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Donald Wallenfang

Assistant Professor of Theology

B.M., Western Michigan University; M.T.S., St. Norbert College; Ph.D., Loyola University Chicago

Walsh University
A Catholic University of Distinction
2020 East Maple Street
North Canton, Ohio44720
United States

BIO

Beginning his undergrad experience at Albion College (MI) as a pre-med student, football player, and trumpet performer, finding himself teaching theology at Walsh University today is surprisingly no surprise. Upon graduating with a Bachelor's degree in Trumpet Performance, Wallenfang entered into full time youth / music ministry in the Roman Catholic Church. He served in parish youth ministry for 10 years before entering the field of academia. It was also at Albion College where he met his wife, Megan (who too is a musician), and from their marriage have sprung five amazing children: Ellen, Aubin, Tobias, Callum and Simeon. For Wallenfang, it is a great privilege and responsibility to teach theology at Walsh – a theology which emerges from the saturating experiences of life. That is to say, a theology which emerges from all life experiences which each saturate to certain degrees.

TEACHING

Wallenfang's philosophy of teaching is rooted in the model of servant leadership. He seeks first and foremost to serve his students passionately and creatively through diverse teaching methods. Utilizing the latest classroom technologies, he can be found incorporating small group work, student presentation, Prezi, YouTube videos and clickers all in the same class period. His vision of servant leadership begins in the classroom but does not end there. Service learning is also an integral part of his courses, inviting students to enter into meaningful and life-giving relationships with their neighbors in community. In summary, his approach is one that integrates the complementary components of teaching, learning and service, altogether at the service of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

SCHOLARSHIP

Wallenfang does not shy away from tough questions emerging from postmodern human experience. His research attempts to bridge the relevance gap between religious faith and 'the real world.' He also seeks to bring together critical theological reflection with relevant pastoral experience. In order to form such a viable bridge, he utilizes the latest developments in philosophical theology—in particular, phenomenology and hermeneutics. His research focuses on the relationship between material and spiritual being, evolutionary theory, and the phenomenology of the sacrament. Further, his scholarship focuses on the work of Edith Stein, Emmanuel Levinas, Paul Ricoeur and Jean-Luc Marion. He is a member of the Edith Stein Circle and the North American Levinas Society.

Recent and Forthcoming Publications:

  • [under review]—Trilectic of Testimony: Toward a Dialectical Phenomenology of the Sacrament. Indiana: Indiana University Press.
  • [forthcoming]—"Geisteswissenschaft: Edith Stein's Phenomenological Sketch of the Essence of Spirit" in H. R. Sepp (ed). Edith Stein: Intersubjectivity, Humanity and Being. Nordhausen: Traugott Bautz.
  • [forthcoming]—"Aperture of Absence: Jean-Luc Marion on the God Who 'Is Not'" in J. Diller and A. Kasher (eds). Models of God and Other Ultimate Realities. New York: Springer.
  • [forthcoming]—"Awaken, O Spirit: The Vocation of Becoming in the Work of Edith Stein," Logos.
  • 2011—"Figures and Forms of Ultimacy: Manifestation and Proclamation as Paradigms of the Sacred," The International Journal of Religion in Spirituality and Society, Vol. 1, No. 3: 109-114.
  • 2011— "Sacramental Givenness: The Notion of Givenness and its Import for Interpreting the Phenomenality of the Eucharist," Philosophy and Theology, Vol. 22, Nos. 1-2: 131-154.
  • 2010— "Private Parts and Personalism: Questions on Human Sexual Union," DePaul University Humanities Center: "Gender and Sexuality: A One-Day Interdisciplinary Symposium," proceedings, January 28, 2010, pp. 35-52.

SERVICE

In addition to teaching at Walsh, Wallenfang is a member of the General Education Committee and highly involved in his home parish, St. Anthony in Canton. There he assists with the Junior High ministry and children's music ministry. Further, he is to be found making popular presentations in theology, such as on the life and work of Edith Stein and Emmanuel Levinas, and on the Eucharist.

Publications

Human and Divine Being: A Study on the Theological Anthropology of Edith Stein (under review with ICS Publications) - Monograph.

“Aperture of Absence: Jean-Luc Marion on the God Who ‘Is Not’” in Jeanine Diller and Asa Kasher, eds., Models of God and Alternative Ultimate Realities (New York: Springer, 2013), 861-873.

“The Heart of the Matter: Edith Stein on the Substance of the Soul,” Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture (forthcoming, 2014).

“Awaken, O Spirit: The Vocation of Becoming in the Work of Edith Stein,” Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture, Vol. 15, No. 4 (2012), 57-74.

“Figures and Forms of Ultimacy: Manifestation and Proclamation as Paradigms of the Sacred,” The International Journal of Religion in Spirituality and Society, Vol. 1, No. 3 (2011), 109-114.

“Sacramental Givenness: The Notion of Givenness and its Import for Interpreting the Phenomenality of the Eucharist,” Philosophy and Theology, Vol. 22, Nos. 1-2 (2011), 131-154.

“Private Parts and Personalism: Questions on Human Sexual Union,” DePaul University Humanities Center: “Gender and Sexuality: A One-Day Interdisciplinary Symposium,” proceedings, January 28, 2010, pp. 35-52.

BOOK REVIEWS

Book Review: Raimon Panikkar. The Rhythm of Being: The Gifford Lectures. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2010; published by Catholic Books Reviewhttp://www.catholicbooksreview.org/2010/panikkar.htm

Book Review: Andrew Shenton, Ed. Messiaen the Theologian. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing Company, 2010; published by Catholic Books Review
http://catholicbooksreview.org/2010/shenton.htm

CBook Review: Edith Stein. Potency and Act: Studies Toward a Philosophy of Being. Washington, D.C.: ICS Publications, 2009; published by Catholic Books Reviewhttp://www.catholicbooksreview.org/2009/stein.htm

Presentations

Face Off for Interreligious Dialogue: A Theology of Childhood in Jean-Luc Marion versus a Theology of Adulthood in Emmanuel Levinas, The North American Levinas Society Conference, “Emmanuel Levinas and Interreligious Dialogue,” Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA, July 28-31, 2013.

Soul Power: Edith Stein’s Meta-Phenomenological Construction of the Human Soul, The International Association for the Study of the Philosophy of Edith Stein International Conference, “Edith Stein: Women, Social-Political Philosophy, Metaphysics and Public History: New Approaches and Applications,” King’s University College, London, Ontario, June 12-14, 2013.

Being Interpreted: Paul Ricoeur’s Critique of a Phenomenology of Manifestation, Society for Ricoeur Studies International Conference, Hyatt Regency at Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia, PA, October 22-23, 201.

For Welfare or for Woe?: Imagination and the Magic Power of Absence, Society for Ricoeur Studies International Conference, Hyatt Regency at Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia, PA, October 22-23, 2011.

Avatars of Alterity: Levinas’ Challenge to a Phenomenology of Manifestation, North American Levinas Society Annual Conference, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, May 1-3, 2011.

Figures and Forms of Ultimacy: Manifestation and Proclamation as Paradigms of the Sacred, International Conference on Religion and Spirituality in Society, Chicago, IL, February 15-17, 2011.

"Being Interpreted: Paul Ricoeur’s Critique of a Phenomenology of Manifestation," Society for Ricoeur Studies International Conference, Hyatt Regency at Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia, PA, October 22-23, 2011

"For Welfare or for Woe?: Imagination and the Magic Power of Absence," Society for Ricoeur Studies International Conference, Hyatt Regency at Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia, PA, October 22-23, 2011

"Avatars of Alterity: Levinas’ Challenge to a Phenomenology of Manifestation," North American Levinas Society Annual Conference, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, May 1-3, 2011

"Figures and Forms of Ultimacy: Manifestation and Proclamation as Paradigms of the Sacred," International Conference on Religion and Spirituality in Society, Chicago, IL, February 15-17, 2011

"Awaken, O Spirit: The Vocation of Becoming in the Work of Edith Stein," The Edith Stein Project Annual Conference, University of Notre Dame, IN, February 11-12, 2011

"Aperture of Absence: Jean-Luc Marion on the God Who ‘Is Not,’" Book Preview Conference: Jeanine Diller and Asa Kasher, eds., Models of God and Other Ultimate Realities (New York: Springer, 2011), American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA, October 29, 2010

"Poetic Existence: Pain and Trauma in the Thought of Heidegger and Levinas," Trauma Conference, “New Approaches to Trauma: Bridging Theory and Practice,” Arizona State University, New College, Phoenix, AZ, October 7-9, 2010

"Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: The Achievement of David Tracy," The Lonergan Society at Marquette University, “Lonergan on the Edge” Conference, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI, September 17-19, 2010 

"Imaginative Construals in the Work of Edith Stein: A Rendezvous for Evolutionary Theory and the Catholic Faith," Chronicle of Faith Conference: “Celebrating the Legacy of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition,” Immaculata University, Immaculata, PA, April 30-May 1, 2010

"Body Language and the Integral Dimensions of Human Personhood," Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary Theological Student Conference: “Sex, Sexuality, and Gender,” Evanston, IL, April 30, 2010

"Attestation Manifest: An Exploration of the Phenomenological Tonalities of Human Personhood," Zygon Center for Religion and Science, 2010 Student Symposium on Science and Spirituality, Lutheran School of Theology, Chicago, IL, April 16, 2010

"Our Mother Who Art in Earth: Refashioning Nomenclature and Predication of Divinity," Women and Leadership Archives Lecture Series, The Gannon Center for Women and Leadership, Chicago, IL, April 14, 2010

"Divine Motherhood?: Exploring Predications of Divinity," Interdisciplinary Research Symposium for Graduate Students and Alumni, Loyola University Chicago, IL, April 10, 2010

"Embodied Yearning: A Phenomenological Consideration of Human Sexuality," American Academy of Religion, 2010 Midwest Regional Meeting, Augustana College, Rock Island, IL, March 26-27, 2010

"Thrownness and Solitude: A Phenomenological Exploration of the Poetics of Pain," The Graduate Center – City University of New York Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference, “The Poetics of Pain: Aesthetics, Ideology, and Representation,” New York, NY, February 25-26, 2010

"Give Me Love Or Give Me Death: A Phenomenological Hermeneutic of Human Sexuality," Midwest Region of the Society of Biblical Literature Student Religious Studies Conference, Valparaiso, IN, February 12, 2010

"Givenness and Responsibility: A Phenomenological Hermeneutic of the Human Person," The Catholic University of Eastern Africa 2nd International Symposium: “The Person,” Nairobi, Kenya, February 2-4, 2010

"Private Parts and Personalism: Questions on Human Sexual Union," Symposium on Gender and Sexuality, DePaul University, Chicago, IL, January 28, 2010

"Unacknowledged Pioneers of Comparative Theology," Comparative Theology Group, American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA, October 30 – November 1, 2010

"The Givenness of Human Personhood: The Notion of Givenness and Its Bearing on (Theological) Anthropology," The Value of Human Life Conference, Institute of Bioethics, Steubenville, OH, October 23-25, 2009

"Listen to Me: On the Intersection between the Soteriological Form of Johann Baptist Metz and Catholic Youth Ministry," Concilium Symposium: “The North-South Dialogue,” Chicago, IL, June 12, 2009 

"The Taboos of 'Otherness': A Study of the Ritual Purity Codes Surrounding Childbirth and Menstruation in the Book of Leviticus," American Academy of Religion, Midwest Regional Meeting, Chicago, IL, April 4, 2009

"The Taboos of 'Otherness': A Study of the Ritual Purity Codes Surrounding Childbirth and Menstruation in the Book of Leviticus," Women and Leadership Archives Lecture Series, The Gannon Center for Women and Leadership, Chicago, IL, January 22, 2009

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