Mark Yenson


Philosophy and Religious Studies


Religious Studies / Catholic Studies

Courses taught at King's

Religious Studies 1027 (Introduction to Catholic Theology), RS2271 (The Church), RS2205 (Emergence of the Christian Tradition), RS3301 (Interpreting the Catholic Tradition) , Rome and the Christian Tradition

Area of research

Christology, Trinitarian Theology, Patristics / Christian Doctrine in Late Antiquity, Contemporary Catholic Theology

What research projects are you currently undertaking?

My doctoral dissertation was on the Christology of Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988), a prominent Swiss Catholic theologian. Balthasar still has a tendency to raise ideological alarm bells in Catholic theological circles; he was in fact an immensely creative thinker with a staggering grasp of the broad Christian tradition as well as philosophy, literature and music. My current research is based on my dissertation, and shows Balthasar's debt to Greek theology in the 6th and 7th centuries in his thinking about Jesus Christ. Drawing on this classical Christology, Balthasar is able to sustain traditional claims about Jesus' divine identity while at the same time emphasizing the historical, human reality of Jesus. My current research embodies broader, long-range interests in how contemporary theology appropriates the thought of the Church Fathers, and how Catholic theology has conceived Christ's consciousness of his own identity.

What is it that you enjoy about working at King’s?

The exceptional collegiality, and the encouragement and concrete support given to teaching and research excellence. I feel a strong affinity to King's commitment to the type of education that forms the whole person, and encourages sympathetic understanding and creative renewal of intellectual traditions. More concretely, I find particular delight in those moments when students--sometimes rather suddenly and to their own surprise--become attuned to their own questions and begin to discover their own critical voice.

What are your interests outside of King’s?

I enjoy running, cooking (Italian, French, Asian), and listening to music. Types of music I love: primarily classical, choral and operatic, some jazz. I also play the organ and piano.