Theology for the Church
I am currently a doctoral candidate at Wycliffe College at the
University of Toronto. At present, I am writing my
dissertation on nineteenth century theological exegesis of the
book of Isaiah in the Church of England.
My aim is to be able to teach theology in an academic setting. My primary goal is to promote theology as a discipline for all Christians in the church, but this can be done teaching at a secular university setting, a seminary, or a Bible College. The need for theological reflection and learning is acute in North America.
I am also passionate about the importance of effective pedagogy. Gone are the days of merely giving lectures to students, expecting them to absorb "data" to be regurgitated back. At the same time, I am critical of what I see as a wholesale buy-in to the latest technologies in the classroom. As a former professional engineer, I am familiar with various technological innovations; wisdom and discernment is necessary for effective pedagogy.
Research InterestsMy particular area of research is theological exegesis of Scripture. While this is clearly a rather broad area, I am presently considering such a task in Anglican terms, and even more particularly, the nineteenth century. I believe that a consideration of what is known as the "history of reception" of certain texts is vital to careful interpretation. My thesis is that the nineteenth century is indicative of what I call "antagonistic exegesis" is which the various parties in the Anglican Church (High Church, Evangelical and Broad Church) exegete Isaiah in ways that, in the context of a divided church, is impacted and attenuated by ecclesial division. Ultimately, this is not peculiar to the nineteenth century, but endemic to the reading of Scriptural from the Reformation to today.
My other areas of research have included Karl Barth, Thomas Aquinas, women interpreters of Scripture, church history and the ecumenical creeds.
The following is what I refer to as a "narrative CV" which
outlines my experience. However, a compact (PDF) version
can also be found
I began my education at the University of Waterloo in Mechanical Engineering in 1989, one of Canada's finest school for engineering, math and physics. It is a co-operative education program, which means that every four months, I worked as a co-op student in various capacities, from IBM as a process engineer, to the Canadian Space Agency designing components that went on the Shuttle arm (STS-52) to conducting research and as a Teaching Assistant for first year engineering students. It was in such a teaching mode that I had my first experience at directing students in their learning and I found it very rewarding. It also familiarized me with the administration of courses.
I then wen to the Institute of Biomedical Engineering, now called the Institute of Biomaterial and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto in Clinical Engineering, which offers a Master of Health Science, a joint degree between Medicine and Engineering. This required a written thesis and an oral defence on a project related to technology in medicine.
Once I graduated, I worked briefly as a consultant in Bermuda at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital for three months. I advised the hospital on their equipment maintenance program as well as writing a report on the purchase of new operating room equipment. This lasted for three months.
I then returned to a join as Program Manager of a program called CMEPP. This was essentially a "one-man" job to recruit new hospitals into a shared-risk equipment maintenance program which helped saved a significant amount of money in health-care costs.
At this time, the "Y2K problem" was becoming well-known and I joined the University Health Network in 1998 in the Medical Engineering Department. Once the Y2K problem was addressed, I moved into what was then known as "Project 2003" which was an ambitious $200 million program to expand the hospital and design new operating room and numerous other departments. I worked with architects and medical staff (nurses, doctors, technicians) to help design these department as well as engaging in significant equipment purchasing protocols and the new capital plan.
During all of this time, from my undergraduate degree to my employment at various jobs, I engaged in reading numerous theological texts. A roommate of mine was in seminary and I avidly kept abreast with his readings and read numerous books of interest. As my time in Medical Engineering progressed, I felt more of a call to pursuing this line of work in a professional capacity, but knew this would require a significant change in my education. I began a Masters of Theological Studies during my time there, first at a part time level at Wycliffe College. I then decided to resign and begin this process.
First, I left to teach high school at the School of Liberal Arts in Toronto (now called The Toronto New School) in order to explore my abilities at teaching, course development and pedagogical techniques. While the subjects I taught were mathematics and science, it was an invaluable time for honing my teaching skills.
During that time, I completed my Masters and was accepted into the Th.D. program at Wycliffe College and resigned from teaching high school, though I continued tutoring high school students. I am currently enrolled at Wycliffe College and am writing my dissertation.
In the course of my studies in systematic theology, I have focussed my studies on those area that I believe are important in the consideration of the "theological exegesis" of Scripture, a very "slippery" and difficult word at times. My course work has centred around the work of Karl Barth, Thomas Aquinas, nineteenth century theology,a theological history and ecclesiology. I have also participated in academic writing and paper presentations. In 2008, I presented an examination of the work of Elizabeth Hands, a woman who offered a re-telling of the rape of Tamar. This was further published as a chapter in Strangely Familar. In May 2011, I presented a reduced version of one of my dissertation chapters at the Wycliffe Colloquium on the Theological Interpretation of the Bible. In November 2011, I will present at the Society for Biblical Literature in San Francisco on Mary Hands, an apocalyptic prophetess who was a leader of the Fifth Monarchist movement. I will also be meeting with numerous publishers to explore putting my dissertation in book form.