Jack Mahoney SJ
Jack Mahoney SJ

Jack Mahoney SJ

I was born in 1931 in a Catholic working class family in the West of Scotland and educated locally, graduating from the University of Glasgow before joining the Jesuit order. My training as a Jesuit took me to England, the United States of America, and Rome, where I obtained my doctorate in moral theology from the Gregorian University. I have since lectured, broadcast and written regularly, and travelled abroad a great deal, dealing with various aspects of human and Christian moral behaviour.

Mainly, I taught for twenty years at the Jesuit Heythrop College, first in Oxfordshire and then helping to move the College to London to become a school of the University there. Subsequently I applied for, and was appointed to, the F. D. Maurice Chair of Moral and Social Theology at King’s College in the Strand, London, where I founded the King’s College Business Ethics Research Centre and the Blackwell’s quarterly journal, Business Ethics. A European Review. At the same time I gave regular courses on ethical business to the business community at Gresham College in the City of London, where I was Professor of Commerce for six years. I also served for a year as Domestic Chaplain to the then Lord Mayor of London. After that I was invited to London Business School, to be the first Dixons’ Professor of Business Ethics and Social Responsibility there, helping business people to work out systematically what it means to run an ethically and socially responsible business.

When I retired from London University, I was appointed to the Jesuit church in central Edinburgh, where I founded the Lauriston Centre for Contemporary Belief and Action, lectured regularly, and introduced the annual summer school, Edinburgh Living Theology. I also taught courses in Glasgow, Edinburgh and St Andrews Universities. Later I was appointed Distinguished Professor of Theology in Georgetown University, Washington D.C., but I became ill and had to resign and returned to London. Finally, in 2014 I was appointed a senior member and honorary Fellow of Campion Hall in Oxford University.

My active life as a Jesuit has concentrated on teaching theology at university level, and writing many articles and several books on various aspects of theology: pastoral and spiritual theology, moral theology, medical ethics, business ethics, the challenge of human rights, and the doctrinal implications of evolution for modern Christian belief. I have always seen my role as a Jesuit as exploring the convictions that life has to make sense; that God is at the centre of everything in and around and ahead of us; and that, as my hero, the Jesuit General Father Pedro Arrupe, once said in an interview on the BBC, we Jesuits believe that if people follow the truth it will lead them to Christ.