Wisdom, Cosmos, and Cultus in the Book of Sirach

January 29, 2018

Fr. Jordan Schmidt, OP recently completed his doctorate in Biblical Studies at the Catholic University of America, defending a Ph.D. dissertation titled “Wisdom, Cosmos, and Cultus in the Book of Sirach.”

Fr. Jordan grew up in North Dakota and received a Bachelor’s degree in English and East Asian Studies from St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN in May 2002. After serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in rural China, he entered the seminary, studying for the diocese of Bismarck at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, MO from 2004-2006. He joined the Province of St. Joseph in the summer of 2006. After his ordination to the priesthood in 2012, he served as associate pastor to St. Mary’s parish in New Haven, CT.  In the Fall of 2013, he returned to Washington to pursue a doctorate in Biblical Studies at The Catholic University of America. During his time at The Catholic University of America, Fr. Jordan has served as a teaching assistant and teaching fellow in addition to taking on various posts in the School of Theology and Religious Studies student association.

Fr. Jordan describes the focus of his dissertation as follows:

“Despite the attention that has already been paid to the theme of creation in the book of Sirach, scholarship has yet to provide a comprehensive analysis of Ben Sira’s instruction regarding the cosmic order and its role in the divine bestowal of wisdom upon human beings. In particular, a detailed analysis of Ben Sira’s understanding of the place of human beings within the created order remains a desideratum of Sirach studies. A crucial question for examination is how, concretely does Ben Sira view the relationship between human beings and the cosmic order in which God has placed them?” To learn more about Fr. Jordan’s dissertation, click here. To hear a recent talk by Fr. Jordan titled “Who Reads the Bible?”, click here.

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