Biff Rocha, Ph.D. is the Director of the Principium Institute. He earned a B.A. in Political Science and English, and an M.A. in Speech Communication with a focus on Rhetoric at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in Catholic Theology at the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio. Dr. Rocha has a broad experience of teaching including undergraduate, graduate, and seminary students. He spent more than ten summers teaching college courses on speech communication, argumentation, and debate to advanced high school students, for Junior State of America on the campuses of Princeton University and Northwestern University. He taught undergraduate courses in speech communication, argumentation, and debate at Miami University. Dr. Rocha spent five years teaching a wide variety of courses in Catholic Theology at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, and also taught Theology at the Pontifical College Josephinum. Courses he taught include: Theology of Vatican II; American Catholic History; Catholic Apologetics; Religious Communication; Themes in Youth Ministry; Fantasy and Theology; Principles of Catechetics; and Argumentation and Debate.
In addition to his Principium Institute publications, Dr. Rocha has published more than 50 articles in refereed scholarly journals, conference proceedings, book chapters, articles in popular periodicals, entries in reference works, and book reviews, including in the Global Media Journal, The Centinel, The Proceedings of the Nineteenth Century Theology Group, The Ohio Academy of Religion Scholarly Papers, Proceedings of the Institute for Liberal Studies, Hands On Apologetics, and New Oxford Review. Dr. Rocha has also presented around 40 scholarly papers before professional academic societies, at regional, national, and international meetings, including the International Conference on Parody & Imitation in Literature, the American Academy of Religion, the American Society of Church History, the American Catholic Historical Association, the National Communication Association, the Religious Communication Association, the Mideast Conference on Christianity and Literature, and the Central States Communication Association.
Principium Institute Publications:
(1) Rocha, Biff. Learning to Love in the Little Things: Exploring Tolkien’s Purgative Allegory “Leaf by Niggle”. Principium Institute Faith and Fiction 1. Toledo, OH: Principium Institute, 2017. J.R.R. Tolkien is best known for his The Lord of the Rings trilogy. His shorter essays are less well-known. One of his most important essays, however, “Leaf by Niggle,” is full of wonderful lessons. In this brief essay, Dr. Rocha shows how Tolkien’s “Leaf by Niggle” functions as a purgatorial allegory underscoring the importance of putting love into the little details of ordinary life.
Learning to Love in the Little Things: Exploring Tolkien’s Purgative Allegory “Leaf by Niggle” (Principium Institute Faith and Fiction Book 1) [Kindle]