Over the years, this here weblog has seen one or two skilled journalists hit the exit door in order to go to law school. Now, former GetReligionista Dawn Eden taken this whole post-journalism academic thing to a new level by completing a doctorate in theology.
That popular music reference is intentional, since Dawn started out in journalism as a rock-music beat reporter before evolving into an award-winning creator of punchy headlines, at The New York Post and then the Daily News. You may want to surf this file of commentary about the writing of her famous "The Lady is a Trump" headline about one of the weddings of a certain public figure who is still in the news. Dawn offered her own very modest take on that episode in her GetReligion intro piece, called "The inky-fingered Dawn."
Now, Dawn has evolved once again, from her life as a popular Catholic apologist into an academic who has just complete a truly historic degree in theology. Here is a key chunk of a post up at The Dawn Patrol, her personal website.
The Doctoral Board ... gave me an A on both my dissertation and my presentation. Now I am set to graduate with my sacred-theology doctorate from the University of St. Mary of the Lake (Mundelein Seminary) on May 7, magna cum laude. It will be the first time in the university's history that a canonical (i.e. pontifically licensed) doctorate will be awarded to a woman.
I would have reported this wonderful news here sooner, but I have been busy making the final corrections recommended by my Doctoral Board. Among the corrections was that I rewrite my dissertation's title to make it better reflect the types of primary sources it cites. Yesterday, the new title received official approval: "The Mystical Body and Its Loving Wounds: Redemptive Suffering in Magisterial Teaching, Pre-Papal Writings, and Popes' Teachings as Private Theologians, 1939-2015."
The topic of her dissertation will not surprise those who have followed Dawn's work, primarily through very personal and blunt books such as "The Thrill of the Chaste: Finding Fulfillment While Keeping Your Clothes On" and "My Peace I Give You: Healing Sexual Wounds with the Help of the Saints." (Her latest book is "Remembering God's Mercy: Redeem the Past and Free Yourself from Painful Memories.")
The announcement post at her blog now hints that another personal announcement is in the works -- soon. Read on:
About thirty people had come to witness the event, among them several first-year and second-year pre-theologians (new seminarians who are completing the required credits of philosophy). My favorite comment was from a first-year pre-theologian who said that, whereas he was not able to understand all of the questions, he was always able to understand the answers. That was a great encouragement to me, as I will be beginning a new career this fall as a teacher in a seminary. ...
After nearly half an hour, the board finally returned. Fr. Baima announced the joyful news: "Habemus doctorem"! (Yes, Latinists, it should have been doctricem, but Aunt Alma would have been proud nonetheless.)
One more personal detail: Dawn also mention that, in honor of her Jewish roots, she will be using her full birth name in her academic career -- Dr. Dawn Eden Goldstein.
So congratulations, Dawn! What would you offer as a tabloid length headline for this post?