CDU MA StudentMA Candidate Presents Thesis at Conference

On April 23, 2016, MA candidate Julianne Stokes presented her Master's thesis at the First Annual Graduate Conference on Personalist Philosophy, which was hosted by The Hildebrand Project in conjunction with Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio.

Julianne and her husband Jon live in New York State. They have eight children, and both serve as catechists in the Syracuse Diocese, where they promote Theology of the Body, Teen Star, Respect Life, and New York State Right to Life. Julianne also works as a substitute teacher at a Catholic elementary school.

She received an invitation encouraging the submission of graduate papers on personalism from John Henry Crosby, founder and president of the Hildebrand Project. Her thesis just happened to address personalist thought on women.

Titled “Geborgenheit and the 'Tabor Vision' Beheld and Treasured in the Heart of Woman: What Modern Personalists Reveal about Women,” Julianne's thesis shows that the unique insight of a woman reveals the image of God as 'safekeeping' by comparing a bride's 'Tabor Vision' of her beloved as described by Alice von Hildebrand with Hans Urs von Balthasar's concept of geborgenheit. The key to likening these two concepts is the Blessed Virgin Mary, informed by the Gospel concept of kenosis, a state in which one becomes completely receptive to God's will.

"CDU introduced me to the thought of the great personalists of the 20th century," Julianne says. "Dr. Aaron Urbanczyk taught me the philosophy of Hans Urs von Balthasar and shepherded me through the thesis writing process."

"As a Master's candidate, I have been able to find work as a teacher in both private and public schools," Julianne says. "Every member of the faculty, along with the administrators and the staff, has encouraged and inspired me. Personally, the entire course of classes for my Master's has informed my life and developed my Faith in every aspect," she adds.

"The community here online is a great joy to me," Julianne says. "They have enriched my relationship with God and my neighbor. I love my alma mater, Catholic Distance University!"

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