As a constructive theologian, my teaching and research focus on relating the history of Christianity to contemporary life, issues, and leadership in the postmodern world. My scholarship centers on the links between Christian spirituality, theology, and theological anthropology, as well as interreligious dialogue (through Scriptural Reasoning), particularly between various Christian and Muslim mystical traditions. Much of my work seeks to engender constructive dialogue between thinkers, traditions, and churches that either struggle to understand each another or are not typically read alongside one another. Moreover, my research is informed by what Elizabeth Johnson calls "a creative combination of hermeneutical retrieval of ancient texts and appropriation of contemporary existence." Drawing from ancient Christian sources and practices, in the spirit of ressourcement, I seek to uncover wisdom for life in the postmodern world. As one of my theological mentors, Jürgen Moltmann, argues, the earliest traditions of Christian theology frequently offer the most pregnant ideas for transforming our attitudes and actions.
I recently completed a co-edited volume (with Brad Nassif) for Oxford University Press, The Philokalia: A Classic Text of Orthodox Spirituality (2012). In this ecumenical collection of critical essays on the Philokalia, a groundbreaking study that fills the lacuna of scholarship on this influential compendium of Eastern mystical theology, my essay considers the theological anthropology of Maximus the Confessor, highlighting the Confessor's striking relevance for contemporary theology.
Currently, I am working on a monograph stemming from my dissertation,
All Things New: Maximus the Confessor and Jürgen Moltmann on Humanity and Creation, with a foreword by Jürgen Moltmann (Princeton Theological Monograph Series at Wipf & Stock, forthcoming spring of 2013). This study explores the theological anthropologies of Maximus and Moltmann. It argues that, for both theologians, understanding what it means to be human is rooted in a contemplative vision of God. Moreover, the study demonstrates the intrinsic connection between their views of human being, Christ and the Trinity, the church, and the human calling in creation. Drawing on leading scholarship on Maximus and Moltmann, this constructive work lays out future trajectories in the study of theological anthropology and ecologically-attuned theology and spirituality.
Once the above monograph is completed (2013), I have plans to research and write a book on prayer and the contemplative practices of Maximus the Confessor.
Emerging from research in the above projects, I am also engaged in crafting journal articles on:
Aldersgate and Byzantium: A Wesleyan Reading of Maximus the Confessor
Mystical Ecclesiology: Maximus the Confessor's Mystagogy of the Church
The Spirit Who Deifies: Maximus the Confessor's Overlooked Pneumatology
Particularity and Pluralism: Classic Christianity's Contribution to Interreligious Dialogue
Christian Theology: Ancient to
Christian Ethics: A Historical Introduction
Theories and Methods in
Introduction to the Hebrew Bible
Introduction to the New Testament and Early Christian
Introduction to Christianity
Experiencing the World’s
Religion and Film
Quest for God: Exploring Christian Spirituality
The Theology of Jürgen Moltmann
Exploring the Philokalia
Modern Christian Thought:
From Descartes to von Balthasar
Equality: Women in Christian Tradition
Black, Latino, Native American, and Feminist Ventures
End Times: Eschatology in Popular Culture
Coexistence: Christianity and Islam