Political Theology Today A forum for interdisciplinary and interreligious dialogue

Contributors


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David True

Executive Editor

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In addition to the blog, I help edit the journal Political Theology. My work at PT grew out of my interest in faith and politics. I’m especially interested in a Protestant tradition of faithful participation evident in figures such as Reinhold Niebuhr, Martin Luther King, and Walter Rauschenbusch. My research involves understanding and extending this tradition. My writing tends to analyze the political theology buried in debate about such  issues as immigration, torture, and drones. Currently I’m working on a collection of Niebuhr’s writings and researching the Tea Party.

My academic home is at Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, where I serve as Associate Professor of Religion. Chambersburg is a small but important town in terms of political theology. Located in south central Pennsylvania, it was a stop on the underground railroad, served as home to John Brown as he planned his raid on Harpers Ferry, and was burned to the ground in the Civil War. My primary responsibilities at Wilson are teaching courses in religion and ethics and Directing the Orr Forum.

 

Brad Littlejohn

Contributing Editor

P1050573-225x300Brad Littlejohn is currently completing a doctorate in Reformation political theology at the University of Edinburgh, while also pursuing research and writing in a number of other areas of historical theology and ethics, and, belying the “no man can serve two masters” dictum, spending a few hours each week in the employ of Mammon as an investment advisor.  Topics of particular interest include early modern Protestant political theology, the role of Scripture in public discourse, natural law, property rights, the ethics of finance and investment, theories of church discipline, and the emergence of “Anglicanism,” and the Mercersburg theology (he is author of The Mercersburg Theology and the Quest for Reformed Catholicity and editor of The Mercersburg Theology Study Series).  As the adjacent picture suggests, it is his view that, given enough time and patience, the answer to almost any problem may be found within the pages of Richard Hooker.  He blogs compulsively at www.swordandploughshare.com.

Marie Alford-Harkey

Contributor

middle-aged-lesbian-care-birth-controlI am the Director of Education and Training for the Religious Institute, a multifaith nonprofit organization working to promote sexual justice, education, and healing in faith communities and society. I’m also an aspirant for Holy Orders in the Episcopal diocese of Connecticut as well as a provincial coordinator for Integrity USA.

I preach regularly at St. Mark’s Episcopal Chapel in Storrs, Connecticut and at my home parish, Trinity Episcopal Church in Hartford, Connecticut. I teach and speak on issues of faith and sexuality in contexts as diverse as “theology on tap” and workshops at seminaries.

I am unabashedly progressive in my faith and my politics. I come from a small, conservative Southern town, and a politically conservative, non-religious family, so the dialogue partners that engage my imagination on politics are interesting, to say the least. Before seminary, I had a twenty-year career as an educator, teaching French and Spanish in a large public school system.

I met my wife April when we were students at Episcopal Divinity School and we were married in May of 2011. We make our home in Hamden, Connecticut, along with one very spoiled cat.

I blog sporadically at Love is Strong as Death and you can follow me on Twitter @EMarieAH.

Amy Allen

Contributor

I am a Theology and Practice Fellow at Vanderbilt University, where my major area of study is New Testament and Early Christianity, with a minor area emphasis in the Hebrew Bible.  I hold a Master’s of Divinity degree from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and am an ordained minister of Word and Sacrament in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.  I served for three years in a parish in Southwestern Pennsylvania before moving to Nashville to begin graduate studies.  I reside in Franklin, Tennessee (just south of Nashville) with my husband, the Rev. J. Erik Allen and our two beautiful young daughters.  I am active in our local church, particularly around the areas of children’s ministry.  During my undergraduate work, I also spent a semester abroad in Namibia through the Center for Global Education, working with a Women’s and Children’s Empowerment group there.  My research interests surround women and children in the gospels, with an emphasis both on ethical readings of these texts and reading the texts with an ear for ethics.

John Allen

Contributor

John Allen is a Master of Divinity Student at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, he studies New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, with particular focus on readings stemming from contemporary communities which experience and respond to violence, colonization, and oppression. As an activist John participates in the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York City, in working to secure a moratorium on  foreclosure, and in providing emergency medical care to migrants in the Borderlands of the American Southwest. His engagement
with scripture from a political perspective is informed both by
critical scholarship, and these experiences.

He currently serves as the Program Coordinator for Union’s Theology and Economics series, which invites preeminent economists to dialogue with the Union community in hopes that their work may be served and
informed by the instincts and sensitivities of people of faith. John is an ordination candidate in the Metropolitan Boston Association of the United Church of Christ.

Roland Boer

Editor-at-Large

Apart from voyages by freighter ship and riding my bicycle as far and as long as I can, I like to write. My recent work has focused on the engagements with theology by leading critics in the Marxist tradition (The Criticism of Heaven and Earth, 5 vols, 2007-12). I am currently working on Lenin and Theology, pursuing another dimension of this tradition. In the last few years, I have focused on Eastern Europe and China, stumbling on a number of significant (and almost lost) texts relating to early engagements between Christianity and communism. As a result I am visiting professor at the universities of Renmin (Beijing) and Fudan (Shanghai), although when at home I am a research professor at the University of Newcastle, Australia.

Julie Clague

Contributing Editor

 

My interests in political theology have their roots in the Aristotelian-Thomistic tradition and the ways this has been articulated and put into practice within Christianity – especially in Catholic social thought and teaching, but also in the various writings of philosophers such as Jacques Maritain and Alasdair MacIntyre. Questions about the nature of the good society, democratic participation, the language of human rights, the common good and Christian moral engagement in political life remain central concerns for me. I am involved in Christian faith-based responses to international development through work with the UK-based aid agencies CAFOD and SCIAF, and I have recently helped establish the HIV, AIDS and Religion Collaborative (HARC) www.harc-network.org which brings together academics of various disciplines working at the interface of religion and issues related to HIV and AIDS. In terms of my work with the journal, I have been keen to bring a broader range of voices into conversation within the pages of Political Theologyrepresenting different religious and ideological commitments, bringing activist and practitioner insights into dialogue with academic concerns, and offering more globally diverse contributions.

 

Meghan Clark

Contributor

My primary research area is Catholic social thought, with a special interest in human rights, solidarity and questions of global health and human rights. All of these areas converge not only around Catholic social thought but also around questions of political theology and a growing attention to subsidiarity, inequality, and public health.  I am an assistant professor of Theology and Religious Studies at St. John’s University (NY), which is among the most diverse universities in America and marked by a strong commitment to the poor and recent immigrants.  As a native New Yorker, the pluralism and global perspective of my location influences my approach to political theology and the need to engage different perspectives.  My research has published in Political Theology, Heythrop Journal , New Blackfriars, and the Journal of Catholic Social Thought.  Other blogs can also be found at catholicmoraltheology.com.  Currently, I serve on the Board of Directors of America Press and as a lay consultant to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development. I studied philosophy and theology  at Fordham University for my bachelors and then received my doctorate in theological ethics from Boston College, under the supervision of David Hollenbach, SJ.

 

Julie Craig

Contributor

Julie Craig for blogI am an ordained Teaching Elder (the office formerly known as Minister of Word and Sacrament) in the Presbyterian Church (USA). A lifelong Midwesterner (except for those years spent at the San Francisco Theological Seminary), I currently live in a suburb of Milwaukee, WI with my partner of over thirty years, my spouse Peter. Together we raised two children who are now young adults and who manage just fine without us in places as far flung as the next town over, and the west coast.

I’ve served as a parish pastor, and also at the regional governing body level in a judicatory capacity. But what gets my creative juices flowing these days is writing, whether it be a sermon, an article, a blog post, or my burgeoning memoir, an account of my journey as a small-church pastor.

I view the political landscape through a complicated lens. I come from a conservative, rural background. Growing up, I only knew one child in my county-consolidated school whose father did not vote for Richard Nixon. My own political transformation began when I worked for ten years for Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin.

My theological reflections will appear in Abingdon’s Creative Preaching Journal for the year 2014, published in 2013. I’ve also appeared in the Episcopal Women’s Caucus Journal, Ruach, and have written materials for the Religious Coalition For Reproductive Choice. I am a proud charter member of RevGalBlogPals blog ring, and blog at You Win Some, You Learn Some.

 

David Ensign

Contributor

I was ordained in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in 1999, and have served as pastor of Clarendon Presbyterian Church, in Arlington, VA, since August, 2003. I hold a doctorate in philosophy from DePaul University and a masters in religious studies from the Divinity School at the University of Chicago. I also attended Lexington Theological Seminary in Lexington, KY, while undergoing “the trials of ordination.” Over a beer or two I can explain precisely why they are called that! Prior to ordination I spent ten years at the Council of State Governments in Chicago and Lexington, serving as publications manager and senior policy manager. I currently serve on the boards of People of Faith for Equality in Virginia, Open Doors/More Light Presbyterians, and on the national steering committee for Christian Peace Witness. I live and move and have my being in Arlington with my wife, Cheryl, and our three children.

 

 

 Brian R. Gumm

Contributing Editor

brian-r-gumm-bioBrian is a minister in the Church of the Brethren and is a lay theologian specializing in the intersections of the Anabaptist tradition and radical theory/praxis fields such as the restorative justice movement. Brian holds degrees from Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (MA, Conflict Transformation) and Seminary (Mdiv). Brian lives in rural Iowa in the US and works in educational technology, while pursuing his intellectual and writing interests for various blogs and journals, as well as exploring church-planting with an emphasis on community peacebuilding. He blogs regularly at Restorative Theology and can be found on Twitter: @bgumm.

 

M. Owais Khan

Contributing Editor

MOwaisKhan_PicM. Owais Khan is a Phd Candidate in the Religion Department at Syracuse University. He served as a lecturer at Fatih Sultan Mehmet University’s Alliance of Civilizations Institute in Istanbul between 2010-2012. Before that he completed a M.A in liberal political philosophy from Georgia State University and a B.A in philosophy from the University of North Carolina. Currently, his philosophical research is concerned with the idea of neutrality in liberal multiculturalism and its relationship to secularism. His historical research explores the formations of early modern political theology in the Ottoman and Moghul Empires.

 

Vincent Lloyd

Editor

I live in Syracuse, New York, where I teach in Syracuse University’s Religion Department and where I’m involved in political organizing with the Solidarity Committee of Central New York. I research and teach on religion and politics, philosophy of religion, and race. My most recent research concerns natural law in African American political thought. I’ve written The Problem with Grace (Stanford, 2011) and Law and Transcendence(Palgrave, 2009), and I’ve edited Race and Political Theology (Stanford, 2012) and Secular Faith (Cascade, 2011, with Elliot Ratzman). More information about my research and teaching is here. I have two cats.

 

Péter Losonczi

Contributing Editor

My fields of interest are politics and religion, political theology, philosophy of religion, and history of early modern philosophy. I did my MA in philosophy at ELTE Budapest, and was a postgraduate and later doctoral scholar at the Institute of Philosophy at KU Leuven, with the stipend of the Soros Foundation and the KU Leuven (1998-2004). I taught philosophy at various universities in Hungary and was an associate professor at the University of West Hungary. I was research fellow at the Institute for Philosophical Research of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences between 2005-2009. Recently I moved (back) to Belgium with my family. I was visiting scholar at the Centre Pieter Gillis, Antwerp University in 2010. I am member of various international research projects on religion, democracy, and pluralism, as well as in political theology (in Finland, Norway, and Italy). I am associate researcher at the Centre for Metaphysics and Philosophy of Culture at the Institute of Philosophy, KU Leuven and EC Secretary of the International Research Network on Religion and Democracy (IRNRD). My publications include Discoursing the Post-secular: Essays on Habermas’ Post-Secular Turn, (LIT Verlag, Münster-Wien-London-Zürich) 2010, co-edited with Aakash Singh; From Political Theory to Political Theology: Religious Challenges and the Prospects of Democracy, Continuum, London, 2010, co-edited with Aakash Singh; Philosophy Begins in Wonder: An Introduction to Early Modern Philosophy, Theology, and Science, Pickwick, Eugene (Or), 2010, co-edited with Michael Funk Deckard; and Political Theology: Theological Perspectives for the 21st Century, co-edited with Mika Louma-aho and Aakash Singh, Ashgate, London, 2011.

Jordan Mattox

Contributor

I live in Pasadena, CA, where I attend Fuller Theological Seminary, working toward in MA in Theology. I have BA in History from San Francisco State University. My senior thesis was entitled Revolutionary Exegesis: The Making of American History. Since then my interests have gravitated toward political theology and Marxist philosophy. I am also interested in marginal perspectives, which comes from my experiences and dialogue with anarchists, animal rights activists, and those working in the hip hop community. Most recently, I presented a paper for International Conference on Genocide Studies entitledStaging Eichmann, where I explored the political discourse that staged Adolf Eichmann’s presentation at his trial in 1961I write for Fuller’s student newspaper the Semi and at castroscigar.wordpress.com. I plan to begin doctoral studies in 2014 in political theology or philosophy. I do my best thinking while on my bicycle.

Amy Merrill Willis

Merrill-Willis-small-headshot-e1357084450571Amy is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, Virginia.  Her teaching and research interests include Apocalyptic Literature, Biblical Theology, and the Bible and Popular Culture.   She is the author of Dissonance and the Drama of Divine Sovereignty in the Book of Daniel from Continuum Press. is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, Virginia.  Her teaching and research interests include Apocalyptic Literature, Biblical Theology, and the Bible and Popular Culture.   She is the author of Dissonance and the Drama of Divine Sovereignty in the Book of Daniel from Continuum Press.

Katharine Sarah Moody

Review Editor

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Katharine is currently a Research Associate in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Liverpool, UK, where she is developing a new research network, “Philosophy and Religious Practices.” Her own research examines the relationship between continental philosophy, radical theology and lived religion, and in particular between emerging Christianity and the work of John D. Caputo, Slavoj Žižek, Alain Badiou and Simon Critchley. Her books include Post-Secular Theology and the Church: A New Kind of Christian is A New Kind of Atheist (Wipf & Stock, forthcoming 2014), and Radical Theology and Emerging Christianity: Deconstruction, Materialism and Religious Practice (Ashgate, forthcoming 2014). She blogs at katharinesarahmoody.tumblr.com and tweets at @KSMoody.

A. Rashied Omar

Contributor

I am a Research Scholar of Islamic Studies & Peacebuilding at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame. My research and teaching focuses on the roots of religious violence and the potential of religion for constructive social engagement and interreligious peace building. I teach a popular course on Islamic Ethics of War and Peace at the University of Notre Dame during the Spring semesters (Jan – May).  During the remainder of the year, I serve as the coordinating Imam at the Claremont Main Road Mosque in Cape Town, South Africa, and act as field research advisor to Kroc peace studies graduate students in Cape Town. I hold a Ph.D. in religious studies from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and an M.A. in peace studies from the Kroc Institute. I also completed study programs in Islamic Studies in South Africa, Sudan, Pakistan, and Malaysia.

 

Carl Raschke

Managing Editor

Carl is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Denver, specializing in Continental philosophy, the philosophy of religion and the theory of religion.  He is an internationally known writer and academic, who has authored numerous books and hundreds of articles on topics ranging from postmodernism to popular religion and culture to technology and society. His latest book, entitled The Revolution in Religious Theory: Toward a Semiotics of the Event (University of Virginia Press, 2012) , looks at the ways in which major trends in Continental philosophy over the past two decades have radically altered how we understand what we call “religion” in general.  His previous two books – GloboChrist (Baker Academic, 2008)  and The Next Reformation (Baker Academic, 2004) –  examine the most recent trends and in paths of transformations at an international level in contemporary Christianity.  He is co-founder and senior editor of The Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory.  He holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University.

John Reader

Contributor

John Reader is Rector of the Ironstone Benefice in the Diocese of Oxford and a Senior Honorary Research Fellow with the William Temple Foundation (University of Chester. UK). His first degree was from Oxford (Philosophy and Theology); then an M.Phil from Manchester University, and finally a Ph.D from the University of Wales, Bangor on “The Problem of Faith and Reason after Habermas and Derrida”. He has taught on a number of courses and been Director of Pastoral Theology at an Anglican theological college. His books include Local Theology (SPCK); Blurred Encounters (Aureus); Reconstructing Practical Theology (Ashgate); Encountering the New Theological Space co-edited with Chris Baker (Ashgate) and Christianity and the New Social Order (Atherton, Baker and Reader. SPCK). He is also a visiting scholar at OxCEPT based at Ripon College, Cuddesdon.

 

Matthew A. Shadle

Contributing Editor

I am an Associate Professor of Theology at Loras College, an archdiocesan college in Dubuque, Iowa. I teach moral theology, particularly focusing on social ethics, fundamental moral theology, and sexual ethics. I am also the director of the college’s Democracy and Global Diversity program, a part of our general education curriculum that uses the innovative Reacting to the Past role-playing pedagogy to explore how moments of crisis in historical democracies can shed light on democratic citizenship today. I received my B.A. in Religion from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas, and my M.A. and Ph.D. in Theology at the University of Dayton, in Dayton, Ohio. An edited version of my doctoral dissertation was published as The Origins of War: A Catholic Perspective in 2011 by Georgetown University Press. I have also published “No Peace on Earth: War and the Environment” in Green Discipleship: Catholic Theological Ethics and the Environment, edited by Tobias Winright and published by Anselm Academic in 2011. I have also had articles and book reviews published in Political TheologyTheological StudiesHorizons, and theJournal of the Society of Christian Ethics. My research focuses on the development of Catholic social teaching and its intersection with both fundamental moral theology and the social sciences, with special focus on war and peace, the economy, and immigration. I am also interested in the church in Latin America and take a class to Peru every two years. I live with my wife, Gisella Aitken-Shadle, in Dubuque.

Christopher Shannahan

Contributor

I have spent all of my adult life living, worshipping and working in multi-ethnic and multi-faith cities. It is here that I am inspired, energised and constantly challenged. Before joining the Theology and Religion Department at the University of Birmingham as a Research Fellow in Urban Theology I served as an inner-city Methodist Minister for sixteen years in Kingston (Jamaica), where I helped to develop work with teenagers on the fringe of gang culture in the downtown area of Trenchtown and in London and Birmingham where I was involved in work with asylum seekers and refugees, building broad-based community organisations and community centred Christian-Muslim dialogue. My current research focuses upon social exclusion and spirituality amongst unemployed young men, focusing more sharply the work I did in my PhD exploring models of British Urban Theology.  In 2010 my first book Voices from the Borderland – Re-imagining Cross Cultural Urban Theology in the 21st Century built upon this work and is soon to be followed by a second book Theology and Community Organising which brings ideas about discipleship, ‘new’ models of doing politics and the role of prophetic faith in the public sphere into a dialogue with the central ideas of liberation theology. When I am not working I enjoy taking my dog for long walks, watching my favourite football team Everton and listening to the music of U2, BB King and Marvin Gaye.

Timothy F. Simpson

Contributing Editor

I live in Jacksonville, FL where I teach at the University of North Florida. My wife Kathryn McLean and I are both ordained in the Presbyterian Church USA. In addition to my academic and pastoral interests I have also been involved in political activism, hence the connection to this journal, and am active in both the ecumenical organization the Christian Peace Witness and the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship.  I have three children, two adults and a teenagers and am a lifelong fan of the Minnesota Twins, as well as an equally longtime hater of the New York Yankees.

Julia Seymour

Contributor

Julia S picJulia Seymour is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, currently serving a small congregation in Anchorage, Alaska. She lives with her husband of six years, their toddler son, their newborn daughter and their middle-aged Labrador retriever.

Julia reviews books for the inimitable RevGalBlogPals web-ring and is proud to be part of that large network of women clergy and their supporters. She blogs at Faith, Grace and Hope.

 

 

Sharon Temple

Contributor

Sharon TempleSharon Temple is a United Church of Christ pastor currently serving as an interim pastor in New Orleans, Louisiana.  She enjoys traveling to all kinds of places, most especially when the destination is a visit with her three adult children, her son-in-law, and her toddler grandchild.

Sharon is active in the RevGalBlogPals web-ring, serving as a host of the 11th Hour Preacher Party.  She blogs at Tidings of Comfort and Joy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tobias Winright

Contributing Editor

A teacher once told me, “With a name like Winright, you should go into politics.” My colonial ancestors and their descendents apparently were illiterate or could not agree on a consistent spelling of the surname I inherited; for example, Babel Winright (1772-1872) had two sons who spelled it either way. As a theological ethicist who writes mostly about just war, I’ve come to accept “Winright” even if people often misspell it. Possessing prior professional experience in law enforcement (initially corrections and then policing), campus ministry, and parish youth ministry, I remain interested in politics theologically understood and theology politically understood, as well as in questions about war and peace, ecology, economics, and criminal justice. I have coauthored a book (with Mark J. Allman), After the Smoke Clears: The Just War Tradition and Post War Justice, published in 2010 by Orbis Books; I have edited and contributed to (with 21 other contributors) a textbook, Green Discipleship: Catholic Theological Ethics and the Environment, published in 2011 by Anselm Academic; and most recently I coedited (with Margaret Pfeil) Violence, Transformation, and the Sacred: They Shall Be Called Children of God, Annual Volume of the College Theology Society, published in 2012 by Orbis Books. My B.A. is in Political Science from the University of South Florida, and I have an M.Div. from Duke University Divinity School. My Ph.D. in Christian Ethics/Moral Theology is from the University of Notre Dame, where I also took graduate courses in political theory. In 2005 I moved to Saint Louis University, where I am associate professor of theological ethics. Previously I taught religious ethics at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa (1998-2003) and moral theology at Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio (2003-2005). At Political Theology, I am the book reviews editor. Beginning in 2013 I will serve as co-editor (with Mark Allman) of the Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics. My wife Elizabeth and I have two daughters, Clare Niamh and Lydia Maeve, and we enjoy residing in the city of St. Louis (but as a lifelong Cincinnati Reds fan, I do not cheer for the Cardinals–and this is not a Catholic inside joke).
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