My birthday is November 22nd, which has the distinction of being (a) the earliest date on the calendar for Thanksgiving and (b) the date President John F Kennedy was assassinated. This latter fact was brought home for me when I was 8 or 10 years old. My family was out to a celebratory dinner at Max & Erma’s (which had a great sundae bar).
The ongoing situation in Syria is horrible. Many Catholic thinkers have weighed in on whether the US should get involved in the situation (a very good summary of this discussion so far can be found here). To do so, they have invoked (or at least referred to) the criteria of the just war tradition. However, they have often done so selectively, emphasizing one or two criteria at the expense of the others.
**Warning: Spoilers Below!**
By the time I go to bed tonight, there will only be four episodes left of one of my favorite TV shows I’ve ever watched (which is saying something – I’ve watched a lot of excellent TV). One of the few who has watched Breaking Bad since its beginning, I’ve been riveted by the ongoing devolution of its central character, Walter White.
I think like many good nerds, when I first saw the proposals for Google Glass, my mind immediately jumped to the great Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “The Game.” In this episode, Commander Riker meets a Ktarian woman while on shore leave. She introduces him to a game that sets over one’s eyes and that is controlled by the mind.
My dissertation defense went well, so that’s an immense relief. It was actually quite a bit of fun. Most defenses I’ve been to feature one of the committee members going at a time, each for 20-30 minutes. Mine started out that way, but it quickly turned into a more conversational, free flowing process (clearly in the spirit of Tracy). It’s a real treat to have a couple hours where the focus is on one’s own research.
For now, I’d like to take a month or two off from the diss, but I think I’ll look into the possibilities of publishing it. I’ll be checking out William Germano’s From Dissertation to Book in pursuit of this.
I have two upcoming presentations in the next week, both of which are open to the public:
(1) Tomorrow, I’ll be giving the response to Bishop LaPierre’s keynote at the Pax Romana/ICMICA study session on “Prophets on the Borders: The Challenge of Evangelization Today.” My presentation is tentatively titled “Borders and Bridges: Social Communications and the New Evangelization.” I believe the session starts at 5:30 pm in the STM building at 9 Lake St.
(2) I’ll be defending my dissertation on Tuesday, June 25th at 10am in the theology department at Boston College. It’s entitled “The Plural and Ambiguous Self: The Theological Anthropology of David Tracy.” As with all defenses at BC, it’s open to the public, so feel free to come by.
I went to the annual meeting of the Catholic Theological Society of America this past weekend, and it was excellent. The theme of the conference was “conversion,” which was pursued in widely divergent ways in the various sessions I attended. This is my third trip to the CTSA, and I would say it was one of the best conferences I’ve been to.
Admittedly, that was in part due to the excellent session on conversation and conversion in the public sphere that Nichole Flores and I put together. Both our papers turned out very well, and despite their differences they resonated strongly with each other. There was also a really lively and challenging conversation in the remaining hour of the session that I feel very privileged to have been a part of. I haven’t yet worked out the direction I want to take with my paper, but I look forward to returning to it.
I also moderated a strong session of the fundamental theology and method topic group. Three excellent papers from Lieven Boeve, Judith Gruber, and Julies-Kei Kato led to a rich conversation about conversion, hybridity, and identity. I’m looking forward to this session next year (for which I am writing the call for papers!).
As with all conferences, it was great to see friends and colleagues and to meet some new people. I left this year’s conference already excited for next year’s (in sunny San Diego).
It was fortuitous that this year’s conference was in Miami. Afterwards, I had time to drive up to Sarasota and spend some time with my brother, as well as to go apartment hunting near Tampa for my move this fall. I believe I’ve found a place, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself here. I’m looking forward to becoming a Saint Leo Lion and a Floridian, even if I’m not so much looking forward to moving itself.