Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Kickin' It

Rockhurst Day is right around the corner! It's a great time to come out and have fun, support the Hawks! and meet up with friends. Here's a pic of my wife and daughter two years ago with the Hawk. You just gotta love the Hawk! Unfortunately, I won't be able to make it back to campus until around 7:00 just before the guys start their soccer match (or football as the Brits say--my wife's from London). But Rockhurst Day kicks off earlier with a mini-parade, baby race, and other activities, and women's soccer. Come on out and I'll see ya there. I'm hoping to track down the Hawk and get another photo.

Oh, and there's fireworks at half time!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

RU Graduation

Here's a pic of me and my daughter at one of Rockhurst's Commencement ceremonies. Unfortunately, my lovely wife wasn't in this pic, but you'll get to see her later sometime. Rockhurst graduation is a festive event involving a Baccalaureate Mass followed by refreshments and then the general Commencement the following day. My favorite is Baccalaureate since its more festive and interpersonal. But the whole weekend is a great time for students, family, friends, and professors to celebrate the student's achievements.

Rockhurst Doesn't Taser Those Who Ask Questions

No matter what question you ask, I won't taser you. I believe in freedom of speech and freedom of inquiry. This is the heart of university life. This is what academic freedom is all about. Of course, we need to act like civilized human beings when we engage one another in conversation. I'm an Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at Rockhurst University, and we don't taser students for asking spirited questions, even questions which might appear off the wall to some, or challenging a status quo interpretation.

In my field when talking about God and the meaning of life and "all that stuff," we wrestle with deep questions charged with energy. Personal beliefs, opinions, doubts etc are respected as we explore in an academic fashion the meaning of religion, various models about God, the Christian faith and other faiths. Our two primary courses, TH 1000 Christianity I: Foundations and TH 3000 Christianity II: Development that all RU students must take, challenge the student to think critically about various belief systems and presuppositions while explaining the fundamental core beliefs of Christianity. In the area of theology and religion, while scientific methods are employed from history, anthropology, and psychology (to name a few), the area of God boils down to faith. As a professor I try to enhance the learning process regarding faith and relationship to God (a Higher Power or whatever model you have), while at the same time we try to objectively analyze through reason our myriad perceptions and beliefs about God.

So no matter what questions you ask, I won't taser you. And I believe the true God won't zap you either for being honest with yourself and others as you ponder the reality of the Divine, and if God even does exist at all. God doesn't taser us for asking questions.