Archive for chicago

Baltimore and Chicago This Week

Posted in Dating God Book, Franciscan Spirituality with tags , , , , , on November 16, 2012 by Daniel P. Horan, OFM

Like nearly all graduate students and scholars in the broadly conceived field of the study of religion, I’m a member of the American Academy of Religion (AAR), which holds its annual conference (i.e., massive religious-nerd circus) in different locations around the United States each November. This year it’s being held in Chicago and it kicks off this afternoon in some part and in full-force tomorrow (Saturday). It runs through Tuesday and should prove to be an exciting, exhausting, energizing, and enjoyable time. I’ll make my way to the conference later this weekend after I give a day of reflection at a retreat center in Maryland. The daylong series of talks is titled: “Prayer as Relationship: A Franciscan Day of Reflection” and will be followed by an afternoon book signing. You can learn more by visiting the website of the Retreat and Conference Center at Bon Secours in Marriottsville, MD. For all my fellow theology and religious studies nerds, I’ll see you in Chicago! For those planning to attend this event in Marland, I’ll see you there! For the rest of you, I hope you have a great weekend and will see you back here at next week!

Peace and good!

Photo: Stock (Chicago Skyline)

The Religious Booksellers Trade Exhibit 2012

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on May 31, 2012 by Daniel P. Horan, OFM

Greetings from Chicago where I’m attending the 2012 Religious Booksellers Trade Exhibit on behalf of the publisher of my recent book, Dating God: Live and Love in the Way of St. Francis, Franciscan Media (formerly known as St. Anthony Messenger Press). This is one of the annual shows or exhibits which brings together the religious publishers and distributors, bookstore owners and others who are connected to the religious publishing industry. Each year publishers bring out an author or two to autograph copies of their books for those in attendance. Last night included the hour-long autographing sessions, which is really a lot of fun because you are able to talk directly, if only for a minute or so, with so many great people in the religious publishing business. It’s been nice to reconnect with so many friends and colleagues, as well as meet some great new people.

Photo: Barbara Baker/Franciscan Media

New ITMS Leadership Announced, ‘Dating God’ Author Elected to Board of Directors

Posted in Thomas Merton with tags , , , , , on June 13, 2011 by Daniel P. Horan, OFM

Well, for those who didn’t yet know, it’s official now: along with the five others who constitute the new International Thomas Merton Society (ITMS) Board of Directors, I was elected to serve on the Board. Yesterday (Sunday 12 June 2011) marked the transition of the ITMS officers and board members to the newly elected and incoming leadership. Sr. Kathleen Deignan, CND, is the new ITMS President. It is an honor and a great responsibility to be asked to assume a leadership role in such an organization and I am delighted to be able to serve in this capacity for the next two years along with some amazing scholars and leaders in the Merton world.

Here is the full list of the new ITMS leadership as reported by most recent past-president Bob Grip on his conference blog. It includes the new officers, board members and the program committee for the 2013 ITMS Conference to take place at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn.

Changing of the Guard

Posted on June 12, 2011 by doyoureadthomasmerton

I’m happy to welcome the new officers and members of the Board of Directors of the International Thomas Merton Society.

They are:

President: Sr. Kathleen Deignan
Vice President: David Belcastro
Treasurer: Paul Pearson
Secretary: Andrea Neuhoff

Board members are:

Br. Dan Horan
Meghan Robinson
Br. Paul Quenon
Judith Hardcastle
Sr. Monica Weis
Chris Pramuk

Program Committee members for the 2013 General Meeting at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut are:

Robert Grip, Chair
Michael Higgins, Site Coordinator
Kathleen Deignan, President
Paul Pearson, Treasurer
Christine Bochen
Monica Weis
June-Ann Greeley
Christopher Kelly
Jeff Kiernan

Photo: Merton Legacy Trust

Fun times in Chicago, but it’s time to go home

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on October 17, 2010 by Daniel P. Horan, OFM

I had a wonderful few days in Chicago this weekend.  Although it is difficult to take time out of a busy semester schedule, it was well worth making the necessary time adjustments to allot space to come to Chicago to give a lecture on the influence of John Duns Scotus on Thomas Merton.  It was a weekend that was filled to the brim with a combination of scholarly and touristy experiences.  

On Friday I visited two of the renown theological graduate programs in the city – one of which is the midwestern compatriot of one of my own alma maters, The Washington Theological Union.  That is, I had the opportunity to visit the Catholic Theological Union, which was a nice, unexpected stop during my brief stay in Chicago.

Yesterday was a bit more of a “day in the life of Dan as tourist.”  I took in several of the usual sites of the city.  Such adventures included an early morning visit to the observation deck of the Sears Tower, including the newly renovated class enclosures that allow you to stand 103 stories above the street (see the photo of my feet above!).  I also visited Millennium Park and spent several hours in the Art Institute of Chicago, admiring with great interest the new modern art wing – this is a must see.  I then was able to visit friends north of the city.  The newly weds treated me to a wonderful meal and fantastic conversation.  It was indeed a gift to spend time with such great people and hospitable hosts.

This morning included Mass at St. Peter’s Church in the Loop (the Franciscan church where I have been staying during my visit).  It reminded me a lot of our larger service churches run by my province in New York City and Boston.  I was pleasantly surprised to see a reasonably large number of young adults (people in their 20s/30s) at Mass.  It was nice.

I then met up with a wonderful woman, a nurse and an artist, who drove me and another friar (who is a member of the Chicago Merton Society) to the location where the presentation was to be held, the Passionist Monastery in Chicago.  While I feel that I succumbed to one of my most vexing idiosyncratic traits and stereotypically “East Coast” traps — Speaking too quickly, I got the impression that the lecture was very well received.  Many people came up to me during the break between the presentation and the Q/A portion of the event and offered some great questions and comments.  During the formal portion of the Q/A there was a rich conversation that flowed from the observations and further questions posited by those in attendance, a diverse crowd that ranged from professors of theology at Loyola University of Chicago to the most casual reader of Thomas Merton, and everyone in-between.

After the lecture a small group of those who are the coordinators of the Chicago Merton Society took me out to a lovely dinner at a restaurant not that far away.  There was a lively conversation over dinner that included Michael Brennen, the Chicago TMS president, Fr. Vaughn Fayle, OFM, a friar from the Sacred Heart Province, and Dr. Pauline Viviano, a professor of Hebrew Bible at Loyola University, for example.  After dinner Mike and his wife drove Vaughn and I back to the Loop of Chicago (where the friary is located) with a lovely sight-seeing tour along the way.  It was nice to be shown such welcome and hospitality, let alone have a first-rate tour of the city at night!

All in all, it was a wonderful trip and I have Mike Brennan and  Vaughn Fayle to thank in particular for it.  I’m delighted to have had the opportunity to speak to such a great group of people and share some ongoing research in one of my academic areas of interest.  I have also been thankful to spend some time with my Midwestern Franciscan brothers here at St. Peter’s Church.  I definitely look forward to my return to the windy city in June, if not before!

I’m Coming to Chicago this Week

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on October 11, 2010 by Daniel P. Horan, OFM

This Sunday afternoon I am delivering a lecture for the Chicago chapter of the International Thomas Merton Society.  If you live in the greater Chicago area and have nothing planned for Sunday October 17th from 2:00–4:00pm, come to the Assembly Hall at Immaculate Conception Church at 7211 West Talcott Ave in Chicago (at the intersection of Harlem St).  

The lecture is titled: “Thomas Merton the ‘Dunce:’ Identity, Incarnation and the Not So Subtle Influence of John Duns Scotus.”

The Chicago Chapter of the ITMS posted the following information in anticipation of my presentation.  Please come and join us:

The influence of key figures in the early life of Thomas Merton, such as the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins and Columbia University professor Daniel Walsh, has been observed and studied for many decades. However, there is a significant thread of theological and philosophical contiguous insight that has been largely overlooked, both in its direct influence and its more indirect or subtle influence through these two intellectual and spiritual guides. The missing link of continuity is the medieval Franciscan thinker John Duns Scotus. Renown for his theological and philosophical originality, his logical and nuanced approach to complicated metaphysical questions and his difficult-to-penetrate work, Scotus – known as the Subtle Doctor – was a thinker that captured the attention of the young Thomas Merton and remained present in the background of his thought and writings until his death. This lecture will present two major themes in the writing of Merton in light of their resemblance and likely indebtedness to the original work of John Duns Scotus; namely, the True Self and the Incarnation. In addition to being another infrequently considered dimension of Merton’s Franciscan impulse, the influence of Scotus in the 20th Century monk’s work can help us appreciate Merton’s innovative spirituality even more. Perhaps like Merton we too can be numbered among the dunces of history, that is, in its original meaning – a follower of the school of Scotus.

“Dan Horan is a Franciscan friar of Holy Name Province (NY) and a member of both the International Thomas Merton Society and the Thomas Merton Society of Great Britain and Ireland. A former Daggy Scholar, he is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University (NY) and the Washington Theological Union (DC). His work has been published in journals such as America, The Merton Annual, The Merton Journal (UK), The Merton Seasonal, Heythrop Journal, Review for Religious, Spiritual Life, The Cord and others. He has delivered papers at the general meeting for the Thomas Merton Society of Great Britain and Ireland as well as the Eleventh Conference of the International Thomas Merton Society (2009). He has also delivered invited public lectures on Merton in Boston and Washington, DC. Dan will begin teaching in the Department of Religious Studies at Siena College (NY) in Fall 2010. It is a privilege for the Chicago Chapter-ITMS to offer this presentation by an outstanding young Merton scholar.”

The church is less than a half mile north of the Kennedy Express (I-90) Harlem exit in the Norwood Park neighborhood. Signs will be posted, and there is ample free parking. Presentations are followed by a question & answer period. Freewill donation (suggested amount, $6). Refreshments provided. For more information or to RSVP, contact Chapter Coordinator Mike Brennan at 773-447-3989.

Also, for additional information about this lecture and upcoming lectures, visit: The Chicago ITMS Blog

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