Posted on: February 17th, 2007 Itinerary

For Matt’s bio, see here and here.

For Matt’s C.V., see here.

Update: February, 2022.

My book has been published! What a joy.

Repetition and Mythos (obscure title, I’m well aware) is in so many ways the culmination of my life’s work of thinking.

What’s it about? One way of putting it: it’s a vindication of Hegel of sorts from a surprising quarter (Ratzinger). It’s also a philosophical-hermeneutical meditation on the nature of history. It’s also a “take” on biblical eschatology from a philosophical perspective, as mediated by centuries of thought, both secular and “religious,” in the West.

Will it be well received? I have no idea!

Update: April 20, 2021.

Today I signed a contract with Wipf and Stock Publishing Company for the publication of the Ph D dissertation, Repeition and Mythos: Ratzinger’s Bonaventure and the Meaning of HIstory. I’m thankful to many friends and colleagues who helped get me to this point: John Milbank and WIlliam Desmond, who read my dissertation and gave me helpful feedback; Philip Gonzales who helped me initially connect with the publisher; Robin Parry, my editor; and most of all Philipp Rosemann, my academic advisor and mentor, who has been working with me for about eight years now.

Update: June, 2020.

Yesterday (after a significant delay due to Coronavirus and other issues) I successfully defended my Ph. D. dissertation, entitled¬†Repetition and Mythos: Ratzinger’s Bonaventure and the Meaning of History, under the direction of Philipp Rosemann, with John Milbank and William Desmond serving as outside reader and inside reader, respectively. Since Dr. Rosemann invited me to accompany him to Maynooth University (the Nat. Univ. of Ireland), that is the institution granting me the actual degree. (Yet, I am forever grateful to the University of Dallas, and its Institute of Philosophical Studies, for my excellent regimen of coursework and the formative experience of undergoing comprehensive exams.)

The Ph. D. has been quite a journey, lasting over seven and a half years. Worth every second and every sacrifice, it has been a life-changing adventure.

Update: October, 2019.

I have now successfully completed and submitted my doctoral dissertation to Maynooth University, it having been fully and finally approved by my advisor, Dr. Philipp Rosemann. Next step: the defense, or “viva voce,” scheduled for March of 2020 in Ireland (with Professors William Desmond and John Milbank serving as my examiners).

Update: March 5, 2019.

A couple of weeks ago I spent a week in Maynooth, checking off some additional boxes, working on a couple of tasks which are necessary for the completion of my PhD in philosophy. Here, in a nutshell, is where I’m at:

  1. I submitted my first chapter (which is also my second “unit,” since it follows on a lengthy, 11,000 word introduction and statement of method). This first chapter is a curated historical introduction to both Bonaventure and Ratzinger.
  2. I officially asked Professors John Milbank and William Desmond to serve as the examiners at my dissertation defense (in Anglophone Europe called a “viva”), which means, among other things, that both of these towering scholar leaders will be reading my dissertation … and they both said “yes!”
  3. I participated in a colloquium on St. Augustine’s Confessions, Book XI (which includes his treatment of time), together with John Milbank, William Desmond, Philipp Rosemann, and Phillip Gonzales (of the University of Dallas, Rome Campus). This served as the partial fulfillment of a requirement as part of the PhD program at Maynooth. (I will also be submitting a journal article in connection with this gathering.)

Update: December 26, 2018.

It was a joy to spend about a week with Dr. Rosemann last summer (during my sabbatical, spent mostly at the Institut Papst Benedikt XVI in Regensburg) on campus, while staying at the historical and picturesque St. Patrick’s College, and I will visit again this coming February for a colloquium on Book XI of Augustine’s Confessions. While there I will also meet with William Desmond and John Milbank to discuss my work and invite them to serve on my committee.

The process of writing the dissertation has been challenging. After an initial “burst” of success during last summer’s sabbatical in Europe, this semester has been marked by, among other events, the death of my mother, Rosemary, R.I.P.

Yet I am encouraged today, because of an email I received this morning, in which Dr. Rosemann responded to my revision of the first “unit” of my dissertation (the Introduction and Statement of Method) with minimal revisions requested.

I think this means that I am now on my way to getting the dissertation written. With the first of six units under my belt, I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Update in May, 2018.

Very soon after passing comprehensive exams (see below), my advisor Dr. Philipp Rosemann notified me that he was departing the University of Dallas–where I had been studying under him for about five years–to take over the chair of the philosophy department of Maynooth University, on of four campuses of the National University of Ireland, about 25 kilometers outside of city center Dublin.

He also invited me to accompany him in this transition.

While eternally grateful for my education at the University of Dallas, I nevertheless agreed to “follow” Dr. Rosemann to MU, in order to finish my dissertation under him.

Update in May, 2017.

After five years of grueling coursework at the University of Dallas, and one Master’s Degree later, I am finally “ABD,” or “all but dissertation.” That is, I passed my comprehensive exams (oral and written) for my PhD program, and now will turn my attention to my dissertation, under the direction of Dr. Rosemann (see below), which will treat Joseph Ratzinger’s _The Theology of History in St. Bonaventure_.

Update on April 28, 2012

After more than a decade of praying, planning, dreaming, and scheming I have finally been given a wide open door to pursue graduate work in philosophy / theology (having been admitted to and funded for the PhD program at the University of Dallas with Professor Philipp Rosemann).

I will begin this fall, even while remaining in my position as Asst. Rector at Christ Church in Tyler. My plan is to commute to UD twice per week.

For more on the program I’ll be involved in, see here and here.

My areas of interest at this point include the relationship between philosophy and theology; the theoretical conversation between Thomas Aquinas, Martin Heidegger, and Jean-Luc Marion on metaphysics and ontology; faith and reason in Aquinas; the question “What comes after post-structuralism?”; sex and gender issues after post-structuralism; Wittengstein on language; Slavoj Zizek; the methodology (or lack thereof) of Radical Orthodoxy.

Update on July 3, 2010

As of tomorrow (Sunday, July 4, 2010) I will be the new Assistant Rector at Christ Church (Episcopal) in Tyler, Texas. Although I never could have imagined that we would live in Tyler, God has clearly been at work in this move. I am excited about the parish here and my work in it (including the launching of a new ministry / service, as well as working with the gifted and godly rector, David Luckenbauch). Just as important, my girls (Bouquet, Bella, and Ellie) are just as excited as I am.

As a little taste of our new life here, our house is 70 years old, with big trees in the yard, less than a mile from my office! Life, and God, are good. I am grateful to him, as well as to Christ Church.

Update on July 15, 2009.

Last Saturday, the vestry of St. Richard’s Episcopal Church in Round Rock, TX (15 miles north of our house) confirmed my call to be the Assistant to the Rector at this parish, marking (in my mind at least) the end of a five year vocational transition during which I was cared for by God at every step through the wilderness.

Today is my first day “on the job,” and I am scheduled to be ordained to the diaconate in the fall and to the priesthood in the summer of 2010.

I am grateful to the many brothers and sisters in the Episcopal Diocese of Texas who have shepherded me through this process into Holy Orders. I am deeply grateful to be a (potential) presbyter in this Anglican branch of the Catholic tradition (God willing).

February 2007

I (Matt Boulter) am a former Presbyterian minister in Austin (having recently demitted my orders in the South Texas Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in America), the husband of a beautiful woman Bouquet (who has the sensibilities of a medieval troubador, with a smattering of hobbit-like qualities, combined with an embodied concern for the poor and oppressed) and the father of Isabella Ruth (age four) and Eleanor Bay (age five months).

We live in urban Austin, and I have just ended a wonderful three year pastoral season with Christ the King Presbyterian Church (some of my sermons can be listened to by going here) in Southwest Austin in order to seek Anglican orders in the Episcopal Diocese of Texas. To that end I am taking about a year’s worth of classes at the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest dealing with Anglican worship and history.

I love to run, to read, to drink (scotch, bourbon, dark beers and hoppy bears), and sometimes to smoke. We love to work in our garden, and long for more time to do so.

I am currently working 20 hours per week at Starbucks, and this is proving to be a stimulating experience indeed.

My most influential Christian thinkers are: C.S. Lewis, GK Chesterton, Peter Leithart, Rowan Williams, Tim Keller, Walker Percy, N.T. Wright, and Eugene Peterson. (Honorable mention: John Milbank, Wendell Berry, Flannery O’Connor, Alexander Schmemann, William Cavanaugh, James Jordan.)

I studied philosophy (and finance) at the University of Texas, and theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia.

A current interest of mine is tracing the ways in which Augustine’s doctrine of God (especially divine simplicity and God’s ousia) differs from that of the East (with its emphasis on the energies of God and also their distinctive understanding of hypostasis), and how these divergent understandings led to subsequent developments in the East and in the West. (The claim of many Eastern Orthodox writers is that much of the philosopohical — and cultural and spiritual — impoverishment in the West is traceable to very early emphases in how God is defined, articulated and understood in Latin theology.)

I am also convinced of the centrality of liturgical worship and the sacraments in the Christian life, as well as in the church’s witness to a watching world.

This blog is dedicated primarily to a discussion of (things related to) political theology, particularly with respect to Radical Orthodoxy and the Reformed tradition.

One Response to “Itinerary”

  1. religiocity » Blog Archive » “Belief Systems” Says:
    July 10th, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    […] / ecclesiology Yesterday, in my first week “on the ground” here in Tyler (see here), I went on an 8-mile run with some amazing members of the community here, ranging from age 55 to […]

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