From Left to Right: 

Dr. Steven Baldner, Dr. Louis Groarke, Dr. Guy Lalande, Dr. William Sweet, Dr. Angela Kolen,
Dr. Jarrett Carty (visiting speaker), Dr. Suzanne Stewart, Dr. Joseph Khoury, Dr. Robert Kennedy

Dr. Guy Lalande (History), Co-ordinator of Catholic Studies, is an Associate Professor. He received his Master of Arts from Laval University and his PhD from McGill University. His main areas of scholarly interest are Eastern European and Russian History, as well as the History of the First World War. For more on Dr. Lalande, check here.

Dr. William Sweet (Philosophy), holds graduate degrees in philosophy (PhD), political science (DEA), and philosophical theology (DPh). He has studied (among other places) at the Universities of Ottawa, Saint Paul, Manitoba, Carleton, Paris, Vienna, and Berlin. He has been a visiting professor in Poland, China, India, Australia, and Belgium, has lectured in over 50 countries, and serves on the executive of a number of international philosophical organisations. His principal areas of scholarly and teaching interest include the character of religious faith (e.g., the influence of science and technology on religion) and the philosophy of Jacques Maritain. He is a Member of the Steering Committee, Fédération Internationale des Sociétés de Philosophie (International Federation of Philosophical Societies), President of the World Union of Catholic Philosophical Societies, a Past-President of the Canadian Philosophical Association, and Editor of the journal Philosophy, Culture and Traditions. Among his recent books are: Migrating Texts and Traditions (2012), Responses to the Enlightenment (2012; with Hendrik Hart); Intercultural Dialogue and Human Rights (2011; ed. with Luigi Bonanate and Roberto Papini); Biographical Encyclopedia of British Idealism (2010); Freedom of Religion (2010); The Moral, Social and Political Philosophy of the British Idealists (2009); Rethinking the Role of Philosophy in the Global Age (2009); The Dialogue of Cultural Traditions: A Global Perspective (2008; ed. with Tomonobu Imamichi, George F. McLean, et alii), and Religion and the Challenges of Science (2007). For more information on Dr. Sweet, click here.

Dr. Robert Kennedy (Religious Studies) is a specialist in the thought of St. Augustine. In May 2010, he attended the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences in Montreal (Concordia University) and gave a paper on “Augustine and Anselm on the Cause of the Angelic Fall.” This is part of a larger project of reading Anselm back through Augustine and forward through contemporary debates in ethical theory. In October 2010, his article on Augustine’s theory of biblical interpretation, “A Text with Teeth,” appeared in Studies in Religion. Much of the past summer was spent developing a new course, Education in the Catholic Tradition, and preparing financial reports for the Canadian Corporation for Studies in Religion, of which he is the treasurer. In May 2011 Dr. Kennedy gave a paper on social justice in Augustine's ascetical works, and he is currently doing research on the importance of these works for Augustine’s ethics. For more information on Dr. Kennedy, please click here.

Dr. Joseph Khoury (English) received his BA in Political Science, with a concentration in Political Philosophy, and his PhD in Comparative Literary Studies. He has varied literary and philosophical interests, and specializes in Machiavelli, Marlowe, Shakespeare, and the contemporary Arabic novel. Professor Khoury continues his interests in political philosophy, and recently published an article on Machiavelli and terrorism. He regularly teaches English 100 (Introductory Survey of Literature in English), English 340 (Shakespeare), and English 240 (Literature of the Middle East). He is also actively involved in the Humanities Colloquium Program. For more on Dr. Khoury, check here.

Dr. Sharon Gregory (Fine Arts) obtained her PhD in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, England, and holds the Erasmus Canada Research Chair in Renaissance Humanism. She teaches courses in the Department of Art on Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque Art History. Her primary research interest is Italian Renaissance Art. In the past year, she has presented conference papers and guest lectures at the University Art Association of Canada annual conference (Halifax), the University of Guelph, and the University of St Andrews, Scotland. Her recent research deals with the theme of imitation in Giorgio Vasari’s biography of Jacopo Pontormo, and on Caravaggio’s interest in Vasari’s Lives. During 2011-12, she is on sabbatical leave. For more on Dr. Gregory, check here.

Dr. Angela (Angie) Kolen (Human Kinetics) holds a PhD in Kinesiology from the University of Saskatchewan and is Associate Professor of Human Kinetics. She received the Outstanding Teacher Award from StFX in 2005, the Distiguished Teaching Award from the Association of Atlantic Universities in 2007, and a 3M Teaching Fellowship in 2010. The author of research on physical activity, physical fitness, and health in children and youth, she has been active on the StFX Service Learning Advisory Committee and Research Ethics Board, Nova Scotia Alliance for Healthy Eating and Physical Activity, and the Active Kids, Healthy Kids strategy. She is also the author of several textbooks on alth Education. For more on Dr. Thompson, check here.

Dr. Steven Baldner (Philosophy), was educated at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies in Toronto where he specialized in mediaeval philosophy. His main academic interest is the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas, especially Aquinas’ natural philosophy and the problem of creation. Dr. Baldner likes to publish articles on various saints: Thomas Aquinas, Albert the Great (Thomas’ teacher), Bonaventure, and Anselm. In 1996, he designed and proposed the Program in Catholic Studies; he currently coordinates the Humanities Colloquium, which he helped to inaugurate in 2008, and, as a temporal punishment for his sins, served as Dean of Arts, 2006-10. He has taught at StFX since 1992, having taught previously at St. Thomas More College in Saskatoon. He is personally shifting his interest from middle ages to old ages. For more information on Dr. Baldner, click here.

Dr. Louis Groarke (Philosophy), has taught at St. Francis Xavier for the past eight years. Although his research focuses on ethics and political philosophy, he has also written on aesthetics, philosophy of religion, argumentation theory, and philosophy of science. He has a particular interest in Aristotle and the ancient Greeks. Books include: The Good Rebel (2001), An Aristotelian Account of Induction: Creating Something from Nothing (2010), and Moral Reasoning (2011).  Professor Groarke believes in the value of a liberal arts education, and sees Catholic Studies as an integral component of a broader approach to education that respects and critically engages with the Western intellectual tradition and the history of ideas. The Judeo-Christian tradition generally formulates answers to philosophical, theological, moral, political and even artistic questions in a unique way that deserves close scrutiny. Focusing on Catholicism and on challenges to Catholicism provides for a useful and challenging course of study. For more information on Dr. Groarke, click here.

Dr. Suzanne Stewart is an Assistant Professor of Catholic Studies and English Literature. Her specialization is the Romantic period, particularly poetry and relationships between literature and visual art. Recently, she has pursued her Christian (primarily Catholic) interests, writing papers on William Wordsworth’s poetry in relation to St. Francis of Assisi and to the monastic tradition. Her current project is a (collaboratively-written) book, Literature Transfigured: Judeo-Christian Perspectives on Reading and Criticism. Her recent conversion to the Catholic Church, after many years as a devoted Protestant, has ignited a deep and fervent adherence to all aspects of Catholicism, a relationship that she is delighted to enrich through the Programme in Catholic Studies. She believes firmly, with T.S. Eliot, that literature is inherently “ethical and theological”—it “affects us wholly, as human beings”—and she aspires to share that timeless insight through writing and teaching. Email: sstewart@stfx.ca; Phone: (902) 867-4515.

Prof. Martin Sastri is a doctoral candidate in Medieval Studies at the University of Notre Dame. While his current project concentrates on twelfth-century platonism, he is -more broadly- interested in all manifestations of platonism from antiquity to the present. His published work has focused on Plotinus, St. Augustine, Pseudo-Dionysius, and John Scottus Eriugena. He has presented papers at Brown University, the University of Virgina, the University of British Columbia, as well as at the International Congress for Medieval Studies. Having previouly taught at Notre Dame and King's College, Prof. Sastri came to St. FX in 2014, and has taught courses in Catholic mysticism, eschatology and Christology. His hobbies include translating Latin poetry and Muay Thai. Email: msastri@stfx.ca; Phone: (902) 867-5225.