Kathleen Norris, a celebrated author and poet and a Benedictine oblate, was the 2014-15 Rev. Robert J. Randall Distinguished Professor in Christian Culture at Providence College. She was the 11th person to serve as Randall Professor.
After attending preparatory school in Hawaii, Norris earned a bachelor’s degree from Bennington College in Vermont. Almost immediately after graduation, her laudable literary career took off. She has written seven books of poetry, including Falling Off (Follett Big Table Poetry, 1971), The Middle of the World (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1981), and Little Girls in Church (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1995).
Norris, who moved to South Dakota in 1974 after inheriting her grandparents’ farm, has been a prolific and award-winning author of non-fiction as well. Her book, Dakota: A Spiritual Geography (Houghton Mifflin, 1994), was named a New York Times “Notable Book of the Year” and was praised by Library Journal. Her other books include The Cloister Walk (Riverhead, 1996), The Virgin of Bennington (Riverhead, 2001), and Embracing a Life of Meaning (Church Publishing, 2012).
Norris’ essays and book reviews have appeared in a number of periodicals, including America, Christianity Today, The New York Times, and O Magazine, and she has served in editorial roles for the St. Katherine Review, The Christian Century, and Spirituality & Health.
She has received honorary doctoral degrees from the University of Notre Dame, Albright College, Concordia College, and South Dakota State University, and served on the board of trustees and board of overseers at St. John’s University (Minn.) and St. John’s School of Theology, respectively.
2015 Randall Conference
"What Has Happened to Good Old Sin?"
Rev. Paul Philibert, O.P. '59
Rev. Paul Philibert, O.P. ’59 was the 2013-14 Rev. Robert J. Randall Professor in Christian Culture at Providence College. He was the tenth scholar (and the third Dominican) to serve as the Randall Professor.
Born in Baltimore, Md., Father Philibert joined the Dominican Province of Saint Joseph in the East and did his ecclesiastical studies at the Dominican Houses of Studies in Dover, Mass., and Washington, D.C. In 1972, he was awarded a doctor of sacred theology degree from the Dominican Pontifical Faculty — after research and studies in France under the direction of Père Christian Duquoc, O.P. Father Philibert taught theology at PC from 1968 to 1973 before becoming a faculty member at St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore, The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley, Calif. — where he also served as president.
He later directed the Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame and, before retiring from academic life, held the chair in pastoral theology at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland.
Among his many books and articles, Father Philibert has written more recently these three books: Stewards of God’s Mysteries: Priestly Spirituality in a Changing Church, The Priesthood of the Faithful: Key to a Living Church, and Scanning the Signs of the Times: French Dominicans in the Twentieth Century (written with Thomas O’Meara, O.P.). He also has translated Cardinal Yves Congar’s classic work, True and False Reform in the Church, and At the Heart of Christian Worship: Liturgical Essays of Yves Congar into English.
Father Philibert joined the Southern Dominican Province at its founding in 1979. He now serves as the promoter for permanent formation for his province. He has also served on the Directorium of the Angelicum University in Rome and on the Commission on Studies of the Dominican Order.
2014 Randall Conference
"What is Adult Faith"
Dr. Reinhard Huetter
Dr. Reinhard Huetter, a professor of Christian theology at Duke Divinity School, was the ninth Rev. Robert J. Randall Professor in Christian Culture at Providence College. A native of Lichtenfels, Germany, Huetter holds a master of theology degree from Duke University and a doctor of theology degree from the University of Erlangen in Germany. He teaches systemic and philosophical theology and has developed a special interest in the theology and philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas.
His new book, Dust Bound for Heaven: Explorations in the Theology of Thomas Aquinas, was published in 2012. Among his other works are Reason and the Reasons of Faith, edited with Paul J. Griffiths, and Ressourcement Thomism: Sacred Doctrine, the Sacraments, and the Moral Life, edited with Matthew Levering.
Huetter was awarded the Henry Luce III Fellowship in Theology. He has been a visiting fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies of Religion, University of Chicago; a research fellow at the Center of Theological Inquiry at Princeton Theological Seminary; and a visiting professor at the University of Jena, Germany. In addition, he is an elected member of the American Theological Society, president of the Academy of Catholic Theology, a distinguished fellow of The Saint Paul Center for Biblical Theology, and an ordinary academician of the Pontifical Academy of Saint Thomas Aquinas.
2013 Randall Conference:
"The Virtue of Religion"
Lectures Given at Providence College:
"What Conscience Is and Why It Matters"
"Happiness and the Virtue of Religion, Then and Now: Ruminations on Thomas Aquinas"
Dr. Robert Louis Wilken
Dr. Robert Louis Wilken is professor of history emeritus at the University of Virginia. The Distinguished Fellow of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and has taught at Gregorian University, Institutum Patristicum Augustiniam, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the University of Notre Dame, Fordham University, and Lutheran Theological Seminary.
Dr. Wilken is the author of 10 books, including The Spirit of Early Christian Thought: Seeking the Face of God (Yale, 2003), Remembering the Christian Past (Eerdmans, 1995), and The Christians as the Romans Saw Them (Yale, 1984). He is also the translator, along with Paul Bowers, of On the Cosmic Mystery of Jesus Christ. His work is the subject of the festschrift, In Dominico eloquio: Essays on Patristic Exegesis in Honor of Robert Louis Wilken, edited by Paul M. Blowers (Eerdmans, 2002).
Lectures Given at Providence College:
“Global Christianity in the First Millennium”
“The Roots of Religious Freedom.”
Dr. Ralph C. Wood