Wallace, Mark I. 1956-

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WALLACE, Mark I. 1956-

PERSONAL: Born June 26, 1956; married; children: two. Education: University of California, Santa Barbara, B.A., 1978; Princeton Theological Seminary,
M.Div., 1982; University of Chicago, Ph.D., 1986.

ADDRESSES: Home—604 Elm Ave., Swarthmore, PA 19081. Offıce—Swarthmore College, Department of Religion, 500 College Ave., Swarthmore, PA 19081; fax: 610-328-7687. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Trinity Press International, P.O. Box 1321, Harrisburg, PA 17105. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER: Author, Presbyterian minister, theologian, and educator. Ordained to Presbyterian Ministry, 1990. Merrimack College, lecturer in religious studies, 1986-87; Georgia State University, assistant professor of philosophy, 1987-89; Swarthmore College, Swathmore, PA, assistant professor, 1989-95, associate professor of religion, 1995—, chair, then co-chair of Department of Religion, 1995-2001; Princeton Theological Seminary Summer School, instructor, 1992; University of Pennsylvania, visiting lecturer, 2003.

MEMBER: International Institute for Hermeneutics, Karl Barth Society of North America, American Academy of Religion, Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy.

AWARDS, HONORS: University of Chicago Institute for the Advanced Study of Religion fellow, 1985-86; Mortar Board Distinguished Professor, Georgia State University, 1989; National Endowment for the Humanities summer stipend, 1989; American Academy of Religion research grant, 1992; ACLS contemporary practice fellowship, 2000; Flack faculty fellowship, Swarthmore College, 1999-2000; Andrew W. Mellon New Directions for Scholars teachers fellowship, 2003-04.


The Second Naiveté: Barth, Ricoeur, and the New YaleTheology, Mercer (Macon, GA), 1990.

(Editor, with Theophus H. Smith) Curing Violence, Polebridge Press (Sonoma, CA), 1994.

(Editor) Paul Ricoeur, Figuring the Sacred: Religion,Narrative, and Imagination, translated by David Pellauer, Fortress Press (Minneapolis, MN), 1995.

Fragments of the Spirit: Nature, Violence, and theRenewal of Creation, Continuum (New York, NY), 1996.

Contributor to volumes such as Dictionary of Biblical Interpretation, edited by John H. Hayes, Abingdon Press (Nashville, TN), 1999; The Blackwell Companion to Postmodern Theology, edited by Graham Ward, Blackwell (Oxford, England), 2001; Between the Human and the Divine: Philosophical and Theological Hermeneutics, edited by Andrzej Wiercinski, Hermeneutic Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada); and The Unknown, Remembered Gate: Religious Experience and Hermeneutical Reflection in the Study of Religion, edited by Elliot R. Wolfson and Jeffrey J. Kripal, Seven Bridges Press (New York, NY), 2003.

Contributor to journals and periodicals such as Modern Theology, Theology Today, Journal of Religion, Christian Scholar's Review, Journal of the AmericanAcademy of Religion, Religious Studies Review, and Southwestern Journal of Theology. Has also served on editorial boards for Colloquium on Violence and Religion, and advisory board, 1990-95, Contagion, Mimesis, and Culture, 1994—; "Reflection and Theory in the Study of Religion Series" (American Academy of Religion), Oxford University Press, 1998-2000. MHas served as manuscript reviewer for periodicals such as Journal of Religion, Philosophical Psychology, Contagion: Journal of Violence, Mimesis, and Culture, and Studies in Religion/Sciences Religieuses.

SIDELIGHTS: Mark I. Wallace is an author, minister, and theologian who teaches in the department of religion at Swarthmore College. In his first book, The Second Naiveté: Barth, Ricoeur, and the New Yale Theology Wallace presents "a thoughtful, patient, and illuminating comparative study of the theological hermeneutics of Karl Barth and Paul Ricoeur, leading to some proposals for the task of a theological interpretation of Scripture today," commented Charles M. Wood in Theology Today. The "second Naiveté" of the title refers to Ricoeur and Barth's mutual conviction that interpretation of the Bible should lead readers to a "fresh encounter with the divine reality to which the text bears witness," Wood explained.

Wallace "convincingly identifies several areas of agreement between Barth and Ricoeur," commented Lee C. Barrett III in Interpretation. For example, both believe that scripture can disclose the Word of God; that the literary form of the texts is critical to their meaning and allows the development of criteria for evaluating different interpretations of scripture; and that the meaning of Biblical texts lies beyond the "events behind the texts" or the "intentions of the communities that first compiled them," Barrett noted. Wallace also outlines differences of opinion among Barth, Ricoeur, and the "Yale School" of theologians. According to Barrett, Yale theologians support a reading of holy text "unencumbered by the reader's experience," while Ricoeur advocates the interpretation derived from a "fusion" between text and reader. Wood concluded that The Second Naiveté "is a useful guide to the hermeneutics of both figures as well as to the current state of the question."

Wallace's second book, Fragments of the Spirit: Nature, Violence, and the Renewal of Creation, is a "brilliant tour de force of post-modern theory, traditional Christian theology, and contemporary metaphysics," commented Henry Carrigan, Jr., in his review for Library Journal. The book examines the role of the third component of the Holy Trinity—the Holy Spirit—in a culture facing loss of faith and frequent violence. Wallace's work "attempts to redeem the Holy Spirit from the mire of metaphysical speculation," noted Interpretation reviewer Stacy Martin. Wallace "takes this theological retrieval of Spirit in an unexpected direction," observed Alexander Irwin in Journal of Religion. "Where others have highlighted continuities between their own perspectives and the philosophical and theological tradition, Wallace expressly styles his proposal as a defiant break with dominant currents in Christian philosophical theology and ethics." Wallace asserts that traditional Christian interpretations of the Holy Spirit as a "metaphysical, transcendent being" are no longer valid in contemporary times, noted a Publishers Weekly reviewer. In his book he also addresses such controversial questions as violence in God. "Wallace recognizes that in biblical literature, even 'the Spirit' is sometimes presented as an enemy rather than a friend," remarked Jay McDaniel in Theology Today. "Thus, he takes responsibility for a tension that lies within his own book: that between trusting the Spirit as a healing power in creation and resisting the Spirit as a source of evil in its own right." Wallace also addresses issues of ecology in terms of the influence of the Holy Spirit. Douglas Burton-Christie, writing in Cross Currents, stated, "This is a courageous and important book. Courageous because the author, eschewing any pretense of detached academic objectivity, engages in a theologically risky and ethically demanding investigation of the cosmic significance of the Holy Spirit. Its importance lies in its capacity to balance the deconstructive and constructive dimensions of this theological project."



ARC, 1999, Alyda Faber, review of Fragments of theSpirit: Nature, Violence, and the Renewal of Creation, pp. 243-245.

Choice, September, 1996, C. E. Reagan, review of Figuring the Sacred: Religion, Narrative, and Imagination, p. 34; September, 1996, Rosemary Smith, review of Fragments of the Spirit, p. 136.

Christian Century, September 4, 1991, review of TheSecond Naiveté: Barth, Ricoeur, and the New YaleTheology, p. 826; May 24, 1995, Steven L. Cox, review of Curing Violence, p. 576.

Chronicle of Higher Education, January 23, 1991, review of The Second Naiveté, p. 73.

Cross Currents, summer, 1998, Douglas Burton-Christie, review of Fragments of the Spirit, p. 259.

Faith and Mission, fall, 1992, Calvin Mercer, review of The Second Naiveté, pp. 116-117.

Interpretation, January, 1993, Lee C. Barrett, III, review of The Second Naiveté, p. 98; January, 2003, Stacy Martin, review of Fragments of the Spirit, p. 96.

Journal of Religion, July, 1992, David Pellauer, review of The Second Naiveté, pp. 449-451; July, 1998, Alexander Irwin, review of Fragments of the Spirit, p. 450.

Journal of the American Academy of Religion, winter, 1998, Susan Simonaitas, review of Fragments of the Spirit, pp. 972-975.

Journal of Theological Studies, October, 1992, David Fergusson, review of The Second Naiveté, pp. 772-774.

Library Journal, July 27, 1996, Henry Carrigan, Jr., review of Fragments of the Spirit, p. 123.

Lutheran Quarterly, autumn, 1993, Mark Mattes, review of The Second Naiveté, pp. 347-348.

Modern Theology, July, 1998, Graham Ward, review of Fragments of the Spirit, pp. 452-54.

Perspectives in Religious Studies, 1994, Roy Martinez, review of The Second Naiveté, pp. 160-165.

Publishers Weekly, May 27, 1996, review of Fragments of the Spirit, p. 71.

Religious Studies, September, 1996, Brian R. Clack, review of Figuring the Sacred, p. 530.

Religious Studies Review, April, 1997, Randy L. Maddox, review of Fragments of the Spirit, p. 136.

Review of Religious Research, June, 1997, Mary Paula Walsh, review of Fragments of the Spirit, pp. 374-376.

Reviews in Religion and Theology, May, 1997, Peter Scott, review of Fragments of the Spirit, pp. 18-23.

Scottish Journal of Theology, 1995, Kevin J. Vanhoozer, review of The Second Naiveté, pp. 97-99.

Theological Studies, December, 1991, Marie-Eloise Rosenblatt, review of The Second Naiveté, pp. 776-777; September, 1996, Peter E. Fink, review of Figuring the Sacred, p. 545; June, 1997, Nancy A. Dallavalle, review of Fragments of the Spirit, p. 362.

Theology Digest, winter, 1997, review of The SecondNaiveté, p. 387.

Theology Today, January, 1992, Charles M. Wood, review of The Second Naiveté, p. 482; April, 1996, Walter Brueggemann, review of Figuring the Sacred, pp. 95-96; April, 1997, Jay McDaniel, review of Fragments of the Spirit, p. 135.

Toronto Journal of Theology, 1994, Mark A. Husbands, review of The Second Naiveté, pp. 86-88; winter, 1998, Philip G. Ziegler, review of Fragments of the Spirit, pp. 144-146.


Swarthmore College Web site,http://www.swarthmore.edu/ (October 4, 2004), "Mark I. Wallace."

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