Mark Lloyd Taylor, Ph.D.

Professor of Systematic Theology

Phone: 206.296.5633

Education

  • Ph.D. in Systematic Theology, Southern Methodist University (1982)
  • M.T.S., Candler School of Theology, Emory University (1977)
  • B.A. in Philosophy, Eastern Nazarene College (1975)

Teaching Experience

  • 1996-               Seattle University
  • 1989-95           Seattle Pacific University
  • 1988-89           Vassar College
  • 1982-88           Eastern Nazarene College

Favorite Courses Taught at STM

  • STMA 5570. M.Div. Synthesis
  • STMA 5230. History and Spirituality of the Book of Common Prayer
  • STMA 5040. God, Creation, and Trinity
  • STMM 5100. Theology and Practice of Worship
  • STMM 5010. Christology

Some Significant Publications

  • With Alissabeth Newton. “Praying at the Edges: Theology of an ‘Emergent,’ Anglo-Catholic Sunday Evening Eucharist.” Worship 90 (2016): 246-269.
  • With Alissabeth Newton. “Playing with Pictures of Paradox: Children and Christology in Søren Kierkegaard and Godly Play.” Journal of Childhood and Religion 4 (2013): 1-66.
  • “The Hermit Emerges Victorious: Contempt for Women in Kierkegaard’s Attack upon the (Male) Ecclesiastical Establishment.” International Kierkegaard Commentary, Volume 23: “The Moment” and Late Writings, ed. by Robert L. Perkins. Mercer University Press, 2009, pp. 199-238.
  • “A Well-Considered Occasion: Kierkegaard and the Wedding Ceremony Prescribed by the 1830 Danish Altar Book.” International Kierkegaard Commentary, Volume 10: Three Discourses on Imagined Occasions, ed. by Robert L. Perkins. Mercer University Press, 2006, pp. 245-288.
  • “Practice in Authority: The Apostolic Women of Kierkegaard’s Writings.” In Anthropology and Authority: Essays on Søren Kierkegaard, ed. by Poul Houe, Gordon D. Marino, and Sven Hakon Rossel. 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, ed. by Céline T. Léon and Sylvia Walsh. Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997, pp. 175-202.
  • “Ishmael’s (m)Other: Gender, Jesus, and God in Melville’s Moby-Dick.” The Journal of Religion 72 (1992): 325-350.
  • With Carmen Renée Berry. Loving Yourself as Your Neighbor: A Recovery Guide for Christians Escaping Burnout and Codependency. Harper & Row, 1990.
  • “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 Is Love: A Study in the Theology of Karl Rahner. Scholars Press, 1986.

Service to the Scholarly Guild

  • Member, Board of Directors, American Academy of Religion (AAR) and Executive Secretary / Recording Secretary-Treasurer, Pacific Northwest Region of the AAR (1999-2005)
  • President / President-Elect / Secretary-Treasurer, Søren Kierkegaard Society USA (2001-02, 1999-2000, 1991-94)

Service to Seattle University

  • Director of Worship, School of Theology and Ministry (2010-16)
  • Principal Investigator, $200,000 Arthur Vining Davis Grant to re-vision the School of Theology and Ministry’s education and formation in the areas of preaching and worship (2012-15)
  • University Rank and Tenure Committee (2009-13; Co-Chair, 2012-13; Chair, 2010-12)
  • Director, Summer Institute for Liturgy and Worship, School of Theology and Ministry (2007-08)
  • Acting Dean, School of Theology and Ministry (2006-07)

Service to the Church

  • St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Seattle, WA: Associate for Liturgy (2016- ); Vestry Member (2014-18); Senior Warden (2014-16, 2017-18); Godly Play Instructor – Children’s Religious Formation (2011-15); 5pm Sunday Liturgy Planning Team (2009- ); Building Renovation Committee (2009-11); Chair, “Renewing St. Paul’s for the Next 50 Years,” $1.5 million capital campaign for building renovation (2009-10); Member, St. Gregory Guild [Liturgy Commission] (2000- )
  • Episcopal Diocese of Olympia, Seattle, WA: Liturgical Master of Ceremonies at Diocesan Ordinations and Cathedral Funerals (2007- ); Member, Board of Examining Chaplains [of candidates for Holy Orders] (2007-11); delegate to Diocesan Convention (2005-07); Faculty and Member of the Board, Diocesan School of Ministry and Theology (2000-05); Licensed (Lay) Preacher and Licensed Eucharistic Minister (2000- )
  • The Episcopal Church, USA: Alternate Deputy to the General Convention (2009)

Personal Information

Bird watchers discover that things are often liveliest at the edges – not in the forest or the clearing, but where the two come together and meet. At the edges of a pond. Where a river empties into the ocean. The same is true of my theological vocation, expressed in teaching, scholarship, and service.

I have taught “systematic” theology (although I would prefer “patternistic” theology) for over thirty years now – but I always ask how theological ideas emerge from and get embodied in spiritual experience, worship practices, metaphor and image, hymns, art, architecture, forms of community, and so on. I particularly enjoy coming alongside students, rather than standing in front of them, as they integrate their own theological standpoints, ministerial identities, and spiritualities. This integration happens in the classroom – above all in the MDiv Synthesis course and in the DMin program – but also while praying together or planning worship for campus gatherings or over lunch discussing next Sunday’s scripture readings and how we hear and might preach them.

My scholarship occupies an edge-y interdisciplinary space: between history, cultural studies, philosophy, theology, literary criticism, ritual studies and liturgics, and theories of autobiography. I address theological topics such as God’s relationship to the world and Christology, gender, and human embodiment. Dialogue partners include the following 19th and 20th-century figures: Søren Kierkegaard, Frances J. (Fanny) Crosby, Herman Melville, and Karl Rahner, SJ. The resources of feminist and womanist theology, process theology, and postmodern reflection shape my critique and retrieval of theological traditions. In two recent journal articles, written in collaboration with STM MDiv alumna The Rev. Alissabeth Newton, I venture into the new territories of liturgical theology and the theology of childhood.

And I’ve always lived, worked, and played between academy and church. My ministry is a baptismal one – and that in itself has an edge: to lead and assist and educate and form liturgically, in the roles listed above, as a lay person, I hope, reminds the church that worship is the work of all the baptized, not just the ordained.

A few of my favorite things:

10. Puttering around a 100+-year-old house with my wife, Dr. Debra Sequeira, and trying to make it ever more Mediterranean and less English cottage.

9. Nurturing (ok, mostly just observing) the lavenders, ninebarks, bishop’s hats, ligularia, dahlias, and roses around our teeny, tiny yard.

8. Getting to play with fire and smoke at church (as thurifer = incense bearer).

7. Teaching the parables of Jesus to children (and adults) through the Godly Play program of Christian formation.

6. That initial half hour of work on a new sermon – just immersing myself in the scripture readings, the news of the week, and my own experience, being led by strong images and words.

5. Belgian beer.

4. Wine from the Carneros region of northern California.

3. The music of Thomas Tallis.

2. The speculative fiction of N.K. Jemisin.

1. Bird watching, especially at those edges around ponds and between forest and clearing, river and ocean.