Miroslav Volf

Miroslav Volf's picture
Henry B. Wright Professor of Systematic Theology, and Founding Director, Yale Center for Faith & Culture
409 Prospect St, New Haven, CT 06511-2167

Miroslav Volf, Founder and Director of Yale Center for Faith and Culture and Henry B. Wright Professor of Theology, Yale University Divinity School, New Haven, CT.

Miroslav Volf was educated in his native Croatia, the United States, and Germany. He earned doctoral and post-doctoral degrees (with highest honors) from the University of Tuebingen, Germany. He has written or edited more than 20 books and over 90 scholarly articles. His most significant books include Exclusion and Embrace (1996); After Our Likeness (1998) in which he explores the Trinitarian nature of ecclesial community; Allah: A Christian Response (2011), on whether Muslims and Christians have a common God; and A Public Faith: On How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good (2011)

After receiving the B.A. from the Evangelical-Theological Faculty in Osijek, Croatia, Miroslav received his M.A. from Fuller Theological Seminary and both his Dr. theol. and Dr. theol. habil. from the University of Tübingen, Germany. He served as co-editor (1979-84) and then editor (1984-89) of Izvori, a Croatian Christian monthly, and he has published numerous books and articles in the U.S., Germany, and his native Croatia.

His book Exclusion and Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness and Reconciliation received the 2002 Grawemeyer Award, which is awarded annually by Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and the University of Louisville. The book focuses on exclusion between groups of people and reaches back to the New Testament metaphor of salvation as reconciliation. It offers the idea of embrace as a theological response to the problem of alienation of peoples. Another of his books, After Our Likeness: The Church as the Image of the Trinity (Eerdmans, 1998), is the inaugural volume in the Sacra Doctrina: Christian Theology for a Postmodern Age series edited by Alan G. Padgett. Miroslav is also editor, with Dorothy C. Bass, of Practicing Theology: Beliefs and Practices in Christian Life (Eerdmans, 2001). This is a collection of essays by 13 theologians who, from several cultural and Christian perspectives, explore the relationship between Christian theology and practice in the daily lives of believers, in the ministry of Christian communities, and as necessarily focal within Christian education. He has written more than 90 scholarly articles and hundreds of popular editorials and articles.

In October 2007, Prof. Volf was the lead author of the Christian response to “A Common Word Between Us and You,” the historic open letter signed by 138 Muslim scholars, clerics, and intellectuals, which identified some core common ground at the heart of the Christian and Muslim faiths (the complete text can be found online at http://www.acommonword.com). The “Yale response,” as this response to “A Common Word” has become known, was published in November 2007 as a full-page advertisement in the New York Times, signed by more than 130 prominent Christian leaders and scholars; the complete text of that document can be found at http://faith.yale.edu/common-word/common-word-christian-response.


Miroslav has given many prestigious lectureships including the Dudleian Lecture, Harvard; the Chavasse Lectures, Oxford; the Waldenstroem Lectures, Stockholm; the Gray Lectures, Duke University; and the Stob Lectures, Calvin College. He has been featured on National Public Radio’s Speaking of Faith and Public Television’s Religion and Ethics Newsweekly, as was a keynote presenter for the Trinity Institute’s 36th National Conference, “The Anatomy of Reconciliation” (2006).


Other Books Authored by Miroslav Volf

Flourishing: Why We Need Religion in a Globalized World (Yale University Press, January 2016)

Do We Worship the Same God?: Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Dialogue (2012)

Against the Tide: Love in a Time of Petty Dreams and Persisting Enmities (2010)

A Common Word: Muslims and Christians on Loving God and Neighbor (2010)

Captive to the Word of God: Engaging the Scriptures for Contemporary Theological Reflection (2010)

Der lebendige Gott als Trinität: Jürgen Moltmann zum 80. Geburtstag (2006)

God’s Life in Trinity (2006)

The End of Memory: Remembering Rightly in a Violent World (2006)

Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace (2004)

The Future of Hope: Christian Tradition amid Modernity and Postmodernity (2004)

Work in the Spirit: Toward a Theology of Work (2001)

A Spacious Heart: Essays on Identity and Belonging (1997)

Trinität und Gemeinschaft. Eine ökumenische Ekklesiologie (1996)

The Future of Theology: Essays in Honor of Jürgen Moltmann (1996)

Zukunft der Arbeit, Arbeit der Zukunft: der Arbeitsbegriff bei Karl Marx und seine theologische Wertung (1988)


News, Publications, and Events

April 10, 2017
Every semester one of the first questions we ask in Life Worth Living is about what constitutes Yale’s vision of a life worth living. As formative a time as college is...
September 30, 2016
The University of Sheffield today announced a partnership bringing the ‘Life Worth Living’ course, developed by the Yale Center for Faith & Culture, to the University of...
April 13, 2016
Last night, Miroslav Volf delivered a McGaw Lecture at Oklahoma Christian University on the question of whether Christians and Muslims worship the same God. Professor Volf...
March 30, 2016
Our Life Worth Living program welcomes Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, “perhaps the most influential Islamic scholar in the Western world” (The New Yorker), to give the inaugural Life...
March 29, 2016
Miroslav Volf recently delivered a McDonald Distinguished Scholar Lecture on Christian Scholarship at Emory School of Law.   Volf delivered his lecture alongside lectures...