Track 2 – Constructive Theology and Ethics

STH Track 2 Program Description: Constructive Theology and Ethics 

Faculty
David Decosimo
Walter E. Fluker
John Hart
Pamela Lightsey
Mary Elizabeth Moore
Robert C. Neville
Shelly Rambo
Bryan Stone
Nimi Wariboko
Wesley J. Wildman

Affiliate Faculty
David Eckel
Diana Lobel

Track Description

The Constructive Theology and Ethics course of study at Boston University School of Theology supports work in theology and ethics that is historically engaged, philosophically informed, interdisciplinary, and transformative for communities of scholarship and religious life. The program emphasizes the importance of studying the history of Christian theology and comparative theology in critical and constructive engagement with diverse fields of inquiry and with attention to important questions and problems, whether longstanding or contemporary.

The program operates with the understanding that our collective task is not simply to underscore or reiterate claims within Christian or other traditions nor simply to discard them but to generatively and critically interact with them. In a word, to engage them constructively and in robust conversation with disciplinary partners outside of theological studies. The term “constructive,” then, does not so much designate an arena within theology, as an ethos animating our approach to theology and ethics. The aim of this work is to contribute to the construction of knowledge and action within theology and religious communities and without. In all this, we seek to partner with other units of the university and other sources and modes of knowing in order to pursue common questions – and to seek answers that, in keeping with BU’s legacy, “enrich the academy” and advance the cause of “peace with justice in a diverse and interconnected world.” Faculty research, teaching, and doctoral preparation models this constructive dimension of scholarship and nurtures the development of the student’s ability to articulate their own theological position.

In this Track, students can specialize in the following concentrations:

  • Theology
  • Ethics

Current Faculty and Student Research

Current faculty research topics include: critical theories; the theological implications of LGBTQ social justice activism; theology and popular culture; ethical leadership, African American moral traditions and Howard Thurman; Christian interpretations of resurrection and post-traumatic wounding; ‘trans-religious’ theology; Christian and Muslim conceptions of political liberty, civic virtue, and domination; systematic philosophical theology, comparative theology, and philosophical treatments of value; “construction of sacramentality in relation to ecological justice and peacemaking; theology, ethics, and science; theological concepts and philosophical frameworks for interpreting money and finance in the global economy and socio-economy; socioecological ethics and integrating social justice within and among human communities, and the well-being of Earth and all living beings.

For information about current students in the track and their areas of focus, please visit http://www.bu.edu/sth/academics/advanced-studies/phd-students/

Graduate Information

Graduates of the program have gone on to become teachers and researchers within seminaries, universities, and liberal arts institutions, as well as leaders within religious communities. Several of our graduates have gone on to lead religious communities and institutions outside of the United States.