If you are submitting an RSVP for more than one person please fill out the brief form for each person. If you are submitting an RSVP for a group please email firstname.lastname@example.org for support.
Is there a role for God talk outside religious studies? What is the nature and substance of interdisciplinary engagement around the God question at Santa Clara University? This panel is comprised of four faculty members from a range of academic disciplines, all considering the question of What Good is God? from the perspective of their own scholarship and teaching at Santa Clara, as well as the related disciplinary and interdisciplinary questions of their fields more broadly. Phyllis Brown, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies and Professor in the Department of English, Santa Clara University, will facilitate this panel.
Phyllis R. Brown (Ph.D., University of Oregon, 1979) is Professor of English and Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies at Santa Clara University. Her area of scholarly expertise is medieval and early-modern literature, especially poetry by women. Among her favorite courses to teach are first-year writing, Introduction to Poetry, and a seminar Medieval Women Writers and Writing. Before becoming Associate Provost, Brown served as Director of the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program, of the Peer Educator Program, of the Undergraduate Core Curriculum, and as Chair of the English Department.
Brian Buckley is a Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at Santa Clara. Brian grew up right down the street from the Santa Clara campus and used to attend Mass at the Mission before he left for college in Seattle. After earning a Bachelor’s degree in the Northwest, Brian moved to Washington DC to work on a law degree. Along the way, he figured out that his life would be empty without philosophy, so he did further extensive graduate work in philosophy and earned his PhD in Chicago. His teaching and research are centered in the integrity of the human person and justice as the virtue that protects such persons and also promotes the common good. Brian has four degrees from Catholic universities and Santa Clara is the fourth Jesuit school where he has taught. He has been teaching at Santa Clara since the fall of 2007.
Kristin Kusanovich is a modern dancer who has directed, choreographed and produced over one hundred solo and ensemble works in dance, drama, musical theatre, opera, film and video. She received her MFA in Choreography and Performance from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and her BA from SCU in Dance with a minor in Mathematics. Currently a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Theatre and Dance and the Liberal Studies Program, Kusanovich also co-directed the Justice and the Arts Initiative. Her research, which investigates the embodied creative process, involves aesthetics, assessment, education, educational administration, ethics, leadership, mathematics and religion. She has served as a master teaching artist with Arts Council of Silicon Valley where she works with children from the lowest income schools in San Jose.
Thomas Plante is the Augustin Cardinal Bea, S.J. University Professor and directs the Spirituality and Health Institute at Santa Clara University. He is also an adjunct clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine. He received his Sc.B. in Psychology from Brown University, his MA and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Kansas, and completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship and Clinical Internship at Yale University. He recently served as vice-chair of the National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Youth for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and is past-president of the Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality (Division 36) of the American Psychological Association. He has authored or edited 19 books including Religion, Spirituality, and Positive Psychology: Understanding the Psychological Fruits of Faith (2012, Greenwood), Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: A Decade of Crisis, 2002-2012 (2011, Greenwood), and Spiritual Practices in Psychotherapy: Thirteen Tools for Enhancing Psychological Health (2009, American Psychological Association). He has published over 175 scholarly professional journal articles and book chapters as well. He teaches courses in abnormal, clinical, health, and general psychology as well as ethics and maintains a private clinical practice as a licensed psychologist in Menlo Park, CA. ?
Grief and death anxiety are inextricably linked with human existence. In a real sense, loss permeates our lives. According to research in the realm of existential psychology as well as a venerable tradition in existential philosophy, constructive acknowledgement of death anxiety can be a major motivator of positive functioning whereas avoidance or denial of such anxiety can be a source of dysfunctional behavior and even psychopathology. Surprisingly, however, little empirical research has addressed the impact of religious belief on how people experience and cope with loss and death anxiety. Professor Feldman and Professor Gressis will be reporting on their recent research on the role of religious belief on experiences of loss and death anxiety in lay philosophy faculty, Jesuit priests, and undergraduate students. This research study was funded through a What Good Is God? Bannan Institute Research Grant. Faculty seminar will follow luncheon presentation.
David Feldman is Associate Professor, Counseling Psychology at Santa Clara University, where he teaches courses in cognitive-behavioral therapy, brief psychotherapies, and personality theory. He holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Kansas and completed a health psychology fellowship at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, California. His research and writings have addressed such topics as hope, meaning, and growth in the face of physical illness, trauma, and other highly stressful events. He is the co-author of The End-of-Life Handbook: A Compassionate Guide to Connecting with and Caring for a Dying Loved One, which addresses the needs of families as they face the life-threatening illness of a loved one.
Robert Gressis, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, California State University, Northridge, completed his Ph.D. from University of Michigan and his research and teaching interests center on Kant, Philosophy of Religion, Ethics, Moral Psychology, FreeWill, History of Modern Philosophy. He is the author of “How to Be Evil: Kant's Moral Psychology of Immorality" in Rethinking Kant: Current Trends in North American Kantian Scholarship (Cambridge, 2008)