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Academic Research

As a Loyola student, you have the opportunity to work alongside our talented professors to partner in collaborative research. Learn more about some recent research and projects currently underway.

From Alpha to Omega: A Beginning Course in Classical Greek

Karen Rosenbecker, Assistant Professor of Classical Studies and Brian Sullivan, On-Line Learning Librarian, created Screen Cap Video Tutorials for “From Alpha to Omega: A Beginning Course in Classical Greek”, a series of animated tutorial modules to accompany the text. The video tutorials are keyed to the fourth edition of From Alpha to Omega and are being promoted by Focus/Pullins Publishers as part of their new expanded support materials for the text. View a sample tutorial

Hellenistic pottery on Cyprus

Samantha Urso (2014) wrote her departmental honors thesis, "An Examination and Analysis of the Hellenistic Ceramics from Prastio Mesorotsos", calling upon her experience in field archaeology from the excavation she participated in on the island of Cyprus during the summers of 2012 and 2013.

Helen of Troy

Jason Clay (2014) presented a paper at the Annual Meeting of the Classical Association of the Middle-West and South. The paper, "The Blame Game: Helen of Troy as Rhetor," was a section of Jason's senior thesis, which was an extended study of the interplay of blame and shame in Homer's Iliad.  Jason presented his work April 2014 in Waco, Texas.

Mammal Biodiversity and Ecology

Biology students working under the direction of Dr. Craig Hood have helped assess mammal biodiversity, population ecology, and activity patterns of the Barataria Preserve of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park. Prior to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Dr. Hood conducted his first formal mammal survey of the Barataria Preserve. This newest assessment shows comparisons between data and activity patterns.

Mammal Biodiversity and Ecology

Biology students working under the direction of Dr. Craig Hood have helped assess mammal biodiversity, population ecology, and activity patterns of the Barataria Preserve of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park. Prior to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Dr. Hood conducted his first formal mammal survey of the Barataria Preserve. This newest assessment shows comparisons between data and activity patterns.

Zero Divisor Graphs

My research involves using graph theory to study rings.  A ring is a set within which we can add, subtract, and multiply. Strangely enough, sometimes in a ring the product of two non-zero elements is zero! For example, this can happen when we multiply matrices.

We can represent this situation using a graph. A graph is just a bunch of point with lines connecting them. Graphs can be used to describe many situations, such as the patterns of city streets, computer networks, and the structure of molecules, among other things.  In my research, we write down all the zero divisors in a ring and connect two of them if their product is zero. We can then study the graph to find patterns which can give information about the ring. Here are two fairly simple graphs.  

Over the last two years two of my students have received $4,000 grants to study these graphs. The study of these graphs provides a good introduction to undergraduate research.

Spanish Theatre of Social Protest

Dr. Eileen J. Doll does research on contemporary Spanish play texts, in particular those that deal with immigration issues in Spain, and other current social problems.

Spanish Theatre of Social Protest is Dr. Eileen Doll’s (Languages and Cultures Chair) latest publication, which brings to life her research on contemporary Spanish play texts, in particular those that deal with immigration issues in Spain, and other current social problems. Dr. Doll studied over 30 plays from 1989 to 2013, analyzing how immigrant characters were portrayed for the Spanish audience. Many of the works raised important social questions regarding a rather new aspect of Spanish society, which until the 1980s had little immigration. Looking at the characters from four main perspectives—language(s) used on stage, scenic space, dramatic techniques such as lighting or sound, and the positioning of the audience—the analysis concludes that integration of the new immigrants is slow, but dramatists are working to raise awareness of the problems.

Displaced Christianities - Mapping Postcolonial Theology

Those in power have the power to shape knowledge in a way which reinforces their power: This is the core insight of post-colonial studies, a school of thought which emerged in the 1960s with the end of colonialism in Africa and Asia, and employed by Dr. Judith Gruber in her research, “Displaced Christianities - Mapping Postcolonial Theology.” Post-colonialism offers a re-reading of colonial history from the perspective of the colonized; it unburies alternative stories to show that the dominant version of history has always represented and served the interests of the establishment.

A critique of this intimate connection between truth and power also poses a serious challenge to traditional understandings of Christianity: A post-colonial re-reading of Church history excavates a host of forgotten and silenced Christianities and shows that Christian tradition has been forged through the exclusion of less powerful voices. How does theology cope with this emerging plurality of Christianities, and how does an exposure of power struggles in the tradition of the Church unsettle traditional understandings of Christianity? The research project draws on post-colonial thought in search of an answer to these questions, and probes for new and unsettling ways of thinking and talking about God.

The Fortress Historical Trajectories Series, General Editor: Denis Janz

Religious Studies’ Professor Denis Janz’, The Fortress Series, Historical Trajectories, is a short series of single-author books, each one sketching the historical profile of a currently discussed Christian belief, practice, or issue. It is grounded on the assumption that Christianity’s past is not only relevant and usable, but in fact imperative for all 21st century Christians who want to think responsibly, critically, and creatively about their faith. The books will answer the demand for exacting detail coupled with accessibility: These will be quick yet accurate overviews responsibly authored by senior theologians and historians of Christianity. The series draws on primary sources from the New Testament to the 21st century, and attempts to paint for us the big picture: What do the main contours of the tradition look like? Who were the key contributors, and what was the nature of their contribution? Where were the decisive turning points, the creative advances, the dead ends? In short, can a trajectory be discerned? Where have 20 centuries of reflection brought us? And finally, can anything be said about the question “where to from here?” Yes – in a sense this series aims for the impossible: Making the most sophisticated scholarship reader-friendly!

List of authors and volume titles:

Lois Malcolm, Christian Understandings of God: The Historical Trajectory 

Denis Edwards, Christian Understandings of Creation: The Historical Trajectory

Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen, Christian Understandings of the Trinity: The Historical Trajectory

David Jensen, Christian Understandings of Christ: The Historical Trajectory

Tatha Wiley, Christian Understandings of Sin: The Historical Trajectory 

Randall Zachman, Christian Understandings of Grace: The Historical Trajectory

Paul Avis, Christian Understandings of the Church: The Historical Trajectory

Grant Kaplan, Christian Understandings of Faith and Rationality: The Historical Trajectory

Charlene Burns, Christian Understandings of the Problem of Evil: The Historical Trajectory

Amy Johnson Frykholm, Christian Understandings of the Future: The Historical Trajectory

All of the volumes will be published in late December 2015.

Moral and Religious Emotions

Father Edward Vacek, S.J., Ph.D. recently published two new articles that address his on-going research on the topic of moral and religious emotions...

Article one: Rather than the usual attempt to base discernment in either God’s will or God’s reason, this article argues that we are given the responsibility to decide, but only within a mutual friendship with God: “Discernment within a Mutual Love relationship with God: A New Theological Foundation,” in Theological Studies volume 74, no. 3 (September 2013): pages 683-710. http://www.readperiodicals.com/201309/3060455041.html.

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Article two: Religions usually focus on having right beliefs and doing right deeds. This article argues that both beliefs and deeds are founded on having the proper array of emotions: “Orthodoxy Requires Orthopathy: Emotions in Theology,” in Horizons no. 40 (2013): pages 218-41. http://preview.tinyurl.com/ndob5lp 

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