Dr David Newheiser

Research Fellow
Religion and Theology

Dr David Newheiser

Areas of expertise: religious ethics; Continental philosophy; philosophy of religion; political theology; gender and sexuality; early Christian thought

ORCID ID: 0000-0002-8024-7964

Email: david.newheiser@acu.edu.au

Location: ACU Melbourne Campus

My research explores possibilities for constructive engagement between people who are religious and people who are not. I joined the Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry in 2015. I joined the Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry in 2015. I received a PhD in Religion from the University of Chicago and an MPhil in early Christian thought from Oxford.

My interests are broad and interdisciplinary.

My first book, Hope in a Secular Age, argues that an uncertain hope is required to sustain commitment of any kind: personal, political, or religious.  I am currently working on my second book, which considers the link between premodern reflection on miracles and democratic imagination  Alongside these larger projects I have written on secularism, sexuality, neoliberalism, love, and the intersection of theory and art. 

I am the editor of several edited collections, including most recently The Varieties of Atheism (The University of Chicago Press, forthcoming). Together with my ACU colleague Dr Lexi Eikelboom, I am co-director of a project funded by the Templeton Religion Trust, “Spiritual Understanding in a Secular Age: Engaging Art as Religious Ritual.”

Academic Profile

Select publications

Books

  • (2019) Hope in a Secular Age: Deconstruction, Negative Theology, and the Future of Faith, (Cambridge University Press).

Edited books

  • (forthcoming) The Varieties of Atheism: Connecting Religion and Its Critics, (ed.) (Chicago Press)
  • (2015) Desire, Faith and the Darkness of God, Eric Bugyis (eds),(Notre Dame Press).

Edited journal issues

  • (2020) Negative Political Theology, special issue of Modern Theology 36.1.
  • (2016) Phenomenology and the Study of Religion, special issue of  Louvain Studies 39.4.
  • (2016) The Secularization of Hope, special issue of Political Theology 17.2.

Journal articles

  • (2021) “How hope becomes concrete,” Critical Research On Religion 9.3, 349-352. 
  • (2021) “Why the World Needs Negative Political Theology," Modern Theology 36.1, 5-12. 
  • (2020) “Desacralizing Political Theology: Dionysius the Areopagite and Giorgio Agamben,” Modern Theology 36.1, 76-89.
  • (2018) “Derrida and the Danger of Religion,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 86.1, 42-61.
  • (2016) “Foucault, Gary Becker and the Critique of Neoliberalism,” Theory, Culture & Society 33.5, 3-21. 
  • (2015) “Sexuality and Christian Tradition: Innovation and Fidelity, Ancient and Modern,” Journal of Religious Ethics 43.1, 122-145.

Projects

  • 2021-2022 co-director (with Lexi Eikelboom), "Spiritual Understanding in a Secular Age," funded by the Templeton Religion Trust with colleagues from Oxford, Coventy University, and elsewhere.
  • 2016-19 project leader, “Atheism and Christianity: Moving Past Polemic,” Australian Catholic University Research Fellowship, with colleagues from ACU, Yale, and KU Leuven.
  • 2016-17 "Can hope combat marginalization?" Australian Catholic University Research Fellowship, with Vincent Lloyd (Villanova) and Linn Tonstad (Yale).

Awards

  • 2021 Winner of The ATF Literary Trust Book Prize for Hope in a Secular Age: Deconstruction, Negative Theology, and the Future of Faith (Cambridge, 2019)
  • Winner of The Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for theological promise for Hope in a Secular Age: Deconstruction, Negative Theology, and the Future of Faith 

Public Engagement

 

ACU Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry

Mailing address

C/- 115 Victoria Pde
Fitzroy, VIC, 3065.