Upcoming Events

Each semester, the Theology Department will host two Theology Thursday presentations. These events are open to the public and are intended to highlight the work of our department faculty members. Below you can find the topics and schedules for the Spring 2018 semester. 

Spring 2018 Theology Thursday Presentations

"Greening the Desert: Reading the Desert Fathers and Mothers in a Time of Ecological Crisis"

In this Theology Thursday presentation, Dr. Wheeler will be sharing stories and teachings from the late antique Christians known as desert mothers and desert fathers. Their stories and teachings reveal profound experience of God, commitment to specific and experimental forms of Christian discipleship and spiritual companionship, and a response to the natural world characterized by curiosity and love. By interpreting their stories and teachings in light of contemporary ecological crisis, Dr. Wheeler will demonstrate how “greening the desert” results in a reevaluation of, and deepened appreciation for, the virtuous qualities these individuals’ lives disclose—qualities such as attentiveness, restraint, perseverance, and hopefulness.

February 15, 7:15 pm, Franz Hall Room 120


"Preparing Students to Encounter the Suffering of Grief and Loss”

Please join Drs. Rebecca Gaudino (Dept. of Theology), Anissa Rogers (Dept. of Social Work), and Barb Braband (School of Nursing) as they present their award winning approach to teaching their students to encounter the suffering of grief and loss. Key to this course is an interview project first developed by Barb Braband, a project that invites students to encounter suffering and to reflect on its meaning in their own lives as well as in the lives of their interviewees. In studying the effectiveness of this project and students’ response to this project, our UP researchers developed a model of teaching and learning about suffering that they have entitled the Pedagogy of Suffering. They have also rooted this model in a spirituality that they believe encourages students to begin to embody spiritual practices of compassionate presence. 

April 5, 7:30 pm, Bauccio Commons Terrace Room


Other Upcoming Theology Events

Presentation: "Formed in the Dirt: The Ritual of Archaeology"

Please join UP environmental science student Jonathan Wiley and theology professor Dr. David Turnbloom as they present the work they have done as  Dundon-Berchtold Institute Research Fellows. This presentation will examine the ways that scientific research can be better understood as a ritual practice that morally forms the individuals and the communities that carry out this research. We will pay special attention to the archaeological work done as part of the Pollentia Undergraduate Research Expedition

January 30, 7:15 pm, Bauccio Commons Terrace Room


Presentation: "Why Theology Needs The Lord of the Rings"

UP theology students Ally Liedtke and Niko Strom with Dr. David Turnbloom present a humorous look at what this wildly popular fantasy story has to offer the field of theology. Since its publishing date in 1954 and the release of the movies in 2001, The Lord of the Rings trilogy has become one of the best-selling books of all time and has been cemented as a corner stone of the fantasy genre. Its story is rich, adventurous, and extremely captivating. Come hear a unique and humorous talk about what the popular work means for the world today and specifically, what it means for theology. This event is part of The Beckman Humor Project and is sponsored by Garaventa Center for Catholic Intellectual Life & American Culture.

February 6, 7:15 pm, Bauccio Commons Dining Room 



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