IPS Faculty Member Dr. Michael Canaris Awarded STL
In January 2017, Michael Canaris was awarded a postdoctoral Licentiate in Sacred Theology specializing in Ecumenism from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas, more commonly referred to as the Angelicum. His tesina (a lengthy required research project) was focused on ecumenical responses to human trafficking and contemporary slavery. The research drew in elements from many of the dynamic communities around Rome (the Centro Pro Unione, the Anglican Centre, the Comunità di Sant’Egidio) who have longstanding associations with the Lay Centre, where he lived as he worked on the degree. His writing strove to uncover the collaborative initiatives these and many other institutions support in combating the “scourge and open wound” of human trafficking across denominational boundaries, to cite Pope Francis’s diagnosis of the problem. The tesina offered practical recommendations for how theologies of reception, hospitality, and the Argentinian teologia del pueblo could inform the groundbreaking work already underway in addressing a “globalization of indifference,” and recognized the unique role that women (lay and religious) play in serving on the front lines of prevention, protection, and prosecution regarding these issues.
In general, the canonical licentiate is a historic pontifical degree accredited by the Holy See which enables one to serve the church and academy in a variety of specialized functions, including teaching in a major seminary, representing Catholic positions in official ecumenical dialogues, and serving as a theological resource for a number of diocesan roles and offices. It presupposes a substantial background (usually at least ten undergraduate courses) in ancient, scholastic, and contemporary philosophy, as well as a “first cycle” degree in theology or religious studies.
Michael previously holds degrees from the University of Scranton (PA), Boston College and Fordham University in New York City, and currently teaches systematic theology and ecclesiology at Loyola University Chicago’s Institute of Pastoral Studies. He is the author of Francis A. Sullivan, S.J. and Ecclesiological Hermeneutics: An Exercise in Faithful Creativity (Brill: 2016), and is currently working on two new book projects: the first exploring Christian notions of joy with Prof. Donna Orsuto, and the second on the intersection of ecclesiology with global migration issues. He chairs the IPS’s Global Engagement Committee and helps coordinate their summer programs in Rome, always making a point to immerse his graduate students in the unique, transnational community of the Lay Centre when visiting the Eternal City.