Sister Laurie Brink: Dominican charism rooted in Bible


Mount Saint Mary College

By Matt Frey, Director of News Services
Mount Saint Mary College

Sister Laurie Brink, OP (Sinsinawa) reflected upon the heritage of Saint Dominic de Guzman, founder of the Order of Preachers, in “Fire in My Bones: Biblical Foundations of the Dominican Charism” at Mount Saint Mary College, Newburgh, New York.

St. Dominic established the first community of the Order of Preachers in the 13th century. For 800 years, priests, religious, and lay men and women have taken up the mantle of Dominic and proclaimed God’s justice and mercy.

Sister Laurie, associate editor of “The Bible Today” journal, proposes that a three-fold biblical foundation—the Word Prophetic, the Word Incarnate and the Word Proclaimed—informs and sustains one of the largest worldwide communities in the Catholic Church, and provides direction for those who seek to build a more holy and just world.

“The scriptures not only provide us with direction and encouragement, they connect use with our forefathers and mothers in faith,” she said.

A Dominican Sister of Sinsinawa, Sister Laurie is an associate professor of New Testament studies at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, and investigates the ancient social, religious, and cultural world out of which early Christianity emerged.

Having worked as a senior staff member for the Combined Caesarea Expedition in Israel, Sister Laurie seeks to integrate archaeological research and biblical exegesis. She recently directed an interdisciplinary project in which scholars of Roman history, archaeology, early Christianity, and Jewish studies investigated ancient burial practices and the emergence of identifiable Christian practices.

Her publications include “Commemorating the Dead: Texts and Artifacts in Context” (DeGruyter, 2008), “In This Place: Reflections on the Land of the Gospels for the Liturgical Cycles” (Wipf & Stock, 2008), “Finding A Woman’s Place: Essays in Honor of Carolyn Osiek” (Pickwick, 2010), and “Readers’ Guide” entries on Introduction to Pauline Literature, Romans, First Corinthians, and Second Corinthians. She is currently researching and writing a book on the biblical foundations of friendship.

The lecture was sponsored by the Catholic and Dominican Institute at Mount Saint Mary College.

Established as an initiative in Mount Saint Mary College’s first five-year strategic plan, the institute promotes the Mount’s heritage of St. Dominic; advances the Dominican charism of study and service; provides a forum for discussion of contemporary ethical issues; and enhances Catholic and Jewish dialogue. Guided by the college’s vision and mission statement, the institute welcomes persons of varied faiths and acknowledges different religious traditions as essential to the college’s intellectual and spiritual life.

In addition to hosting an annual Thomas Aquinas Philosophy Workshop (this year focusing on “Aquinas and God” June 6–8) the Catholic and Dominican Institute arranges lectures during the academic year. This spring’s remaining talks include: Stephen Mansfield, author of “Killing Jesus,” examining the death of Christ in a historical context on March 26 at 7 p.m.; and Rabbi Alan Brill discussing Jewish-Christian relations since Vatican II on April 3 at 7 p.m.

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