Office Hours

T 10:00 AM-12:30 PM
R 10:00 AM-12:30 PM

Fr. Dennis Tamburello is Professor of Religious Studies at Siena College in Loudonville, NY. He received a B.A. in Modern Languages (French) in 1975 from Siena College, an M.A. in Theology in 1980 from the Washington Theological Union, and a Ph.D. in Historical Theology in 1990 from the Divinity School of the University of Chicago. His areas of scholarly research are the Reformation (especially John Calvin), mysticism, and interreligious dialogue. Fr. Dennis is a Friar in Residence in Snyder Hall (student residence) and also serves as a chaplain at several New York State correctional facilities. He is the author of Union with Christ: John Calvin and the Mysticism of St. Bernard (Westminster John Knox Press, 1994), Ordinary Mysticism (Paulist Press, 1996), and Bernard of Clairvaux: Essential Writings (Crossroad Publishing Co., 2000).

Degree Program University
Ph.D. Christian Theology University of Chicago
M.A. Theology Washington Theological Union
B.A. Modern Languages (French) Siena College

My Siena Experience

My Teaching Philosophy

My teaching Philosophy focuses on the education of the whole person. Education is not just about nourishing our heads, but also about transforming our hearts so that we will be good citizens in the world, making it a better place. I believe that students learn best when they are actively involved in their own education. I try to make my classes as interactive as possible, and to allow students to express freely their thoughts and their questions.

What I Love About Siena

I love teaching at Siena for many reasons. Our students are a joy to be with, and most of them strive very hard to succeed academically. I also love that I can live with them in the Residence Halls, and serve as a chaperone on their service trips. I think I am teaching in a different way in these contexts. I am blessed with wonderful colleagues, who are deeply committed to good pedagogy and to excelling in their fields -- and many of whom have become dear friends, both in my department and in the college in general. Finally, I love that I am here with a great group of friars and that we can share our experiences of the Franciscan tradition with the Siena community.

My Favorite Courses to Teach

  • The Reformation of Christendom, because this is my area of research AND because it is infinitely fascinating. There are so many great stories to tell: some sad, some humorous, all interesting.
  • Introduction to Religious Thought. Although this is an 'intro' course, I never tire of teaching it, because it involves a comparative study of the thought of three great traditions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) and its relevance for the world today.
  • First Year Seminar. I love teaching freshmen, and helping them to develop the crucial skills of critical thinking, careful reading of texts, and good writing. Plus, it allows me to explore a theme that I am passionate about. Right now I'm teaching about Technology and its impact on the human community.

My Professional Experience

Year Title University
2014 - 2014 Visiting Professor St. Bernard's School of Theology and Ministry
2006 - 2006 Visiting Professor St. Bernard's Institute
2003 - 2003 Visiting Professor St. Bernard's Institute
2001 - 2001 Visiting Professor St. Bernard's Institute
2001 - 2019 Chaplain NY State Dept. of Corrections and Community Supervision
1997 - 1997 Visiting Professor St. Bernard's Institute
1996 - Now Professor Siena College
1994 - 1994 Visiting Associate Professor St. Bernard's Institute
1992 - 1996 Associate Professor Siena College
1991 - 1991 Visiting Assistant Professor St. Bernard's Institute
1990 - 1990 Visiting Assistant Professor St. Bernard's Institute
1990 - 1992 Assistant Professor Siena College
1987 - 1990 Instructor Siena College
1984 - 1984 Visiting Assistant Professor St. Bonaventure University
1980 - 1982 Associate Campus Minster Campus Ministry, Siena College
1980 - 1982 Instructor Siena College
1977 - 1979 Instructor Good Counsel High School

Current Research

Reformation studies Calvin studies Mysticism Ecumenical and Interfaith Dialogue

Articles & Book Reviews

  • Theological Themes
    Lectionary Homiletics
    2008
  • Brian J. Pierce. We Walk the Path Together: Learning from Thich Nhat Hahn and Meister Eckhart
    MultiCultural Review
    2006
  • John R. Sommerfeldt. Bernard of Clairvaux on the Life of the Mind
    Theological Studies
    2005
  • Theological Themes
    Lectionary Homiletics
    2005
  • John Calvin and Mysticism: An Introduction
    Hungryhearts
    2004
  • Stephen Fanning. Mystics of the Christian Tradition
    Journal of Religion
    2003
  • Theological Themes
    Lectionary Homiletics
    2003
  • Theological Themes
    Lectionary Homiletics
    2002
  • Dorothee Soelle. The Silent Cry: Mysticism and Resistance
    Christian Century
    2001
  • How NOT to Write a Book Review
    Voices
    2001
  • Anthony N. S. Lane. Calvin and Bernard of Clairvaux
    Sixteenth Century Journal
    2000
  • Richard Lennan, Ed. An Introduction to Catholic Theology
    New Theology Review
    2000
  • Bernard of Clairvaux as Spiritual Guide
    Chicago Studies
    1999
  • David Steinmetz, Calvin in Context
    Church History
    1997
  • Kaspar Elm, Ed., Bernhard von Clairvaux: Rezeption und Wirkung im Mittelalter und in der Neuzeit
    Church History
    1997
  • Theological Themes
    Lectionary Homiletics
    1997
  • Theological Themes
    Lectionary Homiletics
    1996
  • Jill Raitt, The Colloquy of MontbĂ©liard
    Journal of Religion
    1995
  • Karen Campbell, Ed., German Mystical Writings
    Cistercian Studies Quarterly
    1994
  • Bernard of Clairvaux in the Thought of Meister Eckhart
    Cistercian Studies Quarterly, vol. 28
    1993
  • Derek Beales and Geoffrey Best, eds. History, Society, and the Churches: Essays in Honor of Owen Chadwick
    Journal of Religion
    1987
  • David Walsh, The Mysticism of Innerworldly Fulfillment
    Journal of Religion
    1985
  • Donald P. McNeill et al., Compassion
    Cord
    1982
  • Avery Dulles, The Resilient Church
    Cord
    1978
  • Christ at the Center: The Legacy of the Reformed Tradition
    Bulletin of the Institute of Reformed Theology [IRT Bulletin]
    Winter, 2004

Awards & Distinctions

  • Award given on October 10, 2018 at the Albany Country Club.

    Category: Service-Professional
    Capital Area Council of Churches, 2018
  • Award given to an alumnus/a for contributions to improve the Siena community.
     
     

    Category: Service-University
    Siena College Alumni Association, 2015
  • Matthew T. Conlin Distinguished Service Award recipient
     
     

    Category: Service-University
    Siena College, 2014
  • Raymond C. Kennedy Excellence in Scholarship Award recipient
     
     
     
     
     
     

    Category: Research
    Siena College, 2014
  • Spring 2007 Nominee for Raymond Kennedy Scholarship Award
     
     
     
     
     
     

    Category: Research
    Siena College, 2007
  • Spring 2001 Nominee for Jerome Walton Excellence in Teaching Award
     
     

    Category: Teaching
    Siena College, 2001
  • Spring 1997 Nominee for Jerome Walton Excellence in Teaching Award
     
     

    Category: Teaching
    Siena College, 1997

Books & Book Chapters

  • Student Life in Catholic Higher Education: Advancing Good Practice
    Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities
    2017
  • Learning from the Past: Essays on Catholicity and Dialogue in Honour of Anthony N. S. Lane
    Bloomsbury
    2015
  • The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Christian Mysticism
    Wiley-Blackwell
    2013
  • Justified: Essays on the Doctrine of Justification
    Modern Reformation
    2010
  • John Calvin and Roman Catholicism: Critique and Engagement, Then and Now
    Baker Academic
    2008
  • Should the Legal Drinking Age Be Lowered?
    Greenhaven Press
    2008
  • Truth as Gift: Studies in Medieval Cistercian History in Honor of John R. Sommerfeldt
    Cistercian Publications
    2004
  • Concord Makes Strength: Essays in Reformed Ecumenism
    William B. Eerdmans
    2002
  • Bernard of Clairvaux: Essential Writings
    Crossroad Publishing Company
    2000
  • Historical Handbook of Major Biblical Interpreters
    InterVarsity Press
    1998
  • Ordinary Mysticism
    Paulist Press
    1996
  • Union with Christ: John Calvin and the Mysticism of St. Bernard
    Westminster John Knox Press
    1994

Presentations

  • The Long Road to Humility: John Calvin on the Path to Self Knowledge
    2012
    Capital Region Theological Center, Loudonville, New York
  • Union with Christ and the Sacraments
    2012
    Calvin Worship Symposium, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Respondent to paper: 'What Roman Catholics Can Teach Us About John Calvin'
    2009
    Reformed Institute of Metropolitan Washington (D.C.), Washington, District of Columbia
  • Calvin and Sacramentality: A Catholic Perspective
    2007
    Calvin Studies Society, Notre Dame, Indiana
  • Panelist for Roundtable Discussion: 'Developing Pedagogical Strategies for Teaching the Franciscan Tradition'
    2006
    International Medieval Congress, Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • Respondent to two papers at the session Calvin, Calvinism, and the Medieval Tradition: Union and Usus in the Theology of Jerome Zanchi by Patrick O'Banion, A Spare Aesthetic: Franciscan Asceticism and Calvinist Iconoclasm by Laura Smit
    2006
    International Medieval Congress, Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • 'Creating an Information Literacy Plan for First-Year Students: Librarians and Faculty Collaborate.' (Co-presented with Catherine Crohan, Librarian)
    2005
    Dartmouth Biomedical Libraries October Conference, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire
  • Calvin's Spirituality: A Casualty of Post-Reformation Dogmatics?
    2005
    International Medieval Congress, Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • Bernard of Clairvaux: Forerunner to St. Francis?
    2003
    International Medieval Congress, Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • Dominus Iesus: A Stumbling Block to Catholic-Reformed Relations?
    2001
    Center for Reformed Church Studies, New Brunswick Theol. Seminary, N/A, Unknown
  • The Role of Christ's Humanity in the Thought of Bernard of Clairvaux
    2000
    International Medieval Congress, Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • The Franciscan Mystical Spirit
    1998
    Washington Theological Union, Washington, District of Columbia
  • Response to Bernard McGinn: 'The Trinitarian Theology of Nicholas of Cusa'
    1996
    International Medieval Congress, Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • Response to John Burkhard: 'Ministry, Sacramentality, and Symbolism'
    1995
    Franciscan Leadership Conference, Denver, Colorado
  • Expanding Needs, Shrinking Resources: A Faculty-Centered Approach to Advising [co-presented with Dr. Douglas Astolfi]
    1994
    National Academic Advising Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • John Tauler and Martin Luther: A Case Study in Periodization
    1993
    American Academy of Religion, Washington, District of Columbia
  • Bernard of Clairvaux in the Thought of Meister Eckhart
    1990
    International Medieval Congress, Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • John Calvin's Mysticism and the Treatise 'Against the Libertines'
    1990
    American Academy of Religion, New Orleans, Louisiana
  • John Calvin and Mysticism
    1987
    American Academy of Religion, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Luther and the Mystical Tradition
    1983
    Lake Forest College, Lake Forest, Illinois