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Ens Gerald, Ph.D. Student, Western Field

photo of Gerald Ens

Gerald Ens

Ph.D. Student, Western Field

PhD Students
Department of Religious Studies

Area(s) of Interest:

Biography

Gerald’s interests in theology, philosophy, and anthropology tend to converge upon Christian ecclesiology and theological ethics with a particular investment in Mennonite theology. His dissertation, entitled “A Church of Suffering Servanthood? Inheriting Stanley Hauerwas’s Ecclesiology with Long-Term, Primary Caregivers,” proposes to elaborate upon Stanley Hauerwas’s central theological claims about the church as a community of suffering servanthood by way of ethnographic research with long-term, primary caregivers to people with intellectual disabilities.

AWARDS:

Harry Lyman Hooker Senior Fellowship, 2017-2021 .

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Doctoral Fellowship, 2017-2021

Canadian Society of Patristic Studies Student Essay Award Winner, 2017

Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship, Master’s Program, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, 2016-2017

Ontario Graduate Scholarship, 2015-2016

Academic Excellence Scholarship: Highest Returning Biblical and Theological Studies GPA, Canadian Mennonite University (Declined), 2012-2013

Academic Excellence Scholarship: Highest Returning Biblical and Theological Studies GPA, Canadian Mennonite University, 2011-2012

Education

Ph.D, Religious Studies, in progress
McMaster University
Major: Western Religious Thought Minor: Religion and the Social Sciences
Committee: Dr. P. Travis Kroeker (supervisor), Dr. Peter Widdicombe, Dr. Mark Rowe

M.A., Religious Studies, 2017
McMaster University
Major: Western Religious Thought Minor: Religion and Politics
Thesis: “Love’s Weakness: Simone Weil and the Truthful Encountering of Others”
Committee: Dr. P. Travis Kroeker (advisor), Dr. Peter Widdicombe, Dr. Dana Hollander

B.A. Honours, Biblical and Theological Studies, 2013
Canadian Mennonite University
Minor: Philosophy
Thesis: “Boundaries Thick and Permeable: Towards a Faithful and Vulnerable Ecclesiology with Yoder, Coles, and Merleau-Ponty”
Committee: Dr. Harry Huebner (advisor), Dr. Irma Fast Dueck

Teaching

Teaching Assistant, McMaster University, Winter 2019.
Course Title: Religious Themes in Modern Culture
Instructor: Dr. Zdravko Planinc

Teaching Assistant, McMaster University, Fall 2018.
Course Title:Sport and/as Religion
Instructor: Dr.Ellen Badone

Teaching Assistant, McMaster University, Winter 2018.
Course Title: RS3CC3 – Religion and Politics
Instructor: Dr. Dana Hollander

Teaching Assistant, McMaster University, Fall 2017.
Course Title: RS2QQ3 – Cults, Conspiracies, and Close Encounters
Instructor: Dr. Philippa Carter

Teaching Assistant, McMaster University, Winter 2017.
Course Title: RS3Y03E – Love in Western Civilization
Instructor: Dr. Zdravko Planinc

Teaching Assistant, McMaster University, Fall 2016.
Course Title: RS2YY3 – The Bible and Film
Instructor: Dr. Philippa Carter

Teaching Assistant, McMaster University, Fall 2015- Winter 2016.
Course Title: RS1B06 – What on Earth is Religion? (Formerly World Religions)
Instructor: Dr. Philippa Carter

Teaching Assistant, Canadian Mennonite University, Winter 2014.
Course Title: BTS2000 – Introduction to Christianity, sec. II.
Instructor: Dr. Irma Fast Dueck.
Lecture Dates: March 6 & April 3.

Teaching Assistant, Canadian Mennonite University, Fall 2012.
Course Title: BTS2000 – Introduction to Christianity, sec. I.
Instructor: Dr. Chris Huebner.

Research

Conference Presentations

  • “An Appeal for an Ethnographic Mennonite Theology: Church as Text-ure of Theological Interpretation.” Toronto Mennonite Theological Centre Graduate Student Conference: Texts, Experiences, Interpretations, Toronto, ON, June 2018.
  • “Lay and Professional Ministry in Mennonite Congregations.” Canadian Conference for Ecclesiology and Ethnography, Winnipeg, MB, June 2018.
  • “Fidelity and Receptivity in Romand Coles’s Engagement with Christian Theology.” Centre for Research on Religion Graduate Student Conference, Montreal, QC, September 2017.
  • “Loving to Know: Augustine’s Epistemology in Book XV of The Trinity.” Canadian Society of Patristic Studies, Toronto, ON, May 2017.
  • “Power and Purity: For and Against John Howard Yoder on Binding and Loosing.” Toronto Mennonite Theological Centre Graduate Student Conference: Power in Perspective(s), Elkhart, IN, June 2016.

Invited Academic Presentations

  • “Good Deaths in Wendell Berry’s Short Stories.” Toronto Mennonite Theological Centre Scholars Forum, Toronto School of Theology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, February 2019.
  • “Messianic Desire and Sacramental Ecclesiology: A Response to Messianic Political Theology and Diaspora Ethics.” Symposium on P. Travis Kroeker’s Messianic Political Theology and Diaspora Ethics, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, February 2018.
  • “Mennonite Ecclesiology.” Intensive Course in Mennonite Systematic Theology for visiting students from the International Institute for Islamic Studies in Qum, Iran, Canadian Mennonite University, Winnipeg, MB, February 2015.

Book Reviews

  • Joseph R. Wiebe, The Place of Imagination: Wendell Berry and the Poetics of Community, Affection, and Identity (Waco: Baylor University Press, 2017) in The Conrad Grebel Review Vol. 37, No. 1 (Winter 2019).

Other Writing

  • “Towards a Receptive Music: Cavellian Reflection on Andre Forget’s ‘The Composer of Space.’” Earth World Collaborative, Fall 2019.
  • “Faithful Practices on a Dying Planet: How Might the Church Survive or Die Faithfully Amid Catastrophic Climate Change.” Canadian Mennonite Vol. 23, Is. 17 (Sept. 25, 2019).
  • “The Death of Music” (video essay). Earth World Collaborative, Summer 2019.