Areas of expertise: religious practices; political Augustinianism; religious violence; religion and economics; theories of secularism; relationship between ‘theology’ and ‘religious studies’; ‘historical theology’; late antique and medieval theology (esp. Augustine of Hippo, Boethius, Benedictine monasticism, Gregory the Great, Bernard of Clairvaux, Bonaventure); and nineteenth- and twentieth-century German theology (esp. Ernst Troeltsch, Adolf von Harnack, and Karl Barth)
HDR Supervisor accreditation status: Full
ORCID ID: 0000-0003-4644-7214
Location: ACU Melbourne Campus
Before coming to ACU, I was Lecturer in Religious Studies and Associate Director of the Initiative on Religion, Politics and Conflict at the University of Virginia. Prior to that, I held the Fernand Braudel Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Laboratoire d’excellence – Religions et Sociétés dans le Monde Méditerranéen at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (UMR 8167) in Paris, France. In addition to my permanent post at ACU, I am an Associate Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia, and in 2019-2021 I am an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.
My work lies at the intersection of theology, history, and politics, with a special focus on their manifestations in Continental Europe and the Mediterranean Basin. My publications have to date examined religious practices in the early medieval period; political Augustinianism; critical theories of religion and violence, economics, and secularism; and historiography of the discipline, with special focus on the relationship between ‘theology’ and ‘religious studies’.
I am currently working on two projects. First, I am finishing the manuscript of Charity and Violence: The Limits of Political Augustinianism. This book is based on a series of lectures and seminars I taught at the University of Virginia. Second, I am beginning a major reassessment of the work and influence of Adolf von Harnack, who is often credited with creating the modern field of ‘church history’ but was also a significant public intellectual in Europe in the early twentieth century. Funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, this project is particularly focused on Harnack’s life-long commitment to caring for educational and religious institutions as a theological act. Coining the term ‘Institutional Theology’, I hope to account for the ways theology develops and influences society through the building and cultivation of social institutions.
Prayer after Augustine: A Study in the Development of the Latin Tradition (Oxford: OUP, 2018).
Associate Editor, with Sarah Coakley and Richard Cross, Oxford Handbook of the Reception of Christian Theology (Oxford University Press, Forthcoming 2020).
‘The Failure of Affectus: Affectiones and constantiae in Augustine of Hippo’, eds. Juanita Ruys, Michael Champion, Kirk Essary, Before Emotion: The Language of Feeling, 400-1800 (Routledge, forthcoming 2018).
‘Jesus and the ascent of Wissenschaft: A Reassessment of Adolf von Harnack’s wissenschaftliche Theologie’, eds. Kevin M. Vander Schel and Michael P. DeJonge, Theology, History and the Modern University (OUP, forthcoming 2019).
‘The making of the Western tradition 430-1000’, eds. Sarah Coakley, Richard Cross, Jonathan D. Teubner, Oxford Handbook of the Reception of Christian Theology (OUP, forthcoming 2019).
‘Prayer after Augustine’, eds. Ashley Cocksworth and John C. McDowell, T&T Clark Companion to Christian Prayer (T&T Clark, forthcoming 2019).
Augustine’s Confessions: A Macat Analysis (London: Routledge, 2017).
Augustine’s City of God Against the Pagans: A Macat Analysis (London: Routledge, 2018).
Der Fremde Theologe: Adolf von Harnack zwischen Theologie und Religionswissenchaft (Alexander von Humboldt Foundation-funded research)
Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise 2019
Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow, Institut für Christentum und Antike, Theologische Fakultät, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (2019-2021)
Associate Fellow, Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, University of Virginia (2016-present)
Honorary Fellow, Collegium Augustinianum, Philadelphia, PA
‘Theology and the university: a lover’s quarrel’ for Marginalia | Los Angeles Review of Books (26 May 2015). Review of Johannes Zachhuber, Theology as Science in Nineteenth-Century Germany: From F.C. Baur to Ernst Troeltsch (Oxford: OUP, 2013).
‘Belonging to Europe’ for Hedgehog Review (Spring 2018).
‘Confessing Secularism’, review of Todd Weir, Secularism and Religion in Nineteenth-Century Germany (Cambridge: CUP, 2014) for The Hedgehog Review (Summer 2018).
‘Return of the Repressed’ for Hedgehog Review (Spring 2019).
‘Romanticizing Nationalism’, review of Yoram Hazony, The Virtue of Nationalism (New York: Basic Books, 2018) for Hedgehog Review (Summer 2019).
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