Dr. Joseph C. Atkinson is the Associate Professor of Sacred Scripture at the John Paul II Institute at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. and is a leading expert in the theology of the domestic church. He has done extensive and ground-breaking research in the Biblical and theological foundations of the family’s role in salvation history. He has written and lectured extensively and teaches on the Biblical structure of the family, hermeneutics, the Jewish background of the family and covenantal theology. His published articles include “Inerrancy as a Hermeneutic for Catholic Exegesis,” “Family As Domestic Church: Developmental Trajectory, Legitimacy, And Problems Of Appropriation,” and “Nuptiality as a Paradigmatic Structure of Biblical Revelation.” EWTN produced a 13-part series with Dr. Atkinson for Fall 2007 on the Biblical vision of marriage and family.
He and his wife have been married 27 years and they have 6 children.
- 1996-1999: Doctorate of Sacred Theology (Magna Cum Laude); John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage & Family; Washington, D.C.
- 1994-1996: Licentiate in Sacred Theology (Summa Cum Laude); John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage & Family; Washington, D.C.
- 1982-1983: Masters of Divinity; Montreal Diocesan Theological College; Montréal, Québec
- 1980-1982: Bachelor of Theology (First Class Honours); McGill University; Montréal, Québec
- 1976-1977: Bachelor of Education; Acadia University; Wolfville, Nova Scotia
- 1971-1974: Bachelor of Arts (With Distinction); Dalhousie University (King’s College); Halifax, Nova Scotia
- John Paul II Institute: McGivney Scholarship (Full Tuition) 1994-1998
- McGill University: University Scholar, 1982
- McGill University: Alumnae Society Prize, 1981
- McGill University: Faculty Scholar, 1981
- McGill University: James McGill Award 1981
- King’s College: Stevenson Scholarship (1972)
- King’s College: McCawley Classical Prize (1972)
- King’s College: Susanna Almon Scholarship 3 consecutive years (1971-1974)
AREAS OF TEACHING COMPETENCE
Scripture and Biblical Theology
- The Hermeneutic of Symbolic Reality and the Interpretation of Scripture
- The Biblical and Theological Foundations of the Domestic Church
- Covenant as a Biblical Reality
- Biblical Theological of Marriage and Family in the Old and New Testament
- Corporate Personality as Scriptural Hermeneutic Key
- The Concept of Purity in the Old Testament and its Relation to New Testament Theology
- The Theological Meaning of Water within the OT as a Way of Understanding NT Baptism
- The Family in the Old Testament
- The Cult of Israel
- The Mikveh (Ritual Immersion) as antecedent to NT reality
- The Temple: Its Worship and Relevance for NT Christianity
- Christological Interpretation of the OT
- Anthropological, Soteriological, and Ecclesiological Categories in Pauline Thought
- The Theologies of John and Paul
- The Role and Theological Meaning of the Family in the New Testament
Theology of Marriage and the Family
- Biblical Vision and Theology of Marriage and the Family
- The Biblical Foundations of Sacramentality of Marriage
- The Theological Understanding of Family in the Old and New Testament
- The Theology of the Domestic Church / Its Origins and Theological Foundations Old /New Testament, Patristic Contributions, Vatican II and Subsequent Developments
2001-Present: Accociate Professor of Sacred Scripture; John Paul II Institute For Studies On Marriage and Family at CUA (Washington, DC).
- “Inerrancy and the Council” in 40 Years After: Proceedings of Fellowship of Catholic Scholars of the 28th Annual Conference of Catholic Scholars, ed. Kenneth Whitehead (South Bend, IN: St. Augustine’s Press). (forthcoming)
- “Scriptures as the Formative and Foundational Element in Evangelium Vitae” in Indian Journal of Family Studies. (forthcoming)
- “Inerrancy as a Hermeneutic for Catholic Exegesis” in The Incarnate Word Vol.1 No 3 (June 2007).
- “Family As Domestic Church: Developmental Trajectory, Legitimacy, And Problems Of Appropriation” in The Church, Marriage and the Family : Proceedings of the 27th Annual Conference of Catholic Scholars, ed. Kenneth Whitehead (South Bend , IN: St. Augustine’s Press, 2007) pp. 378-392.
- “The Revelation of Love in The Song Of Songs” in The Way of Love: Reflections on Pope Benedict’s XVI’s Encyclical Deus Caritas Est (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2006) 123-136.
- “Domestic Church: Theological Construct in Search of a Theology” in Indian Journal of Family Studies Vol. 4, No. 3 (December 2006) pp. 87-104.
- “Family As Domestic Church: Developmental Trajectory, Legitimacy, And Problems Of Appropriation” in Theological Studies 66 (2005) pp. 592-604.
- “Person as Substantive Relation and Reproductive Technologies: Biblical and Philosophical Foundations” in Logos Magazine (Summer 2004 Vol 7:3).
- “Nuptiality as a Paradigmatic Structure of Biblical Revelation,” in Dialoghi Sul Mistero Nuziale (Festschrift for Archbishop Angelo Scola), Lateran University Press (2003).
- “Familiaris Consortio: The Biblical and Theological Foundations of an Adequate Anthropology” in Life and Learning XI: Proceedings of the Eleventh University Faculty for Life Conference, ed. J. W. Koterski, 248-265.
- “Paternity in Crisis: Biblical and Philosophical Roots of Fatherhood” Josephinum Journal of Theology, Vol. 9, Number 1 Winter/Spring 2002 3-21.
- “The Anthropological Foundations of Familiaris Consortio” in NFP Forum, Vol. 12, Nos. 3&4. Summer/Fall 2001 pp. 5-7.
- “A Battle Plan for Your Family: How to Read Familiaris Consortio” in Crisis Magazine, December 2001, pp. 32-35.
- “Your Marriage As Eucharist: The Key To Christian Marriage” in Columbia Magazine, Vol. 81 No. 3 (March 2001)n pp. 12-13.
- “Root of the Christian Family in the Old Testament: Corporate Personality” in Liberty, Life and Family: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Common Concerns, Vol. 4, No. 1, 1999, pp. 57-87.
- “My Family- A Church?” in Share the Word, Vol. 20, No. 7, Sept/Nov 1999. Republished on the Internet at Christianity.com on September 2000.
- Review of : Agape, Eros, Gender: Towards a Pauline Sexual Ethic (Francis Watson, Cambridge University Press, 2000) in The Thomist 65 (2001) 304-311.
- Review of: The Faith Factor in Fatherhood: Renewing the Sacred Vocation of Fatherhood (ed. Don E. Eberly, Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 1999) in Crisis Magazine June 2001, pp. 54-56.
- Review of The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: A 25-Year Landmark Study (Judith S. Wallerstein, Julia M. Lewis, and Sandra Blakeslee, Hyperion Press) in Crisis Magazine June 2001, pp. 54-56.
My Family, a Church? at Catholic Online
- “The Biblical Vision of Marriage and Family: The Domestic Church”; 13-part series on EWTN to be aired Fall 2007
- EWTN Live with Mitch Pacwa, Episode 2279, March 24, 2004
- EWTN Live with Mitch Pacwa, Episode 2417, November 29, 2006
Healthy Minds/Healthy Souls with Art Bennett, Biblical Origins of the Complementarity of the Sexes; August 20, 2006
PAPERS/ PRESENTATION / LECTURES
- The Family as the Domestic Church: The effects of the culture of death on the family in contrast with God’s vision for a culture of life; Respect Life Annual Conference 2007 Key Note Speaker (Florida).
- Inerrancy as a Hermeneutic for Catholic Exegesis; 2007Institute of the Incarnate Word Biblical Conference (Maryland).
- Scriptures as the Formative and Foundational Element in Evangelium Vitae; JPII Institute 2007 Conference (India).
- The Family as Domestic Church; Diocese of Sacramento 2006 Study Days for Priests (California).
- “Dei Verbum and the Question of Inspiration”; Fellowship of Catholic Scholars 2005.
- “Family As Domestic Church: Developmental Trajectory, Legitimacy, And Problems Of Appropriation”; Fellowship of Catholic Scholars 2004.
- Faculty Speaker; 2004 International Institute for Clergy Formation (Seton Hall).
- Biblical Vision of the Person in JPII; 2004 Cardinal Newman Institute Lecture Series (St. Thomas More College).
- Time, Money and Career: Christ at the Center of All Things; 2004 JPII & Office of Family Life Conference (Washington, DC).
- Eucharistic Dimensions of Marriage: Biblical Foundations; 2003 Keynote Retreat Speaker
- Teams of Our Lady (Maryland).
- Nostrae Aetate: I Am Your Brother, Joseph; 2003 Cardinal Mida Institute (Michigan).
- At the Heart of the New Evangelization: Recovery of the Biblical Vision of the Family; Marriage and Family in the New Evangelization 2003 Conference (Ireland).
- Scriptures: Encountering Christ as the Way of Truth; Archdiocese of Washington 2003 Professional Development Retreat.
- Theological Meaning of Water in the OT; Catholic Biblical Association 65th 2002 International Meeting.
- Five-Part Presentation on the Biblical Structure of the Family: The Domestic Church: Scriptural Foundations For Your Home; The Old Testament Roots of the Domestic Church; The Role of the Family in the New Covenant; The DC: The Scriptural Vision of John Paul II and the Fathers; The Family: Biblical Vision of Healing and Restoration; Four presentations in 2002-2003 (Maryland and Michigan).
- The Recovery of Symbolic Reality as a Hermeneutic for Scriptural Interpretation: Symbolic Reality; Water as a Symbol in the OT; Old Testament Water Rituals and the Miqveh; The Covenantal Family of Abraham and the Church; Eucharist and Passover; 2002 International Institute for Clergy Formation (Seton Hall)
- Person as Substantive Relation and Reproductive Technologies: Biblical and
- Philosophical Foundations; Society of Catholic Social Scientists 2001 Annual Conference. Co-authored with Dr. Mary Shivanandan.
- Familiaris Consortio: A 20th Anniversary Retrospective: The Biblical and Theological Foundations of an Adequate Anthropology; University Faculty for Life 2001 Annual Conference (Philadelphia).
- Symbolic Reality: A Paradigm Shift in Hermeneutics; Keynote Address Sacred Heart Seminary 1999 Faculty Orientation (Michigan).
- Familiaris Consortio #18-27: The Community of Persons: What Does It Mean?
- How Does it Happen?; National Conference of Catholic Bishops 2001 Marriage and Family Life Conference
- Biblical Basis for the Sacramentality of Marriage Seminar: Theology of Creation (Genesis 1); Theology of Man and Woman (Genesis 2); Theology of the Fall (Salvationistory/Family/Covenant); Redemption in Christ (Ephesians 5); Archdiocese of Washington 2002 Workshop for Leader’s Training (District of Columbia).
- “Biblical and Pastoral Ramifications of the Domestic Church”; Keynote Speaker Diocese of Saint John 2002 Pastoral Council (Canada).
- The Biblical Vision of the Family: Familiaris Consortio: John Paul II and the Summa on the Family; Domestic Church: Scriptural Foundations for the Family’s Role in Salvation History; God as Father and the Revelation of Fatherhood in Scripture; Diocese of Wyoming 2002 Conference on Marriage and Family.
- Biblical Paradigm of Marriage and Family: The DC: Biblical Vision of the Family; Biblical Structure of Fatherhood and Motherhood; Diocese of Saint John 2002 Catholic Family Life Conference (Canada).
- Letter to the Ephesians: the Structure of Pauline Thought; Agrupacion 2003 (Washington, DC).
- My Family, My Home: A Domestic Church; Diocese of Tulsa 2003 Diocesan Program.
- The Biblical Basis of the Sacraments; Shrine of Saint Jude 2001 Lenten Program (Maryland).
- Recovery of a Biblical Ecclesiology: Reflections on Lumen Gentium; St. Charles Borromeo Church, 2002 (Virginia).
- Do Celibate Priests Have Anything To Say To Married Couples? Archdiocese of Detroit 2002 Clergy Meeting.
- Fatherhood: Social Reality & Biblical Vision; Greater Washington Urban League & DC Public Schools 2001 “Males Only” Mini Conference.
- Spirituality for Christian Marriage and the Home; St. Patrick’s Church Adult Education.
- Peace: Intrinsic to Creation / Gift of Redemption: The Concept of Shalom in the Old and New Testament. Marymount University 1999 Peace and Justice Week.
- Walk Humbly With Your God: An Exploration of God’s Covenant with his People. Trinity College 1997 Education for Parish Service.
- Our Daily Conversion in Christ. St. Raphael’s Church 1997 Day of Renewal (Maryland).
- Matrimony and the Call to Holiness. St. Jane de Chantal 1997 RCIA Program (Maryland).
- 2001-Present: Assistant Professor of Sacred Scripture; John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at CUA; Washington, DC
- 1999-present: Registrar of John Paul II Institute; Washington Session
- January 2001: Assistant Professor; John Paul II Institute; India
- December 2001: Assistant Professor; John Paul II Institute (Newman Institute); Ireland
- 1999-01: Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology; John Paul II Institute
- 1998-99: Instructor; John Paul II Institute
- Summer 2005: Adjunct Professor; CUA
- Summer 2005: Adjunct Professor; Notre Dame Graduate School
- 2005-07: Instructor; CUA
- 1997, 2002, 2004, 2006: Instructor; Permanent Diaconate Program; Archdiocese of Washington, DC.
- 1999-2001, 2004-2005: Instructor; Little Sisters of the Poor Formation Program
- 1997 -2007: Co-ordinator and Biblical lecturer; Shrine of St. Jude’s Parish Scripture Program (Maryland). Assisted design and implementation of a Scripture Study Program for a large urban parish. Providing lectures on the Old Testament, Acts, Biblical Basis of Catechism.
- 1996: Instructor; Mother of God Community 6 Week Adult Education Course on Worship and the Temple in the Old Testament.
- Catholic Biblical Association
- Society of Biblical Literature
- Fellowship of Catholic Scholars
ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERSHIP
Catholic Scripture Study, International
1974-75: Assistant; Communities of L’Arche founded by Jean Vanier (Pierrefonds, L’Oise, France).