Department of Theology Convocation 2010
The annual departmental convocation featured the theme “Ecumenism, Ecclesial Identity, and the Academy: A Conversation” September 2, 2010.
From the time Martin Luther posted the 95 Theses to 9/11/2001 when the planes hit the World Trade Center, religion has been all too often a force for division rather than for unity. Yet the Church remains unshakably committed to ecumenism as it seeks to be “a sign and instrument of communion with God and of the unity of the entire human race” (L.G. 1).
The ecumenical character of the department reflects the diverse religious identities of its faculty and students, their professional activities, and the department’s commitment to Marquette’s Catholic mission and identity, to our diverse student body, and to the wider cause of unity and peace in church and world.
Who are the faculty and who are their students? While most of the regular faculty members are Catholic, approximately 22.5% represent other traditions: Methodist, Anglican, Orthodox, Jewish, and Muslim. The undergraduate population at Marquette self-identifies as approximately 60% Catholic; most of the M.A. students in theology are Catholic, while most of the Ph.D. students are Protestant.
How do the activities of the faculty serve our ecumenical identity? Many faculty members are officially engaged in ecumenical or interreligious conversation as official representatives of their churches. Others are involved in ecumenical collaboration in other professional venues.
How do we live out our commitment to ecumenism? The ecumenical ethos of the department does not encourage people to mute their confessional differences, but instead seeks to foster a dialogue where differences and similarities can be freely aired and tested.
Convocation 2010 explored this ecumenical identity by posing questions to four panelists:
L-R: Dr. Mickey Mattox, Christopher Ganski, Dr. Ralph Del Colle.