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Gudorf Chair in Catholic Intellectual Traditions

The University of Dayton College of Arts and Sciences has appointed alumnus Timothy Gabrielli as the first Gudorf Chair in Catholic Intellectual Traditions. Currently, he is an associate professor of theology and coordinator of the Religious Studies/Theology & Philosophy department at Seton Hill University.

Gabrielli will begin his new role Aug. 16, and also will hold the rank of associate professor in the Department of Religious Studies.

The Gudorf Chair in Catholic Intellectual Traditions is a new endowed chair — established by Ken and Evie Gudorf — who will serve the University, College and academy through the scholarly retrieval, interpretation and presentation of Catholic doctrinal and theological traditions.

This position complements the existing Gudorf Chair in Catholic Theology and Culture, currently held by Vincent Miller.

“Dr. Gabrielli’s research, teaching experience and collaborative service has prepared him well to serve as the inaugural Gudorf Chair in Catholic Intellectual Traditions,” said Jason Pierce, College dean. “He will create opportunities for undergraduate students to encounter and appreciate Catholic intellectual traditions in both curricular and co-curricular programs.”

Gabrielli received his doctorate in theology in 2014 and his master’s degree in theological studies in 2011 — both with honors and both from the University of Dayton. He also holds a bachelor’s in English literature and theology from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania.

His research investigates the modern history of Catholic sacramental theology and practice, propelled by a fundamental conviction that the resources of the tradition can speak to our contemporary questions.

His first book, Confirmation: How a Sacrament of God’s Grace Became All About Us, offers a history of the theology and practice of Confirmation in the 20th century United States. His second, One in Christ: Virgil Michel, Louis-Marie Chauvet, and Mystical Body Theology, revisits mystical body of Christ theology.

“A spirit of collaboration is already evident in the practice of Catholic intellectual traditions among faculty at UD,” Gabrielli said. “Bolstering collaboration and finding new ways to bring others into these conversations is key. A great deal of my academic service has been directed at such collaboration, whether it involved planning and implementing Seton Hill’s new faculty orientation or mentoring colleagues as part of the Catholic Social Teaching Across the Curriculum initiative.”

As Gudorf chair, he envisions a Catholic intellectual traditions lecture series focused on younger theologians making connections between those traditions and contemporary global issues. Forging collaborations with Campus Ministry, the University’s Center for Social Concern and other student formative groups on campus also will be essential to demonstrating the relevance of the intellectual life to faithful or spiritually-inclined students.

“Dr. Gabrielli has gained national recognition for his scholarly contributions in contemporary Catholic theology,” said Sandra Yocum, University Professor of Faith and Culture, who chaired the search committee. “In addition, he has a reputation for engaging his students in the riches of Catholic intellectual traditions with a creative energy that is contagious. His excellence in scholarship and teaching combined with his willingness to work collaboratively with colleagues in multidisciplinary efforts related to Catholic intellectual traditions makes him truly an outstanding selection for the Gudorf Chair in Catholic Intellectual Traditions.”

Search committee members also included Una Cadegan, professor of history; Elizabeth Groppe, professor of religious studies; William Portier, the Mary Ann Spearin Chair of Catholic Theology; and Cyril Orji, professor of religious studies.

The Gudorf Chair in Catholic Intellectual Traditions will offer courses at the doctoral, master’s and undergraduate levels, with an emphasis on promoting innovative programs for undergraduate majors, and increasing awareness and appreciation of Catholic intellectual traditions among all undergraduate students.

- Dave Larsen, communication coordinator, College of Arts and Sciences

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