi

Associate Professor of Christology and Cultures
Dwan Family Endowed Chair in Ecumenical and Interfaith Dialogue

Core Doctoral Faculty
At the GTU since
(510) 549-5005

“For we were predestined before the ages to be in Christ as members of his body. He adapted us to himself and knitted us together in the Spirit as a soul to a body. For this we were created; this was God's good purpose for us before the ages."

Maximos the Confessor, Amb. 7

Dr. Cattoi’s  research interests include Christology, Patristics, Mahayana Buddhism (with particular attention to the Tibetan tradition), and the theology of inter-religious dialogue. His goal as a constructive theologian is to explore the interface between early Christian thought and comparative theology.

Dr. Cattoi served as Co-Chair of the Mysticism Group for the American Academy of Religion in 2009-2014, and was one of the founding members of the Buddhist-Christian dialogue interest group for the Catholic Theological Society of America. Prof. Cattoi is co-editor of the journal Buddhist-Christian Studies based at the University of Hawai'i. In 2018-20, he is serving as Chair of the Theology and Ethics Department in the GTU doctoral program. Prof. Cattoi is also a licensed psychotherapist (LMFT 106457) in the State of California.

Degrees and Certifications

PhD, Boston College, 2006
MPhil, School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies at University College London, 2002
MSc, London School of Economics, 1996
BA, MA Oxford, 1995


Curicculum Vitae

Research and Teaching Interests
  • Christology
  • Patristic Theology 
  • Patristic Spirituality
  • Comparative Theology (especially Christian- Buddhist dialogue)
  • Tibetan Buddhism
  • Contemporary Systematic Theology
Selected Publications
  • "Why read the Church Fathers? Teaching Nicaea as Contextual Theology", in Eduardo Fernandez and Deborah Ross (eds.), Doing Theology as if people mattered: Encounters in Contextual Theology (New York, Crossroads, 2019), 41-58.

  • "Apatheia and āśrayaparavrtti: meditation and epistemic purification in the Philokalia and Yogācāra Buddhism," in Elizabeth Harris and John O’Grady (eds.), Meditation in Buddhist-Christian Encounter: A Critical Analysis (Muenich: Sankt Oktilien ed., 2018), 349-369.

  • "Ippolito Desideri and the Universality of Aristotelian Rationality: a Model or a Hindrance?", in Buddhist-Christian Studies, Vol. 38 (2018), 69-83.

  • With David Odorisio (ed.), Depth Psychology and Mysticism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018)

  • “Saints from the Margin: Rescuing Tradition through Hagiography in the lives of Sylouan the Athonite and Milarepa”, in Kerry San Chirico and Rico Monge (eds.), Hagiography in Abrahamic and Dharmic Traditions: Manifesting Sanctity and Truth (Bloomsbury, 2016)
  • “The Teaching Logos: Christology and Tropology in Theophylact of Ochrid’s Interpretation of New Testament Parables”, in Jane Beal (ed.), Illuminating Jesus in the Middle Ages (Brill, forthcoming)
  • “Icons, deities, and the three transcendentals: deification and post-Kantian holiness in Byzantium and Tibet”, in Buddhist-Christian Studies, Vol. 36, 2016
  • “Why Nicaea? Classical Trinitarian theology and the development of new doctrinal formulas”, in Frontiers in Christian Ecumenical Research, 2017
  • “Flawed Subjectivities: Cyril of Alexandria and Mahāyāna Buddhism on Individual Volition, Sin, and Karma”, in Buddhist-Christian Studies, Vol. 37 (2017)
Courses Taught
  • Christology Ancient and Modern
  • Theology and Ethics Doctoral Seminar
  • Buddhist-Christian Dialogue
  • History of Christian Spirituality