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Fr Dr Jacob Joseph (left) and Dr Daryl Barclay (right)

University Medals awarded for the first time

Congratulations to Dr Daryl Barclay and Dr Jacob Joseph, recipients of the University Medal.

The University Medal may be awarded by the Academic Board of the University to a student of the University who has completed a doctoral thesis of exceptional quality. Commissioned in 2016 by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Peter Sherlock, each medal is hand-crafted by local Melbourne artist Michael Meszaros. The graduation of Dr Barclay and Dr Joseph marks the first occasion that the medal has been awarded.

Dr Liz Boase, Dean of the School of Graduate Research, congratulated the recipients, saying:

A Doctoral thesis makes an original contribution to knowledge which Dr Barclay and Dr Joseph have achieved in outstanding ways. Their contributions are very different, reflecting the breadth of research being undertaken within the School of Graduate Research. Congratulations to both recipients, and indeed to all who have received Higher Degree by Research awards today.

Dr Barclay receives his Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Divinity, as a student with Catholic Theological College. He was supervised by Reverend Professor Austin Cooper and Reverend Professor Gerald O’Collins.

His thesis analyses and compares a total of 200 references to the word moment in Jean-Pierre de Caussade’s 1861 spiritual treatise, L’abandon à la Providence divine, and Virginia Woolf’s 1925 novel Mrs. Dalloway. Significant conceptual overlap was established between the texts in the categories of transcendence, epiphanies, eternity and self-abandonment.

The citation for Dr Barclay’s award reads:

Dr Daryl James Barclay has completed a doctoral thesis of exceptional quality which makes an original contribution to both literary and theological studies. Through a well-executed methodology, his thesis, The Multivalent Moment in Jean-Pierre de Caussade’s L’abandon à la Providence divine and Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, weaves together complex ideas which culminate in a scholarly and multi-disciplined development of the presenting concept of‘moment’. Dr Barclay has excelled in his engagement with current and past scholarship, and mastery of the French language, with his dissertation demonstrating a high level of academic acumen.

Dr Joseph receives his Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Divinity, as a student with Pilgrim Theological College. He was supervised by Reverend Associate Professor John Flett and Reverend Dr Duncan Reid.

His thesis develops a Christological response to Orthodox Christian mission in the context of caste dynamics among St. Thomas/Syrian/Orthodox Christians in India. In the context of Dalit social and theological concerns, it intends to offer a casteless Orthodox theology of mission that envisions a reconciling mission through a miaphysite Christological embrace or kiss of peace.

The citation for Dr Joseph’s award reads:

Dr Jacob Joseph has completed a doctoral thesis of exceptional quality which has significance for Indian and global theology into the future. His thesis, The Christ who Embraces: An Orthodox Theology of Margins in India, engages in both Dalit and Orthodox theology, developing a constructive rereading of accepted concepts and practices. The thesis challenges the existing structures of knowledge, especially regarding a multicultural, yet deeply stratified, Indian society. Dr Joseph’s reading is passionate and ingenious, presenting audacious arguments with conceptual clarity and accuracy.

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Dr Barclay and Dr Joseph will graduate on Friday 27 March 2020 in an online graduation ceremony, following a private hand-over of the medals to each recipient. The medals will be formally presented by the Chancellor at a public occasion in the future, when it is safe to do so.

2020 Melbourne Graduation | Watch online

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