David Russell Mosley
PhD in Theology, University of Nottingham 2011-2015
Thesis Title: Being Deified: Poetry and Fantasy on the Path to God
Supervisors: Dr. Simon Oliver and Dr. Mary Cunningham
Brief Synopsis of Research:
This essay examines the importance of deification to Christian theology and the place of human creativity in deification. Deification is an explanatory force for the major categories of Christian theology: creation, fall, incarnation, theological anthropology, as well as the sacraments. Deification explains, in part, the why of creation and the what of humanity: God created in order to deify, humanity is created to be deified; the what of the Fall: the desire for divinity outside of God’s gifts; one of the purposes for the Incarnation: to deify; and what end the sacraments aid: deification. Essential to deification is human creativity for humans are created in the image of God, the Creator. In order to explore this dimension of deification, this essay focuses on works of poetry and fantasy, in many ways the pinnacle of human creativity since both genres cause the making strange of things familiar (language and creation itself) in part to make them better known, particularly as creations of the Creator. Therefore, this essay utilises the work of fantasy writers and poets in order both to show the importance of fantasy and poetry for theology in general and for their importance in human deification.
Research and Teaching Interests:
My research and teaching interests include the interplay between theology and literature/poetry, Catholic imagination, fantasy and theology, asceticism and spiritual disciplines, patristic and medieval theology, liturgical theology, sacramental theology, sacramental ontology, Catholic theology, Ressourcement theology, Distributism, and Catholic Social Teaching.
2011-2015 PhD, Theology, University of Nottingham
2009-2011 MA, Church History and Historical Theology, Lincoln Christian University
2005-2009 BA, cum laude, Biblical Exposition, Lincoln Christian College
June 2017-Present, Dean of Humanities, Holy Family Academy
Including teaching a full course load (four courses each semester in English and theology), as Dean of Humanities, it is my job to work with our other humanities teachers (in theology, philosophy, English, History, and Latin) to standardize our writing standards, oversee various activities such as the National Latin Exams and Poetry Out Loud, keep in touch with students and parents concerning both students who are falling behind as well as students who excel.
April 2017-June 2017, English Teacher, Holy Family Academy
I served as a fill-in for a maternity leave. I taught English classes to students in 8th, 10th, and 11th grade. In these classes we did close readings of texts such as Romeo and Juliet, “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,” Pride and Prejudice, and The Inferno. In this role, I graded papers both of creative writing and literary analysis, gave lectures on the Catholic Imagination and Medieval Cosmology, and led various class discussions.
September 2016-Present, Preceptor, Signum University
As a preceptor for Signum University, it is my job to organize and conduct weekly one hour seminars for whichever classes I am assigned. To date I have been assigned to the graduate level class Tolkien and Tradition which does close readings of medieval texts such as parts of the Kalevala, Icelandic folklore, and Arthurian legend and compare and contrast them to Tolkien’s retelling of those same stories. In my discussions, I set questions based on the readings and lectures and guide the students through the discussion focusing on aspects of comparative literature, as well as ancient/medieval and modern philosophy and theology as they are relevant to the texts we are reading. I also grade essays on these topics.
May 2015-Present, Lecturer in Theology, Johnson University
Over the course of several months I have developed both a Trinitarian theology course (a 300 level class) and a Fundamentals of Theology course (a 200 level class) for online, seven week long, undergraduate core classes. Creating these courses involves utilizing the online platforms Sakai, Warpwire, and Screencast-o-matic. I recorded seven weeks’ worth of lectures as well as determine the proper readings for the course, the questions for discussion forums, and the essay topics. I have taught my own version of the Trinitarian theology class several times, which involved teaching nearly 40 students, leading them through primary texts from Gregory of Nazianzus to Leonardo Boff, and grading research papers on the Trintiy. I have, to date, only taught someone else’s version of the Fundamentals course, but am in the midst of my own redesign of that course.
October 2013-December 2013 Teaching Assistant, University of Nottingham
Each week I led a seminar for the module Philosophy of Religion. The seminars consist of discussions concerning major figures in the continental philosophical tradition from Spinoza to Darwin. Engaging 15-25 students, from varying religious and non-religious backgrounds, each week I led them in discussing the salient points from primary texts and to compare and contrast with previous texts discussed in the course.
October 2012-January 2013 Teaching Assistant, University of Nottingham
Each week for the module, History of Christian Thought to 1600, I led a seminar group of 15-20 students, from Christian, Muslim, and non or other religious backgrounds, in discussions about primary texts from the Christian tradition. I engaged with both non-Christian and Christian students in discussing the major points of various texts covering 1600 years of Christian history. For this module I also marked essays and exams for both grammar and content. There was occasion for me to give a lecture on the Grace Debates of the Fifth Century, examining the thoughts of Pelagius, Augustine, and John Cassian.
August 2010-May 2011 Adjunct Faculty, Lincoln Christian University
In the 300 level classes (two classes over one year), which cover history, literature, art, philosophy and science, of our Interdisciplinary program, I lead a section of 14-17 students. This entailed reading and grading their weekly research assignments for both form and content; discussing primary texts which they and I had read from the time periods discussed in the class (c Fifth-Nineteenth Centuries); grading major research projects for both form and content; creating questions based on the lectures for examinations at least three times a semester.
January 2010-May 2011 Library Student Worker, Lincoln Christian University
Working in the Library at Lincoln Christian University requires me to help patrons find the books and resources they need to complete their projects. Also, it frequently requires taking the books recently checked-in and returning them to the correct place on the shelves. Often, I am asked to work on online guides to make researching in certain areas (Old Testament, Church History, Theology, etc.) easier for our students. Occasionally, I am asked to write and record scripts for online videos and podcasts to the same end. Daily, I either check-in books from other schools (returns and for our patrons) or prepare books to be returned and sent to other schools with whom we share our resources.
My skills include interpersonal relationships, conflict handling, knowledge of subjects such as Church History, Systematic Theology, Liturgy, Catholic Social Teaching, English literature, and others. I have a rough knowledge of Greek and Latin, and a small amount of knowledge in Hebrew. I work well with computers and have verbal and written communication skills.