Fr. Byrne, who has taught the New Testament at JTC since 1977, will work on a research project titled "Rational Worship: An Historical and Hermeneutical Enquiry into Paul's Sense of Life in the Body."
The institute also has awarded grants to an interdisciplinary seminar and the PULSE Program.
"We look forward to having Fr. Byrne in residence here next year," said Canisius Professor of Theology Michael Buckley, SJ, the institute director. "His research will touch upon a number of issues of interest to scholarly, religious and other communities. He will contribute much to our own conversations here at the institute, and Boston College."
Fr. Byrne cited the "excellent academic milieu" and "rich library resources" as reasons for his interest in pursuing research at Boston College. In addition, he said, the fellowship provides an opportunity to experience the "interdisciplinary interaction in the area of Christian ethics where, again, the faculty of Boston College is so notably endowed."
The "Rational Worship" project stems from Fr. Byrne's previous work in Pauline studies, especially in connection with Paul's "Letter to the Romans." The letter promotes an intense theological vision, he explained, where the initial emphasis on faith eventually turns into hope for the future of the world. These and other elements within Paul's writings offer the possibility of developing "something truly profitable for contemporary ethical discernment along lines characteristic of the Jesuit tradition," he said.
As visiting fellow, Fr. Byrne also will present two public lectures and discuss his research with invited faculty and graduate students at several informal meetings.
During his tenure at JTC, part of the Melbourne College of Divinity, Fr. Byrne has served as head of the Biblical Languages and Literature Department, chairman of the Academic Board of United Faculty of Theology and principal of the college. His publications include Lazarus: A Contemporary Reading of John 11:1-46 , Paul and the Christian Women and Romans , as well as articles and reviews in journals such as Catholic Biblical Quarterly , Colloquium , Biblica and Theological Studies .
Fr. Byrne entered the Society of Jesus in 1957, and earned bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Melbourne in 1966 and 1972, respectively. He earned a doctorate in philosophy from Oxford University in 1977.
Ordained in 1970, he was a delegate to the 33rd General Congregation of the Society of Jesus in 1983, and a member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission in Rome from 1990-95.
The institute also has awarded a $2,000 grant to the University's PULSE program to fund a retreat that will focus on evaluating and strengthening the theological content of its courses. One potential use for the grant would be to bring in a Jesuit scholar to lead a workshop or seminar.
In addition, the institute has approved a $6,000 grant that will enable the "Responsible Conduct of Science in a Catholic and Jesuit University" interdisciplinary seminar to invite guest speakers during the next two years.
Other institute grant recipients are expected to be announced shortly.
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