"The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled." - Plutarch (c. 46-120)
As a constructive theologian inspired by ressourcement, my teaching
and research focus on relating the history of Christianity to
contemporary life, issues, and leadership in the postmodern world. Motivated by an ecumenical background in the academy and church, I am passionate about helping students constructively engage the rich history of the Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant traditions. I am also committed to equipping students for meaningful interreligious dialogue and friendship.
Whether teaching a seminar on desert spirituality in the Philokalia and encouraging students to cultivate a contemplative life, or teaching a course on Christian-Muslim relations and Scriptural Reasoning, my goal is to kindle their passion for intellectual exploration, their love for God and others, and their zeal for social justice and peace.
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Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, Program Director, and Director of the Pre-Seminary Program at Wesleyan College, GA
Our Department is committed to equipping students both in the study of the nature of religion (cf. Anatomy of the Sacred, James Livingston) and in theological studies (cf. The Christian Tradition, 5 volumes, Jaroslav Pelikan).
Academic Background Research Interests
Ph.D. Loyola University Chicago, 2009 The Philokalia: particularly Maximus the Confessor
M.Div. Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, 1995 Christian Spirituality, Mysticism, and Ecology
B.A. Southern Nazarene University, 1992 Comparative Theology
Eschatology and Popular Culture Specialization Constructive/Systematic Theology
Christian Spirituality and Mysticism
History of Christianity and Patristics
Select Publications Books Maximus the Confessor: A Guide to His Life and Teaching, Cascade Companions. Eugene, OR: Cascade / Wipf & Stock, forthcoming 2015.
All Things New: The Trinitarian Nature of the Human Calling in Maximus the Confessor and Jürgen Moltmann (Foreword by Jürgen Moltmann). Eugene, OR: Princeton Theological Monograph Series / Wipf & Stock, forthcoming 2014.
The Philokalia: A Classic Text of Orthodox Spirituality, co-edited with Bradley Nassif. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.
Chapters and Articles in Books
"Jürgen Moltmann," in The Oxford Handbook of Political Theology, edited by Shaun Casey and Michael Kessler. Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2014.
"Scripture as Divine Mystery: The Bible in the Philokalia," in What Is the Bible? The Patristic Doctrine of Scripture (Essays from the third annual Fr. Florovsky Symposium at Princeton University 2013). Fortress Press, forthcoming 2014.
"A Neglected Dialogue: Teaching Native American and Christian Spiritualities in Conversation," in Teaching Comparison: Pedagogical Perspectives as Comparative Theory in Religious Studies, edited by Jennifer Rapp. Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2014.
"Orthodox Spirituality and Contemporary Ecology: John Cassian, Maximus the Confessor, and Jürgen Moltmann in Conversation," in Spirit and Nature: Christian Spirituality in a Time of Ecological Urgency, edited by Timothy Hessel Robinson and Ray Maria McNamara, Princeton Theological Monograph Series/Wipf & Stock, 2011.
“Saint Teresa of Avila,” entry in the New Dictionary of Theology (Inter Varsity Press), 2012.
“David Tracy,” entry in the New Dictionary of Theology (Inter Varsity Press), 2012.
"Karl Rahner and Maximus the Confessor: Consonant Themes and Ecumenical Dialogue," The Heythrop Journal 53:1, 2012.
"A Common Vision: John Cassian and al-Ghazali's Correlative Visions of the Spiritual Life," in Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, Volume 20, Issue 2, 2009, 171-182.
"Learning from Left Behind? A Call for Coherent Accounts of Scripture," in Anglican Theological Review, Spring 2009 (91:2), 255-272.
Aristotle Papanikolaou, The Mystical as Political: Democracy and Non-Radical Orthodoxy (University of Notre Dame Press, 2012), in Anglican Theological Review, Winter 2013.
Ronald E. Heine, Origen: Scholarship in the Service of the Church (Christian Theology in Context Series) (Oxford University Press, 2011), in Anglican Theological Review, forthcoming 2014.
Timothy Harvie, Jürgen Moltmann's Ethics of Hope: Eschatological Possibilities for Moral Action (Alderhsot and Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2009), in Modern Believing 51:3, July 2010.
Scott R. Paeth, Exodus Church and Civil Society: Public Theology and Social Theory in the Work of Jürgen Moltmann (Alderhsot and Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2008), in Modern Believing 51:2, April 2010.
Jürgen Moltmann, A Broad Place (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2007), published in Anglican Theological Review, Summer 90:2 (2008), 384-387.
Mark A. McIntosh, Divine Teaching (London: Blackwell, 2007), in Anglican Theological Review, Spring 90:3 (2008), 673-675.
Select Presentations, Plenary Lectures, and Chaired Panels “Red
and Green Theology: Native American and Moltmannian Creation Theologies
in Conversation,” in the Comparative Theology Group at the American
Academy of Religion national meeting, Baltimore, Maryland, November
Solidarities: Common Cause or Conflicting Interests among Undergraduate
Students and Their Faculties?” Invited to participate on a panel (part
II) for a special topics forum at the American Academy of Religion
national meeting, Baltimore, Maryland, November 2013.
"The Holy Spirit in the Philokalia and Eastern Christianity." Invited lecture at Mulberry United Methodist Church, Macon, GA, 31 July 2013.
“The Philokalia: A Book for All Christians.” An invited lecture for the Center for Hellenic Studies (Georgia State University and the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation, Atlanta, Georgia), 27 February 2013.
"Imagined Solidarities: Common Cause or Conflicting Interests among Undergraduate Students and Their Faculties?" American Academy of Religion, Chicago, IL, 18 November 2012.
"Environmental Ethics," Ethics, Religion and Society, and Religion and Ecology Groups (Chaired: Joint Session), American Academy of Religion Southeast, Atlanta, GA, March 2, 2012.
"Contemplative Common Ground: John Cassian and al-Ghazali on the Mystical Life," paper presented at the American Academy of Religion (the Contemplative Studies Group), San Francisco, CA, November 19, 2011.
"Transforming Christian Mysticism," paper at the American Academy of Religion (World Christianity Group), Southeast Regional Meeting, Louisville, KY, March 4, 2011.
"The Philokalia: Reconsidering a Christian Spiritual Classic," chaired panel at the American Society of Church History, Boston, MA, January 7, 2011.
"Red and Green Theology: Native American and Moltmannian Theology in Conversation," paper at the American Academy of Religion (Religion and Ecology Group), Southeast Region Meeting, Atlanta, GA, March 6, 2010.
"Toward Orthodox-Reformed Dialogue: Exploring Jürgen Moltmann's Conversation with Orthodox Creation Theology," paper presented at the American Academy of Religion (Orthodox and Reformed Group joint session), Montreal, Quebec, November 8, 2009.
"Mystical Ecclesiology: Maximus the Confessor's Mystagogy," paper presented at the North American Patristics Society, Chicago, IL, May 23, 2009.
"Sensing the Beautiful: Retrieving the Philokalia's Diverse Teaching on the Spiritual Senses," paper presented at Garrett Evangelical Seminary Annual Theology Conference at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, April 24, 2009.
"Origen Reconsidered: The Hermeneutics, Philosophy, and Contemporary Relevance of Origen of Alexandria," plenary lecture at the Marquette/Loyola University Theology Colloquium, February 7, 2009.
"A Common Vision: John Cassian and al-Ghazali's Correlative Conceptions of the Spiritual Life," paper presented at Notre Dame University's Kellogg Institute for International Studies Annual Conference on the Common Good, October 9, 2008.
"Loving the Beautiful: The Orthodox Philokalia's Promise for Contemporary Constructive Theology," paper presented at the North American Patristics Society, Chicago, IL, May 23, 2008.
Resurrection, and Eucharistic Celebration: Maximus the Confessor's
Vision of the Spiritual Life," paper presented at the Garrett
Evangelical Theology Conference at Northwestern University, Evanston,
IL, April 18, 2008.
"Life in the Spirit in God's World: Orthodox Spirituality and Moltmannian Pneumatology," paper presented at the Wesleyan Theological Society/Society for Pentecostal Studies at Duke University, March 14, 2008.
"Orthodox Spirituality and Contemporary Ecology: John Cassian, Maximus the Confessor, and Jürgen Moltmann in Conversation," paper presented at the American Academy of Religion (Christian Spirituality and Ecology joint session), San Diego, CA, November 17, 2007.
Committees and Councils: Service to the College
Faculty Council: Representative for the Humanities Division (2012-)
President's Council on College Diversity: tapped by our College President to serve (2012-)
Director of the College Honors Program (2010-11)
Library, Information, and Technology Council: Representative for the Humanities Division (2010-12)
Council on Religious Unity: Faculty Advisor (2009-)
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"Let us become the image both of ourselves and of God" (Ας γίνει η εικόνα τόσο του εαυτού μας και του Θεού). - Maximus the Confessor, the Philokalia, 2:171-2.
should desire and engage in prayer, not for our enjoyment, but for the
sake of acquiring this strength which fits us for service." - Teresa of
Avila, The Interior Castle 7:4.
The "goal is the flourishing of all beings in their uniqueness and
interrelation - both sexes, all races and social groups, all creatures
of the universe...[through] a creative combination of hermeneutical
retrieval of ancient texts and appropriation of contemporary existence."
- Elizabeth Johnson, She Who Is, 19, 32.
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