Patrick Lynch, SJ
Patrick Lynch, S.J.
Professor, Religious Studies & Theology
Chair, Faculty Senate
Magis for me at present would especially be opening students to issues of faith and justice through teaching, in particular through teaching about Liberation Theologies. Whether it be through learning about the dire poverty of people living in favelas in Brazil or other countries in Latin America, encountering Dalits (formerly, the Untouchables) in India through readings and video, or studying the depressed living conditions of people living in southern Africa, I try to open students to the majority world that surrounds us and with which many of us have little contact. I try to do the same when studying many of the different forms of Liberation Theology that have emerged in the United States: Feminist Theologies, Black Theologies, Latino/a Theologies, Asian American Theologies, Native American Theologies, and Queer Theologies. In all of these subjects my goal is to deepen both my own understanding of the Other and that of the students in my classes. Through this study I hope to open students and myself to a greater sensitivity to the desires, feelings, and sufferings of those on the margins and so to make our world a more just, humane, and hospitable place.
When teaching RST 101, the Introduction to Religious Studies, I seek to open students to the different expressions of faith found in the great religions of the world. Whether it is Christianity, Hinduism, or another of the world religions, each of these traditions has much wisdom to offer the seeker, although I personally find the fullness of this wisdom (revelation) centered in Jesus the Christ.
Being empathetic to the needs of students, faculty, and staff whom I encounter in my daily life is another way in which I try to express my commitment to magis. Through these encounters I hope to help others to receive affirmation, understanding, encouragement, and perhaps assistance in obtaining justice and the solution to a problem. It is my hope that through these activities I might reflect God’s glory.