I earned a B.A. (summa cum laude) in Philosophy from Eastern Nazarene College (1975); a Master of Theological Studies (magna cum laude) from Candler School of Theology at Emory University (1977, thesis: Time and the Meaning of History: A Study in the Thought of Rudolf Bultmann and Martin Heidegger); and a Ph.D. (with honors) in Systematic Theology from Southern Methodist University (1982, dissertation: God Is Love: A Study of the Christian Concept of God Based on the Theology of Karl Rahner). I was also privileged to study in München, Germany during 1980-81 at both Ludwig-Maximilians-Üniversität and the (Jesuit) Hochschule für Philosophie.
Since 1996, I have made my professional home here at Seattle University, teaching first in several undergraduate units (the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, Matteo Ricci College, and the Honors Program), then joining the core faculty of the School of Theology and Ministry in 2001. I was granted tenure and promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in 2004. I have served the School of Theology and Ministry in several administrative posts: Director, Summer Institute for Liturgy and Worship (2008), Acting Dean (2006-07), and Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Student Life (2005-06).Before coming to Seattle University, I taught religion at Seattle Pacific University (1989-1995) and Vassar College (1988-89), as well as Philosophy and Religion at Eastern Nazarene College (1982-88). Presentations at Academic Conferences (selected)
“Contradiction and Communion: Søren Kierkegaard’s Use of the Gospel of John”; paper read at a Special Topics session at the Pacific Northwest Regional Meeting of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) and Society of Biblical Literature, Lethbridge, AB (2007).Planner and presider: “Kierkegaard and Pedagogy”; a joint session of the Kierkegaard, Religion, and Culture Group and the Academic Teaching and the Study of Religion Section at the Annual Meeting of the AAR, Washington, DC (2006).Planner and presider: “Religious Ideology, War, and National Identity”; a series of three Special Topics sessions (with a total of 10 presentations) at the Pacific Northwest Regional Meeting of the AAR, Vancouver, BC (2004).“Kierkegaard and the 1830 Danish Altar Book: Tracing the Liturgical Shape of His Writing.” Presidential Address delivered before the Søren Kierkegaard Society (USA), Atlanta, GA (2003).Planner and presider: “The Use and Abuse of Adjunct Faculty in Religious Studies”; a Special Topics Forum at the Annual Meeting of the AAR, Atlanta, GA (2003).Planner and presider: “The Lives and Ministries of 19th Century American Protestant Women”; a joint session of the History of Christianity/North American Religions and Women and Religion Sections at the Pacific Northwest Regional Meeting of the AAR, Eugene, OR (2002).“Blessed Assurance or Coy Restraint: Unsaid Loss in Fanny Crosby’s Life-Story.” Paper read at the above-mentioned session.“Figuring Out the Body of Kierkegaard’s Authorship.” Paper read at the Annual Meeting of the AAR, San Francisco, CA (1997).“The Breach That Is Not One: Postmodernism, Kierkegaard, and the Sexual Politics of Irony.” Paper read at the Annual Meeting of the AAR, Kansas City, MO (1990).“Fundamental, Systematic, Practical Theology: A Response to David Tracy.” Paper read at a Graduate Program in Religious Studies Colloquy, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX (1980).
“Julian of Norwich.” Presentation during the Lenten Series, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Seattle, WA (2006).“Mark: The Elemental Gospel.” Adult education series at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Seattle, WA (2005).“From Noah to Deborah: The First Readings for the Season after Pentecost – Lectionary Year A.” Adult education session at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Seattle, WA (2005).“John and Charles Wesley and Our Lenten Observance.” Presentation during the Lenten Series, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Seattle, WA (2004).“President George W. Bush’s Religious Ideology.” College of Arts and Sciences Teach-In, Seattle University, Seattle, WA (2003).“Paul Our Patron: His Life and Letters.” Adult education series at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Seattle, WA (2003).“The Gospel According to St. Matthew: Getting Ready for Lectionary Year A.” Adult education series at St. Mark’s (Episcopal) Cathedral, Seattle, WA (2001).“Martyrdom, Saintliness, and Thomas à Becket.” Adult education forum at St. Mark’s Cathedral, Seattle, WA (2001).“The Story of Noah’s Flood: Content and Context in Hebrew Scripture” and “Christian Appropriations of the Story of Noah’s Flood.” Adult education classes at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Seattle, WA (1998).“How the Church Tells Time.” Adult education series at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Seattle, WA (1998).“Radical, Sectarian, and Pietistic Forms of Christianity.” Fourteen sessions of the monthly “Religions of the World” course sponsored by the Women’s University Club, Seattle, WA (1997-99).“Do We Really Need Four Gospels?” Advent adult education series at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church, Bellevue, WA (1998).“Schisms in Medieval Christianity.” Plymouth Forum, Plymouth Congregational Church, Seattle, WA (1998).“The Holy Spirit.” Lecture delivered as part of the Lenten Series, “Reclaiming the Language of Faith,” Plymouth Congregational Church, Seattle, WA (1994).“Loving Yourself as Your Neighbor.” Address to the Social Workers’ Forum, Washington Association of Homes for the Aged, Des Moines, WA (1993).“The Omnipotence of Love: God’s Role in the Social Worker’s Own System.” Address delivered at the conference: “Serving and Surviving,” sponsored by the Association of Nazarenes in Social Work and Eastern Nazarene College, Quincy, MA (1988).“Not Conformed, But Transformed: Nuclear Weapons and Christian Decision-Making.” Workshop at “Congress 86,” Evangelistic Association of New England, Boston, MA (1986).“What Is Theology?” Address delivered at the Faith, Living, and Learning Conference in conjunction with the quinquennial General Assembly of the Church of the Nazarene, San Diego, CA (1985).“Feminism and the Liberation of God.” Workshop at the Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Women’s Caucus (Boston Chapter), Gordon College, Wenham, MA (1984).“Justice and Corporate Praxis: Reflections on the Present and Future Situation of Corporate Ethics in American Society.” Address delivered to the Fair Park Rotary Club, Dallas, TX (1980).
I am a Christian theologian. This means nothing less or more to me than accepting the challenge of reflecting upon the meaning and truth of Christian faith as that faith has been expressed in words, word pictures, liturgy, music, art, architecture, forms of community, and the countless extraordinary and mundane acts of two millennia of Christian persons. The approach to Christian theology I take in my scholarship and teaching has three distinctive characteristics. First, classic artifacts of the Christian tradition, in which the meaning of Christian faith has been expressed or embodied and explored or challenged, provide the point of departure. These artifacts span the history of Christianity, as well as the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Protestant theological traditions. Second, although I start with classics of the theological tradition, there are always questions I want to ask of such classics, questions incited by the challenges of our contemporary situation. Here I have been aided by the resources of process, feminist, and postmodernist reflection. In my teaching and writing I am particularly concerned both to ensure that the voices of women are heard and that in reading the works of men attention be paid to their construction (perhaps criticism) of gender difference. Third, my approach is self-consciously practical in at least three senses of the word. 1) I seek to overcome common perceptions of the irrelevance (or antagonism) of theological reflection, on the one hand, and personal faith and ministerial practice on the other. I do this by trying to help students move from their own faith and struggles of faith toward theological reflection and vice versa. This is also reflected in my scholarship, for I write not only for the academy but also for the church. 2) I reflect upon the political assumptions and implications of Christian faith and practice in personal relationships, the home, the church, institutions, society, and the ecosystem. 3) I explore classic expressions of Christian faith not only in the usual academic theological genres, but also in hymnody, religious autobiography, literature, film, art, and architecture.In my published scholarship, I have addressed several constructive issues: theological method; the nature of God; the practical, existential, and political significance of Christian faith in God; and, most recently, the relationship between body, gender, and human selfhood, on the one hand, and christology, on the other. My discussion partners have included recent persons and movements (Rahner, process theology, Third World liberation theology, feminist theology, postmodern theory) as well as several nineteenth century writers (Hegel, Kierkegaard, Melville, and American hymn-writer Fanny Crosby).
BooksLoving Yourself as Your Neighbor: A Recovery Guide for Christians Escaping Burnout and Codependency, with Carmen Renée Berry. San Francisco: Harper & Row (1990).God Is Love: A Study in the Theology of Karl Rahner. Atlanta: Scholars Press (1986).A Study of Corporate Ethical Policy Statements. Dallas: Foundation of the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking (1980).Articles and Book Chapters“A Well-Considered Occasion: Kierkegaard and the Wedding Ceremony Prescribed by the 1830 Danish Altar Book.” In International Kierkegaard Commentary, Volume 10: Three Discourses on Imagined Occasions, edited by Robert L. Perkins. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press (2006), pp. 245-288.“Joining the Adjunct Ranks.” Religious Studies News – AAR Edition 18/2 (2003): 10, 22.“Recent English Language Scholarship on Kierkegaard’s Upbuilding Discourses.” In Kierkegaard Studies: Yearbook 2000, edited by Niels Jørgen Cappelørn and Hermann Deuser. Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter (2000), pp. 273-299.“Practice In Authority: The Apostolic Women of Kierkegaard’s Writings.” In Anthropology and Authority: Essays on Søren Kierkegaard, edited by Poul Houe, Gordon D. Marino, and Sven Hakon Rossel. Amsterdam and Atlanta: Editions Rodopi (2000), pp. 85-98.“Almost Earnestness? Autobiographical Reading, Feminist Re-Reading, and Kierkegaard’s Concluding Unscientific Postscript.” In Feminist Interpretations of Søren Kierkegaard, edited by Céline T. Léon and Sylvia Walsh. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press (1997), pp. 175-202.“Making Difficulties Everywhere: The Autobiography of Johannes Climacus in Kierkegaard’s Postscript.” Soundings 80 (1997): 105-131.“Ishmael’s (m)Other: Gender, Jesus, and God in Melville’s Moby-Dick.” The Journal of Religion 72 (1992): 325-350.“Ordeal and Repetition in Kierkegaard’s Treatment of Abraham and Job.” In Foundations of Kierkegaard’s Vision of Community: Religion, Ethics, and Politics in Kierkegaard, edited by George B. Connell and C. Stephen Evans. Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press (1992), pp. 33-53.“The Boundless Love of God and the Bounds of Critical Reflection: Schubert Ogden’s Contribution to a Theology of Liberation.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 57 (1989): 103-147.“God and Human Experience in Some Recent Works of Karl Rahner.” Religious Studies Review 11 (1985): 352-357.“Hegel’s Understanding of God and the Task of Christian Theology.” In Language, Faith, and Understanding: Essays Presented to Schubert Ogden, edited by David Trickett. Dallas (1981), pp. 1-39.Other Publications (selected)“Liturgical Juxtaposition: A Response to Gordon Lathrop.” Seattle Theology and Ministry Review 6 (2006): 15-20.“Prisoners” [a sermon]. Seattle Theology and Ministry Review 4 (2004): 23-28.“Our Ecumenical Household and the Council of Trent: A Response to John W. O’Malley, S.J.” Seattle Theology and Ministry Review 2 (2002): 64-68.Review of Michael Strawser, Both/And: Reading Kierkegaard from Irony to Edification. In Søren Kierkegaard Newsletter 41 (2001): 9-12.Review of John C. Hawley (ed.), Divine Aporia: Postmodern Conversations about the Other. In Christianity and Literature 51 (2001): 147-150.Review of Edward Farley, Divine Empathy: A Theology of God. In The Journal of Religion 79 (1999): 672-674.Review of Kyle A. Pasewark, A Theology of Power: Being Beyond Domination. In Religious Studies Review 20 (1994): 212.Review of Jürgen Moltmann, The Way of Jesus Christ: Christology in Messianic Dimensions. In Religious Studies Review 18 (1992): 129.Review of David Pailin, God and the Processes of Reality: Foundations of a Credible Theism. In The Journal of Religion 71 (1991): 280-281.Review of Karl Rahner, The Practice of Faith: A Handbook of Contemporary Spirituality. In Critical Review of Books in Religion 2 (1989): 451-454.Review of Leo J. O’Donovan, A World of Grace: An Introduction to the Themes and Foundations of Karl Rahner’s Theology and Karl-Heinz Weger, translated by David Smith, Karl Rahner: An Introduction to His Theology. In Perkins School of Theology Journal 34 (1980): 59-61.Review of Kurt Weitzman, The Icon: Holy Images - Sixth to Fourteenth Century. In Perkins School of Theology Journal 34 (1980): 57-58.
LEADERSHIP AND SERVICE IN PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS1999-2005 Member, Board of Directors, American Academy of Religion (AAR)2004-2005 Member, Finance Committee, AAR2000-2004 Member and Chair, Committee on Regions, AAR2004-2005 Executive Secretary, Pacific Northwest Region of the AAR and Society ofBiblical Literature (SBL)1999-2004 Recording Secretary-Treasurer, Pacific Northwest Region of the AAR and SBL2001-02 President, Søren Kierkegaard Society (USA)1999-2000 President-Elect, Søren Kierkegaard Society (USA)1991-94 Secretary-Treasurer, Søren Kierkegaard Society (USA)RECENT LEADERSHIP AND SERVICE IN RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONSMember, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Seattle, WALicensed eucharistic minister; licensed preacher; coordinator of the Adult Education program; adult Christian education teacher; Liturgy Commission; Finance Committee; liturgical master of ceremonies; thurifer; acolyte; lector (1998-present).Alternate deputy to the General Convention, Episcopal Church (2009).Member, Board of Examining Chaplains, Episcopal Diocese of Olympia, Seattle, WA (2007-present).Delegate to the Diocesan Convention, Episcopal Diocese of Olympia, Seattle, WA (2005-2007).Faculty and Member of the Board, Diocesan School of Ministry and Theology, Episcopal Diocese of Olympia, Seattle, WA (2000-2008).
AWARDS, FELLOWSHIPS, AND GRANTSSabbatical Leave, Seattle University (Fall Quarter 2008)Summer Fellowship for Research in Residence, Howard V. and Edna H. Hong Kierkegaard Library, St. Olaf College (1999)Sabbatical Leave (Autumn Quarter), Seattle Pacific University (Fall Quarter 1994)Faculty Research Grants, Seattle Pacific University (1990, 91, 93)Burlington Resources Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching, Seattle Pacific University (1992)Danforth Graduate Fellowship (1980-82)Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst Study Grant for study in München with Karl Rahner, S.J. (1980-81)(back to top)
STMM 500 Christian AnthropologySTMM 501 ChristologySTMM 503 Theology in an Ecumenical Context (team taught)STMA 500 Hermeneutics and Theological Method for Pastoral MinistrySTMA 504 God, Creation, and TrinitySTMA 506 Sin and GraceSTMA 523 History and Spirituality of the Book of Common Prayer, ISTMA 557 M.Div. SynthesisIntroduction to Theology (a course in STM’s Prerequisite Program)
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