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Beyond Slavery: Christian Theology And Rehabilitation From Human Trafficking, Christopher Michael Gooding Jul 2019

Beyond Slavery: Christian Theology And Rehabilitation From Human Trafficking, Christopher Michael Gooding

Dissertations (2009 -)

Is there life beyond slavery? In the past 20 years, there has been a significant increase in research related to human trafficking. However, very little of it has examined the ethical issues that survivors face as they attempt to reintegrate back into society, or that aftercare workers face as they attempt to assist survivors in the reintegration process. And there has been almost nothing written on how the tools of moral and political theology might offer insight into these issues. This dissertation attempts to begin to address this gap in the literature.In order to assess what the nature of ...


Widow As The Altar Of God: Retrieving Ancient Sources For Contemporary Discussions On Christian Discipleship, Lisa Marin Moore Apr 2019

Widow As The Altar Of God: Retrieving Ancient Sources For Contemporary Discussions On Christian Discipleship, Lisa Marin Moore

Dissertations (2009 -)

Recent accounts of the history of Christian theology tend to neglect materialconcerning widows in antiquity and their contribution to Christian discipleship. In thisdissertation I would like to offer a corrective along the lines of studying the contributionof widows in Jewish and Christian antiquity to the Catholic tradition. In particular, Icontend that the Jewish roots of the widows’ contribution to Christian theology is alsooverlooked. The idea of the widow as an “altar of God,” which emerges in early Churchliterature, requires an understanding of the history of widows and the altar in Jewish andChristian antiquity ...


Imagining Demons In Post-Byzantine Jerusalem: John Of Damascus And The Consolidation Of Classical Christian Demonology, Nathaniel Ogden Kidd Oct 2018

Imagining Demons In Post-Byzantine Jerusalem: John Of Damascus And The Consolidation Of Classical Christian Demonology, Nathaniel Ogden Kidd

Dissertations (2009 -)

This dissertation traces the consolidation of a classical Christian framework for demonology in the theological corpus of John of Damascus (c. 675 – c. 750), an eighth century Greek theologian writing in Jerusalem. When the Damascene sat down to write, I argue, there was a great variety of demonological options available to him, both in the depth of the Christian tradition, and in the ambient local imagination. John’s genius lies first in what he chose not to include, but second in his ability to synthesize a minimalistic demonology out of a complex body of material and integrate it into a ...


Examining The Political Motivations Of Christian Women Following The 2016 Presidential Election, Julie Grace Jul 2018

Examining The Political Motivations Of Christian Women Following The 2016 Presidential Election, Julie Grace

Master's Theses (2009 -)

As research begins and continues to examine the historic nature of the 2016 presidential election, this study aims to understand the political motivations of a specific group of voters – Christian women in two Wisconsin counties that flipped from voting for a Democrat in 2012 to a Republican in 2016. Long-form, qualitative interviews were used to obtain an understanding of the participants’ faith, their view on politics, and their thoughts on the 2016 election and President Trump’s first year in office. Grounded theory was used as a theoretical framework for this study, and the constant comparative method of analysis was ...


The Parable As Mirror: An Examination Of The Use Of Parables In The Works Of Kierkegaard, Russell Hamer Apr 2018

The Parable As Mirror: An Examination Of The Use Of Parables In The Works Of Kierkegaard, Russell Hamer

Dissertations (2009 -)

This dissertation focuses on an exploration of the use of parables in the works of Soren Kierkegaard. While some work has been done on Kierkegaard’s poetic style, very little attention has been paid to his metaphors, despite their prevalent use in his works. Much of the scholarship instead treats his parables as mere examples of philosophical concepts. In this work, I argue that Kierkegaard’s parables function primarily to cause the reader to see him or herself truly. The parables work like mirrors, reflecting our true selves back onto ourself. In this way, the parables prompt Kierkegaard’s readers ...


Exodus As New Creation, Israel As Foundling: Stories In The History Of An Idea, Christopher Evangelos John Brenna Oct 2017

Exodus As New Creation, Israel As Foundling: Stories In The History Of An Idea, Christopher Evangelos John Brenna

Dissertations (2009 -)

This study surveys the development of two literary phenomena in early Jewish and Christian tradition. The first is the birth story of a portentous child, exemplified by the birth stories of Moses, Noah, Melchizedek, and Jesus in biblical and Second Temple period literature. The second is the mythical expansion of the exodus tradition, which interprets the crossing of the Red Sea as a recreation of the people of Israel. I examine the appropriation of these two phenomena in the late antique Hellenistic story, Joseph and Aseneth. I contend that (1) the early Jewish birth story paradigm is influenced by the ...


The Doubt Of The Apostles And The Resurrection Faith Of The Early Church, J. D. Atkins Jul 2017

The Doubt Of The Apostles And The Resurrection Faith Of The Early Church, J. D. Atkins

Dissertations (2009 -)

Among the diverse reports of Jesus’s resurrection in the New Testament gospels one theme recurs more frequently than any other: the apostles doubt. According to Luke 24 and John 20, the risen Lord responds by inviting them to touch his body. Though modern assessments of the historical reliability of these accounts vary considerably, a broad range of commentators—conservative, liberal, and skeptical—agree that the evangelists include the doubt and touch motifs for apologetic reasons. On the basis of second-century parallels, many of these scholars argue further that Luke and/or John are attempting to refute docetists who claimed ...


Image And Virtue In Ambrose Of Milan, Andrew Miles Harmon Jul 2017

Image And Virtue In Ambrose Of Milan, Andrew Miles Harmon

Dissertations (2009 -)

This dissertation analyzes Ambrose of Milan’s trinitarian theology and doctrine of human action and argues that a visual logic—that works disclose nature—animates both. Ambrose’s trinitarian theology, on the one hand, trades in scriptural proofs that emphasize the tangible works (opera) of the Son as relevatory of his divinity and indicative of his shared, invisible power with the Father. While Ambrose differs from his Latin and Greek predecessors, he takes up controverted texts in his Christological reflection, many of which are borrowed from anti-monarchian and anti-homoian debates in the several generations prior. To show Ambrose’s consonance ...


A God Worth Worshiping: Toward A Critical Race Theology, Duane Terrence Loynes Sr. Jul 2017

A God Worth Worshiping: Toward A Critical Race Theology, Duane Terrence Loynes Sr.

Dissertations (2009 -)

Theologian James Cone has declared that White supremacy is the American Church’s greatest, original, and most persistent sin. Although the Church has engaged in numerous attempts to remedy racism, theology still seems to witness to a God that stands relatively unopposed to the status quo of racial injustice and marginalization. This dissertation begins with the claim that Christian theology still operates from the normativity of whiteness. I will argue that, although the Church has made admirable progress with regard to racial justice, the attempts have been at the surface: the underlying structural logic of White supremacy remains intact. My ...


The First Thing Andrew Did' [John 1:41]: Readers As Witnesses In The Fourth Gospel, Mark L. Trump Apr 2017

The First Thing Andrew Did' [John 1:41]: Readers As Witnesses In The Fourth Gospel, Mark L. Trump

Dissertations (2009 -)

In 1996, Robert F. Kysar identified one of the leading issues that would form scholarly debate regarding the Fourth Gospel for decades to come: whether the Fourth Gospel is designed to strengthen and affirm the faith of those inside a Johannine community (a sectarian document/community) or to bring to faith those who were not yet part of that community (an evangelistic tract/missionary community). The sectarian position, often connected to the work of J. Louis Martyn, Raymond E. Brown, and Wayne A. Meeks, has become the received tradition in Johannine studies. Increasingly, others have called into question not only ...


The Two Goats: A Christian Yom Kippur Soteriology, Richard Barry Apr 2017

The Two Goats: A Christian Yom Kippur Soteriology, Richard Barry

Dissertations (2009 -)

This dissertation draws on recent historical-critical research into ancient Jewish temple theology, the priestly book of Leviticus, and especially the Yom Kippur liturgy of Leviticus 16, to develop a more paradoxical interpretation of Christ’s saving work for modern Christian systematic theology. Prompted by the pioneering research of Jacob Milgrom, there has been a surge in sympathetic interpretations of the priestly theological tradition, which has inspired fresh interpretations of the Levitical Day of Atonement. I argue that an adequate Christian theory of atonement must be attentive to both the overall “landscape” of Jewish biblical thought, and to the specific rhythm ...


Creator Spirit, Spirit Of Grace: Trinitarian Dimensions Of A Charitological Pneumatology, Wesley Scott Biddy Oct 2016

Creator Spirit, Spirit Of Grace: Trinitarian Dimensions Of A Charitological Pneumatology, Wesley Scott Biddy

Dissertations (2009 -)

This dissertation takes up the question of the link between the creative and the redemptive work of the Holy Spirit. It presents creation as ordered to redemption and redemption as the completion of creation, especially for human beings. On the understanding of the relationship between the two orders of the Spirit’s activity proposed here, creation is of a piece with redemption and is therefore an operation of grace just as the latter is. I ground my depiction of the Spirit’s role in both aspects of the divine economy in an account of her role within the immanent Trinity ...


Love The Stranger For You Were Strangers: The Development Of A Biblical Literary Theme And Motif, Helga Kisler Oct 2016

Love The Stranger For You Were Strangers: The Development Of A Biblical Literary Theme And Motif, Helga Kisler

Dissertations (2009 -)

The Hebrew Bible recounts the development of Israel’s self-identity as “Strangers and Sojourners” and their relationship with God and other Strangers. A significant passage that connects these relationships says that God “loves the Strangers…You shall also love the Stranger, for you were Strangers in the land of Egypt” (Deut 10:17-19). In the same book that commands love for the Stranger, God tells Israel to separate themselves from foreign nations in the land that they will occupy. In order to investigate an evident disparity concerning the relationship with the Stranger, this dissertation examines the literary motif of the ...


Truly Human, Fully Divine: The Kenotic Christ Of Thomas Aquinas, Gregorio Montejo Oct 2016

Truly Human, Fully Divine: The Kenotic Christ Of Thomas Aquinas, Gregorio Montejo

Dissertations (2009 -)

Thomas Aquinas’ mature Christology, developed primarily during his second and final Parisian residency in the years 1269 to 1273 is notable for—among other things—its increasing focus on explicating and defending the full humanity of the incarnate Son. In several important works that Thomas undertook during this period, particularly the Tertia Pars of the Summa Theologiae, and Quaestio Disputata De unione Verbi Incarnati, an early Christian hymn preserved in Paul’s Epistle to the Philippians, 2:6-11, with its emphasis on the Son’s kenosis or ‘self-emptying,” the assumption of a human nature whereby the pre-existent Word comes to ...


Living Within The Sacred Tension: Paradox And Its Significance For Christian Existence In The Thought Of Søren Kierkegaard, Matthew Thomas Nowachek Oct 2016

Living Within The Sacred Tension: Paradox And Its Significance For Christian Existence In The Thought Of Søren Kierkegaard, Matthew Thomas Nowachek

Dissertations (2009 -)

This dissertation presents an in-depth investigation into the notion of paradox and its significance for Christian existence in the thought of the Danish philosopher and theologian Søren Kierkegaard. The primary aim of the study is to explore and to develop various expressions of paradox in Kierkegaard’s authorship in order to demonstrate the manner by which Kierkegaard employs paradox as a means of challenging his Christendom contemporaries to exist as authentic Christians, and more specifically to enter into the existential state I am identifying in this project as living within the sacred tension. With this aim in mind, I begin ...


Special Education As A Moral Mandate In Catholic Schools, Mary E. Carlson Apr 2016

Special Education As A Moral Mandate In Catholic Schools, Mary E. Carlson

Dissertations (2009 -)

This study summarizes the level of services offered to students with special educational needs in Catholic schools and finds that children with disabilities are underserved and that research regarding the extent and types of services offered is insufficient. More importantly, the author examines the practice of Catholic schools’ non-admission of students with special needs using: traditional Catholic Social Teaching, especially the doctrine of St. Thomas Aquinas; virtue ethics; the hermeneutic of real, lived experience; and liberation theologies and related liberatory disciplines. Viewed through each of these lenses, current Catholic school practice, in the majority of cases, is unjust. To remain ...


Long Journeys To A Middle Ground: Indians, Catholics, And The Origins Of A New Deal In Montana And Idaho, 1855-1945, Aaron David Hyams Apr 2016

Long Journeys To A Middle Ground: Indians, Catholics, And The Origins Of A New Deal In Montana And Idaho, 1855-1945, Aaron David Hyams

Dissertations (2009 -)

This study focuses on the experiences of individuals and families, on the Blackfeet, Flathead, and Nez Perce reservations of Montana and Idaho, who converted to Catholicism, adapted to agricultural living, accepted American education, and otherwise sought to find their places in a rapidly changing world. At the same time, this project follows local Catholic leaders from the missions and surrounding parishes who struggled with their contradictory roles as shepherds of their native flocks and agents of colonialism. I argue that Indians and Catholics on the reservations carved out often overlapping communities and identities as they negotiated the changes introduced by ...


The Secular Transformation Of Pride And Humility In The Moral Philosophy Of David Hume, Kirstin April Carlson Mcpherson Apr 2016

The Secular Transformation Of Pride And Humility In The Moral Philosophy Of David Hume, Kirstin April Carlson Mcpherson

Dissertations (2009 -)

In this dissertation I examine Hume’s secular re-definition and re-evaluation of the traditional Christian understanding of pride and humility as part of his project to establish a fully secular account of ethics and to undermine what he thought to be the harmful aspects of religious morality. Christians traditionally have seen humility, understood as receptivity to God, to be crucial for individual and social flourishing, and pride as the root of individual and social disorder. By contrast, Hume, who conceives of pride and humility immanently in terms of our self-appraisals, sees pride as a key virtue that serves as the ...


Scripture In History: A Systematic Theology Of The Christian Bible, Joseph K. Gordon Apr 2016

Scripture In History: A Systematic Theology Of The Christian Bible, Joseph K. Gordon

Dissertations (2009 -)

This work utilizes advances in philosophical hermeneutics, the historical study of Christian Scripture, and traditional theological resources to articulate a systematic theology of the Christian Bible. Chapter one introduces the challenges of the contemporary ecclesial and academic situations of Christian Scripture and invokes and explains a functional notion of systematic theology as a resource for meeting those challenges. Chapter two examines the use of the rule of faith by Irenaeus, Origen, and Augustine to locate the emergence of Christian Scripture within the faith of early Christian churches. It shows that structured, intelligible Christian belief and thought are developing and operative ...


Gary Dorrien, Stanley Hauerwas, Rowan Williams, And The Theological Transformation Of Sovereignties, David Wade Horstkoetter Apr 2016

Gary Dorrien, Stanley Hauerwas, Rowan Williams, And The Theological Transformation Of Sovereignties, David Wade Horstkoetter

Dissertations (2009 -)

Christianity’s political voice in US society is often situated within a simplistic binary of social justice versus faithfulness. Gary Dorrien and Stanley Hauerwas, respectively, represent the two sides of the binary in their work. Although the justice-faithfulness narrative is an important point of disagreement, it has also created a categorical impasse that does not reflect the full depth and complexity of either Dorrien’s or Hauerwas’s work. Their concerns for both justice and faithfulness differ only in part because of their different responses to liberalism and liberal theology. Under all those issues are rival accounts of relational truth ...


The Mystical And Political Body: Christian Identity In The Theology Of Karl Rahner, Erin Kidd Apr 2016

The Mystical And Political Body: Christian Identity In The Theology Of Karl Rahner, Erin Kidd

Dissertations (2009 -)

Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner (1904-1984) is well known for initiating the turn to the subject in Catholic theology. The heart of Rahner’s theological reflection is the experience of God as encouraged by Ignatius of Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises. In questioning how the subject experiences God, Rahner develops a theological anthropology that attempts to elucidate the original unity of spirit and matter. As he argues, the human being is “spirit-in-world,”—the one who actualizes her transcendence in space and over time. While Rahner’s readers have been quick to draw out the implications of the subject as spirit, they have ...


The Economic Trinity: Communion With The Triune God In A Market Economy, David Glenn Butner Jr. Apr 2016

The Economic Trinity: Communion With The Triune God In A Market Economy, David Glenn Butner Jr.

Dissertations (2009 -)

Many theological approaches to economics claim that the market economy can help develop an economic agent in virtue, while others argue that market economies undermine virtue, impede authentic spirituality, or result in injustice. Similarly, experimental and behavioral economists have identified market constructions that influence economic agents in terms of their motivations, perceptions, actions, and self-understanding in positive or negative ways. This dissertation theologically analyzes these two bodies of literature under the conviction that any redemptively significant development that an economic agent undergoes in the economy must be attributed to God’s grace. This project develops a Reformed and trinitarian theology ...


Primeval History According To Paul: "In Adam" And "In Christ" In Romans, Timothy A. Gabrielson Apr 2016

Primeval History According To Paul: "In Adam" And "In Christ" In Romans, Timothy A. Gabrielson

Dissertations (2009 -)

Paul’s comparison of Adam and Christ in Rom 5:12–21 is among the most influential doctrines in the Bible and Christian theology. Often it has been used to summarize God’s purposes in creation and redemption, from humanity’s “fall” in Adam to its restoration in Christ. In the past several decades, however, it has increasingly been seen as provisional and functional because the Jewish writings used to support it have now been dated after the apostle’s lifetime. This study retrieves the traditional position, but does so by appeal to different corpora of Jewish texts, those that ...


Didymus The Blind, Origen, And The Trinity, Kellen Plaxco Apr 2016

Didymus The Blind, Origen, And The Trinity, Kellen Plaxco

Dissertations (2009 -)

This dissertation reconstructs Didymus the Blind’s theology in On the Holy Spirit as a pro-Nicene response to Origen’s theology of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The study begins by setting Origen’s speculation into a broad framework of schemes of emanation in Christianity and Platonism. I provide an account of Origen’s grammar of participation, which orders the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in a hierarchical series of causes. I show how Origen’s grammar of participation draws on the philosophy of Numenius of Apamea, and I argue that Origen uses his grammar of participation to oppose ...


Sanctification As Virtue And Mission: The Politics Of Holiness, Nathan Willowby Apr 2016

Sanctification As Virtue And Mission: The Politics Of Holiness, Nathan Willowby

Dissertations (2009 -)

This dissertation considers the political implications of the doctrine of holiness. I proceed by demonstrating the neglect of holiness in political theology, the viability of the holiness movement as an embodied witness of the political implications of the doctrine of holiness, and a biblical trajectory in Leviticus that extends into the New Testament. I describe this scriptural holiness as vocation for all of God’s people through personal formation and outward societal action to extend God’s holiness. With attention to the approaches of political theology and formation, I demonstrate that the holiness movement of the nineteenth century offers an ...


Theo-Dramatic Ethics: A Balthasarian Approach To Moral Formation, Andrew John Kuzma Apr 2016

Theo-Dramatic Ethics: A Balthasarian Approach To Moral Formation, Andrew John Kuzma

Dissertations (2009 -)

What role does beauty play in our moral formation? What difference does the perception of beauty make to the way we live our lives? In order to answer these questions, I look to the twentieth-century Catholic theologian, Hans Urs von Balthasar. Relatively little has been written about Balthasar’s ethics. He is, perhaps, best known for his retrieval of beauty as a transcendental property of being. Balthasar, though, never set down an extended account of his ethics or moral theology. While he had no explicit ethic, he certainly thought that his theology could be lived. The Theo-Drama, for instance, discusses ...


Judgment, Justification, And The Faith Event In Romans, Raymond Foyer Apr 2016

Judgment, Justification, And The Faith Event In Romans, Raymond Foyer

Dissertations (2009 -)

In this study, I identify two commonly perceived incompatibilities regarding judgment and justification in Romans. The first is between judgment according to works and Paul’s negative teaching that justification does not come through “works of law” or “works.” The second concerns judgment according to works and Paul’s positive argument that justification comes graciously by faith. I attempt to resolve both of these problems. In the first chapter, I make the case that “works of law” and several similar terms in Romans do not all have the same meaning and do not pose a problem of compatibility. In order ...


Ite, Missa Est! A Missional Liturgical Ecclesiology, Eugene Richard Schlesinger Apr 2016

Ite, Missa Est! A Missional Liturgical Ecclesiology, Eugene Richard Schlesinger

Dissertations (2009 -)

Since the latter half of the twentieth-century, a great many churches and ecclesial communities have agreed that the basic contours of what is called an ecclesiology of communion represents their own self-understanding. Communion ecclesiology centers upon a vision of the church as sharing together in the life of God, with ecclesiastical apparatus such as office, liturgy, and sacraments seen as facilitating this communion. Understood in this light, communion ecclesiology represents a movement away from overly juridical accounts of the church and toward a more organic conception of the church. For nearly the same time frame, a parallel missiological consensus has ...


No Sympathy For The Devil: The Significance Of Demons In John Chrysostom's Soteriology, Samantha Lynn Miller Apr 2016

No Sympathy For The Devil: The Significance Of Demons In John Chrysostom's Soteriology, Samantha Lynn Miller

Dissertations (2009 -)

This dissertation is a study of John Chrysostom’s demonology as it relates to his theological anthropology and soteriology. Demons run rampant in Chrysostom's thought, though few scholars have taken note of this. Studies of Chrysostom often focus on his exegetical practices, his asceticism, or his social vision and morality. Indeed, many scholars dismiss Chrysostom as unsophisticated and therefore of little value in the landscape of fourth-century theology. In analyzing Chrysostom’s demonology, we see that Chrysostom’s thought is complex and worth further consideration. One cannot treat demons in Chrysostom’s work without treating other theological topics as ...


Kierkegaard In Light Of The East: A Critical Comparison Of The Philosophy Of Søren Kierkegaard With Orthodox Christian Philosophy And Thought, Agust Magnusson Apr 2016

Kierkegaard In Light Of The East: A Critical Comparison Of The Philosophy Of Søren Kierkegaard With Orthodox Christian Philosophy And Thought, Agust Magnusson

Dissertations (2009 -)

This project presents a comparative philosophical approach to understanding key elements in the philosophy of Søren Kierkegaard by juxtaposing his works with the philosophy and theology of the Eastern Orthodox Church.. The primary aim of the project is to look at three key areas of Kierkegaard’s philosophy that have been either underrepresented or misunderstood in the literature. These three areas are: Kierkegaard’s views on sin and salvation, Kierkegaard’s epistemology, and Kierkegaard’s philosophy of personhood. The dissertation ends with an epilogue that briefly explores a further area where this comparative approach might provide fruitful results, namely Kierkegaard ...