skip to content

Faculty of Divinity



University of Cambridge, Ph.D. (in progress)
- 'Footnotes to Coleridge: A Genealogy of Theology and Literature'
- King's College

University of Chicago, M.A.
- FLAS Fellow (Chinese)
- Divinity School Scholar

Peking University, M.Phil.
- Yenching Scholar (燕京学堂)
- Yenching Award for Outstanding Academic Performance

University of Oxford, Visiting Student
- Notre Dame-Oxford Program (academic year)
- Oriel College

University of Notre Dame (Honors Program), B.A.
- Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar (top merit scholarship)
- Glynn Scholar
- Dean's Fellow
- Phi Beta Kappa
President, Class of 2016


John (Jake) Grefenstette's research examines S.T. Coleridge's legacy across 20th century interdisciplinary practices in theology and literature. His PhD thesis covers a lineage of poet-critics spanning Owen Barfield to Geoffrey Hill. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Jake has studied theology, philosophy, and literature at Notre Dame, UChicago, Oxford, Cambridge, and Beida.

Outside of his thesis, Jake's interests include international histories of Roman Catholic visual art; religion and alcohol (especially sake and Chartreuse); Gerard Manley Hopkins; and Hai Zi. Jake has received research grants to Beijing, Shanghai, Qingdao, Kyoto, Tokyo, Chimbote, Chicago, Notre Dame, Oxford, and Harvard. With Steven Toussaint and Thomas Graff, he co-convenes the Religion in Contemporary Poetry group in Cambridge’s Faculty of Divinity. For 2021-2022, he is co-editor of Noesis, the Faculty graduate journal.

In tandem with research in theology and literature, Jake works and writes on religion and film. He holds a ‘Special Thanks’ credit on the extended cut of Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life (2018). In his spare time, Jake exposes and develops expired film stocks with his wife Cristina (this often with aid from Frodo Waggins, their dog).


The Question of God (A5)
Great Christian Theologians (B8)
Christ, Salvation, and the Trinity (B8)
Theology and Literature (B13)


Research Languages:
French, German, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese. Basic knowledge of Koine Greek, Latin, Italian, Japanese.

Teaching and Supervisions


The Question of God (A5)
Great Christian Theologians (B8)
Christ, Salvation, and the Trinity (B8)
Theology and Literature (B13)

Contact Details

Email address: 
Not available for consultancy


Collaborator profiles: 


Current students and supervisors can access the Faculty’s Moodle page by clicking on the image below.