New scholarship supports research in liturgy

Samantha Wegner plans to use her scholarship funds to explore the aesthetic and ethical aspects of Catholic liturgical rites surrounding death.

The ACU Centre for Liturgy Postgraduate Scholarship for 2017 has been awarded to Faculty of Theology and Philosophy masters’ student Samantha Wegner.

During her Master of Theological Studies at ACU, Samantha has developed a great interest in liturgical studies and sacramental theology, explaining that “studying liturgy has been a significant and truly fulfilling area of my studies so far, and my aspiration is to continue with a research project related to liturgical studies.”

It is her belief that “ritual, done well, has a profound impact on human well-being. It can be what facilitates our most profound encounters with God, with creation, with ourselves and with each other.”

Samantha enrolled in ACU’s Master of Theological Studies at a turning point in her life when her youngest child started pre-school. After being out of the workforce for several years she wanted to investigate possibilities for the next phase of her life.  She says that her enrolment at ACU “was not vocationally guided, but Spirit guided. Whilst I had no fully formed idea of what awaited me on the completion of my studies, I knew early on that I was in the right place. The faculty and staff at ACU have not only shown a deep commitment to the highest standards of academic enquiry, but to the development of the person behind the student number.”

Director of the ACU Centre for Liturgy, Professor Clare Johnson said that the scholarship committee was delighted to award the inaugural ACU Centre for Liturgy Postgraduate Scholarship to Samantha. “Sam is a wonderful student whose evident interest in liturgical studies and sacramental theology has expanded significantly during her masters’ work at ACU. Her inquisitive mind and dedicated study-ethic make her an ideal candidate to benefit from the opportunities the scholarship will provide to advance her research in liturgical studies. We look forward with great interest to reading the outcomes of her research project.”

Undertaking postgraduate studies while sharing family responsibilities often requires both personal and financial sacrifices, and for Samantha, “The ACU Centre for Liturgy Postgraduate Scholarship has provided financial support for a research project at an important time in my studies. I offer my thanks to the ACU Centre for Liturgy for their generous support of my studies and in assisting me to give something of value back to the community.” She plans to use the scholarship to fund a research project exploring the aesthetic and ethical aspects of Catholic liturgical rites surrounding death.

The ACU Centre for Liturgy supports, promotes, and enhances the liturgical life of the Catholic Church through tertiary education, research, scholarship and pastoral formation. Through ACU’s Faculty of Theology and Philosophy the Centre and ACU’s Directorate of Identity and Mission, the Centre offers liturgical education programs from parish-level pastoral formation through to tertiary programs and higher degree research, advancing the liturgical apostolate in Australia and beyond.


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