Nolan, John (c.1600–1662), Dominican priest and theologian, was a filius of the Black Abbey of Kilkenny. He entered the Dominican order at Zamora in Spain. By 1627 he was already lector of philosophy at Pamplona, where he had studied. He was appointed conventual lector of theology at Rennes in Brittany (August 1632); at Rennes he promoted theology and strict Dominican observance, and in 1639 he was conferred with the mastership in sacred theology in recognition of having lectured for many years in various provinces. He was briefly rector of the Irish Dominican college at Louvain (from about November 1639 to August 1640), and taught again at Rennes in 1641 and 1644. In the summer of 1644 he attended the meeting of the general chapter at Rome, together with Terence Albert O'Brien (qv) and Mark Rochford (qv). The new master general, Thomas Turco, appointed him vicar general of the congregation of Lithuania, and assistant to the commissary of the province of Poland; he was also charged with the reorganisation of the province of Hungary.
Nolan afterwards worked in France as the master general's special delegate in the reform of the disturbed house of Bezance, and he returned again to Rennes, where he was master of students in 1646. While at Rennes he improved the standard of studies and robustly defended the teachings of Augustine and Thomas Aquinas. In 1650 he was special adviser to the master general, Giovanni Battista de Marinis on the state of Ireland. By 1651 he was present at Rome as the agent of dissident French Dominicans and was appointed to the master general's curial council when he was deputed to deal with a Mexican dispute.
Nolan was named regent of studies of the Roman studium generale of Santa Maria sopra Minerva (August 1653), but was removed from office and incarcerated (November 1653) by the Roman inquisition. He had become deeply involved in the controversy concerning the efficacy of divine grace and predestination, opposing those who impugned the doctrine of St Thomas Aquinas. Owing to the intervention of the Marquis Dasserat he was released from the inquisition's prison by 23 January 1656. Definitor for Ireland at the general chapter held at Santa Maria sopra Minerva in 1656, he applied unsuccessfully to the holy see to have Nuncio Rinuccini's (qv) Irish censures revoked. On his repeated abjuration of views considered Jansenistic, he was permitted to retire in March 1660 to Brittany, where he resumed the promotion of studies. He was prior of Plancoët (1661–2), where he was devoted to the well-being of the congregation of Brittany Dominicans. He died in 1662. A copy of a printed theological letter on the controversial topic of divine grace (dated 16 June 1653), addressed to Peter Martin, prior of Rennes, is extant.