Theophilus Journal

Artist Showcase and Cover Art Competition

As students of CTU, we at Theophilus seek to engage the voices and perspectives of our
academic community in the contemporary dialogues of theology and ministry through the annual
publication of an academic journal and our ongoing blog.

We also hope to promote the artistic endeavors of our diverse and talented community. This
artist showcase presents the creative work of a number of CTU students for our wider
community to enjoy. All students and alumni were welcome to submit two pieces for the
exhibition.

In addition to providing a forum for students to share their creativity, this event will help us to
select the cover art for the 2015 publication of Theophilus, The Student Journal of CTU.
All members of the community who come to see the show can vote for their favorite work by this Friday, March 13th! The winning work will be featured on our cover!

Not all works are presented here as some artists did not wish to have their work shared digitally.

Enjoy the creativity present in our CTU community!

J. Bernardo Ávila Borunda, M.Div./M.A. Student

Icon of Kateri Tekakwitha
egg tempera and gold leaf on panel
1 Avila Borunda kateri tekakwitha

Mother of Hope
acrylic guache gold leaf on pane
17 avila borunda mother of hope

Nhan Anh Bui, CPPS, M.Div. Student

Saint Gaspar’s Call
The Mission for Reconciliation in Vietnam
carved wood (digital photo of original work)
2 Bui Saint Gaspar

Ora et Labora
Prayer and work are inseparable in our missionary activities
carved wood (digital photo of original work)
3 Bui ora et labora

Sharon Dobbs, M.Div. Student

Sharon writes:
“I am a mother and an M.Div. student at CTU, and I am drawn to taking photos of children and women. The first photo is of children that do not have a mother, and are being cared for by a Catholic order of sisters in India: Handmaids of the Blessed Trinity.  The second photo was taken on a cycling trip in northern China.  We stopped along the way to rest, and during this stop in a small farm village were warmly welcomed by all including this beautiful mother and baby and their proud grandmothers.”

Girls praying before dinner in Vasai India
digital photograph
4 Dobbs Girls praying

Family love in northern China Ningxia Province
digital photograph
5 Dobbs Family Love

Susan Francesconi

Susan writes:
“This is a botanical illustration of a rose hip in early fall. This particular rose hip came from a bush in my garden which at the time still had a few roses in bloom. However, none of those flowers could compete with this luminous, glossy rosehip that seemed to be telling me ‘the best is yet to come.’”

Susan has a BA in Fine Art and studied botanical illustration for a short time at the Morton Arboretum.

Fruit of the Rose, 2007
watercolor on paper (digital reproduction)
6 Francesconi Fruit of the Rose

 

Graham R. Golden, O. Praem., M.Div. Student

Untitled (crucifix in Sacred Heart Parish, Española, NM)
digital photograph
15 Golden Untitled Crucifix

Untitled (bell tower of San Francisco de Asís, Ranchos de taos, NM)
digital photograph
16 Golden Untitled Bell Tower

Ali Kenny, M.A. in Intercultural Ministry Student

Jerusalem
acrylic paint (digital reproduction)
sewing needle used as painting utensil (in lieu of traditional brush)
7 Kenny Jerusalem

Sarah Martz, OSF, M.A. Justice Ministry Student

Gift
acrylic on foam core
18 Martz Gifts

Steve Niskanen, CMF, D.Min. Student

Tree Burst
digital photograph
9 Niskanen Tree Burst

Autumn Path
digital photography
10 Niskanen Autumn Path

Mauro Pineda, M.Div. student, Romero Scholar

Mauro writes:
“I am… a parishioner at St. Gall Parish on Chicago’s Southwest Side.  I was born in Mexico and grew up in Chicago. I am passionate about the art of expression in any medium. Diego Rivera and Pablo Picasso are the two artists that have been an inspiration.  I have admiration for the entire Renaissance, particularly Michaelangelo.  That motivated my leaning towards Fine Arts.”

Gavan Y Huaraches
charcoal on paper
This drawing was inspired by Luke 9:3, the New Testament image of the disciples being sent by Jesus to spread the Word, taking only the clothes on their back and sandals on their feet.
He said to them, “Take nothing for the journey, neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money, and let no one take a second tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there and leave from there. And as for those who do not welcome you, when you leave that town, shake the dust from your feet in testimony against them.” Then they set out and went from village to village proclaiming the good news and curing diseases everywhere.

11 Pineda Gavan y Huaraches

Resortera
prismacolor on paper
This drawing was inspired by 1 Samuel 17:49, the Old Testament image of David taking down Goliath with a mere sling shot.
David put his hand into the bag and took out a stone, hurled it with the sling, and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone embedded itself in his brow, and he fell on his face to the ground. Thus David triumphed over the Philistine with sling and stone; he struck the Philistine dead, and did it without a sword in his hand.
12 Pineda Resortera

Josh Van Cleef, M.A. Student

“Jesus was not crucified on a marble altar between two golden
candlesticks, but on a city garbage dump, outside the walls,
between two thieves”- George Macleod

Mary, Mother of God
acrylic and gold leaf on salvaged material
13 Van Cleef Mary mother of God

Jesus, Giver of Life
acrylic and gold leaf on salvaged material
 14 van cleef Jesus Giver of Life

Happy New (School) Year!

Welcome (back) CTU students!!!

The Theophilus Journal would like to invite you to get involved in the vibrant CTU community this school year by submitting to both the Journal and the blog!

To submit your academic work from this past year to the Theophilus Journal, you can look online for the submission requirements and then submit your work by October 1st!  Email the Editor-in-Chief, Matthew Dougherty, at Theophilus@ctu.edu with any questions you may have.

To submit other material to the blog, whether it be a poem, a Scripture reflection or homily, some photography, a reflection on your summer ministry or current ministry, or anything else school- or ministry- or spirituality-related, email the blog’s curator, Melissa, at melissa.carnall@gmail.com.

One of our new students already did just that! I hope you’ll follow suit!

To start off our new year, here is a poem by new student, Neil Conlisk:

Familiar Courts

Father, companion,
Source of all rivers.
Your blessings are pleasant,
Your courts are familiar.
Who would reject
The host of the pillars?
He’s risen again
and remembered forever.

She Did Not Know That It Was I…

Below is a preview of an article from the inaugural issue of the Theophilus Journal by CTU student, Stephen Gartner, O. Praem. 

Stephen Gaertner, O. Praem., the article's author

Stephen Gaertner, O. Praem., the article’s author

“She Did Not Know That It Was I . . .”: Knowledge of God and Covenant Ethics in Hosea 2

Sometimes lost within modern discourses on the first three chapters of Hosea is the important ethical ballast associated with knowing God for a covenant people, in this case the pre-Exilic Israelites. To be sure, working through the now-problematic husband-and-wife metaphor and the misogynistic language deployed in its depiction is today, without question, a very relevant conversation for ministers as well as Hebrew Scripture scholars. Still, we ought not to forget the undergirding significance of this figurative language, even as it (rightly) makes contemporary scripture readers uncomfortable: the centrality of God’s covenant relationship with God’s chosen people. For persons within the Judeo-Christian tradition, today as in the 8th century BCE, Hosea outlines in stark terms the need to prioritize always this fundamental relationship, e.g. to “know” God. I intend to examine primarily one specific pericope, Hosea 2:10—11, within this orienting framework. What I hope to demonstrate in a close reading of this passage is that the sense of knowing God understood within Hosea’s socio-historical context is not incidental; that is, to know God as a member of a covenant people is not simply a matter of being a fortunate possessor of proto-Gnostic information about God, but rather suggests a deliberate moral choice in favor of covenant fidelity on the part of a specific individual and group (Israel). Necessarily, to be ignorant of the terms of the covenant relationship with God also implies for Hosea a conscious decision, individually or collectively, to reject the terms of the covenant relationship, and therefore to reject YHWH.

From this critical starting point, I will make two further sub-claims regarding the meaning of Hosea 2:10—11. First, in willfully not knowing God, the ancient Israelites are both fully responsible and morally culpable for ignoring their covenant obligations and turning to worship Canaanite deities (i.e. Baal). Second, the punishment that YHWH inflicts on a negligent, unfaithful people by taking away his material gifts represents more than the literal, manifest frustration and anger of a jealous God. Rather, on a more figurative level, it speaks to the very tangible and negative impact on human flourishing that turning from YHWH and his covenant will have on Israelite society (though, naturally, we must remember that people cannot make God do anything, good or bad). In broad strokes, then, these are both the ethical and the practical stakes of knowing or being in right-relationship with God for both Hosea’s Israelite contemporaries and, as I will argue, for Catholic Christians in the 21st century.

Of course, before anything else, it is necessary to begin with a closer examination of Hosea 2:10—11:

10 She did not know
that it was I who gave her
the grain, the wine, and the oil,
I who lavished upon her silver,
and gold, which they used for Baal,
11 Therefore I will take back my grain in its
time, and my wine in its season;
I will snatch away my wool and my flax,
which were to cover her nakedness.

Click here to continue reading Stephen’s insightful exposition of this text.

Black Theology of Liberation: Towards Achieving a Prophetic Vision of Justice and Community

Below is an excerpt from this year’s PAUL BECHTOLD LIBRARY FACULTY CHOICE AWARD article, by Br. Ernest Miller, FSC, from this year’s inaugural journal. You can read the rest of it and check out the other articles in our online publication.
Ernest Miller, FSC, this year's Paul Bechtold Library Faculty Choice Award Winner

Ernest Miller, FSC, this year’s Paul Bechtold Library Faculty Choice Award Winner

An excerpt:

…When we look closely, a hotel civilization is indicative of the American worship of wealth and the insatiable desire for convenience and felicity, which leaves the tradition of struggle for decency, dignity, freedom, and democracy aimless.

In his 1998 State of the Union Address, President Bill Clinton made a bold pronouncement that because those times [late 1990s] were good, we have a stronger nation: “We are moving steadily toward an even stronger America in the 21st Century; an economy that offers opportunity; a society rooted in responsibility: and a nation that lives as a community.”5  Clinton’s perspective is paradigmatic of what still masks the struggle of ordinary Americans to live decent and dignified lives.  What Clinton espouses provides ground for the Jamesian notion of a “hotel civilization” to serve as a heuristic to contextualize Cone’s method of linking theological scholarship and identification with those for whom this moment in American civilization is not beneficial; the city on the hill is fiction.

Cone would suggest that black liberation theology ask, “Beneficial for whom?”  What is the evidence that makes us think America has created a society in which the disinherited, who are disproportionately black and brown folk, are provided an equal opportunity to access economic and social betterment?  What is the evidence that makes us think that the nation has achieved community?  These are among the questions a black theology of liberation must confront.  West takes particular affront at the “sugar-coated language that accents the superfluities and superficialities of our day [that] must be pierced to deal with the harsh realities.”  He extends his critical analysis here:

[T]oday we face a new moment of triumphalism with new idols like markets and privatizing forces, accompanied by new forms of mendacity, such as using stock market records and balanced budgets as benchmarks of good times rather than the quality of lives lived for the least in society.  Perhaps good times should be gauged by the depth of spirituality needed to keep keeping on in the midst of material poverty, and also in the spiritual poverty of brothers and sisters disproportionately white in disproportionately vanilla suburbs.  These sisters and brothers are dealing with existential emptiness and spiritual malnutrition because they have not received enough care and nurture and love along with all their money and prosperity.6

In the intervening years since Martin Luther King, Jr.’s death in 1968, and Howard Thurman’s death in 1981, the nation has come a long way.  Yet, we are still living in a difficult moment in the history of the grand American democratic experiment.  The American political discourse and the nation’s priorities are tilted away from pressing social problems. Thus, it is crucial that we continue to look for theological sources of light to sanctify our public life.

The goal for black liberation theology is to achieve a way of living unchained that is available to all who hunger and thirst for justice, especially those whom Thurman calls the “disinherited,” or, put another way, those who “stand with their backs against the wall.”7  The same question that Thurman raised many decades ago—and black theology must still raise—remains as relevant as ever: “Why [is it] that Christianity seems impotent to deal radically, and therefore, effectively, with the issues of discrimination and injustice…? Is this impotency due to a betrayal of the genius of the religion, or is it due to a basic weakness in the religion itself?”8

Framed by these questions, this paper proposes that black liberation theology urges a progressive movement toward achieving justice and genuine democratic community for all Americans… Continue reading (with full text and his citations) here

Theophilus: The Student Journal of the Catholic Theological Union Symposium

Please join us in celebrating the release of Theophilus: The Student Journal of the Catholic Theological Union 

April 14th

4pm

CTU 210 B/C 

The event will include the presentation of the first

Paul Bechtold Faculty Choice Award 

as well as a light reception afterwards. 

Please see the attached.

    Symp Flyer (1)