Izabela Gasparri, who will graduate with a minor concentration in Christianity at the end of Spring 2013, will be heading to Haiti immediately post-grad for an important service mission with the Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship. While we they are there, her team will serve as relief care-givers at orphanages to give staff members some much needed rest. They will work closely with Haitian ministers, as well as American missionaries.
Physical labor is another aspect of their service work, and they will be building school furniture, as well as assisting with the re-building of properties damaged by the devastating earthquake of 2010.
Dr. Judith Gruber, Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology at Loyola University New Orleans, will present a paper at the convention of the Catholic Theological Society of America (June 2013) entitled "Postcolonial Conversions. Displacement as a Theological Locus."
Dr. Gruber explains, “Conversions imply a displacement, a turning towards … towards what, exactly, however, has become more and more difficult for theology to grasp: for the last few decades, Christian identity has become an increasingly problematic category. In particular, postcolonial readings of church history have uncovered a multitude of disparate Christianities. At first sight, this seems to undermine traditional and normative ways of talking about the Church (as the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church.)"
Dr. Gruber, however, argues that postcolonial deconstructions can be turned into a theological resource in order to make visible that conversions – displacements – are the fundamental pattern of shaping the identity of the church: it never had a single, unproblematic origin or stable identity, she asserts, but has always had to redefine and renegotiate its identity in new and different contexts.
Dr. Catherine Wessinger, the Reverend H. James Yamauchi, S. J. Professor of the History of Religions at Loyola University New Orleans, has two presentations planned for the 12-13 academic year so far: She will present a paper at the American Academy of Religion on "The Interactionist School of Religion and Violence: Interdisciplinary Approaches in New Religions Studies" in a session on Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Study of Religion and Violence.
In April 2013, she will make a presentation in a full-day symposium at Baylor University on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the fire that killed many Branch Davidians. Her presentation is tentatively titled "Listening to Branch Davidians: Oral History Research with Survivors."
Robert Gnuse, the James C. Carter, S.J./Bank One Distinguished Professor of the Humanities, has two articles in the press: "The Elohist: A 7th Century BCE Theological Tradition" appeared in edition no. 42 of the Biblical Theology Bulletin (see pages 59-69) and his entry for "Theft" will appear in the upcoming Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Law (Ed. Brent Strawn, New York, NY.)
Catherine Wessinger, the Reverend H. James Yamauchi, S.J. Professor of the History of Religions at Loyola University New Orleans has multiple publishing projects in progress:
Her A Journey to Waco: Autobiography of a Branch Davidian, by Clive Doyle with Catherine Wessinger and Matthew D. Wittmer is being published this month by Rowman & Littlefield.
She also received a contract from New York University Press to edit a series of short books on women in religions: She has already begun work on her own volume in the series which will be titled Theory of Women in Religions and will soon begin receiving the first drafts of manuscripts by other authors. This project will occupy several years.
Wessinger's essay on "Apocalypse and Violence" has been accepted by John J. Collins, editor of The Oxford Handbook of Apocalyptic Literature.
A second edition of How the Millennium Comes Violently is also in the works with Wessinger extensively revising the Jonestown and introductory chapters, as well as including new research from primary FBI documents relating to the Branch Davidians case. The second edition will be subtitled "From Jonestown to Falun Gong."
Finally, Wessinger continues her editorial work on Nova Religio: Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions with Volume 16, No. 1 printing in August 2012. For more information, see http://www.novareligio.org
A review written by Adjunct Professor James M. Leonard is slated for publication in the forthcoming issue of the Journal of Evangelical Theory. His article discusses a three-volume commentary on the ninth chapter of Paul's Letter to the Romans. Leonard is also working on a review article of The Textual History of the Greek New Testament: Changing Views in Contemporary Research, edited by Wachtel and Holmes.
Adjunct Professor James M. Leonard was recently appointed Assistant Registrar at Leavell College at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
The Rev. Karl Rahner, S.J., Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Religious Studies was awarded to Tyler S. Scurlock, from Kenner, Louisiana. The Rev. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J., Award for Best Undergraduate Essay in Religious Studies was awarded to Briana M. Brackett, from Gulf Shores, Alabama, for the essay entitled, “Lost in Translation? The Reactions to Global Interpretations of Jalal al-Din Rumi.”
The Rev. Sandra Bastone Barnes ’86 (Religious Studies) was ordained in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on July 22, 2012. She graduated with her M.Div. from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, and she accepted a call to serve as the associate pastor of Peace Lutheran Church in Slidell, La.
Instructor of Religious Studies
Ph.D., Religion, Temple University, Philadelphia; M.A., Religion, Temple University; B.A., English, State University of New York, Fredonia
The Reverend Stephen J. Duffy Chair in Catholic Studies
Ph.D., Philosophy, Northwestern University; M.A., Philosophy and Letters, St. Louis University; M.Div., Weston School of Theology
Edward Vacek, S.J., holds a License in Sacred Theology from Loyola University of Chicago, and a Doctorate in Philosophy from Northwestern University. He came to Weston Jesuit School of Theology in 1981, which in 2008 became the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. He currently holds the Stephen Duffy Chair in Systematic Theology at Loyola University New Orleans.
He has contributed over sixty articles to various popular and scholarly journals and books, and he is the author of the book entitled Love, Human and Divine. He has given numerous talks to popular and professional audiences.
He teaches moral theology, with special interests in emotions and ethical theory, as well as sexual, business, and biomedical ethics.
Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies
Ph.D., Study of Religions/Islamic Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London; M.A., Philosophy, University of Houston; B.S., Physics, University of Texas at Austin
Dr. Adil Hussain Khan is the Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies at Loyola University New Orleans. He holds a Ph.D. from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS,) University of London, and also conducted post-doctoral research on aspects of Islam in Europe while he was at University College Cork in Ireland. Prior to joining Loyola, he was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Religion at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research interests include sectarian reform movements in 19th century South Asia and unconventional expressions of Islam. He is also interested in contemporary Islam, Muslim identity, and aspects of Islam's intellectual tradition.
Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology
University of Salzburg, Austria: Ph.D., Catholic Theology; M.A., Catholic Theology; M.A., Religious Education; M.A., English
Judith Gruber is interested in reformulating the theological agenda after the cultural turn. She focuses particularly on postcolonial studies and spatial theories -- she has published a number of articles and edited books in these fields. Her Ph.D. Thesis "Intercultural Theology: A Systematic Approach after the Cultural Turn" is published by Kohlhammer (in German.)
Fall 2013 Jewish Studies Lecture with Dr. Jonathan Sarna, "American Jewish History Backwards and Forwards"
Wednesday, October 30th, reception for public at 6:45, lecture at 7:30 – Nunemaker Auditorium (main entrance on 3rd floor)
Spring 2014 Jewish Studies lecture with Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, PhD, “Christianity and Judaism: God’s Double Helix Through Time”
Dr. Robbie Fox Castleman, class of 1985, received the National 2011 "Kathleen Connolly-Weinert Leader of the Year Award for the Theta Alpha Kappa Honor Society. The award was given in San Francisco during the Theta Alpha Kappa meeting at the American Academy of Religion annual conference. Castleman is currently amongst the faculty at John Brown University. She earned her Bachelor's degrees from Loyola University New Orleans, where she graduated summa cum laude. She has a Master's degree in Religion from Florida State and she completed her doctoral work in the summer of 2003 at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary where she focused on Trinitarian ecclesiology. Dr. Castleman is a published writer and has three books out with IVPress (Parenting in the Pew, True Love in a World of False Hope, and Faith on the Edge ). She is currently under contract with IVPress for a book on the biblical patterns of Christian Worship.
We The People: A Vision of the Church Still Unachieved GO »
Christian Dispensationalism, the Taiping Revolution, cargo cults in Oceania, the Baha’i Faith, and the Raelian Movement would seem to have little in common. What they share, however, is a millennial orientation—the audacious human hope for a collective salvation, which may be heavenly or earthly or both. Although many religions feature a belief in personal salvation, millennial faiths are characterized by the expectation that salvation will be accomplished for an entire group by a superhuman agent, with or without human collaboration. The Oxford Handbook of Millennialism offers readers an in-depth look at both the theoretical underpinnings of the study of millennialism and its many manifestations across history and cultures.
While the term “millennialism” is drawn from Christianity, it is a category that is used to study religious expressions in diverse cultures, religious traditions, and historical periods. Sometimes, millennial expectations are expressed in peaceful ways. Other times, millennialists become involved in violence.
The Oxford Handbook of Millennialism begins with a section that examines four primary types of millennialism. Chapters in the next section examine key issues such as charismatic leadership, use of scripture, prophetic failure, gender roles, children, tension with society, and violence. The rest of the book explores millennialism in a wide variety of places and times, from ancient Near Eastern movements to contemporary apocalyptic and new age movements, including the roles played by millennialism in national and international conflicts. This handbook will be a valuable resource for scholars of religious studies, sociology, psychology, history, and new religious movements.
For more information about Dr. Wessinger and her research, see http://chn.loyno.edu/religious-studies/bio/catherine-wessinger
On select evenings throughout the semester, RELS professors will host a favorite, thought-provoking movie. Plans are underway to put together a season curated by students - if you are a student interested in hosting a film, please contact Sara Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 504 865 3943.
Watch movies with RELS! GO »