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Boston University (2009-present)
Doctoral Candidate, Graduate Division of Religious Studies
Dissertation title: “Tragedy, Theology, and Natural Evil: Towards a Realist Doctrine of Creation”
My dissertation focuses on the complications that organic evolution by natural selection brings about for a theological accounting of the presence of suffering in creation, and posits that the utilization of tragedy, as a theological category, is the best way to consider this problem of evolutionary suffering. The dissertation draws on the work of Hans Urs von Balthasar to show that, while tragedy does not “solve” the problem of natural evil, it has the virtue of attending closely to the specifics of the natural world, and maintains a proper apophasis in the tension between the experience of suffering and the Christian claims of new life and pax Christi. The ambiguity and instability of a tragic vision mirrors the ambiguity and instability in nature itself; in that sense, tragedy is the most realist of theological views, accountable to the observable structure and processes of the world.
The General Theological Seminary (2004-2007)
Master of Divinity, cum laude
Thesis: “Theological Anthropology for a Scientific Age” (awarded J. Wilson Sutton Prize)
Columbia University (1996-2000)
Thesis: “Religious Imagery in the Fiction of William Faulkner”
Refereed Journal Articles
“Rowan Williams on Sharia, Secularism, and Surprise.” Journal of Ecumenical Studies 49(3). Summer, 2014.
“Christology, Evolution, and Cultural Change.” Anglican Theological Review 96(2). Summer, 2014.
“To Speak of Horrors: Preaching Suffering, Human and Divine,” in Preaching and the Theological Imagination, Zachary Guiliano and Cameron Partridge, eds. (Peter Lang Publishing, forthcoming).
“The Costs of Victory.” Review essay of Philosophy and the Burden of Theological Honesty, Explorations in Theology 5, The Problem of Metaphysics, and Borderlands of Theology, all by Donald MacKinnon, published in the Anglican Theological Review 95(1). Winter, 2013.
Christian Theology and Tragedy: Theologians, Tragic Literature, and Tragic Theory, edited by Kevin Taylor and Giles Waller, published in the Anglican Theological Review 95(1). Winter, 2013.
Saving God: Religion After Idolatry by Mark Johnston, published in the Anglican Theological Review 92(4). Fall, 2010.
Christology and Science by F. LeRon Shults, published in the Anglican Theological Review 91(1). Winter, 2009.
Bodies and Souls? Or Spirited Bodies? by Nancey Murphy, published in the Anglican Theological Review 89(2). Spring, 2007.
Honors and Awards
Outstanding Teaching Fellow Award for AY 2010-2011
J. Wilson Sutton Prize for best senior thesis (2007)
William Heath Educational Scholarship (2005-2007)
Columbia University Dean’s List (1998-2000)
Grants and Fellowships
Institute for the Biocultural Study of Religion Lindamood Fellowship (2009-present)
Teaching Fellowship, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (AY 2010-2011)
Graduate Research Assistant Scholarship (AY 2009-2010)
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Scholarship (AY 2012-2013)
Scholarly Travel Award (2010, 2011, 2012)
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Scholarship (AY 2011-2012)
“Addressing Natural Evil, Before and After Darwin.” Mid-Atlantic American Academy of Religion Meeting (Christian History and Theology section). Mt. Saint Mary College, Newburgh, New York. March 7-9, 2014.
“Rowan Williams on Shari’a, Secularism, and Suffering.” Presentation at the American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting (Christian Systematic Theology section). Chicago, Illinois. November 19, 2012.
“Rowan Williams on Shari’a, Secularism, and Suffering.” Presentation at “Understanding Religious Pluralism.” Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. May 23, 2012.
“To Speak of Horrors: Preaching Suffering, Human and Divine.” Presentation at “Preaching and the Theological Imagination: Second Annual New England Anglican Studies Conference.” Harvard Divinity School, Cambridge, Massachusetts. April 20, 2012.
“Rowan Williams on Shari’a, Secularism, and Suffering.” Presentation at the American Academy of Religion Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting. New Brunswick, New Jersey. March 15, 2012.
“The doctrine of the soul in a scientific world.” Presentation at “The Path of Discovery: Science, Theology, and the Academy.” Pepperdine University, Malibu, California. June 16, 2011.
“Christology and ecclesiology in the thought of Rowan Williams and Robert Jenson.” Presentation at “Ecclesiology and Exclusion: Fifth Annual International Conference of the Ecclesiological Investigations Research Network.” University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio. May 18, 2011.
“Finding Values in Christianity.” Invited respondent to F. LeRon Shults, “The Problem of Good (and Evil): Arguing about Axiological Origins in Science and Religion.” Boston University. May 16, 2011.
“Putting the margins at the center: Rowan Williams’ kenotic ecclesiology.” Presentation at “Marginal Persons and the Margins of Personhood.” Fordham University, New York, New York. April 30, 2011.
“We go on saying God: Rowan Williams and the program of modern secularism.” Presentation at the University of Virginia Graduate Colloquium on Theology, Ethics, and Culture. Charlottesville, Virginia. April 15, 2011.
“The evolutionary roots of religion.” Lecture to RN 239 at Boston University. April 12, 2011.
“Who will you say that I am? What Darwin has meant – and will mean – for Christology.” Presentation to the Zygon Center for Religion and Science Symposium on Science and Spirituality. Lutheran School of Theology, Chicago. March 25, 2011.
“Our heart is restless: Meditation and the origin of our species.” Presentation to the Zygon Center for Religion and Science Symposium on Science and Spirituality, Lutheran School of Theology, Chicago. April 16, 2010.
Graduate Researcher, Boston University and the University of Pittsburgh (2009-2011)
For NIH-funded study “Effect of meditation and chant on vocal fold inflammation,” assisted with experimental design, created subjects’ practice regimen, assisted with grant writing, wrote applications for the Boston University Institutional Review Board, and trained in statistics and agent-based modeling.
Research Assistant, The General Theological Seminary (2006-2009)
Edited text by, and provided research for, W. Mark Richardson, then Professor of Systematic Theology, for his book regarding theological perspectives on evolution among Anglican theologians of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Teaching Fellow, Boston University
RN 239: Religion and Science (Spring 2011)
RN 384: The Holocaust in Historical Context (Fall 2010)
Service to the Profession
Editor, Institute for the Biocultural Study of Religion Research Review (2009-present)
Collect and provide abstracts for a monthly review of all scientific research on religion, brain, and behavior published in the previous month; approximately 100 articles per month. The Research Review is distributed to over 300 researchers around the world. (Sample)
“The Puzzle of Job” and “Job and the Natural World.” Presentations to adult education class at Saint Thomas Church, New York City. June 30 and September 10, 2013.
Theologian-in-residence, St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, Cape Elizabeth, Maine. June 24-29, 2012.
“The Spirituality of Rowan Williams.” Presentation to adult education class at St. Anne’s in the Fields, Lincoln, Massachusetts. April 22, 2012.
“About the Archbishop: The Spirituality of Rowan Williams” and “About the Archbishop: The Theology of Rowan Williams.” Presentations to adult education class at Saint Thomas Church, New York City. August 21 and 28, 2011.
“Who have you said that I am? Christological responses to Darwinism.” Presentation to adult education class at Saint Thomas Church, New York City. January 9, 2011.
Other Professional Experience
Assisting Priest, Saint Thomas Church, New York, New York (2010-present)
Associate Rector, The Church of St. Barnabas, Irvington, New York (2007-2009)
American Academy of Religion
Institute on Religion in an Age of Science
Society of Anglican and Lutheran Theologians
Society of Scholar-Priests