Saturday, November 14, 2009

Friday Face: Professor Moss

Today I bring you Professor Candida Moss, or Candida as her students call her. Candida went to Oxford for undergrad and Yale for grad school. She teaches theology and specializes in the early Christian martyrs, about which she is currently writing a book. Candida has an amazing life story. Among other things, she is British nobility and went to boarding school where she rode ponies every morning before breakfast. I've been lucky enough to take two of her classes, which were so much fun that we called her class "Bible stand-up." One of her most wonderful qualities is how approachable she is; students stop by her office to hang out and she always invites her classes to her house for dinner. Introducing (probably) the best professor at Notre Dame!

Your full name: Candida Rebecca Moss
Where you studied before coming to Notre Dame: University of Oxford, Yale Divinity School, Yale University

Job description: I get to read, think, and write about the questions that have preoccupied humanity throughout history. When I'm not teaching the great books or writing about early Christians and martyrdom, I spend my time cooking for and eating with students, organizing talks for the Disability Studies Forum, crying at football games, eating too many animal crackers in the PLS Office, and trying to persuade my students to go to grad school.

Why did you pick to come work at Notre Dame? As a recusant Catholic from England, I always wanted the opportunity to work at the premiere Catholic university in the world. The opportunity to be part of a world class Theology program and encourage others to pursue Biblical and Ancient Studies is really everything I could have hoped for and so much more.

What is something you struggle with? Elementary arithmatic.

Who is your hero? Belgian scholar Hippolyte Delehaye, S.J. He is one of the most important members of the Jesuit hagiographical society the Société des Bollandistes and he used historical methods to establish critical editions of early Christian martyrdom stories.

Favorite place to travel? Rome, it has everything - Roman history, beautiful churches, unparalleled libraries, and fried zucchini flowers.

What makes you laugh? Ricky Gervais, Aristophanes, when Americans imitate my accent

What do you think is the world's biggest problem? Self-interest and a declining sense of responsibility to others. I firmly believe that if we took seriously the duties we have to others as fellow human beings and children of God, many of our ecological, social, and political issues would be easier to navigate.

Favorite and least favorite things about Notre Dame: Favourite? Just one? The Program of Liberal Studies students. They are the most intellectually curious, collegial, and inspiring students I have had the pleasure of working with. Least favourite? The cold weather and, on a related note, my heating bill.

One word that describes you? Enthusiastic

Thanks Candida!


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  23. Candida Moss as uncovered by Trooper Keeton.
    The woman is being true to her Protestant education. That being Oxford and Yale. She is employed by Notre Dame, but with anti-discrimination laws that means little. Not all, but some Protestants wrestle with apostolic accession, for this is a key pillar of the Catholic Church. So when we read her writings claiming the Christians were not persecuted, then how can we believe that all the Popes before the fourth century were martyred. It has been said to know history is to cease being a Protestant. So Ms. Moss choses to rewrite history.
    Having said that, please do not be upset if you are my, as we say, separated brethren. If you believe all that about indulgences, then you are probably true to your heart and will go to heaven and be united the Jesus. Whether Protestant or Catholic, let us ponder that this woman may have an axe to grind. Maybe she is quilted over the all-male priesthood or the over-scrutinized Obama Care. May I steer you to the fullness of the truth on the early church with The Fathers Know Best by Jimmy Akin. Now Jimmy's book is like reading the Bible so you may not want to read cover to cover, just indulge in the Chapters that grab you. Now a fun read is The Miracles of the Coliseum. Fun because some of it may be hyperboles. It is written in this book a line that I coveted , The Blood of the Martyrs are the Seeds of Christianity.