Alumni news 2017

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Roger Myers (MA'78) installed an exhibition, “After 500 Years: Print and Propaganda in the Protestant Reformation,” this semester at the University of Arizona Library’s Special Collections department. Collaborating with Special Collection archivist Molly Stothert-Maurer, and Susan C. Karant-Nunn and Ute Lotz-Heumann of the Division for Late Medieval and Reformation, the exhibition draws heavily on materials from the library of the late Heiko A. Oberman which now forms a part of the library’s holdings.

Robert M. McCauley (MA'75) is William Rand Kenan Jr. University Professor at the Center for Mind, Brain, and Culture at Emory University. After serving two terms (2008-2016) as the inaugural director for the Center for Mind, Brain, and Culture, he recently published, with E. Thomas Lawson (PhD'63), Philosophical Foundations of the Cognitive Science of Religion: A Head Start (Bloomsbury Publishers). 


Ashley Boggan Dreff is the new director of United Methodist studies and student recruitment at Hood Theological Seminary,  a graduate and professional school sponsored by the A.M.E. Zion Church and approved by the University Senate of the United Methodist Church. As the focal faculty member in United Methodist studies, she will be responsible for teaching required courses for the master’s of divinity degree, as well as advanced courses in Methodist history, American religious history, and women and gender studies.


Mark Mattes (PhD'95) is Chair of the Departments of Theology and Philosophy at Grand View University. Dr. Mattes recently had his book, Martin Luther's Theology of Beauty: A Reappraisal, published by Baker Academic (2017). Additional, a book for which he served as an Associate Editor, Dictionary of Luther and the Lutheran Traditions, was published, also be Baker Academic (2017). 


Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore, (MA'80, PhD'86, Religion & Psychological Studies), E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of Religion, Psychology, and Culture at Vanderbilt University Divinity School and Graduate Department of Religion, had three books come out in 2016-2017: Christian Practical Wisdom: What It Is, Why It Matters (co-authored with Dorothy C. Bass, Kathleen A, Cahalan, James R. Nieman, and Chris B. Scharen) (Eerdmans, 2016); and two co-edited books, Conundrums in Practical Theology (Brill, 2016 with Joyce Mercer); and Calling All Years Good: Christian Vocation Throughout Life’s Seasons (Eerdmans, 2017 with Kathleen A. Cahalan, PhD U of Chicago '98). One of these books, Conundrums in Practical Theology, leads off a new book series in Theology in Practice at Brill for which she is serving as Co-Editor-and-Chief.


William I. Elliott (DB'57) is Professor Emeritus of English Literature at Kanto Gakuin Universityi n Yokohama, Japan. He writes that Iwanami Shoten (Tokyo) has placed fifty-four volumes of verse (as ebooks) of the collected poems of Japan's best-known living poet Shuntaro Tanikawa. The ebooks are bilingual, the English having been done by Dr. Elliott and colleagues. Dr. Elliott began this life-long process in 1968. He further writes that "perhaps I am the only Divinity School graduate whose translations of poems have ever appeared on beer cans: poems by Shuntaro Tanikawa, translations by me and Katsumasa Nishihara, appear on 350ml and 500ml cans for Kirin beer's spring, summer, and winter campaigns. Divinity School graduates are versatile – not to be outdone by Trappists!"


Matthew R. Foster (MA ’77, PhD ’87), Professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at Molloy College in Long Island, New York, has recently published The Human Relationship to Nature: The Limit of Reason, the Basis of Value, and the Crisis of Environmental Ethics (Lexington Press, 2016).


Jerome A. Stone (PhD'73) has published Sacred Nature: The Environmental Potential of Religious Naturalism (Routledge, 2017). 


Paul Richard Dekar (MA'73, PhD'78) has published Dangerous People: The Fellowship of Reconciliation Building a Nonviolent World of Justice, Peace, and Freedom, with a foreword by Kristin Stoneking (Virginia Beach: Downing Company, Publishers, 2016). The book is also available directly from the Fellowship of Reconciliation.


Jo (Preuninger) Forrest (MDiv'10) received the Doctorate of Ministry from Candler School of Theology at Emory University in 2017.


Rob Wilson-Black (MA'92, PhD'02) was awarded a doctorate of divinity, honoris causa, by Franklin College in Franklin, Indiana on May 19, 2017. Wilson-Black is the CEO of Sojourners (sojo.net) in Washington, DC, where he also serves as Board Chair of the National Museum of American Religion.


Michael Kinnamon (MA'76, PhD'80) recently released a new book—The Witness of Religion in an Age of Fear. In this timely book Kinnamon challenges readers to consider why we find ourselves in this age of fear and what we can do about it. Drawing on support from a diversity of religious traditions and teachers, he argues that religious faith is the best way to combat a culture of fear. Kinnamon also explores fear in relation to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the American political scene, and shares examples of individuals from different religions working for peace. The Witness of Religion in an Age of Fear features a study guide and is perfect for individual or group study.


H. Byron Earhart (BD'62, MA'62, PhD'65), Professor Emeritus of Comparative Religion in the Department of Comparative Religion, Western Michigan University, has returned to an early interest in writing fiction, penning three novels in the series Twin Destiny Trilogy with iCrew Digital Publishing: No Pizza in Heaven (2016), Faith Finds Forgiveness (2017), and Meeting the Devil (forthcoming).


Alan L. Berger (MA'70) is Raddock Family Eminent Scholar Chair of Holocaust Studies and Director, Center for the Study of Values and Violence after Auschwitz at Florida Atlantic University. He recently co-authored Third-Generation Holocaust Representation: Trauma, History, and Memory (Northwestern University Press, 2017).

Thomas C. Berg (MA'92, JD'87) is James L. Oberstar Professor of Law and Public Policy at the University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minneapolis). He recently published The State and Religion in a Nutshell (West Academic, 3rd ed. 2016) and Religion and the Constitution (Aspen Publishers, 4th ed. 2016) (with Michael McConnell J.D. '79 and Christopher Lund).

Annette Bourland Huizenga (PhD'10) is Assistant Dean and Associate Professor of New Testament at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. Her book in the Wisdom Commentary Series 1-2 Timothy, Titus was published last November. 

Robert Ellwood (MA "65, PhD '67) has published a 4th edition of his textbook, Introducing Religion: Religious Studies for the Twenty-First Century (Routledge). It includes new chapters on Popular Religion, Religion on the Internet, the Problem of Evil, and Religion and War.


John Holt (PhD'77) is William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Humanities in Religion and Asian Studies at Bowdoin College.  He will be Visiting Professor of South and Southeast Asian Studies at the University of California at Berkeley in 2018. He has recently published Theravada Traditions: Buddhist Ritual Cultures in Contemporary Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka with University of Hawai'i Press and Buddhist Extremists and Muslim Minorities: Religious Conflict in Contemporary Sri Lanka with Oxford University Press.  


Perry T. Hamalis (PhD'04, Religious Ethics, 2004) is the Cecelia Schneller Mueller Professor of Religion at North Central College in Naperville, IL. He and his family have recently returned from a Fulbright 12-month teaching and research fellowship at Yonsei University in Seoul, Republic of Korea.  In addition to teaching in both Yonsei's United Graduate School of Theology and their recently established Global Institute of Theology, Hamalis lectured and conducted research on the Eastern Orthodox Community in Korea and the impact of Korea hosting the 2013 General Assembly of the World Coucil of Churches upon ecumemical relationships between Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant Christians in Korea. You can read more about Dr. Hamalis' work in Korea at this link. 


Matthew Becker (MA'90, PhD'01) is Professor of Theology at Valparaiso University. He recently edited Nineteenth-Century Lutheran Theologians (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht), and has edited and co-translated the first of six volumes of writings by Edmund Schlink. This first volume, Ecumenical and Confessional Writings (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht), contains Schlink’s most important essays from his work on the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches, as well as his reflections on the Second Vatican Council, where he had served as the official observer from the German Protestant Church.


Thomas R. Blanton IV (PhD'06) has just published a book entitled A Spiritual Economy: Gift Exchange in the Letters of Paul of Tarsus (Yale University Press, 2017). The interdisciplinary study incorporates perspectives drawn from religious studies, the anthropology and sociology of gift exchange, Classics, and Biblical studies. See the publisher's announcement at http://yalebooks.com/book/9780300220407/spiritual-economy


Ralph Keen (PhD'90) was named President-Elect of the American Society of Church History at the 2017 meeting in Denver. Ralph is professor of history, Schmitt Chair in Catholic Studies, and dean of the Honors College at the University of Illinois at Chicago.


Robert M. Fowler (PhD'78) spent the Fall Semester 2016 in Rome as a guest professor at the Pontifical Biblical Institute.  There he taught a course on "Mark as Story" in which he introduced 28 students, from 13 countries, to the basics of "narrative" and "reader-response criticism" of the Gospel of Mark.