News From the Chair - February 2015

Dr. Robert Masson

News From the Chair shares highlights of recent activities, awards, publications, and accomplishments of students, alumni, and faculty of the Department of Theology.

Robert Masson, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Theology
email | faculty web page

December Graduates

This past December the following graduate students earned their degrees.

Darren M. Henson, Ph.D.
Dissertation Title: "Palliative Care's Sacramental and Liturgical Foundations: Healthcare Formed by Faith, Hope, and Love"
Dissertation Director: D. Stephen Long, Ph.D.

Paul Pasquesi, M.A.
Master's Thesis: "You Crushed the Heads of Leviathan: Mythemic Mapping of the Combat-Banquet Tradition from Ugarit to the Aftermath of the First Judean Revolt"
Committee Director: Andrei A. Orlov, Ph.D.

New Admissions Procedures for PhD Candidates

The Graduate Admissions and Financial Aid Committee (GAFAC), along with the rest of the faculty, are currently completing Skype interviews of applicants to our doctoral program. By the end of February, the faculty and GAFAC hope to have decided on six applicants to whom the Department will offer five years of funding for their doctoral studies, with an annual stipend of $19,000 per year.

Marquette Theology Podcast

The inaugural episode of the Marquette Theology Podcast is now available at In the podcast, Jonathan Heaps interviews Dr. Joseph Ogbonnaya about his most recent book, African Catholicism and Hermeneutics of Culture (Wipf & Stock, 2014).

Faculty Promotions

The department is very pleased to announce the recent promotions of five of our faculty members. Dr. Danielle Nussberger has been granted tenure and promoted to associate professor. Dr. Ulrich Lehner, Dr. Robert Masson, Dr. Mickey Mattox, and
Dr. Sharon Pace have been promoted to full professor. Congratulations to all!

Faculty Awards

Rev. Bryan Massingale received the YWCA Eliminating Racism Award Dec 2, 2014.

The following faculty members recently received awards for SFF/RRG (Summer Faculty Fellowships and Regular Research Grants):

Dr. Danielle Nussberger received a faculty of the month award for January from the St. Joan of Arc chapter of the National Residence Hall Honorary at Marquette.

Faculty Publications

Dr. Joshua Ezra Burns, “Esotericism in Classical Rabbinic Culture: Interpretive Problems and Prospects.” Aries: Journal for the Study of Western Esotericism 15 (2015) 21-46.

Dr. Ulrich Lehner, "An Anti-Vaxx Pope?" in First Things 2/6/15; “A Fourth Francis. Reform for a Self-Content Church” in First Things 2/1/15; “Who Invented the Horrible Idea of Women as Breeders?” in First Things, 1/24/15.

Dr. Daniel Maguire, a peer reviewed book from The State University of New York Press, Christianity Without God: Moving Beyond the Dogmas and Retrieving the Epic Moral Narrative:, October 1, 2014; a chapter entitled “Religious Influences on Justice Theory” in the Routledge International Handbook of Social Justice, Edited by Michael Reisch, Routledge Press: London and New York, 2014, pp., 27-38; a peer reviewed article entitled “The Immorality Of It All,” on the difference between Zionism and Judaism,  in The Link, a Publication of Americans for Middle East Understanding, Inc in New York, vol. 47, Issue 5, December 2014, pp. 1-14; article “Effects of Ending Mandatory Celibacy for Catholic Clergy,” November 21, 2014 in Room for Debate, The New York Times, Opinion Pages On-Line magazine; and “Response to New York Times David Brooks article ‘Building Better Secularists’”, Religion Dispatches, February 5 a service of The University of California, an on-line magazine of the university of Southern California, Annenberg School for Communication.

Dr. Andrei Orlov, Divine Scapegoats: Demonic Mimesis in Early Jewish Mysticism (Albany: SUNY, 2015).

Rev. Philip Rossi, S.J., “Kant’s Apophaticism of Finitude: A Grammar of Hope for Speaking Humanly of God,” in The Linguistic Dimension of Kant’s Thought: Historical and Critical Essays, ed. Frank Schalow and Richard Velkley, Northwestern University Press, 2014: pp. 154-173.

Jame Schaefer, review of Gretel Van Wieren’s Restored to Earth: Christianity, Environmental Ethics, and Ecological Restoration (Georgetown University Press, 2013), Horizons 41.2 (2014): 392-93.

Faculty Activities

Dr. Julian Hills presented the paper, "Cult, Hope, and Love in 1 John 3," at the SBL Annual Meeting, San Diego, Nov. 21, 2014.

Dr. Daniel Maguire was on a panel at the January 9-11, 2015 meeting of The Society of Christian Ethics entitled: “When Justice and Legality Clash” and also a panel at that same Society of Christian Ethics meeting on “The Plight of Contingency Faculty.” He spoke on his book Christianity Without God: Moving Beyond the Dogmas and Retrieving the Epic Moral Narrative at Boswell’s Book Store, October 7, 2014 and at St. John’s On the Lake, Milwaukee, January 23, 2015. His WEB page,, in November 2014, had visitors from 143 countries.

Dr. Mickey Mattox convened and hosted the inaugural meeting of the Milwaukee Area Martin Luther Working Group February 16, 2015. The topic for discussion was “Some Recent Research on Luther and the Jews.” The Working Group, which brings together a group of 10 scholars working on the history and theology of Luther and his times, is intended to provide a forum for new research on Luther, especially in the run up to the anniversary year of the 95 Theses, in 2017.

Dr. Irfan Omar will participate as a roundtable speaker at "Islam at U.S. Jesuit Colleges & Universities," a national conference on Jesuit higher education's relationship to Islam and Muslims. The event will take place April 10-11, 2015 at the University of San Francisco. 

Theology Major Receives TAK Award

Theology Major Taynia Rasberry has been awarded the Theta-Alpha-Kappa Achievement Award of the TAK Chapter at Marquette University for her extraordinary achievements in the classroom and beyond. TAK is the National Honor Society for Religious Studies and Theology.

Graduate Student Awards

Rev. Christopher M. Hadley, S.J. has accepted a post-doc fellowship with the Lonergan Research Institute in Toronto for the academic year of 2015-16. He will be doing a comparative study of Lonergan and Balthasar and presenting it to the Institute.

Alexandre A. Martins received a Graduate Student Research Grant Award (2014-2015), from the Marquette Center for Transnational Justice, for his project on "Global Health and Justice in Health Care: A Liberating Approach from Below," with field work in Bolivia.

Graduate Student Publications

D. Glenn Butner, Jr., “Transformative Models: Economic Modeling, Relational Ontology, and the Image of God.” Journal of Markets and Morality. Vol. 17.2 (Fall 2014), 355-379.​

Mary Carlson, "Aquinas on Inclusion: Using the Good Doctor and Catholic Social Teaching to Build a Moral Case for Inclusion in Catholic Schools for Children with Special Needs," Journal of Catholic Education, (2014) 18 (1).

Mark Chapman, "Charles Hodge's Reception of Schleiermacher," in Schleiermacher's Influences On American Thought and Religious Life, 1835-1920, Princeton Theological Monograph Series, edited by Jeffrey Wilcox (MU Theo Alum.), Terrence Tice, and Catherine L. Kelsey (Wipf & Stock, 2014).

Jason Gehrke, "The Virtue of Epieikeia: a Study in Luther and his Sources," Seminary Ridge Review (2014) 17:1, 68-101.

Timothy Johnson, Pocket Prayers for Times of Trouble, (New London, CT: Twenty-Third Publications, 2014)

Karen Keen, "Sexuality, Critical Issues” in Lexham Bible Dictionary. Edited by John D. Barry and Lazarus Wentz. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2014.

Alexandre A. Martins, Introdução à Cristologia Latino-Americana: Cristologia no Encontro com a Realidade Pobre e Plural da América Latina (São Paulo: Paulus, 2014).

Tikhon Alexander Pino, "Continuity in Patristic and Scholastic Thought: Bonaventure and Maximos the Confessor on the Necessary Multiplicity of God," Franciscan Studies Vol. 72 (2014), 107-128.

Eugene R. Schlesinger, "Exchanging Symbols for Symbolic Exchange: Towards a Realistic, Ecumenical, Reformed Sacramental Theology," Journal of Reformed Theology 9, no. 2 (2015): 56-78.

Jeffrey Wilcox co-edited, with Terrence Tice and Catherine Kelsey, Schleiermacher’s Influences on American Thought and Religious Life, 1835–1920 (Eugene, OR, 2014: Wipf and Stock).

Graduate Student Presentations

Dallas Flippin presented "Sooner or Later: The Temporal Features concerning the Delayed Judgment of Luke's Fig Tree" at the SBL Midwest Region Conference, February 7, 2015.

Timothy Johnson presented "Visio Divina" at Ss. Edward and Isidore Parish in Green Bay, Wisconsin, February 09, 2015.

Karen Keen presented "Song of Songs in the Eyes Rashi and Nicholas of Lyra: Comparing Jewish and Christian Exegesis" at the Midwest SBL/AAR conference in Bourbonnais, Illinois, February 8, 2015.

Rev. Matthew S. C. Olver presented a paper entitled “The Bavarian’s Surprise: Ratzinger’s Spirit of the Liturgy as the Spirit of the Council,” on October 23, 2014 at Mundelein Seminary’s Graduate Conference, The Nouvelle Theologie, Ressourcement, and Contemporary Theology.” The paper was awarded the First Place prize as judged by Dr. Mark Johnson (Marquette) and Dr. Matthew Levering (Mundelein Seminary).

Tikhon Alexander Pino's paper, "A Spiritual Legacy for Holy Rus: St. Gregory Palamas as Archetype of Deification in the Writings of Philotheos Kokkinos," was presented at the international conference “Russia and Athos: a Millennium of Spiritual and Cultural Ties”, Chernigov, Ukraine, November 28-29, 2014.

Graduate Student Appointment

Rev. Matthew S. C. Olver was appointed Teaching Fellow in Liturgics at Nashotah House Theological Seminary (Nashotah, WI) in August 2014 where he began teaching two required courses in liturgics for the students seeking a Master of Divinity degree.

Graduate Student Placements

Darren Henson recently accepted a position with Presence Health in Chicago, IL. His position as the Regional Officer for Mission and Ethics for the Lakeshore and Northwest regions of their health care ministry will include administrative responsibilities related to Catholic identity and heritage, and clinical and organizational ethics.

Emeriti Publications

Rev. David M. Coffey, S.T.D., “De la Taille on the Grace of Union,” in Irish Theological Quarterly 79 (3) 2014, 197-218.

Paul Misner, Dr. Theol., Catholic Labor Movements in Europe: Social Thought and Action, 1914-1965 (Washington, DC July, 2015: CUA Press).

Alumni Awards

Michael Naughton, Ph.D. (1986) was honored at the ACCU 2015 annual meeting in Washington, DC with the Monica K. Hellwig Award for outstanding contributions to Catholic intellectual life.

Eric Szatkowski, a Special Agent in the Wisconsin Department of  Justice Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) was honored at the Attorney General’s Protecting Our Children Conference on October 14th, 2014. Szatkowski received the Officer of the Year honor. The award recognizes law enforcement officers who have demonstrated exemplary service and devotion to duty. Szatkowski earned his Masters Degree in Christian Doctrine at Marquette University in 2014.

Alumni Publications

Joseph Flipper, Between Apocalypse and Eschaton: History and Eternity in Henri de Lubac, will be released in paperback by Fortress Press May 2015.

Michele Saracino, Christian Anthropology: An Introduction to the Human Person, Paulist Press Book Center, 2015. ISBN: 9780809149254        


December Graduates

New Admissions Procedures for PhD Candidates

Marquette Theology Podcast

Faculty Promotions

Faculty Awards

Faculty Publications

Faculty Activities

Theology Major Receives TAK Award

Graduate Student Award

Graduate Publications

Graduate Presentations

Graduate Student Appointment

Graduate Student Placements

Emeriti Publications

Alumni Awards

Alumni Publications

View past editions of
News From the Chair


Why Bother With God?
Down-to-Earth Answers to Over-Your-Head Questions

Lecture Series Sponsored by a grant from the Simmons Religious Commitment Fund

March 31: Dr. Michel Barnes, "Is Faith Only for the Foolish?"

April 14: Dr. Danielle Nussberger, "Stop, in the Name of Love: Why Silence, Prayer, and Meditation Matter in a Frenzied World"

Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Raynor Library Beaumier Suites B/C

Marquette Scripture Project
Spring 2015 Discussion Series: Ethics, Interpretation, and Influence

We will be conversing about a variety of ethical issues related to the interpretation and application of Scripture in variegated biblical texts, and how these texts are (or are not) applied in different hermeneutical frameworks.

Wade Chair Lecture

April 8: Rev. James T. Bretzke, S.J. will present "Re-Reading the Roman Tea Leaves on the Synods on the Family: Reflecting Back and Looking Forward."
Time: 4 PM
Location: Raynor Memorial Libraries, Beaumier Suites

For questions or special needs please contact Kim Newman at or (414) 288-7511.


Theology Department Mission Statement

Theology Department Mission Statement

Marquette University defines itself as Christian, Catholic, Jesuit, urban, and independent. The Department of Theology functions within the university to investigate and understand the Catholic tradition, its relation to other Christian communions, and to other religions of the world. Read more of our mission statement.