Novak (novak) wrote,

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Personal/Theological Notebook: Midterm Grading Done; Fr. Dermot Ryan and Fr. Sullivan

4:23am. I am, for the first time since the beginning of the semester, caught up on grading. Midterm grades are entered. Done is done. Pouring a tall, foaming beer to end the night. A root beer.


Well, except for this other small stack of late homework that I just found in my bookbag while tucking the rest of it away for tomorrow. Oh well, let 'em cry. I'll get those in in the next day or so, even if it doesn't appear on their Midterm report. That "D" where they expect the "B" will just inspire them, right?


Had a very cool talk last night when Fr. Dermot Ryan of the Irish Diocese of Ossory called me from Rome where he's pursuing a doctorate in Theology at the Gregorian University. Fr. Fahey had alerted me to his presence after Dermot had spoken with Fr. Francis Sullivan – the fellow I'm writing my dissertation on – about also doing a dissertation on his work. I'm very excited by the prospect, in having another young scholar to be able to talk the material with, especially as we're the first to do such serious work in Sullivan, and the first to recognize that this is so worth doing. Dermot and I seemed to get along rather famously, which was even more fun, and, among other things, reassured one another by reassuring ourselves that the other was doing a very different project. Whereas I'm taking a "macro" systematic approach to Sullivan, arguing that there's a hitherto-unnoticed unifying theme through his work that gathers the disparate body of texts together and illumines them, Fr. Ryan is looking at doing a very specific analysis of Sullivan's thoughts on the ecclesial vocation of the theologian. This was the topic of a document by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under Cardinal Ratzinger, and thus ended up being the topic of some direct response to that by Sullivan, as well as parallel material coming out elsewhere, particularly in his book Magisterium. So I'm hoping that the Greg approves the topic for Dermot: their usual rule is against doing anything on a living (and thus "incomplete" or "still-producing") figure, as Sullivan himself razzed me for doing when I first met him in May, but since Fr. Ryan can point to me already breaking ground there, he may have a reasonable chance of getting an exemption.

Anyway, like I said, it was very cool to speak to someone with whom I could talk in detail about the research. We already were starting to be able to trade resources, which is also a plus.
Tags: benedict xvi, dissertation, ecclesiology, fahey, francis a. sullivan s.j., friends-marquette era, magisterium, personal, teaching, theological notebook

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