Professor Considine
About Me
Dr. Considine is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies. He received a Ph.D. in Theology from Loyola University Chicago, Master’s degree in Theology from the Catholic Theological Union, and a Bachelor’s degree in English from Vanderbilt University. He teaches Social Justice, Introduction to Religious Studies, History of Christianity, and Asian Philosophies and Religions in Dialogue. He previously was employed by Loyola University Chicago, the Northwestern University’s Civic Education Project, the Center for the Study of Religious Life, The Atlantic Street Center, and AmeriCorps VISTA. Dr. Considine is married and they have two little boys. CCSJ welcomes Dr. Considine as a new faculty member.
Educational Background
Ph.D. Theology, Loyola University Chicago; M.A. Theology, Catholic Theological Union; B.A. English, Vanderbilt University.

Calumet College of St. Joseph Homepage


Fall 2014 Courses:

Religious Studies 330A: Christian History I
Subtitle: Jesus of Nazareth: Enemy of the State? The Church: Enemy of Jesus?
Tuesday/Thursday — 10:15am to 11:45am

Religious Studies 110A: Social Justice
Monday/Wednesday— 12pm to 1:30pm

Religious Studies 110F: Social Justice
Monday/Wednesday — 1:45pm to 3:15pm

Religious Studies 110H: Social Justice
Monday/Wednesday — 10:15am to 11:45am

Spring 2014 Courses:

Religious Studies 110A: Social Justice
Monday/Wednesday— 12pm to 1:30pm in Room 264

Religious Studies 110C: Social Justice
Tuesday/Thursday — 10:15am to 11:45am, Rm 264

Religious Studies 130A: Introduction to Religious Studies
Monday/Wednesday — 1:45pm to 3:15pm, Rm 300

Religious Studies 496A: Asian Philosophies and Religions in Dialogue
Tuesday/Thursday— 12pm to 1:30pm, Grutka Room

Fall 2013 Course:

Religious Studies 110B: Social Justice
Tuesday/Thursday — 12pm to 1:30pm in Room 264

Religious Studies 110D: Social Justice
Tuesday/Thursday — 10:15am to 11:45am in Room 264

Religious Studies 110F: Social Justice
Monday/Wednesday — 1:45pm to 3:15pm in Room 264

Religious Studies 110H: Social Justice
Monday/Wednesday — 10:15am to 11:45am in Room 264

Religious Studies 130SA: Introduction to Religious Studies
Tuesday — 6pm to 10pm in Room 271


Papers, Publications, and Helpful Links


Working Title: “Salvation for the Sinned-Against: ‘Han’ and Schillebeeckx in Intercultural Dialogue” (Pickwick/Wipf and Stock). Forthcoming.

‘Making Possible what is Necessary for Human Salvation’: Edward Schillebeeeckx’s Political Holiness as Response to the ‘Sinned-Against’” –Tijdschrift voor Theologie (online).

Kim Chi-Ha’s ‘Han’ Anthropology and its Challenge to Catholic Thought –Horizons 41, no. 1 (June 2014): 49-73.

Han and Salvation for the Sinned Against –New Theology Review Vol 26 no 1 (2013) p 87-89

A Collective Black Liberation in the Face of Honorary White Racism: A Growing Edge for U.S. Black Liberation Theologies –Black Theology: An International Journal Vol 8 no 3 (2010) p 286-306


We Are Who We Think We Were: Christian History and Christian Ethics, by Aaron D. Conley.–Journal of Lutheran Ethics (July /August2014)

Colonialism, Han, and the Transformative Spirit, by Grace Ji-Sun Kim–New Theology Review (forthcoming).

Shorter Notice: ‘Hope Sings, So Beautiful: Graced Encounters Across the Color Line’, by Christopher Pramuk–Theological Studies Vol 75, No 1: 217-218.

Many Colors: Cultural intelligence for a Changing Church, by Soong Chan Rah–Journal of Lutheran Ethics (March 2014)

A Protestant Theology of Passion: Korean Minjung Theology Revisited, by Volker Kuster–Journal of Lutheran Ethics Vol 13 Is 8 (Dec 2013)

Triune Atonement, by Andrew Sung Park–Journal of Lutheran Ethics Vol 13 Is 3 (May-June 2013)


Creating a Political Mysticism through J.B. Metz and Sudhir Venkatesh

The Human Person as Spiritual–Theological Anthropology of Edward Schillebeeckx

Is the Future Mestizo and Mulatto

Sociological Challenge to White Catholic Theologians Engaging Racism


Short Articles in U.S. Catholic Magazine

Blog posts for U.S. Catholic Magazine

Online Essays written from 2005-2008 on Religion and Society

White Contrast Experience–Short Essay on Theology and Racism


Declaration of Conscience by Kim Chi Ha –Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars Vol 9, no 2 (1977)

Martin Luther King Papers Project

Edward Schillebeeckx Foundation

Diocese of Gary

NWI Catholic Newspaper Online


WHEN GOD HAPPENS–A Blog of Religion, Society, Politics, and Art.

Publication–Horizons, 41.1 (June 2014): 49-73


kim chi ha images

This is a shameless self-promotion.  I hope to keep these few and far between.  But I needed to share.  Take a look if you wish.


“Kim Chi-Ha’s ‘Han’ Anthropology and its Challenge to Catholic Thought.”  Kim Chi Ha and Han–Horizons 41





Inequality breeds social evil

class images

“Inequality is the root of social evil“-Pope Francis.

Income inequality in the U.S. is now “probably higher than in any other society at any time in the past, anywhere in the world.”–Economist Thomas Piketty, quoted in the recent issue of Commonweal Magazine.

To put it mildly, this is worrisome.  It might be religious folks who have to do something about this.

But, what can we do?  I am teaching a summer session of Social Justice and I hope to get my students thinking about this question.  On a practical level.  In the meantime, a theological thought: we Christians believe in a God who loves and values all human beings.  This means God loves the 1% and the 99%.  Really.

Catholics, however, also believe that God expresses a “preferential option for the poor.”  That is, God’s first love and first saving actions are directed towards those who are denigrated, spat upon, and who many of us deem “worthy” and “unworthy” poor.  They  are the ones most dear to God’s heart.  So, what does it mean that God “loves” the wealthy, powerful, and privileged?  Especially when in Luke’s Gospel portrays Jesus as saying “Woe to you who are rich…” (Luke 6:24)?  I have no answer to this question.  But just to spitball: maybe God’s love for the wealthy 1% is experienced differently than God’s love for the 99%.  In a similar way to how MLK talked about how God’s love functions differently for and is experienced differently by oppressed and oppressors.

One example comes to mind.  In Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory, the Whiskey Priest offers an interesting view on God’s love: “‘Oh…that’s another thing altogether–God is love.  I don’t say the heart doesn’t feel a taste of it, but what a taste.  The smallest glass of love mixed with a pint pot of ditch water.  We wouldn’t recognize that love.  It might even look like hate.  It would be enough to scare us–God’s love.  it set fire to the bush in the desert, didn’t it, and smashed open graves and set the dead to walking in the dark.  Oh, a man like me would run a mile to get away of he felt that love around’” (Penguin Classics, 199-200).

Just thinking.


Saints are enemies of the state…or they should be

dday-filmOftentimes we think that Christians are polite people who don’t cause any trouble.  This is not true.  From Jesus of Nazareth (executed by the Romans as a criminal) to Bartolome de Las Casas (fought against enslaving the First Peoples of the Americas) to Martin Luther King, Jr (assassinated when he became too radical in his fight for justice), many of the exemplars within this movement were “troublemakers” of some sort.

The same goes with American lay Catholic Dorothy Day.  I teach her life and writings in most of my classes so I will write about her much more this year.  To begin, here is an interesting juxtaposition of quotes.  The first from FBI director J. Edger Hoover who defamed Day and the second from Dorothy Day in one of her newspaper columns for The Catholic Worker about her vision.

J. Edger Hoover: “”Dorothy Day is a very erratic and irresponsible person. She has engaged in activities which strongly suggest that she is consciously or unconsciously being used by communist groups. From past experience with her it is obvious she maintains a very hostile and belligerent attitude toward the Bureau and makes every effort to castigate the FBI whenever she feels so inclined.”

Dorothy Day: “what we would like to do is change the world–make it a little simpler for people to feed, clothe, and shelter themselves as God intended them to do. And, to a certain extent, by fighting for better conditions, by crying out unceasingly for the rights of the workers, of the poor, of the destitute–the rights of the worthy and unworthy poor, in other words–we can to a certain extent change the world; we can work for the oasis, the little cell of joy and peace in a harried world.”

Interesting, don’t you think?


Social Justice…More than Equality

In my Social Justice classes, I spend the entire semester getting students to understand and assess different understandings of the term “social justice.”  By the end of the semester, they have to articulate and defend their definition.

One thing I have to get them to understand is that even though equality and justice are related there is a slight difference.  Equality is a more theological/philosophical claim about the intrinsic value of the human being.  All human beings are created in God’s image and carry the divine.  Thus, all human beings have equal intrinsic value.

Justice is different and adds a different understanding to the term equality.  Equality, as we usually discuss it, means sameness: everyone takes the same test, gets the same resource, etc.

tree test

Justice, however, critiques this idea of equality and often focuses on the privileging and underprivileging that precedes any discussion of equality.  For example, two students take the same 3rd grade reading test but one of them doesn’t even know the alphabet because his/her school has failed them.

equality justice

These two cartoons have been making their rounds on facebook and the internet.  They have been useful in helping my students to think about this.  So, I thought I’d post them.



A Jewish artist’s challenge to Christians

This work entitled, “The White Crucifixion” was painted in 1938 by Jewish artist Marc Chagall.  It hangs in the Art Institute of Chicago.  I have had my students view this painting for my Intro to Religious Studies class.  I think it challenges Christians (like myself, a Roman Catholic) to consider what role our elimination of Jesus’ Jewishness has played in the persistence of Anti-Semitic violence and hatred to this very day.  The fullness and complexity of what Chagall is trying to depict is beyond one interpretation.  But I view this as a contemporary challenge to combat the evil of Anti-Semitism.  In case you’re interested, the question I asked my students is below the painting.



What is anti-Semitism? Historically, who has been the main perpetrator of violence against the Jewish people? In your opinion, why? How could this have been justified? In light of this, how do we respond to this injustice in the 21st century. 

Look at the painting, “The White Crucifixion,” (1938) by Jewish artist Marc Chagall.  Name three details that document aspects of Jewish life and/or history.  Why are they in the painting and what do they mean? 

Finally, what is your interpretation of what this painting is trying to convey?

Jesus wasn’t a Christian. He was Jewish

During Holy Week, let’s not forget this.  Jesus of Nazareth was not a Christian.  He was an observant Jew from the moment he was born until the moment he died.  This inconvenient fact might be a shock to some  “Christian” Anti-Semites like the murderer Frazier Glenn Miller in Kansas.  By his logic, a Christian would be the one crucifying Jesus right along with the Romans.

jewish jesus

“When God became human, healing humanity through his experience as a person who was wounded and hurt in many ways, God did not become a generic human being, a Roman, a Greek, or even an elite Judean Jew. He became a marginal, Galilean Jew, a village craftsman living with his family and neighbors in a village situated on the periphery of the political, intellectual, and religious powers of the world”–Fr. Virgilio Elizondo

Lord, have mercy on us all.

Cesar Chavez–”Creative Nonviolence”

chavez 2


I’ve found that the majority of my students have heard the name Cesar Chavez.  And they have no clue who this man was or what he wrote and taught.  The film biopic of Chavez’s life is probably meant to remedy this a bit.  (I have yet to see it).  But my hunch is that next year the majority of my students will still be clueless. So, I thought I’d post one of his short essays here.  It is called “Creative Nonviolence” and was originally published in The Catholic Worker in 1969.  It can most easily be found on page 64 in a book edited by Ilan Stavans, entitled Cesar Chavez: An Organizer’s Tale (Penguin Classics 2008).  Read it if you have a chance.  Hopefully I’m not breaking any copyright laws and can post a few more. 


Chavez Readings from handout__xid-4885907_1(1)(1)

Love is not enough


Dr.  Martin Luther King, Jr remains one of the most important religious, social, and political leaders in U.S. history.  But he also was a first class theologian who understands the relationship between justice and love.  Although he often is portrayed as an apostle of love for all humankind, which is true, we tend to soften or ignore his radical conception of justice that goes part and parcel with Christian love.  Among many of his speeches and writings, this is one of my favorites.  It is from an early speech where he shows the relationship between love and justice while placing the final emphasis on justice

“…in all of our doings, in all of our deliberations here this evening and all of the week and whilewhatever we do–we must keep God in the forefront.  Let us be Christian in all of our actions.  But I want to tell you this evening that it is not enough for us to talk about love, love is one of the pivotal points of the Christian faith. There is another side called justice. And justice is really love in calculation. Justice is love correcting that which revolts against love. 

The Almighty God himself is not only, not the God just standing out saying through Hosea, “I love you, Israel.” He’s also the God that stands up before the nations and said: “Be still and know that I’m God , that if you don’t obey me I will break the backbone of your power  and slap you out of the orbits of your international and national relationships.”  Standing beside love is always justice, and we are only using the tools of justice. Not only are we using the tools of persuasion, but we’ve come to see that we’ve got to use the tools of coercion…”

(“Address to the first Montgomery Improvement Association [MIA] Mass Meeting,” Dec. 5th, 1955)

God just might be crazy

God and free will

The question of why God gave human beings free will and the ability to make choices is an age old theological problem for Christians, and many others.  With all of the suffering that we have created, what was God thinking?  It is a very difficult question and there are no simple answers.  But Alejandro Garcia-Rivera articulates the problem very well along with what is at stake:

“In the openness of God’s own cosmic creativity, a frail creature was allowed to possess an extremely dangerous creativity. That such frailty could bear such creativity, we are told, is the wager that opens up the very identity of God. It also sets up the human mission. We are to find in our frailty, the strength of the Lord”

Food for thought today.


St. James on Wealth: “Weep and Wail” (James 5:1-6)

money images

If anyone actually reads this blog, you can tell I have not posted much in the past few months.  This semester has been crazy and I have been falling behind.  In order to post more frequently, I am going to give less of my own thoughts and more short readings that are challenging and/or illuminating.  Is this lazy?  Of course!  Is it necessary at the moment?  Yes.

Here is the first one.  It is from the letter of St. James in the New Testament.  This was in the lectionary this past week and is one of those amazing excerpts that I often forget are in there.

Come now, you rich, weep and wail over your impending miseries.
Your wealth has rotted away, your clothes have become moth-eaten,
your gold and silver have corroded,
and that corrosion will be a testimony against you;
it will devour your flesh like a fire.
You have stored up treasure for the last days.
Behold, the wages you withheld from the workers
who harvested your fields are crying aloud;
and the cries of the harvesters
have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.
You have lived on earth in luxury and pleasure;
you have fattened your hearts for the day of slaughter.
You have condemned;
you have murdered the righteous one;
he offers you no resistance (James 5:1-6)

Food for thought.


Please don’t hesitate to contact me, my office hours are:
M/W – 12pm to 1:30pm AND 3:30pm to 4:30pm; T/TH – 2pm to 4:30pm; Friday by appointment

Phone: 219 - 473 - 4353

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