News From the Chair - September 2013

Dr Susan K Wood SCL

News From the Chair shares highlights of recent activities, awards, publications, and accomplishments of students, alumni, and faculty of the Department of Theology.

Susan K. Wood, SCL, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Theology
email | web page


Convocation of the Theology Department

"The Legacy of Dr. Bernard Cooke at Marquette and Beyond" is the title of this year's convocation, which takes place Thursday, Sept. 19, 3:30-5:00, Raynor Libraries Beaumier Suites. A reception will follow. see flyer

Dr. Bernard Cooke, who inaugurated the doctoral program in 1963, passed away May 31 at age 91 in San Antonio, Texas. We will reflect on his contribution to theology through the development of the PhD in Theology at Marquette University. Dr. Cooke and MU were also part of the formation of the College Theology Society and a new approach to undergraduate teaching of theology. He was also very involved in the transformation of the Catholic Theological Society of America.

Introducing our New Faculty Members

Dr. Marcus PlestedDr. Marcus Plested was born and raised in London and went on to read Modern History followed by Theology at Merton College, Oxford. He took his doctorate from Oxford in 1999 with a thesis on the Macarian Homilies supervised by Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware). He lectured at Cambridge between 2000 and 2013, at the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies and the Faculty of Divinity. He has been a member of the Center of Theological Inquiry and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ. Dr. Plested has taught, lectured, and published widely in patristic, Byzantine, and modern Orthodox theology. He is the author of two books to date: The Macarian Legacy: The Place of Macarius-Symeon in the Eastern Christian Tradition (Oxford: OUP 2004) and Orthodox Readings of Aquinas (Oxford: OUP 2012).

Dr. Jeanne-Nicole Saint LaurentDr. Jeanne-Nicole Saint Laurent is a scholar of Syriac Studies and Early Christianity, with special interests in hagiography and sacred narrative. She holds an MA in Early Christian Studies from the University of Notre Dame (2002) and received her PhD in 2009 from Brown University in Early Christianity with a specialty in Syriac Studies. From 2009-2013, she was an Asst. Prof. of Religious Studies at St. Michael's College in Colchester, VT, where she taught classes in Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy, Hagiography, Medieval Burgundy, Christians and Muslims in the Byzantine Empire, Early Christianity, Introduction to Christianity, and Syriac. Her special passion is bringing awareness to her students about the rich tradition of Christianity in the Middle East and the Semitic roots of Christianity.

Welcome New Graduate Students

Master of Arts

Mitchell Owens comes to us from a music master’s program at North Park University in Chicago and with a Bachelor in Music from Wayne State University in Detroit. He is interested in systematic theology.

Nicholas Soellner comes to us with a B.A. in theology and psychology from Marian University in Indianapolis. He is interested in systematics and ethics.

Kyle Suvak comes to us with a B.A. in history from Montana State University in Bozeman. He is interested in historical theology, especially the Fathers and their Nachleben in medieval Russia.

Paul Vanasse comes to us with a B.A. in biology (minor in theology) from St. John’s University in Collegeville. He is interested in Judaism and Christianity in Antiquity.

Andrew Vink comes to us from his M.A. down the hall in philosophy and with a B.A. in philosophy from Mt. St. Mary’s University in Maryland. He is interested in systematic theology.



Nathaniel Kidd comes to us from the M.Div. program at Nashotah House. He is interested in the theological anthropology of the Fathers, especially the Greek Fathers, and most especially Maximus the Confessor.

David Kiger comes to us from the M.Div. program at Emmanuel Christian Seminary. He is interested in the theological anthropology and liturgy of early Greek Christianity and in the early relations between the Christian East and West.


Nick Elder comes to us from the M.A. program in biblical interpretation at the Iliff School of Theology. He is interested in the application of performance criticism to the intertextuality of the Gospels, as well as imperial interpretations of Pauline literature.

Dallas Flippin comes to us from the M.Div. program at Mercer University in Atlanta. He is interested in literary and ecological studies of the Gospel of John.

Patrick O’Kernick comes to us from the M.A. program in theology at Villanova. He is interested in literary criticism and its application, especially its application to the New Testament, most especially to Revelation and Luke-Acts.

Tyler Stewart comes to us from the M.Div. program in New Testament at Lincoln Christian. He is interested in studying the New Testament in its ancient Jewish and Greco-Roman context.


Shaun Blanchard comes to us from the Master of Studies program in modern doctrine at Oxford University. He is interested in 20th-century Catholic theology. He will begin his studies with us in January 2014.

Matthew Olver comes to us from the M.Div. program at Duke Divinity School, after a detour that took him to the Durham University for a period of research. He is interested in development of doctrine and its implications for ecumenism, ecclesiology, and liturgy. He has participated in the bilateral U.S. dialogue between Catholics and the Episcopal Church.


Chris Lilley comes to us from the M.Div. program at Princeton Theological Seminary. His allied area will be philosophy. He is interested in philosophical theology and the interaction between theology and science.

Alexandre Martins comes to us from the master’s program in religious studies at the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo, after a detour for a semester of study this past spring at B.C. and Harvard. He will pursue the health care mission and ethics track. He is a nurse and has published several books. He has worked as a consultant to the Brazilian conference of Catholic bishops on matters of bioethics and health care policy.

Faculty Publications

Rev. Robert M. Doran, S.J., "Functional Specialties for a World Theology," in Lonergan Workshop, vol. 24 (2013) 99-111.

Faculty Activities

Rev. Robert M. Doran, S.J., presented "Invisible Missions: The Grace That Heals Disjunctions" at Lonergan Workshop, Boston College, June 17, 2013.

Dr. Ulrich L. Lehner functioned as reviewer of fellowship applications for the Notre Dame Institute of Advanced Study, University of Notre Dame, and as reviewer of a $500K grant for the Swiss National Foundation for Arts and Sciences (NEH equivalent), Switzerland.

Dr. Susan Wood, SCL presented A Vision for the Future: A Vision of the Possible” at the Orientale Lumen Conference in Washington, D.C. July 18, 2013.



Convocation of the Theology Department

Introducing our New Faculty Members

Welcome New Graduate Students

Faculty Publications

Faculty Activities


View past editions of
News From the Chair


Lonergan on the Edge: Presentations span philosophy and theology and place Lonergan's thought in dialogue with a variety of topics. Event will take place Fri.-Sat., Sept. 20-21. For more information see flyer.

Theotokos Lecture: Dr. Francesca Murphy, Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame will deliver "Mary, the Representative of the Church's Faith--philosophari in Maria" Sept. 26, 4 PM, Cudahy Hall, 001.



Theology Department Mission Statement

Theology Department Mission Statement

Marquette University defines itself as Christian, Catholic, Jesuit, urban, and independent. The Department of Theology functions within the university to investigate and understand the Catholic tradition, its relation to other Christian communions, and to other religions of the world. Read more of our mission statement.