MPhil, Fordham University
MTS, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology
BA, Miami University (Oxford, OH)
Matthew Lootens is a doctoral candidate in the history of Christianity (patristic and medieval periods) and a candidate for a doctoral certificate in medieval studies (medieval history and Latin). His dissertation, directed by Fr. Joseph T. Lienhard, SJ, examines Gregory of Nyssa's Contra Eunomium, a fourth-century Greek polemical text. It situates Gregory's text in its late antique controversial and literary setting and argues that the Contra Eunomium is a kind of polemical commentary that witnesses the growing importance of written texts in Christian polemic and disputation. It also explores theological questions raised by the text regarding this new understanding of Christian authorship and theological textual production: where writing and ancient rhetoric fits into theological discourse, how human language works in reference to the divine, and what constitutes proper theological method at the end of the fourth century. Matt also researches more broadly on the Byzantine and western theological tradition, particularly on constructions of heresy and orthodoxy, Byzantine historiography, and theories of knowledge.
At Fordham, Matt has taught on the Christian tradition from the New Testament until the eve of the Reformation and has been awarded senior teaching fellowships in the theology and medieval studies departments. In the upcoming year (AY 2013/14), he will be teaching Byzantine Christianity, Early Christian Writings, and Faith and Critical Reason. When not in the classroom or the library, he and his wife Melissa are often outside running, hiking, biking, and bird watching (usually not all at the same time).