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Professor Profile: Matthew Dunch

By Elly villescas
On March 21, 2012

Matthew Dunch, S.J. is a first year professor and currently teaches philosophy. Prior to Xavier, he was a preschool, middle school and high school professor. Recently the Xavier Newswire had the opportunity to sit down with Professor Dunch and talk about his experience thus far at Xavier and his experiences before as well.

  • XN: Where did you go to school? How long have you been at Xavier?
  • MD: Public grammar and high school in Boardman, OH. Undergraduate at Catholic University. MA at Loyola Chicago. This is my first year at Xavier.
  • XN: Why did you choose to study/teach philosophy?
  • MD: I'm very curious especially about big questions. Deep curiosity motivates philosophy.
  • XN: What classes do you teach at Xavier?
  • MD: Phil 100 and 290 so far. Hopefully some other things in the future as well.
  • XN: What is your favorite class to teach and why?
  • MD: Don't have a favorite yet, it's only my first year. I like discussion a lot more than lecture. I can only take the sound of my own voice so much. So I prefer classes that like to talk about the material rather than simply listen to me.
  • XN: What do you like most about Xavier?
  • MD: I've found the Xavier community very welcoming, especially my colleagues in the philosophy department.
  • XN: What is your favorite book?
  • MD: Hard question. Depends on my mood. Right now: The Mystical Theology by Pseudo-Dionysius. Or L'appel et la réponse by Jean-Louis Chretien.
  • XN: Who is your favorite philosopher and why?
  • MD: Living: Charles Taylor, he enters deeply into the complexities of human meaning Dead: Socrates, he  exemplifies what philosophy is all about.
  • XN: Do you have any advice for aspiring philosophers?
  • MD: Stay curious and read widely.
  • XN: Do you have any interesting talents/hobbies?
  • MD: I dabble in music: piano, violin, and voice.
  • XN: Since it is March Madness time, do you have any predictions?
  • MD: Not really. Elite eight would be nice.
  • XN: Do you have anything interesting to say having entered the Jesuits?
  • MD: This is my sixth year as a Jesuit. In that time I've had a wide variety of experiences. I've taught preschool, worked as a prison chaplain, led discussion groups of the homeless, worked as a hospital chaplain, taught middle school and high school, spent two summers in the third world, spent a summer in Spain, worked as a live in caretaker for the mentally disabled, and collected way too many books. I think that I've found God in all these things. The Jesuit motto is finding God in all things after all.
  • XN: What was the reason that helped you choose to become a Jesuit?
  • MD: The short answer is prayer. The only real reason to be a Jesuit is because of a joyful calling from God. A vocation is a gift from God and has a mystery about it. I can't fully explain, but I am very grateful to be a Jesuit. It is a blessed life.

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