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Dr Colin Patterson

Dr Colin Patterson BSc (Hons) (Melb), BD (MCD), DipEd (Monash), STL, STD (JPII Rome) MAPS Moral Theology; Theology of Psychology

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Current Positions
Lecturer, John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family (Melbourne)

Colin’s first work was as a child and family psychologist. During his thirteen years in that field, his particular interests were in behavioural change strategies, as well as learning difficulties and brief psychodynamic therapy. Following preparation for ordained ministry in the Uniting Church, he served over the next twelve years in parishes at Koo Wee Rup/ Lang Lang and at Chelsea, before being received into the Catholic Church in 2004.

His STL dissertation examined aspects of the moral philosophy of Alasdair MacIntyre in the light of recent psychological theory while his doctoral thesis, titled “Freedom, Virtue and Narrative: A Comparative Study of the work of Alasdair MacIntyre and Stanley Hauerwas” broadened that study to include a theological perspective.  Areas of interest include the foundations of moral theology, and personalist implications for theological anthropology.

Colin is married to Carol and they have five grown children and five grandchildren.

Academic Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Science (Honours), University of Melbourne (1976)
  • Bachelor of Divinity, Melbourne College of Divinity (1980)
  • Diploma of Education, Monash University (1989)
  • Licentiate in Sacred Theology, Pontifical John Paul II Institute, Rome (2009)
  • Doctor of Sacred Theology, Pontifical John Paul II Institute, Rome (2011)

Selected Publications

  • Colin Patterson and Conor Sweeny (Ed.) God and ErosThe Anthropology of the Nuptial Mystery. Eugene OR: Wipf & Stock, 2015.
  • Chalcedonian Personalism: Rethinking the Human, Oxford: Peter Lang, 2016.
  • “MacIntyre and Hauerwas on Metaethics and Science.” Studia Ełckie 15, no. 1 (2013): 9 -27.
  • “Embryo Adoption: Some Further Considerations.” Linacre Quarterly 82, no. 1 (2015): 34-48. 
  • “A Constructive Approach to Secularism”. In Colin Patterson and Conor Sweeny (Ed.) God and ErosThe Anthropology of the Nuptial Mystery. Eugene OR: Wipf & Stock, 2015. 123-135

  • “The Holy Trinity: Between Mystery and Analysis”, International Journal of Systematic Theology, 20, no. 3 (2018): 381-401.


    Just War Pacifism – Must it be a Contradiction in Terms?’ Studies in Christian Ethics, (2018), (forthcoming).


    “The World of Honour and Shame in the New Testament:  Alien or Familiar?” Biblical Theology Bulletin, 2018, (forthcoming).


Subjects Taught at the Institute

  • JP575  Theological Issues in the Psychology of Gender, Marriage and Family
  • PJ578  Virtue, Faith and Psychological Science
  • JP 540/640  Dimensions of Christian Moral Life
  • JP524/624  Scripture and Tradition in Human Life and Healthcare
  • JP502M  Philosophical Foundations of Bioethics
  • JP546M  Current Controversies in Bioethics
  • JP545/645  End-of-Life Ethics


More in this category: « Dr Gerard O'Shea Dr Conor Sweeney »