Dr David Newheiser
Religion and Theology
Areas of expertise: religious ethics; Continental philosophy; philosophy of religion; political theology; gender and sexuality; early Christian thought
ORCID ID: 0000-0002-8024-7964
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.”
- (2019) Hope in a Secular Age: Deconstruction, Negative Theology, and the Future of Faith, (Cambridge University Press).
- (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.
- (2021) “How hope becomes concrete,” Critical Research On Religion 9.3, 349-352.
- (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.
- 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).
- 2021 Winner of The ATF Literary Trust Book Prize for Hope in a Secular Age: Deconstruction, Negative Theology, and the Future of Faith
- 2021 Winner of the 2021 ATF Literary Trust 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
- “How’s your Soul? A look back on 2021” on Soul Search, ABC Radio National (12 December 2021)
- "Contemplating Hope", ABC Radio National, Soul Search program (5 July 2020)
- "Theology for Atheists", Syndicate (20 April 2020
- "Politics and the Sacred", ABC Radio National, The Philosopher's Zone program (21 April 2019)
- "Sustaining hope through coronavirus uncertainty", ABC Radio National, Religion & Ethics program (9 April 2020)
- "How can we live with coronavirus uncertainty?", ABC Radio National, The Mindfield program (8 April 2020)
- "Should Christians and Atheists Get Along?", ABC Radio National, The Spirit of Things program (29 July 2018)
- "Law, Order, and Idolatry", ABC Radio National, Religion& Ethics program (26 July 2018)
- "Tradition, Novelty, and the Need for Discernment", The Living Church (29 January 2012), 19-22