Greetings to: Dr. Meredith Lair, Director of MAIS; Dr. Maria Dakake, Chair of the Department of Religious Studies; and Dr. Randi Rashkover, Concentration Head for the Religion, Culture, and Values concentration of MAIS,
This is Andy Thrasher a Summer 2014 Alumnus of the MAIS Program in Religion, Culture, and Values. First I want to thank you all for being guides through the MAIS program as model leaders, teachers, and if I may now say, colleagues. I wanted to inform you that I have accepted a position as an Adjunct Instructor of Religion at Tidewater Community College, in Virginia Beach, VA; my Alma mater before entering George Mason University as an undergraduate student to study History and religious studies in 2010, and then into the MAIS Program in 2012. I will begin teaching a course on the Religions of the World (REL 230: VCCS) this fall semester of 2015.
Meanwhile I am also pursuing a Master's of Divinity degree at Regent University, with an emphasis in Christian Theology and Inter-Cultural studies to deepen my studies in Christian Apologetics that I have been pursuing in the year since graduating from George Mason University in 2014. I have also been revising and expanding my master's thesis "Relationality and Everyday Meaning: An Ontological Dialogue between Jean-Luc Nancy and Raimon Panikkar" for the last year and it is in its final stages to try and get it published as a book, tentatively entitled An Apology for Meaning: Developing a Relational Ontology which expands the idea I was working to develop with my thesis and applies it to Postmodernism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity. I am planning to put together the proposal shortly.
Last but not least, as I begin teaching this fall and pursuing studies through Regent University, I will also be presenting a paper abroad called, "Reconstructing Meaning in a Postmodern Age: Fundamental Ontology, Sacred Secularity, and the Opening for Faith" at the 10th Annual Polish Philosophical Congress in Poznan, Poland on the 17th and 18th of September, 2015. This paper works with the thought developed in my thesis and An Apology for Meaning by positioning the thought of Jean-Luc Nancy and Raimon Panikkar as re-opening the concept of faith as constitutive to the meaning of being by working with my interpretation of a relational ontology first developed in my thesis and by applying it as a response to postmodern meaninglessness. I am continuing my studies on Raimon Panikkar and Charles Taylor and am also working on a project dealing with Christian Apologetics and Postmodernity dealing primarily with the thought of C. S. Lewis, Francis Schaeffer, and Ravi Zacharias. This project is projected to last me through my M.Div. and tentatively serve as my thesis at Regent University.
Again I want to thank you all for your time both reading this and for serving George Mason University in a capacity you can be proud of; a successful alumnus of the MAIS program!
All the VERY best,
August 12, 2015