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​Past Randall Chairs   

Rev. Paul Philibert, O.P. '59

2013-14

Biographical Overview

2philibert.gifRev. Paul Philibert, O.P. ’59 was the 2013-14 Rev. Robert J. Randall Professor in Christian Culture at Providence College. He was the tenth scholar (and the third Dominican) to serve as the Randall Professor.

Born in Baltimore, Md., Father Philibert joined the Dominican Province of Saint Joseph in the East and did his ecclesiastical studies at the Dominican Houses of Studies in Dover, Mass., and Washington, D.C. In 1972, he was awarded a doctor of sacred theology degree from the Dominican Pontifical Faculty — after research and studies in France under the direction of Père Christian Duquoc, O.P. Father Philibert taught theology at PC from 1968 to 1973 before becoming a faculty member at St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore, The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley, Calif. — where he also served as president.

He later directed the Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame and, before retiring from academic life, held the chair in pastoral theology at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland.

Among his many books and articles, Father Philibert has written more recently these three books: Stewards of God’s Mysteries: Priestly Spirituality in a Changing Church, The Priesthood of the Faithful: Key to a Living Church, and Scanning the Signs of the Times: French Dominicans in the Twentieth Century (written with Thomas O’Meara, O.P.). He also has translated Cardinal Yves Congar’s classic work, True and False Reform in the Church, and At the Heart of Christian Worship: Liturgical Essays of Yves Congar into English.

Father Philibert joined the Southern Dominican Province at its founding in 1979. He now serves as the promoter for permanent formation for his province. He has also served on the Directorium of the Angelicum University in Rome and on the Commission on Studies of the Dominican Order.

2014 Randall Conference
"What is Adult Faith"

Dr. Reinhard Huetter

2012-13

Biographical Overview

rhuetter.jpgDr. Reinhard Huetter, a professor of Christian theology at Duke Divinity School, was the ninth Rev. Robert J. Randall Professor in Christian Culture at Providence College. A native of Lichtenfels, Germany, Huetter holds a master of theology degree from Duke University and a doctor of theology degree from the University of Erlangen in Germany. He teaches systemic and philosophical theology and has developed a special interest in the theology and philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas.

His new book, Dust Bound for Heaven: Explorations in the Theology of Thomas Aquinas, was published in 2012. Among his other works are Reason and the Reasons of Faith, edited with Paul J. Griffiths, and Ressourcement Thomism: Sacred Doctrine, the Sacraments, and the Moral Life, edited with Matthew Levering.

Huetter was awarded the Henry Luce III Fellowship in Theology. He has been a visiting fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies of Religion, University of Chicago; a research fellow at the Center of Theological Inquiry at Princeton Theological Seminary; and a visiting professor at the University of Jena, Germany. In addition, he is an elected member of the American Theological Society, president of the Academy of Catholic Theology, a distinguished fellow of The Saint Paul Center for Biblical Theology, and an ordinary academician of the Pontifical Academy of Saint Thomas Aquinas.

2013 Randall Conference:
"The Virtue of Religion"

Lectures Given at Providence College:
"What Conscience Is and Why It Matters"
"Happiness and the Virtue of Religion, Then and Now: Ruminations on Thomas Aquinas"

Dr. Robert Louis Wilken

2011-12
 

Biographical Overview

1wilken.jpgDr. Robert Louis Wilken is professor of history emeritus at the University of Virginia. The Distinguished Fellow of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and has taught at Gregorian University, Institutum Patristicum Augustiniam, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the University of Notre Dame, Fordham University, and Lutheran Theological Seminary.

Dr. Wilken is the author of 10 books, including The Spirit of Early Christian Thought: Seeking the Face of God (Yale, 2003), Remembering the Christian Past (Eerdmans, 1995), and The Christians as the Romans Saw Them (Yale, 1984). He is also the translator, along with Paul Bowers, of On the Cosmic Mystery of Jesus Christ. His work is the subject of the festschrift, In Dominico eloquio: Essays on Patristic Exegesis in Honor of Robert Louis Wilken, edited by Paul M. Blowers (Eerdmans, 2002).

Lectures Given at Providence College:
“Global Christianity in the First Millennium”
“The Roots of Religious Freedom.”

Dr. Ralph C. Wood

2010-11
 

Biographical Overview

1wood.jpgRalph C. Wood, University Professor of Theology and Literature at Baylor University in Waco, Texas since 1998, holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas A&M University-Commerce, as well as a master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Chicago. Prior to Baylor, he served for 26 years on the faculty of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he was the John Allen Easley Professor of Religion.

His books include The Comedy of Redemption: Christian Faith and Comic Vision in Four American Novelists (University of Notre Dame, 1988); Contending for the Faith: The Church's Engagement with Culture (Baylor, 2003); The Gospel According to Tolkien: Visions of the Kingdom in Middle-earth (Westminster John Knox, 2004); Flannery O'Connor and the Christ-Haunted South (Eerdmans, 2004); Literature and Theology (Abingdon, 2008); and Preaching and Professing: Sermons by a Teacher Seeking to Proclaim the Gospel (Eerdmans, 2009).

Lectures Given at Providence College:
"Branding with the Cross: Flannery O'Connor on the Comedy of Spiritual Formation"
“Rum, Romanism, and the Sacramental Imagination"

Sister Dianne Bergant

2009-2010

Biographical Overview

Sister Dianne Bergant of the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Agnes was the sixth occupant of the Rev. Robert J. Randall Distinguished Chair in Christian Culture. She is Professor of Biblical Studies at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and has dedicated his scholarly life to the promotion of the study of the Bible, both in the academy and among the Catholic faithful. She has written many scholarly books, including People of the Covenant: An Invitation to the Old Testament (2001) and Song of Songs: The Love Poetry of Scripture (1998). She has been the president of the Catholic Biblical Association of America (2000-01) and a longtime participant in Jewish/Catholic dialogue. Her writing for the broader Catholic public includes the much utilized three-volume Preaching the New Lectionary, as well a popular weekly column called "The Word" for America magazine, which ran from 2002-2005.

Courses Taught at Providence College:
Biblical Methods (Liberal Arts Honors Colloquium)
The Bible and Contemporary Issues

Lectures Given at Providence College:
"A Woman as a Theologian in the Church Today"

Dr. Robert Kiely

2008-2009
 

Biographical Overview

Dr. Robert Kiely is Loker Professor of English and American Literature at Harvard University. He is a graduate of Amherst College and completed his doctorate at Harvard. He served for three years in the U.S. Naval Reserve, two years in Pearl Harbor, and one aboard the USS Coral Sea. Professor Kiely teaches courses in the Victorian, Modern, and Postmodern novel, the English Bible, Classics of Christian Literature, and the Rhetoric of Belief. Professor Kiely is a Benedictine Oblate and a member of the Community of Sant'Egidio, founded in Rome in 1968.

Dr. Kiely's published works include Still Learning: Spiritual Sketches from a Professor’s Life (1999); Reverse Tradition: Postmodern Fictions and the Nineteenth Century Novel (1993); Beyond Egotism: The Fiction of James Joyce, Virginia Woolf and D.H. Lawrence (1980); The Romantic Novel in England (1972); and Robert Louis Stevenson and the Fiction of Adventure (1964).

Courses Taught at Providence College:
Beauty and Christianity

Lectures at Providence College:
"Mary Magdalene and the Dignity of Woman"
"Further Considerations of the Holy Stigmata of Saint Francis: Where was Brother Leo?"
"Free at Last: The African-American Experience," as part of the conference, "After Exodus: Exile, Flight, and the Promised Land in the American Literary Tradition."

Dr. F. Russell Hittinger

2007-2008
 

Biographical Overview

The Warren Chair of Catholic Studies and a research professor in the School of Law at the University of Tulsa, Dr. Hittinger specializes in areas where philosophy, religion, and law intersect. He has taught at Fordham University and at the Catholic University of America; since 1993, he has been on the summer faculty of the Tertio Millenno program at the Dominican Priory in Krakow, Poland. A member of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas at the Vatican, he was elected to its governing board in 2006.

Dr. Hittinger is widely published with more than 100 articles and reviews to his credit, as well as scores of papers and lectures and several books. His latest work, a collection of essays, entitled The First Grace: Rediscovering Natural Law in a Post-Christian Age, was published by I.S.I. Books in 2003. His essays on papal social doctrine appeared last year in a two-volume work, Law and Human Nature: Teachings of Modern Christianity (Columbia University Press, 2005).

Courses Taught at Providence College:
Philosophy and the Politics of Natural Law

Lectures Given at Providence College:
"Social Justice: Devolution or Subsidiarity?"
"The Legal Renaisance of the 12th and 13th Centuries: Some Thomistic Notes"
Symposium: "Providence, Practical Reason and the Common Good"

Dr. David B. Hart

2006-2007
 

Biographical Overview

An internationally renowned Eastern Orthodox theologian, Dr. Hart has served at Loyola College in Baltimore, the Center of Theological Inquiry at Princeton University, the Duke Divinity School, the University of St. Thomas, and the University of Virginia.

He is the author of The Beauty of the Infinite: The Aesthetics of Christian Truth (Eerdmans Press, 2003) and The Doors of the Sea: Where Was God in the Tsunami? (Eerdmans Press, 2005).  In addition, Dr. Hart has written dozens of articles, essays, and chapters for theological and related periodicals, including the theological journals Pro Ecclesia, Modern Theology, and First Things, and for The Wall Street Journal. He has served as the associate editor of Pro Ecclesia and is proficient in 10 languages, including English, Spanish, Greek, Latin, and Hebrew.

Courses Taught at Providence College:
Liberal Arts Honors seminar on Dostoevsky & Nietzsche
Liberal Arts Honors seminar on Nihilism

Lectures Given at Providence College:
“Theology and Naturalism: A Response to Daniel Dennett’s Evolutionary Critique Of Religious Belief”
“Orientale Lumen: Sin, Nature and Grace in Eastern Orthodox Tradition”
Symposium: “Divine Impassibility and the Mystery of Human Suffering”

Very Rev. Aidan Nichols, O.P.

Spring 2005
 

Biographical Overview

Father Nichols, who has served as the prior of the Dominican Priory of St. Michael in Cambridge, England, is an affiliated lecturer at the University of Cambridge. A distinguished scholar, Father Nichols has published on numerous topics in theology including systematic, sacramental, and ecumenical theology.

The author of 30 books and more than 70 articles, he is considered "the most prolific writer of theology in the English language in the world today," according to the John Paul II Institute for Marriage & Family in Melbourne, Australia, where he has taught.

Course Taught at Providence College:
Honors Study in Theology

Lectures Given at Providence College:
"The Order of Preachers and Art: The Dominicans of L'Art sacré "
"Craft or Connoisseurship: The Uses of Jacques Maritain's Aesthetics

Rev. Fergus Kerr

Fall 2002
 

Biographical Overview

The regent of the Blackfriars College, Oxford University, Oxford, England, Fr. Kerr holds degrees in philosophy and theology, including the master of sacred theology. He is the author of Theology after Wittgenstein and Immortal Longings and is the editor of New Blackfriars. Father Kerr also serves as an honorary senior lecturer at Edinburgh University in Scotland. His interests include Aquinas and contemporary Thomism, Wittgenstein, and Heidegger.

Course Taught at Providence College:
Varieties of Religious Experience from Newman to Charles Taylor

Lectures Given at PC:
“Christianity and Culture”
“Former Catholics and Famous Philosophers: An Easy Way to Understand Martin Heidegger and Ludwig Wittgenstein”

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