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Feb  2015 11
History of Christianity Faculty Announced

Phillips Theological Seminary welcomes Dr. Peter Anthony Mena as the newest and first Latina/o member of the faculty of the 109 year-old-institution.  He will begin teaching courses in the History of Christianity in the fall semester 2015.

Mena hopes to expose his students to new sources of understanding the history of the development of Christianity as a global phenomenon and help them acquire the skills they need to interpret this history and draw their own conclusions about how it affects their work as ministers and religious leaders. “By the time students leave my classroom I want them to be able to see a window into the past, understand how that window itself is a product of history and then be able to build and use their own windows to see things perhaps differently,” he said. “The final goal is to help students see connections between the past and the world they inhabit.”

Mena received a BA in History with a minor in Religious Studies at the University of Texas and then earned Master’s degrees in Early Christian History from St. Edward’s University in Texas, and in the History of Christianity, with a specialization in Late Antiquity, from Union Theological Seminary in New York. In 2014, he completed his PhD at Drew University, again specializing in Late Antiquity; he also earned a Graduate Certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies. His dissertation was entitled, “Borderlands/La Frontera of the Late Ancient Egyptian Desert:  Space, Identity, and the Ascetic Imagination.”

Currently teaching at Occidental College in California, Mena brings a range of interests and competencies in Christian movements before the Protestant Reformation, Latina/o issues within and outside Christianity, and a passion for valuing persons and ideas within contexts and cultures. “I am excited about the opportunity to return to a setting where I can affect the theological formation of future lay and clerical leaders through theological education,” Mena said.

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