The University of St. Thomas

College of Arts & Sciences | Department of Catholic Studies | Faculty

Dr. William Junker

Assistant Professor, Catholic Studies
Co-Director, Terrence J. Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law and Public Policy

wjunker@stthomas.edu
Phone: (651) 962-5706

Office Location: 309 Sitzmann Hall

Courses taught in Spring 2014
CATH 101-01
20568
The Search for Happiness 0955-1135 T R 55S B10

4 Credit Hours

This course provides a critical investigation into the quest for meaning and happiness as found in the Catholic tradition. Beginning with fundamental Catholic claims about what it means to be a human being, this course explores the call to beatitude in materials from several disciplines, including theology, philosophy, literature, and art, as well as ancient, medieval, and contemporary sources. Topics explored include a consideration of human persons in relation to divine persons, the supernatural end to human life, the human person as experiencing desire and suffering, the Christian paradox that joy may be found in the giving of one's self, and the search for happiness through friendship and love. Through all these topics, the course particularly examines the question, "What is the specifically unique character of Christian happiness?"

CATH 392-01
22722
Dante's Divine Comedy 1525-1700 T R 55S 207

4 Credit Hours

This interdisciplinary Catholic Studies/literature course explores Dante Alighierl's Divine Comedy in its literary, historical, theological, religious, political, and linguistic contexts. The course studies in critical detail the complete text of the Commedia in English as well as portions of related works such as Dante's La Vita Nuova. Throughout the course, particular attention will be paid to the Divine Comedy's Catholic Christian themes. Prerequsites: ENGL 111/112 or 190

CATH 392-02
22911
Dante's Divine Comedy 1330-1510 T R 55S 207

4 Credit Hours

This interdisciplinary Catholic Studies/literature course explores Dante Alighierl's Divine Comedy in its literary, historical, theological, religious, political, and linguistic contexts. The course studies in critical detail the complete text of the Commedia in English as well as portions of related works such as Dante's La Vita Nuova. Throughout the course, particular attention will be paid to the Divine Comedy's Catholic Christian themes. Prerequsites: ENGL 111/112 or 190

Courses taught in Fall 2014
CATH 301-01
41383
The Catholic Vision 1330-1510 T R 55S 207

4 Credit Hours

At the center of the Catholic vision are the two great works of divine love: creation and redemption. This course considers the implications of these divine works for a radical reconsideration of the world and the human person. Students will examine characteristic Catholic approaches to and emphases concerning creation, redemption and ecclesiology, and discuss how Catholic understandings of creation and redemption inform, respond to, and critique Catholic practices in various cultural settings. In addition, the course will compare and contrast contemporary Catholic cultural monuments with that produced in earlier eras, and compare and contrast Catholic Christianity with other forms of Christian and non-Christian belief and practices. In illustrating its themes, the course draws upon sources in art, literature, history, philosophy, and theology with special attention given to the intellectual, spiritual, and cultural consequences of Catholic doctrine. Prerequisites: Junior standing and CATH 101 and 201

CSMA 549-01
42947
Dante 1800-2100 T TBD

3 Credit Hours

This course considers particular topics in the area of Catholic Studies and the Arts. Although the topics will vary, the courses will have both an aesthetic foundation and an interdisiplinary focus. These topics courses will fulfill the area requirement of Catholic Studies and the Arts.

Academic History

Ph.D. John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought and the Department of English, University of Chicago, 2011
M.A. John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought, University of Chicago, 2007
M.A. English, University of Chicago, 2007
M.A. Philosophy, University of Notre Dame, 2003
B.A. English, University of Dallas, 2001

Expertise

Shakespeare
English Renaissance Poetry and Drama
Literary Criticism and Theory
History of Political Thought

Selected Publications

"Irony.” In New Catholic Encyclopedia Supplement 2011-2012: Ethics and Philosophy, eds. 
             Robert Fastiggi and Fr. Joseph Koterski, SJ (Cengage Learning, forthcoming).
"Spenser's Unarmed Cupid and the Experience of the 1590 Faerie Queene," ELH 79.1 (2012): 59-83.
"'Wonderfully Ravished': Platonic Erotics and the Heroic Genre in Sir Philip Sidney's Defence of Poesy,"
             The Ben Jonson Journal 18.1 (2011): 45-65
"Past's Weight and Future's Promise: Reading Electra," Philosophy and Literature 27.2 (2003):
             402-414.

Reviews

Julia Reinhard Lupton. Thinking with Shakespeare: Essays on Politics and Life (Chicago, 2011).
              The Ben Jonson Journal 20.1 (2013): 148-154.
Sarah Beckwith. Shakespeare and the Grammar of Forgiveness (Cornell, 2011). Early Modern Literary
              Studies
(forthcoming).
Jane Kingsley-Smith. Cupid in Early Modern Literature and Culture (Cambridge, 2011). Early Modern
              Literary Studies
16.1 (2012)
Guy Story Brown. Shakespeare's Philosopher-King: Reading the Tragedy of King Lear (Mercer, 2010).
              Early Modern Literary Studies
15.3 (2011)
Jean-Luc Marion. The Erotic Phenomenon (Chicago, 2008). American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly
             
82.2 (2008): 370-374.

Selected Presentations

"Thinking With and Against Foucault About Christian Spiritual Practice," Chicago Newberry Library.
              February 8, 2013.
"'Playing Till Doomsday': Apocalyptic Antony and Cleopatra," 33rd Medieval and Renaissance Forum,
              Plymouth State University, April 20, 2012.
“Eros, Ecstasy, and the Limits of Foucault,” Using Foucault. MLA Annual Meeting, Seattle,
             January 5, 2012.