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News and Accomplishments

Department News

Fordham’s New Annual Theology Lecture to Host Scholars Who Address Racism

Fordham’s theology department will establish its first annual lecture, thanks to a new gift from Theology Professor Emerita Barbara Hilkert Andolsen, Ph.D. Read the full article here


Scholarship Fund Extends the Legacy of Acclaimed Feminist Theologian

“It’s like a gift to your life that says, ‘Something that I was passionate about, and devoted all my energy to, is going to go forward in these students, these women who get the scholarship,’” Sister Johnson said. “It’s wonderful.” Read the full article here


Faculty Highlights Spring 2022

The College Theology Society annual volume for 2021, The Human in a Dehumanizing World: Reexamining Theological Anthropology and Its Implications (Orbis Books), has been published with three current Fordham affiliated contributors. 

Professor Cristina L. H. Traina, Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J., Chair in Catholic Theology, contributed a paper entitled "'The Power of Anger and the Work of Love,' Revisited: Theological Anthropology, Ethics, and Emotion." PhD Candidate David de la Fuente’s contribution is entitled "Recognizing the Human After Whiteness: Hermeneutics, Anthropology, and Scripture in Paul Ricoeur and Willie James Jennings." PhD Candidate Jack Pappas contributed a paper entitled "Rahner's Embodied Subject: Carnal Phenomenology and Rethinking Humanism ‘Otherwise.’"

Associate Professor John Seitz delivered a paper on March 28th entitled “‘He talks to me’: Exposure and Knowledge in Jesuit Sexual Abuse, or, The Power of Priesthood” at the symposium "Gender, Sex, and Power: Towards a History of Clergy Sex Abuse in the U.S. Catholic Church" sponsored by the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism at the University of Notre Dame. The symposium marks the culmination of a two-year long research project of the same name.

Professor Aristotle Papanikolaou, Archbishop Demetrios Chair in Orthodox Theology and Culture, published "Why Sophia? Bulgakov the Theologian," The Wheel, 26/27 (2021): 14-18.

Professor Rufus Burnett Jr. was featered on Fordham News --  "The Liberation of Music and Religion"

Professor Brenna Moore is now the President of the American Catholic Historical Association 

Professor Bryan Massingale is now the President of the Society of Christian Ethics

Professor Bryan Massingale, S.T.D., James and Nancy Buckman Chair in Applied Christian Ethics, received the Yves Congar Award for Theological Excellence from Barry University on February 22, 2022. He gave the Congar Lecture, titled, "A Spirituality of Racial Metanoia."

Professor Aristotle Papanikolaou, Archbishop Demetrios Chair in Orthodox Theology and Culture, published "A Christian Secularism or Fundamentalism as Anti-Pluralism?" in Orthodoxy and Fundamentalism, eds., Davor Džalto and George Demacopoulos (Lexington/Fortress): 19-35. 


Faculty Highlights Fall 2021

Professor Fr. Joseph T. Lienhard, S.J. received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the North American Patristics Society (May, 2021); he was appointed to the Editorial Board, Patristic Theology Series, The Catholic University of America Press (October, 2021); he published “The Future of Catholic Theology: A Question,” Nova et Vetera 19 (2021): 97–109, and “Avery Dulles, Theology, and the Twentieth Century,” The Survival of Dulles: Reflections on a Second Century of Influence, ed. Michael M. Canaris (New York: Curran Center for American Catholic Studies, 2021), 14–21.

Professor Aristotle Papanikolaou's article, "How I Teach Theology to Undergrads," was translated into German and published in Religion & Gesellschaft in Ost und West. His book, The Mystical as Political:  Democracy and Non-Radical Orthodoxy, was published in Russian, Мистическое как политическое. Демократия и не-радикальная ортодоксия, (Kiev: Дух і Літера, 2021). He also participated in the Ecumenical Summer School of Theology with the theme, "(a)Political Faith: The Christian in Political Arena," sponsored by the Dubrovnik Diocese, where he taught classes and presented a lecture, "The Ascetical as the Civic: Civil Society as Political Communion." Professor Aristotle Papanikolaou was appointed to the World Council of Churches Reference Group on Overcoming Racism, Racial Discrimination and Xenophobia.  He was also appointed to the Editorial Board of Directors for the Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics.

Associate Professor Christiana Zenner was featured on the Water Foresight podcast on August 25th, 2021, entitled, "What kind of thing is water in 2040?" The conversation covered trends in water valuation (ethical, economic, and otherwise), the pluralities of fresh waters, decolonial imperatives, and more. Listen here. She was one of five presenters on an international virtual forum on September 30 on the topic of "Climate privilege, racism, and vulnerability: Questions for theological reflection," hosted by the Toronto School of Theology.

Professor Larry Welborn published a chapter entitled "On the Basis of Equality: Paul between Protagoras and Ranciere" in Political Theology on Edge: Ruptures of Justice and Belief in the Anthropocene, ed. Clayton Crockett and Catherine Keller (New York:  Fordham University Press, 2021).

Associate Professor Sarit Kattan Gribetz published an essay about pedagogy titled "Musical Preludes: Getting Back into the Rhythm of Teaching and Learning" here.

Thomas Massaro, S.J., Professor of Moral Theology, published a peer-reviewed article entitled "The Peace Advocacy of Pope Francis: Jesuit Perspectives," in the Journal of Jesuit Studies 8 (Sept. 2021): 523-46. He also published a book review of Pedro Miguel Lamet's Pedro Arrupe: Witness of the Twentieth Century, Prophet of the Twenty-first in the Journal of Jesuit Studies 8 (2021): 701-04. 

Professor Cristina Traina joined Professor Jennifer Beste of St. Benedict/St. Johns to offer a paper for "Reenvisioning Our Relationship with Children in Light of the Abuse Crisis," a September 27 panel for the Taking Responsibility Initiative at Fordham. She also delivered the O'Callaghan Lecture on Women in Church and Society at Fairfield University on October 6 entitled "Women and Children First? The Pandemic’s Lessons for Society and the Church."

Assistant Professor Rufus Burnett, Jr. was a colloquist presenting a paper entitled “Captive Cartographies of Possibility: A Spatial Unthinking of Universal Vulnerability and Marginality” at Duquesne University’s Fourteenth Annual Holy Spirit Lecture and Colloquium on October 5th. This year’s theme was “Grieving in the Upper Room: Vulnerability, Recognition, and the Holy Spirit.”



PhD Student Highlights Fall 2021

Ph.D. Candidate Sónia da Silva Monteiro published an article entitled "Angela Merkel: de um modo de proceder a um legado político europeu" (Angela Merkel: From a Way of Proceeding to a European Political Legacy) in Brotéria, SSN 0870-7618, Vol. 193, Nº. 1, 2021, págs. 19-28, a Portuguese magazine on Christianity and culture, edited by the Portuguese Province of the Society of Jesus.

PhD student Galina Krasskova presented a paper titled, "Love and Longing for God: Agency and Eroticism in Mechthild of Magdeburg's Flowing Light of the Godhead" at the 46th annual Patristics, Medieval, and Renaissance Conference at Villanova University, Oct. 15-17, 2021. 

PhD candidate Dave de la Fuente presented "The Twofold Undertow: Hermeneutical Resources For Intersubjectivity in Paul Ricoeur and Willie James Jennings" as the M. Shawn Copeland Presentation in Contextual Theology at the 2021 Lonergan On The Edge Graduate Student Conference held virtually through Marquette University on September 17-18, 2021.

AAR/SBL 2021 Annual Meeting

From November 20-23, members of the department delivered papers, participated in panels, and led sessions at the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meetings in San Antonio, Texas:

Professor George Demacopoulos, Fr. John Meyendorff & Patterson Family Chair of Orthodox Christian Studies, presented a paper entitled “The Good Friday Lamentations and the Possibility of Universal Salvation” in the session The Question of Universal Salvation, in addition to serving on the panel, The Future of Orthodox Christian Studies.

Professor Benjamin Dunning served on a review panel for Maia Kotrosits’ recently published monograph, The Lives of Objects (University of Chicago, 2020).

Professor Jeannine Hill Fletcher presented a paper entitled “Sucky’s Scream: Catholic Complicity and Resistance in an Economy of Enslavement” in the session What Does Catholicism Sound Like?

Professor Larry Welborn served as a panelist at the review of Philip Esler’s 2nd Corinthians: A Social Identity Commentary (T&T Clark Social Identity Commentaries on the New Testament).

Assistant Professor Emanuel Fiano presented two papers: “Ortholalia: On Christian Derogations from Truth” in the session Religious World of Late Antiquity and “The Fourth-Century Trinitarian Controversies in Syriac Sources” in the session Syriac Studies.

Associate Professor Sarit Kattan Gribetz served on the review panel for Matt Jackson-McCabe's Jewish-Christianity: The Making of the Christianity-Judaism Divide.

Associate Professor Karina Martin Hogan presented a paper entitled “The Transatlantic Afterlife of 2 Esdras/4Ezra” in the session Pseudepigrapha. She also presided over the session Wisdom and Apocalypticism.

Associate Professor Kathryn Kueny presented a paper entitled “Affecting the Monstrous: Twentieth Century Arab Encounters with the American ‘Other’” in the session Monsters Transgressing and Defending Religious Order.

Associate Professor Kathryn Reklis presided over the session Technologies of Body and Self: Media Influencers, Techno-Utopias, and Surveillance, as well as presiding over the Business Meeting for the Religion, Media, and Culture unit.

Associate Professor John Seitz presided over the session Work, Sex, and Money: Generating Catholic Masculinities, as well as the Business Meeting for the Catholic Studies Unit.

Postdoctoral Fellow Muhammad Faruque served as a panelist on the roundtable Sufism, the Qur’an, and the Natural Environment.

PhD Alumnus Jim Robinson presented a paper entitled “Eco-Spirituality & Eco-Justice: Embodying Inner and Outer Transformation at Agape Community” during the session Joining Together: Racial Justice and the Lived Christian Experience.

PhD Alumnus Joshua Bishop presented a paper entitled “The Zihuatanejo Project’s Theology of Psychedelics: Timothy Leary, Catholicism, and Countercultural Community in the 1960s” in the session Mysticism, Religion, and the Psychedelic Renaissance.

PhD Student Paul Daniels presented two papers: “Enduring Abjection: The Mystical Potential of White Self-Dispossession after Becoming Human” in the session Author Meets Critics: Becoming Human: Matter and Meaning in an Antiblack World by Zakiyyah Iman Jackson (NYU Press, 2020) and “Let There Be Us: Para-Semiosis, Black Theological Livingness, and the Question of Aporetic Teleologies" in the R.A. Judy's Sentient Flesh (Duke University Press, 2020) session.

PhD Candidate Dave de la Fuente presented a paper called “Pentecostal Spirituality and Racial Justice: Interpreting Azusa Street Pentecostalism through Paul Ricoeur, and Willie James Jennings” in the session Joining Together: Racial Justice and the Lived Christian Experience.

PhD Candidate Claire Koen presented a paper entitled “Reckoning with the Roots of Systemic Racism: An Investigation into Modern Orthodox Inheritance of Early Christian Associations Between Color and Spiritual Merit” in the session A Century of African Orthodoxy: Exploring Racism, Blackness, and Religious Identity.

PhD Candidate Jack Pappas presented a paper entitled “Phenomenology and Revelation: The Legacy of Hans Urs von Balthasar and Karl Rahner in the Contemporary French Debate” in the session Emmanuel Falque and Recent Debates in Phenomenology and Theology.

PhD Candidate Natalie Reynoso presided over the session Post-humanist Possibilities, sponsored by the Student Advisory Board.

Theology Doctoral Student Awarded Ford Foundation Fellowship

Paul Daniels, a second-year doctoral student in Fordham’s theology program, received a prestigious Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship for his research. His work focuses on how lessons from a prominent 20th-century Black theologian and civil rights activist can be applied to contemporary life, especially through the perspective of Black queer Christians like Daniels himself. See the full article on Fr. Paul here.

Pax Christi USA recognizes Rev. Bryan N. Massingale, S.T.D. with the 2021 Teacher of Peace Award

Pax Christi USA, the national Catholic peace movement, has recognized Fordham Theology Professor Rev. Bryan N. Massingale, S.T.D., as the 2021 recipient of the Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace Award. With this award, Pax Christi USA is recognizing Rev. Massingale’s witness and leadership, his accompaniment and guidance of movements and organizations committed to the work of peace and social justice (including our own), and his promotion of the social mission of the gospel. Read the full press release here. Watch Rev. Massingale's acceptance speech at the 2021 National Conference here.

Bryan Massingale, Theology, News, Accomplishments


Theology Department 2020-2021 Graduation Symposium

                                      Theology Department Graduation


Class of 2020

Marjorie Corbman, Ph.D. Dissertation: “Divine Discontent: The Influence of Messianic-Nationalist Movements on Early Black Theology’s Portrayal of God’s Judgement” | Mentor: Jeannine Hill Fletcher, Ph.D.

John Garza, Ph.D. Dissertation: “Psalm 88: Interpretive Afterlives, Coping Strategies, and the Work of Mourning” | Mentor:  Harry Nasuti, Ph.D.

Mary Kate Holman, Ph.D. Dissertation: “The Signs of the Times in the Life and Thought of Marie-Dominique Chenu” | Mentor: Bradford Hinze, Ph.D.

James Robinson, Ph.D. Dissertation: Thomas Merton and Rosemary Radford Ruether: Toward a Contemporary Prophetic Ecotheological Anthropology” | Mentor: Jeannine Hill Fletcher, Ph.D.

Joshua Bishop, Ph.D. Dissertation: “The Geo-Missiological Imagination: The Struggle Over Development and the Imagined Geographics of the Catholic Church in the Americas, 1949-1976” | Mentor:  James Fisher, Ph.D.

John Gleim, Ph.D. Dissertation: Samuel Hopkins, Joseph Bellamy, and the New Divinity Movement: Anti-Bourgeois Calvinism and Experimental Religion in Eighteenth-Century New England” | Mentor: Kathryn Reklis, Ph.D.

James (J.K.) Melton, Ph.D. Dissertation: “When ‘The Church is Most Truly Itself’: The Eucharistic Ecclesiology of Rowan Williams” | Mentor: Bradford Hinze, Ph.D.

Alexander Miller, Ph.D. Dissertation: “Adam Made in Christ: Time, Bodies, and Eternity according to Cyril of Alexandria’s Scriptural Commentaries”| Mentor: Joseph Lienhard, S.J.

Christopher Sweeney, Ph.D. Dissertation: “Grief and the Cross: Popular Devotion and Passion Piety from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages” | Mentor: George Demacopoulos, Ph.D.

Vanessa Williams, Ph.D. Dissertation: “In the Image of the Triune God: A Theological Response to Solitary Confinement” | Mentor: Jeannine Hill Fletcher, Ph.D.

                                         Theology department graduation


Class of 2021

John D’Emic, J.D., M.A. Master’s Capstone Project: “Come All Ye Who Labor: A Study of the Catholic Church and Labor Unions” | Faculty Mentor: Christine Firer Hinze, Ph.D.

Adam Beyt, Ph.D. Dissertation: “Enfleshing the Reign of God: Embodiment and Praxis in the Thought of Edward Schillebeeckx and Judith Butler” | Mentor: Bradford Hinze, Ph.D.

Timothy Dulle, Ph.D. Dissertation: “A Question Making Time: Corita Kent, the White Catholic Imagination, and American Catholicism” | Mentor: James McCartin, Ph.D.

Lisa R. Holsberg, Ph.D. Dissertation: “Creative Act: Nikolai Berdyaev and the Spiritual and Intellectual World of a Russian Philosopher in Exile, 1922-1948” Mentor: Brenna Moore, Ph.D.

Ian Kinman, Ph.D. Dissertation: “The Eunuch as a Rhetorical Trope in Matthew 19 and its Afterlife in Early Christianity” | Mentor: Benjamin Dunning, Ph.D.

Alexander Perkins, Ph.D. Dissertation: “Claiming Masculinity: Roman Ideologies of the Body and the Image of the Christian Man in 2nd and 3rd Century Christian Apologists” Mentor:  Benjamin Dunning, Ph.D.

Stephanie Puen, Ph.D. Dissertation: “Design Thinking and Catholic Social Thought: Resources for Addressing Structures of Sin and Grace in Business Ethics” | Mentor:  Christine Firer Hinze, Ph.D.

                                      Theology department graduation