Current Visiting Scholars

The CSWR has four visiting scholars for the 2015-16 academic year:

William C. Hackett is Research Fellow/Lecturer in Philosophy at Australian Catholic University. From his doctorate he has studied contemporary European philosophy and theology, always understood in the deepest historical context, as an intellectual tradition that emerged from within the context of religion--which, it so happens, is not atypical. His specialization is the present French iteration of phenomenology. The discovery that because of the de facto unity of human history the Western tradition is necessarily in open, dialogical continuity with the intellectual traditions of every culture has led to his central interest in constructing an encounter between comparative theology and philosophy of religion. At the CSWR he wants to answer the question whether a conception of "gnosis" is possible from a perspective that identifies with the mainstream tradition of historical, Roman Catholic orthodoxy. The approach will involve finding the best comparable distinction between essence and person among Hindu traditions to that of classical Christian Trinitarian theology. He is the co-author of Quiet Powers of the Possible: Interviews in Contemporary French Phenomenology (Fordham University Press, 2016) and the translator of several texts from French to English: for example, Jean-Yves Lacoste, From Theology to Theological Thinking (University of Virginia Press, 2014).

Gloria Maité Hernández completed her PhD in Spanish Literature at Emory University as a Fellow of the American Association of University Women. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the Department of Languages and Cultures of West Chester University. Her research focuses on mystical literature from Medieval and Early Modern Spain and the Hindu Vaiṣṇava tradition. She has published various articles on comparative theology and literature in journals like Literature Compass and the Journal of Hindu-Christian Studies. In 2015 she published a co-authored volume about the teachings of Sanskrit and Indian philosophy in Spain during the early twentieth-century. She is currently working on the manuscript Tasting God, a literary and theological comparison between John of the Cross’s Cántico espiritual and the Sanskrit text Rāsa Līlā (The Dance of Divine Love).

Hans Malmström (BA, PhD) is Associate Professor and Reader in English Linguistics at the University of Gothenburg/Chalmers in Sweden where he is a researcher in languages for specific purposes and discourse analysis. During his three years as a postdoctoral Research Fellow at Lund University he explored dimensions of metapragmatics, especially metadiscourse, in contemporary preaching in the Anglican Church, the Baptist Church and the Roman-Catholic Church. Dr Malmstrom, a member of the Academy of Homiletics, describes his work as combining theory building and methodological approaches from homiletics with those of applied linguistics, especially Systemic Functional Linguistics. His work in religious discourse analysis thus far has been published in peer-reviewed journals of theology (e.g. the International Journal of Practical Theology and the Journal of Communication and Religion), journals concerned with communication more broadly (e.g. the International Journal of Listening) as well as journals of Linguistics (e.g. Applied Linguistics and Functions of Language). During his time as a Visiting Scholar at CSWR, Professor Malmstrom is conducting a study with the aim of establishing a tentative linguistic/rhetorical model of Christian preaching as interreligious practice, of the sermon as a potential locus for interreligious dialogue. In this regard, his main concern is the preacher’s use of evaluative language in the context of preaching on interreligious themes, focusing on how such language is conducive for shaping sermon listeners’ attitudes towards other religions (and how it is reflective of the preacher’s and listener’s confessional identity). The study suggests something central about the preconditions for interreligious “encounters” during the liturgy — and thus addresses, at least partly, one of the great challenges for interreligious dialogue, the conceptualization of other religions.

Dong Zhao, Associate Professor of the School of English and International Studies of Beijing Foreign Studies University, China, has research interests in the comparative study of Buddhism and Christianity as well as Chinese religions through literary and sociological approaches. He teaches Buddhism in Chinese Culture, Readings in Confucian, Buddhist and Taoist Classics, and Bible as Literature. His book The Bible and The Faerie Queen was published by Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press (China) in 2008. He is currently working on The Reading of Christian Gospels through Chinese Mahayana Buddhist Sutras, which is also his research focus in the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard Divinity School as a Visiting Scholar. His peer-reviewed articles were published in Chinese and international academic journals.