recent faculty publications

Associate Dean Pamela Lightsey and Colleagues Receive Grant from Wabash Center

April 27th, 2017

Associate Dean Pamela Lightsey, along with two other womanist colleagues, Dr. Wil Gafney and Dr. Valerie Bridgeman, had their application for the Peer Mentoring Cluster approved by the Wabash Center. The purpose of their grant is stated as: “Peer Mentoring Clusters program supports faculty of color who are former participants in Wabash Center... More

Christopher H. Evans, The Social Gospel in American Religion

April 6th, 2017

The global crises of child labor, alcoholism and poverty were all brought to our attention through the social gospel movement. Its impact on American society makes it one of the most influential developments in American religious history. Christopher H. Evans traces the development of the social gospel in American Protestantism, and... More

Associate Professor Jennifer Knust published to American Values Religious Voices

March 16th, 2017

Associate Professor Jennifer Knust has issued a very thoughtful letter as part of a public witness of religious leaders. This is part of a movement entitled: “American Values Religious Voices: 100 Days, 100 Letters.” Professor Knust's letter was published on March 15, 2017, and can be accessed at  Among the religious... More

David Decosimo

Assistant Professor David Decosimo published in Washington Post

March 8th, 2017

Assistant Professor of Theology David Decosimo penned a timely op-ed that was published in the Washington Post's "PostEverything" perspective section. The article, titled "Trump could learn a thing or two about freedom and democracy from Islam", is gaining national attention. Be sure to read Professor Decosimo's response to President Trump's... More

Why You Should Know about the New Thought Movement

February 16th, 2017

Professor of the history of Christianity, Christopher Evans, has published a commentary on The Conversation site titled "Why you should know about the New Thought movement". In this article, Professor Evans discusses what New Thought is all about, its links to evangelism and personal prosperity, and its potential insight into President... More

Hillary Clinton’s Benediction

November 11th, 2016

Professor of the history of Christianity, Christopher Evans, has published a commentary on the PBS site Religion & Ethics titled "Hillary Clinton's Benediction". In this timely post, Professor Evans discusses Clinton's campaign, her religious foundation, and a message of hope. Click here to read the full commentary.  

Walter Fluker (GRS’88), The Ground Has Shifted

July 22nd, 2016

Walter Fluker published The Ground Has Shifted: The Future of the Black Church in Post-Racial America. NYU Press describes the book: "If we are in a post-racial era, then what is the future of the Black Church?  If the U.S. will at some time in the future be free from... More

Voices in the Wilderness

April 1st, 2016

The oppressed urge us to cry out for justice. BY WALTER EARL FLUKER (GRS’88), Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of Ethical Leadership There are many voices calling us from the wilderness. They talk, walk, and stalk us in our gardens of innocence— our learned ignorance and forgetfulness1 —demanding how we will identify... More

Courtney T. Goto, The Grace of Playing

March 31st, 2016

Believers and teachers of faith regularly know the in-breaking of God's Spirit in their midst, when revelatory experiencing unexpectedly shifts habits of thinking, feeling, and doing toward more life-giving ways of being and becoming. When the moment is right, Spirit breathes new life into dry bones. Though religious educators have... More

Elizabeth C. Parsons, The Greatest Work in the World

September 4th, 2015

This volume of correspondence contains exchanges written between Lloyd Cline Sears (1895-1986) and Pattie Hathaway Armstrong (1899-1977), two influential leaders in early educational efforts of the Churches of Christ. Spanning the years 1915 to 1921, the letters document their writers' romance, but they are more than simply love letters. They... More

Robert C. Neville, Existence: Philosophical Theology Volume Two

September 4th, 2015

The second volume in a trilogy advancing a systematic philosophical theology, this book explores the realities of human existence articulated by religion. Religion, writes Robert Cummings Neville, articulates existential predicaments and provides venues for ecstatic fulfillment. Like its companion volumes treating ultimacy and religion, Existence advances a systematic philosophical theology to... More

Mary Elizabeth Moore, ed., A Living Tradition

September 4th, 2015

This book engages in a critical recovery and reconstruction of the Wesleyan theological legacy in relation to current theological concepts and Christian practices with the intent to present opportunities for future directions. The contributors address urgent questions from the contexts in which people now live, particularly questions regarding social holiness... More

David Jacobsen, ed. Homiletical Theology: Preaching as Doing Theology

September 4th, 2015

Karl Barth famously argued that all theology is sermon preparation. But what if all sermon preparation is actually theology? This book pursues a thoroughgoing theological vision for the practice of preaching as a way of doing theology. The idea is not just that homiletics is the realm of theological application. More

Claire Wolfteich, Invitation to Practical Theology: Catholic Voices and Visions

September 4th, 2015

The formal discipline of practical theology developed largely in Protestant contexts and has recently garnered increasing attention among Catholic academics. Claire Wolfteich, a leading Catholic scholar in the field of practical theology, in this volume gathers significant voices to write on the many aspects to be considered in the study... More

Choi, Hee An, A Postcolonial Self: Korean Immigrant Theology and Church

September 4th, 2015

Theologian Choi Hee An explores how Korean immigrants create a new, postcolonial identity in response to life in the United States. A Postcolonial Self begins with a discussion of a Korean ethnic self (“Woori” or “we”) and how it differs from Western norms. Choi then looks at the independent self, More

David Jacobsen, Mark: Fortress Biblical Preaching Commentary Series

September 4th, 2015

David Schnasa Jacobsen draws together the strengths of two exegetical approaches to the Gospel of Mark in this volume of the Fortress Biblical Preaching Commentaries series. Jacobsen takes a broad thematic approach to the first Gospel, while at the same time giving exegetical and homiletical insights about individual pericopes in... More

Walter E. Fluker, ed., The Papers of Howard Washington Thurman Vol. 3

September 4th, 2015

The Papers of Howard Washington Thurman is a multivolume, chronologically arranged documentary edition spanning the long and productive career of the Reverend Howard Thurman, one of the most significant leaders in the intellectual and religious life of United States in the mid–twentieth century. The first to lead a delegation of... More

David Decosimo, Ethics As a Work of Charity

September 4th, 2015

Most of us wonder how to make sense of the apparent moral excellences or virtues of those who have different visions of the good life or different religious commitments than our own. Rather than flattening or ignoring the deep difference between various visions of the good life, as is so... More

Alejandro F. Botta, ed. In the Shadow of Bezalel. Aramaic, Biblical, and Ancient Near Eastern Studies in Honor of Bezalel Porten

March 18th, 2014

Twenty nine scholars from Israel, Europe and the Americas came together to honor and celebrate Prof. Bezalel Porten's (Emeritus, Dept. of History of the Jewish People, Hebrew University of Jerusalem) academic career. Covering a wide variety of topics within Aramaic, Biblical, and ancient Near Eastern Studies, In the Shadow of... More

Robert A. Hill, The Courageous Gospel: Resources for Teachers, Students, and Preachers of the Fourth Gospel

February 24th, 2014

The Courageous Gospel is intended for use alongside a commentary (Ashton, Brown, Bultmann, Barrett, other) in a class introducing the Fourth Gospel. The book has four parts: A succinct summary of key matters of introduction; A collection of sermons on the Gospel's core chapters, with reflective reminiscence and remembrance of... More

Nancy T. Ammerman, Sacred Stories, Spiritual Tribes: Finding Religion in Everyday Life

February 24th, 2014

Religion, Nancy Tatom Ammerman argues, is never confined to a house of worship. In Sacred Stories, Spiritual Tribes, Ammerman examines the stories Americans tell of their everyday lives—from dinner table to office and shopping mall to doctor’s office, from the things that matter most to the routines they take for... More

Christopher H. Evans, Histories of American Christianity: An Introduction

February 21st, 2014

The Christian church is a ubiquitous fixture of the American religious landscape. Even as the United States boasts the world’s most diverse religious population, its history and culturally unique heritage cannot be understood outside the bounds of the history of American Christianity. In Histories of American Christianity, Christopher H. Evans... More

John Hart, Cosmic Commons: Spirit, Science, & Space

February 21st, 2014

Cosmic Commons explores terrestrial-extraterrestrial intelligent life Contact. It uses a thought experiment to consider the ecological-economic-ethical-ecclesial impacts of Contact, analyzing incidents around the world described by credible witnesses (two of whom are interviewed for the book), including Roswell and the Hudson River Valley. It traces Earth ecological and economic... More

Robert Allan Hill, Village Green

November 19th, 2012

The three cycles of sermons included here provide a spiritual geography, an announcement of the gospel set in New York State. The sermons were given life in the vibrant life of Asbury First United Methodist Church, Rochester, New York, over several years beginning in 2000. The collection is meant to... More

Walter Fluker, The Papers of Howard Washington Thurman: Volume 2

November 19th, 2012

The Papers of Howard Washington Thurman is a four-volume, chronologically arranged documen¬tary edition spanning the long and productive career of the Reverend Howard Thurman, one of the most significant leaders in the history of intellectual and religious life in the mid-twentieth-century United States. As the first to lead a delegation... More

Robert Allan Hill, In the Depths of the Depression

November 19th, 2012

More than two hundred years ago, John Wesley declared: "There is no holiness save social holiness!" He meant thereby to reject an exclusively individualistic version of Christianity, and to affirm his intention to "spread scriptural holiness across the land, and reform the nation." In Wesley's view, the spheres of influence... More

Wesley Wildman, Science and the World’s Religions

November 19th, 2012

In Science and the World's Religions, experts with scientific and religious backgrounds explore vital existential or practical issues, drawing on whatever sciences are relevant and engaging at least two religious traditions. The multidisciplinary essays exhibit rigorous intellectual, scholarly thinking but are written to clearly communicate to educated adult lay readers. The first... More

Christopher Brown, Luther’s Works, Prefaces II

November 6th, 2012

This volume contains Luther's prefaces to the works of others from 1532 to 1545. Amid the outpouring of print in the wake of the Reformation, Luther--especially in the prefaces to his own works--sometimes expressed the wish that his own books might disappear and give place to the Bible alone. In... More

Christopher Brown, Luther’s Works, Prefaces I

November 6th, 2012

  Never before in English, this volume presents Luther's prefaces from 1520-32 for the writings of both colleagues and opponents. In Luther's day, the preface was sometimes the most important part of the book. The preface used the most beautiful of language to praise the author, his work, and his arguments--and... More

Jennifer Wright Knust

November 6th, 2012

Examining the diverse religious texts and practices of the late Hellenistic and Roman periods, this collection of essays investigates the many meanings and functions of ritual sacrifice in the ancient world. The essays survey sacrificial acts, ancient theories, and literary as well as artistic depictions of sacrifice, showing that any... More

Andrew Shenton, The Cambridge Companion to Arvo Pärt

November 6th, 2012

Arvo Pärt is one of the most influential and widely performed contemporary composers. Around 1976 he developed an innovative new compositional technique called 'tintinnabuli' (Latin for 'sounding bells'), which has had an extraordinary degree of success. It is frequently performed around the world, has been used in award-winning films, and... More

Phillis Isabella Sheppard, Self, Culture and Others in Womanist Practical Theology

November 6th, 2012

Self, Culture, and Others in Womanist Practical Theology argues for a critical engagement between womanist theology and psychoanalytic Self Psychology. Sheppard’s position is that a psychoanalytically informed womanist practical theology will more fully account for the complexities of black women’s experiences of self and black embodiment as well as the role... More

Kirk Wegter McNelly

November 6th, 2012

In The Entangled God, Kirk Wegter-McNelly addresses the age-old theological question of how God is present to the world by constructing a novel, scientifically informed account of the God–world relation. Drawing on recent scientific and philosophical work in "quantum entanglement," Wegter-McNelly develops the metaphor of "divine entanglement" to ground the relationality... More

Wesley Wildman, Religious and Spritual Experiences

November 6th, 2012

What is the value of religious and spiritual experiences within human life? Are we evolutionarily programmed to have such experiences? How will emerging technologies change such experiences in the future? Wesley Wildman addresses these key intellectual questions and more, offering a spiritually evocative naturalist interpretation of the diverse variety of... More

Karent Westerfield Tucker, Die Taufe

November 6th, 2012

Für die ökumenische und liturgische Bewegung des 20. Jahrhunderts ist die Taufe eines der wichtigsten Themen und Anliegen gewesen. In jüngster Zeit wurden die zunehmende Bedeutung der sog. Limaerklärung zu Taufe, Eucharistie und Amt und ihre Konsequenzen in den Kirchen diskutiert. Zur gleichen Zeit vollzog sich in verschiedenen christlichen Gemeinschaften... More

Bryan Stone, A Reader in Ecclesiology

July 14th, 2012

This Reader presents a diverse and ecumenical cross-section of ecclesiological statements from across the twenty centuries of the church's existence. It builds on the foundations of early Christian writings, illustrates significant medieval, reformation, and modern developments, and provides a representative look at the robust attention to ecclesiology that characterizes the... More

Shelly Rambo, Spirit and Trauma: A Theology of Remaining

July 14th, 2012

  Rambo draws on contemporary studies in trauma to rethink a central claim of the Christian faith: that new life arises from death. Reexamining the narrative of the death and resurrection of Jesus from the middle day-liturgically named as Holy Saturday-she seeks a theology that addresses the experience of living in... More

Jennifer Knust, Unprotected Texts: The Bible’s Surprising Contradictions about Sex and Desire

July 14th, 2012

Bible scholar Jennifer Wright Knust addresses the big questions that dominate today's discussions and debates when it comes to sex and the Bible: Is premarital sex a sin? When, and in what contexts, is sexual desire appropriate? With whom can I legitimately have sex? Are same-sex relations permissible? In an... More

Mary Elizabeth Moore and Almeda M. Wright, eds., Children, Youth and Spirituality in a Troubling World

April 18th, 2009

Editors Mary Elizabeth Moore and Almeda M. Wright address the harsh, challenging, and delicate realities of children and youth—who live as spiritual beings within a beautiful yet destructive world. Providing a practical theological analysis of the spiritual yearnings, expressions, and challenges of children and youth in a world of rapid... More