NEWS & EVENTS
THEOLOGY OPEN HOUSE
Tuesday, April 9, 4-6 P.M.
615 Fisher Hall
Learn how Duquesne University can prepare you through our Master's degrees in Pastoral Ministry, Religious Education and Theology.
For a PDF of the flyer click here.
March 27, 2013
GLENN SINISCALCHI: "Post-Vatican II Apologetics: From Scholasticism to Combinationalism and Beyond"
Director: Dr. George Worgul
Recognizing that Christians cannot adequately understand the mysteries of faith from a single vantage point, Catholic theologians have been keen on emphasizing the multidimensional nature of theological understanding since Vatican II. The advantage of such a method has helped believers to understand the rich, in-depth quality of Catholic faith. One of the fields of theology which has not been discussed in the models approach, however, is apologetics-which includes as one of its aspects the art and science of defending the doctrines and practices of the Catholic Church. When all of the relevant passages in the documents of Vatican II are taken into consideration, a unique apologetical approach emerges that incorporates key advances as they emerged historically from the Church's apologists. Each of the individual apologetic systems from the past will be shown to have its own particular strengths and weaknesses. By way of contrast, I will argue that the best way to "make a defense for" the Gospel in a postconciliar church is to advance the integrated model of the Council. This integrated model of Catholic defense is called combinationalism. The interests and views of the apologists are proven to be complementary rather than competing. This integrated model helps apologists and evangelists to recognize that although one approach might be needed in a certain context, it would be an egregious mistake to take that one system and use it as the exclusive means to reach persons situated within different circumstances and cultural contexts. This essay will not only exploit the different apologetic models in the post-Vatican II period, it will also serve as a serious work of apologetics in its own right by focusing on certain challenges as test cases to highlight the pertinence and livelihood of each model.
March 26, 2013
JAMES MENKHAUS: "Solidarity According to the Thought of Fr. Pedro Arrupe and Its Application to Jesuit Higher Education Today"
Director: Dr. James Bailey
Fr. Pedro Arrupe, S.J. was elected the 28th superior general of the Society of Jesus in 1965 and served in that role until 1983. As superior general, Arrupe sought to shape the Jesuits in the spirit of the vision of Vatican II, as well as the original charism of the founder of the Jesuit, St. Ignatius. The questions this dissertation seeks to answer is how Fr. Pedro Arrupe understood solidarity in light of his own life and theological perspectives and then how his view continues to shape Jesuit education today. The first chapter examines solidarity as an element of Catholic social teaching, which sets the historical and theological context for the rest of the dissertation. It briefly looks at the historical development of solidarity within papal encyclicals, as well as within selected contextual theologies.
Monday, March 25
RYAN PATRICK MCLAUGHLIN: "Theological Foundations for an Ethics of Cosmocentric Transfiguration: Navigating the Eco-Theological Poles of Conservation,Transfiguration, Anthropocentrism, and Cosmocentrism with Regard to the Relationship between Humans and Individual Nonhuman Animals"
Director: Dr. Daniel P. Scheid
In the past forty years, there has been an unprecedented explosion of theological writings regarding the place of the nonhuman creation in ethics. The purpose of this dissertation is to propose a taxonomy of four paradigms of eco-theological thought that will categorize these writings and facilitate the identification, situation, and constructive development of the paradigm of cosmocentric transfiguration. This taxonomy takes shape within the tensions of three theological foundations: cosmology, anthropology, and eschatology. These tensions establish two categorical distinctions between, on the one hand, conservation and transfiguration, and, on the other, anthropocentrism and cosmocentrism. The variations within these poles yield the four paradigms. The first paradigm is anthropocentric conservation, represented by Thomas Aquinas. It maintains that humanity bears an essentially unique dignity and eschatological telos that renders the nonhuman creation resources for human use in via toward that telos. The second is cosmocentric conservation, represented by Thomas Berry. It maintains that humanity is part of a cosmic community of intrinsic worth that demands protection and preservation, not human manipulation or eschatological redemption. The third is anthropocentric transfiguration, represented by Orthodox theologians such as Dumitru Staniloae. It maintains that humans are priests of creation charged with the task of recognizing the cosmos as the eternal sacrament of divine love and using it to facilitate communion among themselves and with God. The fourth is cosmocentric transfiguration, represented by both Jürgen Moltmann and Andrew Linzey. It maintains that humans are called to become proleptic witnesses to an eschatological hope for peace that includes the intrinsically valuable members of the cosmic community.
Cosmocentric transfiguration, while under-represented and underdeveloped, provides a unique opportunity to affirm both scientific claims about the nature of the cosmos and the theological hope for redemption. In addition, it offers a powerful vision to address the current ecological crisis with regard to humanity's relationship to both individual nonhuman life forms and the cosmos at large. This vision calls for humans to protest the mechanisms of death, suffering, and predation by living at peace, to whatever extent context permits, with all individual creatures while at the same time preserving the very system they protest by protecting the integrity of species, eco-systems, and the environment at large. These findings warrant further research regarding the viability of cosmocentric transfiguration, in particular its exegetical warrant in scripture, its foundations in traditional voices of Christian thought, its interdisciplinary potential for integration of the sciences, and its internal coherency.
"Mother Symbol & Africana Women's Practices of Peacebuilding"
Dianne Diakité (Emory University)
Lecture co-hosted by Center for African Studies, the Center for Women's and Gender Studies, and the Schouver Chair in Mission.
For a video of the presentation, preceded by Dr. Uzukwu's introduction, click HERE.
"Celebrating 50 Years of John XXIII Pacem in Terris: Its Relevance Today and Tomorrow"
Rev. Dr. Kenneth Himes, O.F.M. Associate Professor, Department of Theology, Boston College
Tuesday, January 29, 3 - 4 p.m., Power Center Ballroom
Click here for a video of the introduction by Rev. Dr. Elochukwu Uzukwu, followed by the presentation.
The text of the presentation is available here.
Theology Dissertation Defenses
Monday, March 11, 1:30 PM, Fisher Hall 619 (Seminary Room)
EMILY MANNING: "Whispers of Conversation between Thomas Merton and Sallie McFague on God, Self, and the World: Considering Engaged Spirituality Today"
Director: Dr. Gerald Boodoo
"How are we called to live and to experience God in the world?" This is the question this dissertation seeks to explore, relying on the thought and dialogue of Thomas Merton, a 20th Century Catholic monk, and Sallie McFague, a 21st Century Protestant theologian. This question is approached by examining Merton and McFague's understandings of God, self, and the world as these aspects relate to the question and issue of Christian living. In exploring these areas this project brings together aspects of Christian spirituality, theology, and ethics to grasp the intimate relationship between faith and action, which is the essence of authentic Christian living. Merton and McFague, in their own ways, are advocates of "engaged spirituality," or spiritually rooted social action, as the expression of Christian faith. Placed together, their individual example and influence gain strength and take on deeper significance; as conversation partners, Merton and McFague are able to enhance one another's contributions, overcoming weaknesses and limitations in one another's projects. Together, they encourage others to live more authentically and to more fully contribute to the making of a better world.
Wednesday, February 20
IAN P. MURPHY: "Narrative, Context, and Conversion: An Application of Paul Ricoeur's Theory of Narrative to the New Catholic Evangelization in the Postconciliar United States"
Director: Dr. Gerald Boodoo
The New Evangelism, a term popularized by Paul VI and a primary concern of John Paul II, articulates the Catholic Church's reply to the appeal of the Council Fathers for renewed gospel proclamation in the modern age. Theology observes copious permutations of the New Evangelism, and these competing narratives cover a variety of perspectives. My project explores the question of the New Evangelism's meaning within United States Catholicism amidst its various interpretations by applying Paul Ricoeur's theory of narrative to this multiplicity of configurations. Ricoeur's theory actually anticipated the contemporary situation: as new interpretations challenged sedimentation, multiple reconfigurations of the Church's call to proclaim were the inevitable result, in light of story's power upon human imagination. In the reciprocal dialectic between historical consciousness and personal identity, story informs each and is informed by each-an epistemological circle which allows for multiple reconfigurations when narratives engage imagination. My application of Ricoeur's theory will indicate that theology is not about the New Evangelism so much as it is about New Evangelisms, and that the Church may embrace a breathing room for multiple voices without losing herself to the vacuum of relativism nor to the suffocation of autocracy.
Theology Dissertation Defense
Wednesday, February 13
Rev. Jason G. DelVitto: "Encountering Eucharistic Presence Within a Postmodern Context: A Dialogue Among Chauvet, Schmemann, and Zizioulas"
Director: Dr. George Worgul
The Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Churches, as well as other Christian communities, are faced with the challenges of postmodern thought, which calls into question some of the foundational theological and philosophical constructs through which Christianity has articulated the mystery of Eucharistic presence. Louis-Marie Chauvet, Alexander Schmemann and John Zizioulas, the interlocutors presented in this dissertation, recognize that for centuries, Eucharistic theology has been shaped within a metaphysical/Scholastic framework which confines, in many respects, the experiential/relational aspects of the divine/human dynamic as mediated in the Eucharistic celebration. An appeal for a paradigmatic shift is made evident in their respective works based on a renewed understanding of the various strata of the symbolic order and the paradigm of relationality as being the primary contexts within which the people of God celebrate his presence. This shift is necessary in order to correct the problematic of a causal, mechanistic, reductionist, overly-metaphysical, dualist framework as well as a static onto-theological construct, to which Eucharistic theology has been subjected to for centuries. There is a call for a re-thinking of Eucharistic presence in light of a theology which is rooted in the mutually supportive principles of lex orandi est lex credendi and of a Patristic theological landscape. The methodology of this dissertation is comparative and dialogical in nature in which each theologian articulates the need for a scholarship of Eucharistic presence to be established on new terrain and a new trajectory which will prove to be more appropriate in expressing the mystery of presence as it is grounded and expressed within the Apostolic faith and practice. By appealing to and implementing the theologies here presented, we can develop a renewed vision of Eucharistic presence that may provide a common ground for an ecumenical enterprise, reaffirming the most essential component of faith: God's presence among humanity and in creation. This ecumenical enterprise must not remain within the realm of the abstract or theoretical, but needs to culminate in a true union of the churches born of a common unity in faith and eventual Eucharistic practice. In addition, these three theologians' contributions will continue to provide contemporary and future scholars in sacramental theology with an innovative approach to further articulate the mystery of presence through media which speak to the contemporary world while remaining rooted in antiquity.
World Issues in Theology Forum
The World Issues in Theology Forum is a faculty colloquium that meets several times per semester to discuss the concerns that arise in our world in terms of their impact on and creation of theologies. The primary goal of the Forum is to privilege texts/ events/ situations that enhance our understanding of the world together with philosophical/ religious/ theological reflections that might help to guide and expand our own reflections.
Wednesday, February 27, 3:15-4:15
- Aaron Mackler, "Understanding the Past and the Future: From Eugenics to Posthumanism"
Wednesday, April 10, 3:15-4:15pm
- Darlene Weaver, "Conscience and Commitments to Pluralism"
Dr. Bogdan Bucur was one of the panelists at the International Colloquium "Les judaïsmes dans tous leurs états aux Ier-IIIe siècles (Les Judéens des synagogues, les chrétiens et les rabbins)" organized by the University of Lausanne, in conjuction with the Ecole pratique des Hautes études-CNRS, Paris, and the University of Tours.
For more details click here.
The presence of two Orthodox scholars at Duquesne's Theology Department highlighted in recent First Things article.
The essay called "The Orthodox Renaissance," by Paul Gavrilyuk (University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis), talks about the present flourishing and development of Orthodox theology. Here is the reference to our Department:
Remarkably, the Theology departments of Fordham and Duquesne universities each have two full-time Orthodox faculty members. It is not unreasonable to expect that where two or three Orthodox theologians are gathered, there could emerge a small center or a program to promote Orthodoxy's intellectual legacy, like the Orthodox Christian Studies Center that George Demacopoulos and Artistotle Papanikolaou have established at Fordham in 2007, hardly possible even thirty years ago. [Full article here].
Dr. Maureen O'Brien elected chair of the Department
Several members of the Department of Theology presented papers at the 2012 joint annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature/ American Academy of Religion (Chicago, 16-20 Nov).
Aimee Light, panelist (AAR): "Dharmic-Eschatological Transformation of Religious Ends: A Hindu-Christian Comparative Theological Conversation"
Daniel P. Scheid, panelist (AAR): "Teaching Comparative Theology from an Institution's Spirituality and Mission"
Bogdan G. Bucur (SBL), "Clement Of Alexandria's Exegesis of Old Testament Theophanies"
Theology Dissertation Defenses (For past dissertation defenses of our doctoral candidates in Theology, click here.)
Monday, November 12, 2012, Fisher Hall 607 (Seminar Room), 10 am
DANIEL LATTIER: "John Henry Newman and Georges Florovsky: An Orthodox - Catholic Dialogue on the Development of Doctrine"
Director: Dr. Radu Bordeianu
Wednesday, November 14, 2012, Fisher Hall 325, 9:00 am
MARY BETH YOUNT: "Theological and Liturgical Dimensions of Ecclesial Authorization for U.S. Lay Ecclesial Ministers"
Director: Dr. Maureen O'Brien
2012 Holy Spirit Lecture and Colloquium canceled.
The Annual Holy Spirit Lecture and Colloquium is a yearly event that encourages the exploration of ideas pertaining to the theology of the Holy Spirit within an ecumenical context and in dialogue with contemporary issues. Past speakers have included Cardinal Walter Kasper, Sandra Schneiders, I.H.M., Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, Fr. Brian Daley, SJ, Elisabeth Johnson, C.S.J.
The 2012 lecture had to be cancelled, as the speaker, Professor Lambert Leijssen, from the Catholic University of Leuven, was unable to travel to the U.S. The 2013 lecture will be given by Msgr. Dr. Paul McPartlan, professor of systematic theology and ecumenism at the Catholic University of America. Additional details wil;l be posted in due time.
From the Boasting Board
Elizabeth Agnew Cochran, "Bricolage and the Purity of Traditions: Engaging the Stoics for Contemporary Christian Ethics," Journal of Religious Ethic 40 (2012): 720-729. [pdf]
Marie Baird, "The Kenosis of God: Vattimo and Levinas on Incarnation, 'Useless' Suffering, and the Secularization of History," in Godhead Here in Hiding: Incarnation and the History of Human Suffering (eds. Terrence Merrigan, and Frederik Glorieux; Leuven: Peeters, 2012), 427-440.
"Toward Communion: Ecumenical Reflections on the Lutheran-Catholic Agreement on Justification and the Reunion of the Syro-Malankara Church," Doon Theological Journal 2 (2012): 150-177.
Anna Floerke Scheid, "An Authority over Globalization? Critical Considerations," Bulletin of Ecumenical Theology 24 (2012): 61-73;
Anna Floerke Scheid, "Interpersonal and Social Reconciliation: Finding Congruence in African Theological Anthropology," Horizons 39 ( 2012): 27-49;
"Waging a Just Revolution: Just War Criteria in the Context of Oppression," Journal for the Society of Christian Ethics 32 (2012), forthcoming.
Bogdan G. Bucur, "'Mysticism' in the Pre-Nicene Era?," in The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Christian Mysticism (ed. Julia Lamm; Wiley-Blackwell, 2012). [pdf]
Bogdan G. Bucur, "From Jewish Apocalypticism to Orthodox Mysticism," in The Orthodox Christian World (Ed. Augustine Casiday; Routledge, 2012), 466-480. [pdf]
Bogdan G. Bucur, "Scholarly Frameworks for Reading 2 Cor 12:1-10: A Critical Presentation," in Naboth's Vineyard: Studia theologica recentiora (Ed. I. Tudorie, O. Gordon, A. Mihaila; Cluj, Romania: Presa Universitară Clujeană, 2012), 175-190 [info]
William M. Wright IV. "Pre-Gospel Traditions and Post-Critical Interpretation in Benedict XVI's Jesus of Nazareth, Volume 2," Nova et Vetera 10 (2012): 1015-1027.
William M. Wright IV. "Patristic Biblical Hermeneutics in Joseph Ratzinger's Jesus of Nazareth," Letter and Spirit 7 (2012): 193-209.
William M. Wright IV. "Inspired Scripture as a Vehicle of Divine Presence: The Case of John 20," paper presented at the conference "Dei Verbum at 50: Toward a Clarification of the Inspiration of Scripture." University of Dayton. Dayton, OH. Oct. 2012.
Dr. Radu Bordeianu delivered the Presidential Address at the Orthodox Theological Society of America (St Vladimir's Theological Seminary, 20-22 Sep. 2012): "Orthodoxy and the Political: A Dialogue"
2012 Paluse Lecture
October 11, 2012, 3pm, Bayer Hall
Dr. William Wright, "Echoes of Biblical Apocalypticism in Benedict XVI's Social Teaching"
Dr. Sarah MacMillen, Department of Sociology;
Dr. Calvin Troup, Department of Communication
The World Issues Forum in Theology is a faculty colloquium that meets several times per semester to discuss the concerns that arise in our world in terms of their impact on and creation of theologies. The primary goal of the Forum is to privilege texts/ events/ situations that enhance our understanding of the world together with philosophical/ religious/ theological reflections that might help to guide and expand our own reflections.
Tuesday, September 25, 3:15-4:15 pm
Gerald Boodoo, "Catholic Education in the Present Caribbean Context: Challenges and Opportunities"
Tuesday, October 23, 3:15-4:15 PM
Maureen O'Brien, "Ecumenical and Cultural Intersections in Theological Education: Student Formation and Learning at a School in Transition."
Elochukwu Uzukwu, "Spiritan Missionary Project and the God-Question: Indigenous Mediations of the Sacred and the Challenge of Evangelism."
Celebrating 50 Years of Vatican II: Challenges and Contributions of the African Church
A two-day event, featuring presentations, discussions, and liturgical celebrations, Sep. 28-29.
For more details, click here.
The conference papers, which will soon be published in a collective volume, are now available in PDF:
- Laurenti Magesa, "Preconciliar, Conciliar and Post-conciliar African Theology" [pdf]
- Paulinus Ikechukwu Odozor, "From Theology in Africa to African Theology" [pdf]
- Michael McCabe, "Interreligious Dialogue, Impact on the World and African Church" [pdf]
- Benezet Bujo (Fribourg, Switzerland), "Vatican II and the Challenge of Marriage and Family in Africa and the World" [pdf]
- Response by David T. Ngong, "Vatican II, Marriage-procreation, and Childless Marriage of Christians in Africa" [pdf]
- Matthew Hassan Kukah, "Christian-Muslim Relations: The Nigerian Situation" [pdf]
- Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace: "Vatican II and the Challenge of Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation in Africa"
October 3, 2012
Dr. Darlene Fozard Weaver, Director of the Center for the Catholic Intellectual Tradition and associate professor of Theology:
"The Invention of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition: Mission and Identity in Catholic Higher Education"