Associate Professor of Religion
Office: Burrus Dickinson Third Floor
Ph.D., Theology, University of Chicago, 2006
M.A.R., Philosophical theology, Yale Divinity School, 1994
B.A., Religion, George Washington University, 1992
Christian theology occupies a middle ground between understanding and not understanding the divine. I’m interested in how doctrine and theology negotiates that middle ground in particular cases (John Calvin on salvation; recent theology on the Trinity) and how theology as a whole can serve as a guide for the general philosophical and cultural problem of knowing only partially (especially in figures like Hegel and Derrida, but also for the relation of theory to practice).
I enjoy teaching world religions in a way that is at once respectful, critical, and receptive to insights into what life is all about; the Bible, in a way that is open to all forms of analysis of its human composition as well as to its being a revelation of God for Judaism and Christianity; and at the advanced level, historical and contemporary Christian thought, both as a testament to how difficult believing in and understanding God can be, as well as how shortsighted and in need of old and new wisdom modern people can be.
I have published a co-written chapter in the Chalice Introduction to Disciples Theology (Chalice, 2008); an article in the Journal of Reformed Theology (2011) called "The Trinity of Non-univocal Persons: Towards a Model of Doctrinal Writing;" and a article in the Journal of Religion (2013) called "Negative Experience in John Calvin and its Systematic Consequences." Currently I am in the process of publishing a book tentatively called "Salvation in Writing: A Theography of Calvin’s Soteriology." I am a regular attender of the American Academy of Religion conference and the Association of Disciples for Theological Discussion.
I take great joy in being the husband of (Professor) Jessica Barr and father of Silas, Eureka’s unofficial child mascot. I am a cook and gourmand of minor repute. I love jazz and Cuban percussion. I am strongly connected to local and sustainable foods around Eureka and in my yard/hobby farm. I am an Elder at Eureka Christian Church.