Jonathan Paul Sydnor
Associate Professor of Theology & Religious Studies
Ph.D., Boston College; M.Div., Th.M., Princeton Theological Seminary; B.A., University of Virginia
Office hours: By appointment
Office: Administration Building, Room 459
Phone: (617) 264-7735
Dr. Sydnor enjoys teaching world religions as lived realities. Hinduism, for example, is not an abstract bundle of ideas but a way of life for almost a billion people. So, students in Dr. Sydnor’s classes don’t just learn about a religion. Instead, they encounter it both sympathetically and critically. Through lectures, discussions, readings, films, and documentaries Dr. Sydnor tries to engage his students’ imaginations and make the religion come alive.
Comparative Theology; Aesthetic Theory; Critical Theory; Theology of Religion; Theology of Religions; Interreligious Cognition; Liberation Theology; Feminist Theology; World Christian Theology
Dr. Sydnor practices comparative theology, or theology which draws on more than one religious tradition. In particular, Dr. Sydnor enjoys studying Hinduism and Buddhism both in their own right and as dialogue partners with Christianity. He attempts to produce new Christian theology informed by a broadened religious conversation.
- RELIG 2135--World Religions
- RELIG 1101--Introduction to Religious Studies
- RELIG 2202--Hinduism: Beliefs and Practices
- RELIG 2212--Buddhism: Beliefs and Practices
- RELIG 2221--Radical Christianity
- RELIG 2154--India: Religion, Culture, Justice
- Marion and Jasper Whiting Fellowship - 2011
Ramanuja and Schleiermacher: Toward a Constructive Comparative Theology
Can the comparison of two theologians vastly separated in space and time help contemporary theologians to think better? Ramanuja and Schleiermacher: Toward a Constructive Comparative Theology argues that it can. Specifically, this book argues that the novel and burgeoning discipline of comparative theology is a powerful method for gaining critical insight into our inherited worldviews. More important, it argues that the critical insights gained through comparison can produce constructive theology or, in other words, revised and renewed worldviews.
"Ramanuja and Schleiermacher on Language: Comparative Theology for Constructive Theology." Journal of Hindu-Christian Studies 23:2010 (25-36).
"Paul Tillich as Proto-Comparative Theologian." Bulletin of the North American Paul Tillich Society 35:1:2009 (19-24).
"Ramanua's Philosophy of Divinity: From Brahman to Narayana." Journal of Vaishnava Studies 16:2:2008 (3-26).
"Beyond the Text: Revisiting Jacques Dupuis' Theology of Religions." International Review of Mission 96:380/381:2007 (56-71).
"Complementarity Reasoning in Interreligious Dialogue." Studies in Interreligious Dialogue 15:2:2005 (165-181).
"Shaivism's Nataraja and Picasso's Crucifixion: An Essay in Comparative Visual Theology." Studies in Interreligious Dialogue 15:1:2005 (86-100).
"Religion as Art." Dialogue and Alliance 16:2:2002 (67-88).
Panelist. "Documentaries and Films in the Online Religion Course." Panel: Online Learning? An Oxymoron? Conference: Teaching Religion Section of the American Academy of Religion (Montreal, Quebec, November 10, 2009).
Conference Paper. "Paul Tillich as an Advocate of Comparative Theology." Conference: North American Paul Tillich Society of the American Academy of Religion (Chicago, Illinois, October 31, 2008).
Panelist. "Shaivism's Nataraja and Picasso's Crucifixion: An Essay in Comparative Visual Theology." Panel: Pushing the Boundaries: Exploring New Methods and Theories in Comparative Theology. Conference: Comparative Theology Group of the American Academy of Religion (San Diego, California, November 17, 2007).
Conference Paper. "Comparative Theology in Abraham Kunnuthara's Schleiermacher on Christian Consciousness of God's Work in History." Conference: International Schleiermacher Society of the American Academy of Religion (San Diego, California, November 16, 2007).
Conference Paper. "Interreligious Dialogue for Mission." Conference: Mission Congress 2005 of the Catholic Mission Forum (Tucson, Arizona, October 13-16, 2005).
Panelist. "Let No One Join What God Has Put Asunder: Cognition and the Religions." Conference: Engaging Particularities: New Directions in Comparative Theology, Interreligious Dialogue, Theology of Religions, and Missiology (Boston College, April 1-3, 2005).
Conference Paper. "Beautiful Other: The Promise of Schleiermacher's Theology of Religion." Conference: Engaging Particularities: New Directions in Comparative Theology, Interreligious Dialogue, Theology of Religions, and Missiology (Boston College, April 4-6, 2003).
Respondent to Francis X. Clooney: Hindu God, Christian God: How Reason Helps Break Down the Boundaries Between Religions. Meeting: Society for Comparative Theology (Andover Newton Theological School, February 7, 2003).
2011 - Marion and Jasper Whiting Fellowship