Jeff Morrow is Professor and Chair of Undergraduate Theology at Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology at Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey. He also serves as a Senior Fellow of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology.
Jeff earned his Ph.D. (2007) in Theology at the University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio, in the program on the U.S. Catholic Experience, where he focused on historical theology and the history of biblical exegesis. He earned his M.A. (2003) in Theological Studies, with a focus on Biblical Studies, also at the University of Dayton. He earned his B.A. (2001) at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, where he double majored in Comparative Religion and Classical Greek, and minored in Jewish Studies.
Jeff originally comes from a Jewish background; he attended Hebrew school and had a bar mitzvah. In 1997 he became an evangelical Protestant and was heavily involved with para-church ministry as an undergraduate student. He entered the Catholic Church, Easter Vigil 1999.
Jeff is a popular speaker who speaks regularly at parishes and schools, as well as at larger events. He has made popular presentations at the Applied Biblical Studies and the Defending the Faith Conferences at Franciscan University of Steubenville, as well as with the Coming Home Network International. He has also published in popular periodicals including This Rock, The Catholic Answer and New Oxford Review.
Jeff's scholarly work is primarily in the history of biblical interpretation, but he has also presented academic papers, and published scholarly articles, on a variety of topics related to theology, religion and the Bible. He has published scholarly works in academic journals including International Journal of Systematic Theology, New Blackfriars, Pro Ecclesia, and Toronto Journal of Theology. He has also made scholarly presentations before a number of learned societies, including the American Academy of Religion, the Society of Biblical Literature, the American Catholic Historical Association, and the College Theology Society.
He currently resides in New Jersey with his wife Maria (who has a Ph.D. in Theology, specializing in Moral Theology, also from the University of Dayton) and their seven children Maia, Eva, Patrick, Robert, John, Nicholas, and Anna.
Scott Hahn and Emily Stimpson Chapman have written a marvelous and timely book, Hope to Die: The Christian Meaning of Death and the Resurrection of the Body. It not only explains the Christian meaning of death, and of the afterlife, but also the importance Christianity places on the body. The logic of relics and of the Sacraments makes profound sense when we understand them in this context. They ground their discussion, not only in light of contemporary Church teaching, but also in the teachings of the Church Fathers and of the Bible. Death is a reality we all have to face—it’s the one certitude everyone is prepared to admit, but so few are prepared to embrace. Hope to Die goes a long way in helping us prepare well for that moment, not only by helping us understand it better, but as importantly, in encouraging us to live so as to prepare ourselves for that final moment, which we do not know when will come. Instead of fearing that moment, this book encourages hope, and explains why, in some sense, what comes after death, should be something for which we yearn. They situate Church teaching on death, the body, the resurrection, heaven, etc., in the pages of Scripture, showing the organic growth as the Tradition continues to reflect on these important matters, and apply them in our changing contexts over time. They show how the body itself is a sort of sacrament; it has spiritual significance. They cover a host of related topics including Christian burials, funerals, death, judgement, the bodily resurrection, Catholic devotions including relics, and the Eucharist. My favorite chapter, I think, was chapter 9, on what heaven will be like, and how our lives will finally make sense, as will the lives of others, and all of human history. We should spend our whole lives lovingly preparing for the next, when everything in our life that seemed a mystery will finally make sense as we lovingly contemplate God’s fatherly providence with Him, the author of our lives and of human history. This is a book you will want to read, and reread over and over again during key moments of your life. It is available for pre-order here: https://stpaulcenter.com/product/hope-to-die-the-christian-meaning-of-death-and-the-resurrection-of-the-body/?fbclid=IwAR0eKnf4ZO2FWeLLeS6v7gLzQSyPpHz2uRerNw_6HgMFyW-FUsx_FSqBX8o
My new book, Theoloy, Politics, and Exegesis, just came out. It is a sequel to my Three Skeptics and the Bible. I just returned from the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature annual meeting in Boston, and the new volume was there, and sold out. It continues the work of the previous volume, examining the history of modern biblical criticism, but takes it into the eighteenth century, the Enlightenment, and also explores the tragic separation of Catholic moral theology from biblical studies.
The third part of my three part webinar, “Deconstructing the Bible: Understanding the Crisis in Biblical Interpretation,” is now available through the Institute of Catholic Culture. So if you missed the live webinar, you can still watch it. Once clicking on the link above, simply scroll down to “Video Streams” and check out “Video Part Three.” Enjoy! The majority of the material in this installment is coming from research I’m presently engaged in–and have been since the beginning of my sabbatical 2015-2016–for a book I’m co-authoring with Scott Hahn, which is almost completed. If you are interested, all three 2 hour webinars (6 hours in total) are now up at the Institute of Catholic Culture website above.
“J. R. R. Tolkien, the beloved author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, brings to his work a great treasure–his Christian faith. Tolkien’s literary works are so popular in part because, in some sense, they pertain to the real world. This present volume is an attempt to understand better the deep Christian influences on his work but also to explore the relevance of Tolkien’s work for theology today. After examining Tolkien’s fiction in order better to appreciate Christian influences, this volume takes a closer look at Tolkien’s theology of fantasy, his response to the more skeptical origins of religion research, and applies his work to contemporary questions about method in biblical studies. Tolkien’s Christianity informed all he wrote. Moreover, his own theology of fantasy holds great promise for contemporary theology.”
“In our contemporary society, people often approach the Bible with suspicion. In these presentations, Dr. Morrow explores the philosophical, theological, and political roots of the long history that led to the present circumstances, showing that rather than distrusting the Bible, we should instead be suspicious of the skeptics.”
Just in time for Easter, the Principium Institute has published my book on the historical evidence for Jesus’ resurrection, entitled, Jesus’ Resurrection: A Jewish Convert Examines the Evidence. It is available in both paperback as well as in Kindle. In this volume, I walk through the historical evidence that Jesus in fact rose from the dead. Much of this evidence was instrumental in my own conversion, but I update the volume in light of my more recent research since my conversion. The volume is intended for a popular audience, but it contains endnotes and bibliography for the interested scholar.
Here’s what others have to say:
Scott Hahn wrote:
“Dr. Jeffrey Morrow is a brilliant theologian whose work on the Resurrection provides abundant historical evidence for this greatest of biblical miracles. Highly recommended.”
“As a convert to Christianity from Judaism, Jeffrey Morrow brings a unique perspective to the quest for Jesus. Even more, he leaves no stone unturned in the debate over what happened to Jesus’ body on the first Easter morning. Whether you are a skeptic or a believer, if you’re looking for a clear, concise, and compelling case for the Resurrection, then this is the book for you.”
The Principium Institute has just published my new booklet on prayer, entitled, Speaking with God: A Short Primer on Mental Prayer. It is available both electronically from Kindle, as well as in paperback. I hope you find it to be a helpful little resource on how to get more out of prayer. The Principium Institute will be publishing more helpful resources like this one, from me and from a number of other scholars who are trying to write works that are accessible and helpful for ordinary Christians beyond the small circle of scholars for whom we often write. Right now the Kindle version of my text is selling for only 99 cents, and the 65 page paperback sells for $3.99.