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Department of

Theology and Religious Studies

Faculty

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Maria Pilar Aquino, S.T.D.

Maria Pilar Aquino, S.T.D.

Professor, Theology and Religious Studies
aquino@sandiego.edu
(619) 260-4280

Office: Maher Hall 276D

Office Hours: On Sabbatical for 2013-2014 academic year.

Maria Pilar Aquino, S.T.D., joined the USD Theology and Religious Studies faculty in 1993. Her primary areas of teaching and research are liberation theologies, social ethics, and feminist theologies, with special interests in intercultural approaches, conflict transformation, and religious peacebuilding studies. Currently, she serves both on national and international editorial boards of prominent theological journals.  Aquino has served as the first woman president of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States, of which she is also a co-founder. She is internationally renowned for her pioneering work in Latin American and U.S. Latina feminist theologies of liberation.

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Bahar Davary

Bahar Davary

Associate Professor, Theology and Religious Studies
davary@sandiego.edu
(619) 260-6864

Office: Maher Hall 287

Bahar Davary, PhD, has been a member of the faculty at USD since 2005. She is an associate professor of Religious Studies and an affiliate member of the Ethnic Studies program. Davary offers undergraduate courses on world religions, Islamic faith and practice, diversity courses and Honors courses, as well as preceptorials. She has team-taught a study abroad course Negotiating Religious Diversity in India. At the graduate level she has taught Comparative Religious Ethics at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice. She will be team-teaching an Honors course, Women in Confucianism and Islam.

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Mary Doak

Mary Doak

Associate Professor, Theology and Religious Studies
mdoak@sandiego.edu
(619) 260-7844

Office: Maher Hall 280A

Mary Doak, PhD, teaches courses in Christian theology.  Her specializations include liberation and political theologies, theologies of democracy and religious freedom, the goal of human life and history from a Christian perspective, and theologies of the church.  Her research focus has been on the political and practical implications of Christian faith, especially in the contemporary context of the United States.  Her current research project explores the challenges to discipleship faced by the church in the 21st century.

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Orlando Espin

Orlando Espin

Professor, Theology and Religious Studies
espin@sandiego.edu
(619) 260-4049

Office: Maher Hall 286

Office Hours: T: 10:00am-12:00pm, or by appointment.

Orlando Espín, Th.D., has been a member of the USD faculty since 1991. He is professor of systematic theology in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies. Espín has twice served as president of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States (of which he was one of the founders), and has also served on the boards of directors of the Catholic Theological Society of America and of the Hispanic Summer Program in Religion and Theology. Espín has received an honorary doctorate and an honorary professorship. He founded and was first chief editor of the Journal of Hispanic/Latino Theology. He serves on the editorial boards of several U.S., European and Latin American Journals. He is active in the San Diego Latino/a community, as well as nationally in Latino/a theological research and educational projects.

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Russell Fuller

Russell Fuller

Professor, Theology and Religious Studies
fuller@sandiego.edu
(619) 260-4050

Office: Maher Hall 284

Russell Fuller, PhD, joined the faculty of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies in 1992.  He is a professor of biblical studies with a specialty in the area of Hebrew Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the religion of ancient Israel.

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Florence Gillman

Florence Gillman, S.T.D.

Professor, Theology and Religious Studies
gillman@sandiego.edu
(619) 260-4051

Office: Maher Hall 254

Florence M. Gillman, PhD, has been a member of USD’s faculty since 1986. She  previously also served as chair of the department of Theology and Religious Studies and as Coordinator of the Ppogram in Interdisciplinary Humanities. Gillman teaches the courses entitled Introduction to Biblical Studies, Pauline Theology, The Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, and the World of the Bible. Her research interests include the New Testament world, women in the Pauline churches and the history of earliest Christianity.

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Aaron S. Gross

Aaron S. Gross

Assistant Professor, Theology and Religious Studies
aarongross@sandiego.edu
(619) 260-7412

Office: Maher Hall 292

Office Hours: TTH: 7:00am-8:00am, W: 3:30pm-6:30pm or by appointment.

Aaron Gross is a historian of religions who focuses on modern and contemporary Jewish traditions. He has a sub-specialty in South Asian religious traditions and has done extensive fieldwork in Northern India and Nepal. Gross views the study of religion as inherently interdisciplinary and draws especially on anthropology, critical theory, philosophy, sociology, and theology. He co-chairs the American Academy of Religion’s Animals and Religion Consultation, serves on the national board of the Society for Jewish Ethics, and has recently become the Associate Editor of the Journal of Indo-Judaic Studies. Gross joined the faculty in 2009.

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Evelyn Kirkley

Associate Professor, Theology and Religious Studies
ekirkley@sandiego.edu
(619) 260-4131

Office: Maher Hall 291

Evelyn Kirkley, PhD, has been teaching at USD since 1995.  She is an advisor to PRIDE, USD’s organization for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, queer, and questioning undergraduate students and allies.  She has also served as co-director of the Gender Studies Program and director of the Faculty and Curriculum Development Program.  She teaches about the history of Christianity and other religious movements, especially in the United States.  Her research focuses on alternative religious movements (often called "cults" or "sects") in the United States and intersections between religion and gender, race/ethnicity, and sexual orientation. 

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Louis Komjathy

Louis Komjathy

Associate Professor, Theology and Religious Studies
Program Director, Contemplative Studies
komjathy@sandiego.edu
(619) 260-4009

Office: Maher Hall 282

Office Hours: MW 12:30pm - 2:00pm, T 10:00am - 12:00pm in Aromas, or by appointment.

A member of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies since 2009, Louis Komjathy, PhD, is a teacher-scholar of Daoism, Chinese religions, and comparative religious studies with an emphasis on contemplative practice and mystical experience. In addition to his departmental and university commitments, he is founding co-director of the Center for Daoist Studies, founding co-chair of the Daoist Studies Group of the American Academy of Religion, and founding co-chair of the Contemplative Studies Group of the American Academy of Religion.

 

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Dennis  Krouse

Dennis Krouse, S.T.D.

Professor, Theology and Religious Studies
dkrouse@sandiego.edu
(619) 260-4052

Office: Maher Hall 285

Office Hours: TTH: 12:15pm-2:20pm, or by appointment.

Dennis W. Krouse, S.T.D., has been a member of the faculty since 1974. He  specializes in the areas of liturgical studies and sacramental theology.

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Rico G. Monge

Rico G. Monge

Assistant Professor, Theology and Religious Studies
rmonge@sandiego.edu
(619) 260-4053

Office: Maher Hall 290

Office Hours:

Rico G. Monge’s teaching and research focuses on comparative theology, continental philosophy of religion, and the history of Christian theology (including Catholic, Protestant, and Eastern Orthodox theology). As a comparative theologian, Monge specializes in Christian and Islamic mystical and ascetic traditions. Holding degrees in literature, theology, and religious studies, he also explores religious and philosophical themes in literature and film. He is the founding co-chair of the Catholic Studies Group of the American Academy of Religion’s Western Region. Monge is also an ordained deacon in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

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Lance E. Nelson

Lance E. Nelson

Professor, Theology and Religious Studies
lnelson@sandiego.edu
(619) 260-4054

Office: Maher Hall 277

Office Hours: On Sabbatical 2014-2015 Academic Year.

Lance E. Nelson, PhD, is professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies.  He teaches courses in world religions and religious traditions of Asia.  Nelson’s research specialization is in Hindu religious history, focusing on classical systems of Hindu theology and the relation between Hindu religious practice and environmental concern.

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Ronald Pachence

Ronald Pachence

Professor, Theology and Religious Studies
pachence@sandiego.edu
(619) 260-2758

Office: Maher Hall 281

Office Hours: MWF: 10:00am-11:00am, M: 1:00pm-2:00pm, T: 10:00am-11:00am, or by appointment.

Ron Pachence, PhD, joined the faculty in 1981. He has served as department chair, founding director of the Institute for Christian Ministries, and director of graduate programs in the department. He is active in shared governance, having served on numerous committees and as chair of the University Senate. His teaching expertise is in the areas of Catholic theology and world religions. Pachence is a returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Turkey) and a Catholic priest of the Diocese of Savannah, Georgia.

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Susie Paulik Babka

Susie Paulik Babka

Associate Professor, Theology and Religious Studies
sbabka@sandiego.edu
(619) 260-2754

Office: Maher Hall 258

Office Hours: On Sabbatical 2014-2015 Academic Year.

Susie Paulik Babka, PhD, is excited to be a part of the community at USD that seeks to intertwine Beauty with Justice.  Beauty is that which draws us out of ourselves toward something deeper; Justice is the practical work of transforming this world into the world intended by God: a world that celebrates the dignity of every human being, our inherent interdependence, and the worth of all creation.

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Patricia Plovanich

Assistant Professor, Theology and Religious Studies
pplov@sandiego.edu
(619) 260-4055

Office: Maher Hall 289

Patricia A. Plovanich has been a member of the faculty since 1990. She is Assistant Professor of Systematic theology. In the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, she offers undergraduate courses in theological topics such as Jesus in Christian Tradition, the Problem of God, and Catholicism in the United States. Her research interests are theology of Cardinal Walter Kasper and the European theologians who pioneered many of the themes of the Second Vatican Council.

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Emily Reimer-Barry

Emily Reimer-Barry

Assistant Professor, Theology and Religious Studies
erb@sandiego.edu
(619) 260-6866

Office: Maher Hall 279

Emily Reimer-Barry, Ph.D, has been a member of the Theology and Religious Studies faculty since 2008. She teaches undergraduate courses in Catholic theology, Christian ethics, sexual ethics, and ethical responses to HIV/AIDS. Her research interests include women’s experiences of HIV/AIDS, cross-cultural analysis of gender roles and marriage traditions, ethnography and ethical methodology, and the intersection of public health and Catholic social teachings.

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Karen Teel

Karen Teel

Associate Professor, Theology and Religious Studies
Affiliated Faculty, Ethnic Studies
karenteel@sandiego.edu
(619) 260-4048

Office: Maher Hall 294

Karen Teel, PhD, has been a member of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies since 2007 and an affiliated faculty member with the Department of Ethnic Studies since 2013. Her courses in Christian and, more specifically, Catholic theology invite students to consider biblical, historical, and contemporary - especially liberationist - perspectives on the essential beliefs of Christianity. Dr. Teel’s current research and teaching endeavors emphasize theological engagement with the problems of racism and white supremacy.

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Karma Lekshe Tsomo

Karma Lekshe Tsomo

Professor, Theology and Religious Studies
tsomo@sandiego.edu
(619) 260-4600 x.4921

Office: Maher Hall 295

Karma Lekshe Tsomo, a specialist in Buddhist studies, has taught at USD since 2000. She offers classes in Buddhist Thought and Culture, World Religions, Comparative Religious Ethics, Religious and Political Identities in the Global Community, and Negotiating Religious Diversity in India. Her research interests include women in Buddhism, death and dying, Buddhist feminist ethics, Buddhism and bioethics, religion and politics, and Buddhist transnationalism. She integrates scholarship and social activism through the Sakyadhita International Association of Buddhist Women and Jamyang Foundation, an innovative education project for women in developing countries, with 15 schools in the Indian Himalayas, Bangladesh, and Laos.

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