One of Notre Dame’s newest clubs on campus is the Theology Club, founded and led primarily by undergraduates. Abby Kostielney, a junior theology and sociology double major, is one of the founding members of the club.
“When I was approached by Professor Gabriel Reynolds to help found this club, I was very excited,” she said. “I love conversing with others about theology and learning more about Catholicism, so creating a club centered in the academic side of theology sounded amazing. [Fellow officers] Teresa [Gorman], Sam [Carlson], and Tim [Singler] are wonderful leaders and I am privileged to work with them to make a lasting difference at Notre Dame.”
Theology Club fills a perceived vacancy on campus for a club that addresses the academic side of the Catholic faith, as opposed to a more personal reflection.
Gorman, a junior philosophy-theology joint major, also recognized this fact: “There are other clubs that include theological reflection, but they all have a different primary target. Campus Ministry, for example, has a lot of really great programs, but their goal is more to nourish students’ personal faith lives than to expose them to the theological tradition specifically.”
How does Theology Club hope to do this?
“Since we are in our inaugural semester, we do not have set signature events and are still trying to figure out what our fellow students would like to see from this club,” Kostielney said. So far, the club has had a number of different events, including a presentation in Jordan’s DVT on “Sacramental Creation,” narrated by Lenny DeLorenzo of the Theology Department and Phil Sakimoto of the Physics Department. The club also hosted a discussion of Notre Dame Theology Professor Gary Anderson’s article Is Purgatory Biblical?, and enjoyed Mass and pizza with Rev. Brian Daley, S.J., who recently was awarded the prestigious Ratzinger Prize for excellence in theological scholarship. The club hopes to invite different theology professors to talk about various topics and discuss them with the students.
Gabriel Reynolds, Associate Professor of Islamic Studies and Theology, is the faculty advisor for the club. He credited the students for their great initiative in founding and organizing the club, and hopes that it will “fight the evil and false notion of theology as a boring, bible class.” Theology is implicated in the biggest decisions and questions in our lives, and therefore it needs to be taken outside of the classroom. In addition to supporting the club, he promotes it, and other theologically-relevant things, on his twitter account. Follow him at http://twitter.com/theologyDUS.
Theology Club is open to all majors and faiths, and anyone interested in an open and informed discussion. “We’re hoping to attract anyone who wants to discuss theology,” said Gorman. “We don’t want to restrict the conversation to Catholics only, but we do expect everyone to be respectful of Catholicism.”
“The main goal of the Theology Club is to create an environment where students from all majors are free to discuss a full range of theological topics at the academic level,” Kostielney said. “We invite those students who are interested in theology, but cannot take extra courses due to scheduling conflicts as well as those who simply desire to broaden their knowledge about the subject. Basically, everyone is welcome!”
Interested in joining Theology Club? The group usually meets at 9pm on the first floor of Malloy Hall on Tuesday evenings, and advertises their events through email and Facebook.
Liz Everett is a junior PLS and English major in McGlinn Hall who is enjoying the lovely fall weather. She was also voted “Most Sarcastic” in her high school class, according to a reliable source. Some things never change! Get in touch with her at email@example.com.