BA, BSc(Hons), BTheol, DipEd, STL, PhD
Joseph Vnuk is a Dominican friar whose theological motto is “taking every thought captive and rendering it obedient to Christ.” Three formative influences here are: doing cryptic crosswords as an adolescent; meeting the radical feminists through their critique of reproductive technologies (and thus as allies rather then opponents); and learning in Melanesia to read with pre-modern eyes.
After studying science and classical languages at uni, Joseph joined the Dominicans and pursued theological studies for the priesthood at YTU. While working as a uni chaplain he gained an STL from Catholic Institute of Sydney, and his thesis comparing Irenaeus with Luce Irigaray was awarded the Beth Blackall prize from the SCD. After some teaching in PNG, he did a doctorate in Nottingham on sacraments and grace according to Thomas which hinged upon Thomas’ use of Seneca’s teaching on gift exchange. Joseph has taught both in PNG and at CTC Melbourne.
Joseph’s theses have involved close investigation into the nature of sacrifice and the nature of the gift, and these themes have often provided the take he took on the conference theme when delivering a presentation. His 2019 article in Phronema “Gratitude, Divinisation and Eucharist in Irenaeus” displays the convergence of many of his interests.
Joseph returned to CTC in 2022, having lectured there earlier for two years, as well as two stints in Papua New Guinea totalling ten years. He has taught the theology of all the sacraments except orders, as well as systematic units on Trinity, Christology, Mary and Grace, and some work in Patristics. He has also been dean and president at Catholic Theological Institute, Port Moresby.
Joseph has presented conference papers for the theological associations in Great Britain, Australia and Papua New Guinea, and was for two years President of the Melanesian Association of Theological Schools.