My constructive work is in ethics. As a theologian and student of moral theology, I use materials from a range of Christian, Judean, and Jewish traditions. As an ethicist, I rely as well on philosophical analytics and systems of thought. I am a confessing Lutheran theologian with strong interests in ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue. Through all of this, my goal is to teach, and I do it wherever I can.
I currently hold the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Music and Theology from Valparaiso University (2005). That degree came with a good deal of supplemental experience gained through Christ College, the University's very useful honors humanities program. I have since obtained the degrees of Master of Arts (2008) and Master of Theology (2011) from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. My program of doctoral studies there has included work at both Chicago Theological Seminary and the University of Chicago. For the Master of Arts, I developed a structural analysis of Mark 11-13 in terms of the basic ethical criteria Mark sets out to define "church" for the listening community. For the Master of Theology, I qualified in two areas: the ethics of Karl Barth's Church Dogmatics as a determining thrust of his theology, and the developing missional ecclesiology of the Faith and Order process on the nature of the church.
My current thesis and examination preparation proceeds in the area of Barth and Ethics. My dissertation proposal will be structured around the ethics demonstrated by the soteriology of Karl Barth's mature dogmatics. Using a novel approach to the structure of the Church Dogmatics, and touching the major loci of election, creation, reconciliation, and redemption, I intend to show how the universal scope of Barth's soteriology is directly connected with his presentation of a relevant and non-predetermined scope for responsible human moral action.
While I have been doing my academic work, I have also been working professionally. I have engaged in both teaching and research assistance for members of the theology and Bible faculties at LSTC, as well as for professors and guest lecturers for the Zygon Center for Religion and Science. While ZCRS is known for its work in the intersection of the sciences and religion, they offer excellent opportunities for students to deal with both philosophical foundations and moral questions. I have also taught Koine Greek privately, generally for Bible proficiency, for which I continue to develop my own curriculum along lines suggested by best practices in second language instruction and modern linguistics. In addition to teaching, I have been contracted as an editor and writing coach for various stages of the dissertation writing process, and have also worked as an editor for book projects.
Para-professionally, I have been working as the graduate archival fellow of the Joseph A. Sittler Archives at LSTC. The Sittler Archives Committee employs me to maintain, inventory, catalog, and digitize their collections, both paper and audio-visual. I perform both technical and reference services. In my para-professional archival role, and in conjunction with my Zygon Center responsibilities, I have also served as a consultant for the IRAS/Ralph Wendell Burhoe Archive, housed here at LSTC.
In my free time, I write. (This is, after all, a blog!) I am presently working on several side-projects in translation of the New Testament, including Romans and Hebrews, and developing a socio-rhetorical and performance-critical sense of narrative. This has already proven useful in the analysis of Platonic dialogues, which will not surprise any reader of Eric Havelock. It also serves as a profoundly useful functional approach to doctrine, both in terms of analysis and pedagogy. The questions are always, "what does the story do," "who is telling it," and "what context does it address?"
I am a member of the American Academy of Religion, the Society of Biblical Literature, and the Karl Barth Society of North America. I have solid working knowledge in both Greek and Hebrew, functional French, growing German, and a somewhat impoverished grasp of Latin. (My preference for the Eastern Fathers does have its drawbacks.) Beyond all of that, I have an intense and variously-trained avocational interest in physics and computer science, a fairly green thumb in the garden, an abiding love of most genres of science fiction, and esoteric musical tastes.