News From the Chair - June 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

Congratulations May Graduates

Doctor of Philosophy, Religious Studies

Mark Jennings, Ph.D. (Judaism and Christianity in Antiquity)
Dissertation Title: "'Make My Joy Complete': The Price of Partnership in the Letter of Paul to the Philippians"
Dissertation Director: Julian Hills, Th.D.

Emanuel Naydenov, Ph.D. (Systematics)
Dissertation Title: "The Unsettled Church: The Search for Identity and Relevance in the Ecclesiologies of Nicholas Healy, Ephraim Radner, and Darrell Guder"
Dissertation Director: D. Lyle Dabney, D.Theol.

Jakob Rinderknecht, Ph.D. (Systematics)
Dissertation Title: "Seeing Two Worlds: The Eschatological Anthropology of the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification"
Dissertation Director: Susan K. Wood, SCL, Ph.D.

Master of Arts

Nicholas Soellner, M.A. (Systematics/Ethics)
Essay Title: "Revisiting the Notion of Patriarch of the West"
Essay Readers: Susan K. Wood, SCL, Ph.D. and Rev. Joseph Mueller, S.J., S.T.D.

Paul Vanasse, M.A.
Essay Title: "Encountering the Other, Encountering God: Securing the Place of the Poor Within Theology"
Essay Readers: Rev. Joseph Mueller, S.J., S.T.D. and Rev. John Thiede, S.J., Ph.D.

Andrew Vink, M.A. (Systematics)
Essay Title: "History From the View of the Cross: Explorations in the Theologies of Lonergan and Ellacuria"
Essay Readers: Rev. John Thiede, S.J., Ph.D. and Rev. Robert Doran, S.J., Ph.D.

Master of Arts in Christian Doctrine

Alexander Frain, M.A.C.D.
Essay Title: "Full, Conscious, and Active Participation: Living the Transformative Nature of the Liturgy"
Essay Readers: Deirdre Dempsey, Ph.D. and Mickey L. Mattox, Ph.D.

Theology Majors
Theology Minors
Anthony Crescio
Charles Dobbs
Taynia Renee Franche dite Laframboise
Megan Gilbert
Jodie Scordo
Jena Thurow
Hunter Bedford
Gina Pernacciaro
Sean Rider
Anthony Suaverdez
Victoria Zidek

Undergraduate Award

Doherty Award 2015 winner

Jodie Scordo, a graduating senior majoring in Theology and Philosophy, is the winner of this year's Doherty Award, which honors the Marquette student who during the current academic year has written the best paper of those submitted within the broad area of moral response generated by religious faith and tradition. The winner receives a selection of theology books. This award is conferred annually by the Department of Theology and was established as a memorial to the late Dr. Dennis Doherty, a long-time moral theologian at Marquette.

Scordo won the award for her essay "Taking Her Off the Cross: Restoration of the Image of God for the Rape Survivor-The Ecclesial Response." Scordo plans to continue at Marquette with graduate studies in theology in the M.A. program. Pictured above is Dr. Ulrich Lehner presenting the books to Ms. Scordo.

Faculty Awards

Dr. Julian Hills and Dr. Mickey Mattox were among the nominees for the 2015 Excellence in Faculty Advising Award.

Dr. Ulrich Lehner was awarded his second Earhart Foundation Research Grant for the study of the history of theological sentimentalism, a project he is finishing in May 2015. Lehner was also awarded a fellowship by the Carl Friedrich von Siemens-Foundation for his study of the German Enlightenment while in Germany during May/June 2015. He was awarded the Way-Klingler Humanities Fellowship for his book projects on the history of Catholic women in the Age of Enlightenment and on the spiritualities of women in the 18th century. The fellowship provides an annual grant of $20,000 for three years to cover research expences.

Dr. Robert Masson was awarded Best Book of 2014 by the College Theology Society for his book Without Metaphor, No Saving God: Theology After Cognitive Linguistics. The award was presented to him during the group's annual convention that was held at the University of Portland, OR, May 30, 2015.

Faculty Publications

Dr. Deirdre Dempsey, Pesch, Otto Hermann. The Second Vatican Council: Prehistory-Event-Results-Posthistory. Translated. Milwaukee: Marquette, 2015.

Rev. Robert Doran S.J. contributed the article, ‘A Response,’ pp. 61-77, to the spring 2015 issue of Method: Journal of Lonergan Studies, new series 4:1 (2013, published 2015). The issue is devoted entirely to his book The Trinity in History: A Theology of the Divine Missions, vol. 1: Missions and Processions. Fr. Doran published "Lonergan's Ethics and Ignatian Election," Theoforum 45 (2014) 133-56. He also published "A New Project in Systematic Theology" in Theological Studies​ 76/2 (June 2015) 243-59​.

Dr. Mickey Mattox, “Sacraments in the Lutheran Reformation.” In The Oxford Handbook on Sacramental Theology. Ed. Hans Boersma and Matthew Levering. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2015. Pp. 269-82.

Rev. Joseph Mueller, S.J., review of Raymond F. Collins, Accompanied by a Believing Wife: Ministry and Celibacy in the Earliest Christian Communities. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2013. ix + 273 Pages, in Horizons, Vol. 42, No. 1 (June 2015). 156-57; “Response to Essays on Leadership and Liturgy in the Didache,” in Jonathan A. Draper and Clayton N. Jefford, eds., The Didache: A Missing Piece of the Puzzle in Early Christianity, Early Christianity and Its Literature 14. Atlanta: SBL Press, 2015. Pp. 231-44.

Dr. Joseph Ogbonnaya, "Globalization and African Catholicism: Towards A New Era of Evangelization," Australian eJournal of Theology 22:1 (2015): 19-32; "Moral Integrity and Igbo Cultural Values: The Contemporary Challenges of Secularization and Materialism," Apollos A. Nwauwa and Chima Korieh, ed., Perspectives on the Igbo: Multidisciplinary Approach (Glassboro, N.J.: Goldline and Jacobs Publishing 2015); "Towards A More Indigenous African Catholicism: Insights from Lonergan's Notion of Culture," The Ecumenist: A Journal of Theology, Culture and Society 52:1 (2015): 17-23.

Dr. Irfan A. Omar and Dr. Michael K. Duffey have published a new book titled Peacemaking and the Challenge of Violence in World Religions. The text includes a comprehensive exploration of the history, beliefs and practices around peace and violence in seven of the world’s major religions. June 2015, Wiley-Blackwell.

Dr. Andrei Orlov, “The Ritualization of Messianic Time in Early Jewish Mysticism: The Apocalypse of Abraham as a Test Case,” in: Before and After: On Time and Eternity in Jewish Esotericism and Mysticism (ed. B. Ogren; Leiden: Brill, 2015) 113-124; "The Demise of the Antagonist in the Apocalyptic Scapegoat Tradition," in: The Open Mind. Essays in Honour of Christopher Rowland (eds. J. Knight and K. Sullivan; The Library of New Testament Studies; London: Bloomsbury, 2015) 201-223.

Dr. Marcus Plested, "The Ascetic Tradition" in Oxford Handbook of Maximus the Confessor (eds. P. Allen & B. Neil) (Oxford University Press: Oxford 2015), 164-76.

Rev. Philip Rossi, S.J., “Expanding the Horizon of Kant’s Ethics: Recent Interpretations of the Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals,” Chiedza: Journal of Arrupe College (Harare) 17/1, 2014: 74-86.

Dr. Jame Schaefer, “Anticipating Pope Francis’ Forthcoming Encyclical on the Human-Earth Relationship,” Forum on Religion and Ecology, Yale University, April, accessible at

Rev. David Schultenover, S.J., 50 Years On: Probing the Riches of Vatican II, ed. David G. Schultenover, intro. Stephen Schloesser (Liturgical Press).

Dr. Susan K. Wood, SCL, “The Church: A People Sent in Mission,” The New Evangelization: Faith, People, Context and Practice, ed. by Paul Grogan and Kirsteen Kim (London: Bloomsbury T & T Clark, 2015), 65-78; “Is Baptism Complete or Part of a Larger Christian Initiation? A Dialogue with Lutheran Sacramental Theology,” Seminary Ridge Review 17/2 (2015): 35-48; “Editorial: A Parable for the Ecumenical Movement Today,” Ecclesiology 10 (2014): 285-291; and “Liturgical Theology,” A Church with Open Doors: Catholic Ecclesiology for the Third Millennium, ed. by Richard Gaillardetz and Edward Hahnenberg (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2015), 138-158; book review of No Turning Back: The Future of Ecumenism, by Margaret O’Gara in Commonweal 142/7 (April 10, 2015) 26-28; and “Henri de Lubac and the Church-World Relationship in Gaudium et Spes” in The Legacy of Vatican II, ed. by Massimo Faggioli and Andrea Vicini, SJ (New York: Paulist Press, 2015), 226-247.

Faculty Activities

Dr. Michel Rene Barnes presented “‘The Son of God, Inadequately but Earnestly Rendered’: Christology Within An Authentic Post-Enlightenment Context” at the Marquette-Loyola University of Chicago colloquium, February 21, 2015. On March 19th, he was an invited speaker at the Conference on Divine Simplicity hosted by The Wheaton Center for Early Christian Studies, where he gave the paper “The Protology of the Christian Doctrine of Divine Simplicity”. On March 31, Dr. Barnes gave a talk in the MU “Why Bother With God?” series entitled “Is Faith Only For the Foolish?” April 13 Dr. Barnes was an invited guest lecturer at The Franciscan University, where he gave the talks “Virtue Christology” and “The Spirit Never Says ‘I’: Who Is the Holy Spirit?” April 24 Dr. Barnes attended, as an invited participant, the “Christian Intellectual Life From Tatian to Clement: A Seminar of Work in Progress” at the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Barnes was the Invited Guest Lecturer at the annual meeting of the Academy of Catholic Theologians, where on May 19th, he gave the lecture, “Abandoned Christologies”.

Dr. Michael Cover gave a proposal for a new commentary on Philo of Alexandria's allegorical treatise, On the Change of Names, that was accepted and assigned by the editors of the Brill Philo of Alexandria Commentary Series (PACS) in April. He will present a paper on divine name mysticism in Paul and Philo at the Eighth Enoch Seminar in Gazzada, Italy, in June.

Dr. Deirdre Dempsey appeared in a segment on Milwaukee Public Television's ¡Adelante! that aired on April 21st. She spoke with the show's host, Patricia Gomez, about the Haggerty Museum's Lamentation of Mary over the Dead Christ, painted by Juan Correa de Vivar; the painting will be part of the Haggerty Museum's Fall 2015 exhibition, What is Hispanic?

Rev. Robert Doran, S.J. delivered one of three plenary addresses at a colloquium sponsored by The Dominican Institute of Toronto, May 7-9, 2015, on VATICAN II: THE PROMISE OF RENEWAL. His presentation was on May 8, and was entitled "Is a Summa Possible Today?"

Dr. Ulrich Lehner was appointed, a fourth time, as external reviewer of fellowship applications of the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study.

Dr. Daniel Maguire spoke at St. Frances Cabrini Church in Minneapolis on “The Beauty of Judaism and the Perils of Zionism” April 11, 2015. On YouTube:

Dr. Robert Masson presented “Framing The Tectonic Logic of Rahner and Whitehead on God” at the June 2015 International Whitehead Conference in Claremont, CA.

Dr. Mickey Mattox presented “Wonders in the Heavens Above: Martin Luther’s ‘Nominalist’ Cosmos,” Society for Reformation Studies, Westminster College, Cambridge University, April 2015; gave the Plenary Address, “Neither Medieval Nor Modern: Martin Luther’s Spiritual Exegesis,” at the Marquette Scripture Project Conference, Marquette University, March 28, 2015; reviewed O’Malley, John W. Trent: What Happened at the Council, Cambridge, MA: Harvard/Belknap, 2013, in Lutheran Quarterly n.s. 28:4 (Winter 2014): 479-81; appointed Associate Editor, Oxford Research Encyclopedia: Martin Luther (Area Editor for “Genres” and “Historical Contexts.”) 2 vols., forthcoming from Oxford University Press.

Dr. Joseph Ogbonnaya presented "Globalization and African Catholicism: Towards A New Era of Evangelization," 4th Annual Symposium on Advancing the New Evangelization, Benedictine College, Atchison, Kansas. March 28; "The Significance of Lonergan's Notion of Culture to Majority World Church," 30th Annual Fallon Memorial Lonergan Symposium Loyola Marymount University, April 10, 2015.

Dr. Sharon Pace and Dr. Deirdre Dempsey gave papers at the Spring Meeting of the Chicago Society of Biblical Research, held April 11 at the Catholic Theological Union. The meeting was devoted to the Wisdom Commentary Series; Drs. Pace and Dempsey are co-authoring the Genesis volume in that series.

Rev. Philip Rossi, S.J., Co-Chaired (with Pavel Hosek), a panel on “A Discerning Church: The Gospel Experience and Foundations in Secular Time for Renewed Hope,” presentations by Tomas Halik, Juan Carlos Scannone, Massimo Grilli. Conference on “Renewing the Church in a Secular Age: Holistic Dialogue and Kenotic Vision,” Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, Italy, March 2015. He served as an External Examiner, appointed by the University of Zimbabwe, for BA Hounors in Philosophy and MA in Philosophy, Arrupe College, Harare, Zimbabwe, May 2015.

Dr. Jame Schaefer presented “Thinking Theologically Like a Planet,” International Society for Environmental Ethics Session, American Philosophical Association, Vancouver BC, April 2, 2015; organized and moderated Climate Justice Panel, Second Annual Climate Change Conference: To Tend the Earth, Loyola University Chicago, March 20. 2015; represented Marquette University at the Academics Workshop of the Jesuit colleges and universities in the Midwest to initiate collaboration of the provinces merging in 2016, Loyola University Chicago, March 19-21.

Dr. Susan Wood, SCL presented “The Dialogue between Faith and Reason in a Catholic University” at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, March 5, 2015; “Living out the Baptismal Call to Communion and Mission” to the Diocese of Helena, Montana, March 26, 2015; “The Ecumenical Imperative after Vatican II,” as a plenary panel presentation at the conference “Vatican II: Remembering the Future” sponsored by the Ecclesiological Investigations Network at Georgetown University, Washington, DC, May 23, 2015.

Graduate Student Awards

Joseph Gordon received the Frederick E. Crowe Bursary for 2014. The annual award was established by the Lonergan Research Institute at Regis College in honor of Frederick E. Crowe, S.J., who is one of Lonergan’s most important interpreters, and the founder of the original Lonergan Centre that became LRI. The purpose of the Busary is to promote Lonergan studies among younger scholars who are graduate and undergraduate students, or have recently completed doctoral work. Gordon’s dissertation project uses ideas from Lonergan to articulate a theology of Scriptural inspiration. He proposed to use the bursary to participate in a seminar on Aquinas’s theology of divine providence and human freedom.

Hans Moscicke received the 2015 Polanki College Achievement Award, Maria and Michael Laskowski Award. Polanki's annual College Achievement Awards recognize students who have demonstrated high academic achievement and who are committed to understanding, preserving, or disseminating Polish culture and/or language. The Michael and Maria Laskowski Memorial Award is for graduate students, or seniors intending to attend graduate school at Marquette (excluding the schools of dentistry and law). Marquette University matches the award with a tuition waiver.

Graduate Student Publications

J. D. Atkins, “The Use of the Old Testament in the New Testament, Critical Issues" Lexham Bible Dictionary. Edited by John D. Barry and Lazarus Wentz. Bellingham, Wash.: Logos Bible Software, 2015.

Glenn Butner, “Eternal Functional Subordination and the Problem of the Divine Will.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society. Vol. 58.1 (March 2015), 131-149.

Mark Chapman, "American Evangelical Attitudes Toward Catholicism: Post-World War II to Vatican II," U.S. Catholic Historian, Vol. 33, No. 1 (Winter 2015), 25-54.

Alexandre Martins, "The Priority of Personal Goods and the Lack of Ethical Virtues: A Looking at Current Brazilian Politics," Catholic Theological Ethics in The World Church, February 26, 2015.

Eugene Schlesinger, "Schleiermacher on the Necessity of the Church, " The Journal of Theological Studies​ 66 (2015): 235-256; "Baptismal and Missional Ecclesiology in the American Book of Common Prayer," Ecclesiology 11 (2015): 177-198.

Dominic Zappia, "Demythologizing the Satan Tradition of Historical-Criticism: A Reevaluation of the Old Testament Portrait of שָׂטָן in Light of the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha," Taylor & Francis online (April 17, 2015), 117-134.

Graduate Student Presentations

Wesley Scott Biddy, "Gerard Manley Hopkins's Incarnational Vision of Creation and Redemption--Avenues of Appropriation for Contemporary Theology" at the Marquette University & Loyola University Chicago Graduate Student Colloquium, February 21, 2015.

Glenn Butner, “Trajectories in Theology and Economics,” 2015 Symposium on Religion and Public Life, Henry Institute for the Study of Religion and Politics, Calvin College, May 2, 2015; “Theology without (Trinitarian) Metaphysics? An Appraisal of Kevin Hector’s Pneumatological Theory of Language Use,” 2015 Upper Midwest Regional Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, April 18, 2015.

Joseph Gordon, "Systematic Theology and the Stone-Campbell Movement" at the Stone-Campbell Journal Conference on April 11th in Indianapolis, IN.

Ryan Hemmer, “The Dynamic Middle: Philosophy of God, Systematic Theology, and William Desmond” at the 30th Annual West Coast Methods Institute Conference at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA, April 9, 2015.

Jonathan Heaps, "Insight is a Body Feeling: Experiencing our Understanding,” at West Coast Methods Institute 2015 at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA, April 9-11, 2015. 

Erik Hesla, "Karl Rahner on the Just Atheist and Explicit Christianity: A Problem and Proposed Solution" at a conference at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN, entitled The Church in the Modern World: Teaching and Understanding Gaudium et Spes after 50 Years, March 13, 2015.

Karen Keen, “Morbid Persuasion: Analyzing Ezekiel’s Rhetoric in the Gog of Magog Oracle,” Upper Midwest Region AAR/SBL, St. Paul, MN, Apr 17, 2015; “Is This Literal or Is That Literal? Problematizing the Definition of the Literal Sense,” MSP Conference, “Coming to Our Senses? Theological Interpretation Today and the Four-Fold Senses,” Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI, Mar 28, 2015.

Eugene Schlesinger, "The Eucharist and the Church of the Poor: Sobrino and von Balthasar in Dialogue," at the Upper Midwest Regional Meeting of the American Academy of Religion/Society of Biblical Literature, St. Paul, MN, April 17-18, 2015.

Graduate Student Placements

Andy Alexis-Baker has been appointed theology lecturer at Arrupe College, Loyola University Chicago, for a three-year renewable contract.

Richard Barry has accepted a full time "adjunct assistant professor" position in the theology department at Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island. He will teach theology classes and also contribute to the team-taught "Development of Western Civilization" program at PC. 

Joseph Gordon has accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Theology at Johnson University in Kissimmee, Florida, and will begin teaching there in the Fall.

Kirsten Guidero has been named Visiting Scholar by the Institute for Discipleship at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas. The position supports new or near-completion Ph.D.'s with funding and housing while completing and revising the dissertation, teaching traditional as well as adult undergraduates, engaging in the spiritual formation of the campus, and preparing for a tenure-track faculty position. Southwestern College is a private four-year Methodist institution and includes recent Marquette alumnus Jackson Lashier on its faculty of philosophy and religion.

Duane Loynes has been named Faculty Fellow for 2015-2016 at Western Theological Seminary, Holland Michigan. The Faculty Fellow Program is part of their Racial-Ethnic Initiatives. For more information visit

Alumni Appointments & News

Jeremy Blackwood, M.A. has accepted an offer to become the Vice President for External Affairs and Director of Recruitment and Admissions at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wisconsin, beginning July 1. 

Eric Szatkowski, M.A.C.D. has been appointed Special Agent in Charge of the Wisconsin Department of Justice Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force for the Eastern Region of Wisconsin. He will be supervising 8 special agents in Milwaukee and Appleton who investigate Internet crimes committed against children and child sex trafficking. In February he was awarded a certificate for his first unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (400 hours classroom and clinical) at St Camillus Campus in Milwaukee for ministering to residents in hospice, assisted living, and memory care. This is his first step towards certification as a Catholic chaplain, with chaplaincy as a possible new career once he retires from the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

Tom Wetzel, Ph.D. successfully defended his dissertation "Violence and the Survival of Israel in the Book of Esther," directed by Jon Levenson, at Harvard University. Tom earned his M.A. at Marquette and has been an assistant professor at Mount Mercy University, in Iowa, since 2012.

Alumni Publications

Joseph Flipper, Ph.D., Between Apocalypse and Eschaton: History and Eternity in Henri de Lubac (Fortress Press, May, 2015).

Jeffrey A. Wilcox, Ph.D., (along with co-editors Terrence N. Tice and Catherine Kelsey) Schleiermacher's Influence on American Thought and Religious Life, 1835-1920 (3 vols, Wipf and Stock, December, 2014). 

Pamela Shellberg, Ph.D., Cleansed Lepers, Cleansed Hearts: Purity and Healing in Luke–Acts! (Fortress Press, February, 2015.)     


May Graduates

Undergraduate Award

Faculty Awards

Faculty Publications

Faculty Activities

Graduate Student Awards

Graduate Publications

Graduate Presentations

Graduate Student Placements

Alumni Appointments & News

Alumni Publications

View past editions of
News From the Chair


We continue to grieve the loss of our dear friend and colleague, Rev. Lúcás (Yiu Sing Luke) Chan, S.J., who died May 19 at age 46. His time with us at Marquette as assistant professor of theology was brief, but he leaves behind a lasting impression for the work he did here and around the world. We will miss him.

Fr. Bill Kurz, S.J., had to pause from his Acts commentary, due next summer, to have total knee replacement therapy in May on both knees. He has about four more weeks of Physical Therapy, but already is walking relatively without pain (compared to his arthritic condition before surgery) with a walker or a pair of walking sticks. We wish him well as he continues his recovery.


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.