Theology of Joy Project - Contributing Scholars

Tübingen Consultation
Michael Fishbane
University of Chicago

Michael Fishbane is the Nathan Cummings Distinguished Service Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Chicago. He has served as Chair of its Committee on Jewish Studies. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow, a fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and a fellow of the American Academy for Jewish Research. In 2005, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award for Contributions to Jewish Scholarship from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture. 

Jürgen Moltmann
University of Tübingen

Jürgen Moltmann is the Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology at the University of Tübingen. He was a member of the Faith and Order Committee of the World Council of Churches and also the Robert W. Woodruff Distinguished Visiting Professor of Systematic Theology at Candler School at Emory University. He won the 2000 Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion for his book The Coming of God: Christian Eschatology

Jürgen Moltmann, “Christianity: A Religion of Joy

Jonathan Sacks
NYU; Yeshiva University; King's College London

Jonathan Sacks is the Ingeborg and Ira Rennert Global Distinguished Professor of Judaic Thought at NYU, the Kressel and Ephrat Family University Professor of Jewish Thought at Yeshiva University, and Professor of Law, Ethics, and the Bible at King’s College London. Previously, he served as Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth. 

Consulting Scholar

N. T. Wright
St. Andrews University

N. T. Wright is the Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of St. Andrews. He was formerly the Bishop of Durham, having earlier held teaching position in Oxford, Cambridge, and McGill Universities and church appointments in Lichfield and at Westminster Abbey. 

N.T. Wright, “Joy: Some New Testament Perspectives and Questions

Religions of Joy
Gary Anderson
University of Notre Dame

He is the Hesburgh Professor of Catholic Theology at University of Notre Dame. He has won numerous awards including most recently grants from the American Philosophical Society, Lily Endowment and the Institute for Advanced Study at Hebrew University. 

Gary A. Anderson, “Joy in the Old Testament

John Behr
St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary

Fr. John Behr is the Dean of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in New York. He has published numerous monographs with SVS Press and OUP, most recently a translation of the fragments of Diodore of Tarsus and Theodore of Mopuestia and a monograph on Irenaeus. 

John Behr, “The Joy of Life

H.R.H. Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad
Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought

H.R.H. Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad is the Personal Envoy and Special Advisor to H.M. King Abdullah II and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought. A leader in interfaith relations, he chaired steering committes for the Anman Message and has spoken about interfaith issues at premier institutions. 

H.R.H. Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad, “Joy in the Qur’an

Paul Franks
Yale University

Paul Franks is Professor of Philosophy, Jewish Philosophy, and Religious Studies at Yale University. His primary areas of research and specialization are Jewish philosophy, Immanuel Kant, German idealism, metaphysics, epistemology, the foundations of human sciences, and post-Kantian approaches within Analytic philosophy and Continental philosophy. 

Richard Hays
Duke University

Richard Hays is the Dean and George Washington Ivey Professor of New Testament at Duke Divinity School. He has chaired the Pauline Epistles Section of the Society of Biblical Literature, as well as the Seminar on New Testament Ethics in Society for New Testament Studies, and has served on the editorial boards of several leading scholarly journals. 

Corresponding Scholar

Willie Jennings
Duke University

Willie Jennings is Associate Professor of Theology and Black Church Studies at Duke Divinity School. He teaches in the areas of systematic theology, black church and cultural studies. He is the author of The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race (Yale, 2010).

Willie Jennings, “Joy that Gathers

Kenneth Minkema
Yale University

Kenneth Minkema is the Executive Director of The Works of Jonathan Edwards and of the Jonathan Edwards Center & Online Archive at Yale University, with appointments as Research Faculty at Yale Divinity School and as Research Associate at the University of the Free State, South Africa. 

Corresponding Scholar

Kenneth P. Minkema, “Jonathan Edwards on Joy

The State of Joy
Ellen Charry
Princeton Theological Seminary

Ellen Charry is the Margaret W. Harmon Professor of Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary. She earned the PhD in Religion from Temple University following the MSW from Yeshiva University and the BA from Barnard College. Her primary interest is in flourishing in the Christian life.

Ellen T. Charry, “Consider Psalms”

Robert Emmons
University of California, Davis

Robert Emmons is Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Davis and is Founding Editor and Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Positive Psychology. His research focuses on gratitude and human flourishing, and has authored 4 books on the topic including Thanks! and Gratitude Works!

Charles Mathewes
University of Virginia

He is the Carolyn M. Barbour Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia. He was the editor of The Journal of the American Academy of Religion and of the third edition of the Westminster Dictionary of Christian Ethics. He is also the Chair of the Committee on the Future of Christian Ethics by the Society of Christian Ethics. 

Charles Mathewes, “Toward a Theology of Joy

Wilfred McClay
University of Oklahoma

He is the G. T. and Libby Blankenship Chair in the History of Liberty at the University of Oklahoma. He is a Senior Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He also served on the National Council on the Humanities, the advisory board for the National Endowment for the Humanities. 

Wilfred M. McClay, “Some Reflections on Joy, Happiness…and Guilt

Tomáš Sedláček
Československá obchodní banka (ČSOB)

Tomáš Sedláček is a Czech economist and university lecturer. He is the Chief Macroeconomic Strategist at ČSOB, a former member of the National Economic Council of the Czech Republic, and an economic advisor to former President Václav Havel. 

Tomáš Sedláček, “Economic and Theological Impossibility of Joy

James K. A. Smith
Calvin College

James K. A. Smith is Professor of Philosophy at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI where he holds the Gary & Henrietta Byker Chair in Applied Reformed Theology and Worldview. The award-winning author of a number of books, he also serves as the editor of Comment magazine and a Senior Fellow of Cardus. 

James K.A. Smith, “Diagnosing our Joylessness: Some Hypotheses

Joy, Human Nature, and Human Destiny
Philip Clayton
Claremont School of Theology

Philip Clayton is the Ingraham Professor of Theology at Claremont School of Theology. He specializes in constructive Christian theology, comparative theologies, and the religion-science debate. He has written or edited several dozen books, including The Predicament Belief: Science, Philosophy, Faith and Transforming Christian Theology: For Church and Society. 

Philip Clayton, “The Science and Theology of Joy

Eric Gregory
Princeton University

Eric Gregory is Professor of Religion at Princeton University. His interests include religious and philosophical ethics, theology, political theory, law and religion, and the role of religion in public life. A graduate of Harvard College, he earned an M. Phil. and Diploma in Theology from the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, and his doctorate in Religious Studies from Yale University.

Eric Gregory, “Joy in Time: Augustinian Reflections

Warren Kinghorn
Duke University

Warren Kinghorn is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Pastoral and Moral Theology at Duke University Medical Center and Duke Divinity School, and a staff psychiatrist at the Durham VA Medical Center. His teaching and writing focuses on Christian interpretations of mental health and mental illness with particular reference to Thomas Aquinas, on the role of religious communities in caring for people with mental health problems, and on the teaching of medical professionalism. 

Warren Kinghorn, “Love’s Rest: Thomas Aquinas and the Psychology of Joy

Lisa Miller
Columbia University

Lisa Miller is Professor and Director of Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College. She has published over 80 articles on spirituality, mental health, and thriving and is Principal Investigator of numerous funded research studies. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Spirituality in Clinical Practice and editor of Oxford University Press Handbook of Psychology and Spirituality. 

Lisa Miller, “Spiritual Awakening; Joy and Depression a Unified Pathway; ‘Two Sides of the Same Coin’

Kathryn Tanner
Yale University

Kathryn Tanner is the Frederick Marquand Professor of Systematic Theology at Yale Divinity School. She serves on the editorial boards of Modern Theology, International Journal of Systematic Theology, and Scottish Journal of Theology, and is a former Co-Editor of Journal of Religion. She is a past president of the American Theological Society, and an active member of the Theology Committee that advises the Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops. 

Kathryn Tanner, “Religious Joy

Joy and Human Well-Being
Harold Attridge
Yale University

Harold Attridge is the Sterling Professor of Divinity at Yale Divinity School and a former Dean of Yale Divinity School. Educated at Boston College, Cambridge, and Harvard, he studies the New Testament, its Jewish and Greco-Roman context, and the history of early Christianity, with special interests in the Gospel of John and the Epistle to the Hebrews. 

Harold Attridge, “A Reflection on the Theme of Joy

Daniel Chua
University of Hong Kong

Daniel Chua is Professor of Music and Head of the School of Humanities at the University of Hong Kong. He was a fellow and the Director of Studies at St. John’s College, Cambridge, and later Professor of Music Theory and Analysis at King’s College London. He was also the Henry Fellow at Harvard and the recipient of the 2004 Royal Musical Association’s Dent Medal. 

Daniel Chua, “Music and Joy - a position paper

Jennifer Herdt
Yale University

Jennifer Herdt is the Gilbert L. Stark Professor of Christian Ethics at Yale Divinity School. She is the author of Religion and Faction in Hume’s Moral Philosophy and Putting on Virtue: the Legacy of the Splendid Vices, together with many articles and book chapters on a host of subjects. She is currently working on a book manuscript on happiness, obligation, and Christian ethics. 

Jennifer Herdt, “The Task and Gift of Life: Joy in the Context of Agent-Perfective Eudaimonism

Christian Wiman
Yale University

Christian Wiman is Senior Lecturer in Religion and Literature at Yale Divinity School. He is the author of numerous books, most recently My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer. In 2013, he resigned the editorship of Poetry magazine to join the faculty of the Yale Institute of Sacred Music. 

Christian Wiman, “It Is Good to Sit Even a Rotting Body

Nicholas Wolterstorff
Yale University

Nicholas Wolterstorff is the Noah Porter Professor Emeritus of Philosophical Theology at Yale University and Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia. Two of his most recent publications are Journey toward Justice and Justice in Love. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

Nicholas Wolterstorff, “Joy and Human Well-Being

Theology of Joy as a Transformative Movement
Jon Butler
Yale University

Jon Butler is the Howard R. Lamar Professor Emeritus of American Studies, History, and Religious Studies at Yale University and Adjunct Research Professor of History at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. He is the author of various books in American religious history and is currently writing a book on religion in modern Manhattan, God in Gotham. 

Jon Butler, “Abraham Joshua Heschel and the Imperative of Joy

Craig Calhoun
London School of Economics

Craig Calhoun is Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science. Previously, he was Professor at New York University and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge and President of the Social Science Research Council. Throughout his career he has been involved in projects bringing social science to bear on issues of public concern. These have ranged from consulting on rural education and development in North Carolina, to advising the Constitutional Commission of Eritrea, to helping develop communications infrastructure in Sudan.

Corresponding Scholar

Philip Gorski
Yale University

Philip Gorski is Professor of Sociology and Religious Studies at Yale University, where he co-directs the MacMillan Initiative on Religion, Politics, and Society. He is currently completing a book entitled, Prophetic Republicanism: The American Civil Religious Tradition. 

James Davison Hunter
University of Virginia

James Davidson Hunter is the Labrosse-Levinson Distinguished Professor of Religion, Culture, and Social Theory at the University of Virginia and Executive Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture. He has written several books, articles, essays, and reviews all variously concerned with the problem of meaning and moral order in a time of political and cultural change in American life. 

Corresponding Scholar

Ann Mische
University of Notre Dame

Ann Mische is Associate Professor of Sociology and Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. She is a faculty member of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and a Faculty Fellow of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at Notre Dame. Her work focuses on processes of communication, deliberation and leadership in social movements and democratic politics. 

Ann Mische, “Joy in Movement

James Pawelski
University of Pennsylvania

James Pawelski is the Director of Education and Senior Scholar in Positive Psychology and Adjunct Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the founding director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Master of Applied Positive Psychology program and the founding executive director of the International Positive Psychology Association. 

James Pawelski, “Today, Tomorrow, and the Day After Tomorrow: A Case Study for the Theology of Joy Project

Alan Wolfe
Boston College

Alan Wolfe is Professor of Political Science and the Director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life at Boston College. In 2014, Beacon Press will publish his next book The Blessings of Exile: Why Diaspora Is Good for Jews

Alan Wolfe, “Loving God, Fearing the State

Joy and the Vernal Season of Adolescence
Caroline Ainsworth
The Congregational Church of New Canaan

Caroline Ainsworth is the Minister to Youth at The Congregational Church of New Canaan in New Canaan, Connecticut, where she was a charter member of the middle school youth group, a student leader of the high school youth group, and a high school advisor to the middle school youth group. She received a degree in Education from Northwestern University, and for the past six years, she has served her home congregation and the larger New Canaan community caring for over 250 youth.

Michael A. Bird
Christ Church

The Rev. Michael A. Bird is the Rector of Christ Church in Bronxville, NY, where he has served for over 10 years. He has previously served as a priest in New Canaan, CT, and as a teacher in Houston, TX, and Philadelphia, PA. His pastoral and practical experience has been primarily focused on the issues young people face in a rapidly changing world. He currently serves as a member of the General Seminary Board of Trustees. 

Kenda Creasy Dean
Princeton Theological Seminary

Kenda Creasy Dean is the Mary D. Synnott Professor of Youth, Church, and Culture at Princeton Theological Seminary. She is also the coordinating pastor of Kingston United Methodist Church in Kingston, New Jersey, and also an ordained elder in the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference. 

Kenda Creasy Dean, “Ode to Joy: The Adolescent Experience of Joy as Arousal

Frederick Edie
Duke University

Frederick Edie is Associate Professor of the Practice of Christian Education. His research interests include exploring the relationships between Christian worship and Christian identity, creating rich contexts for the formation of Christians, and constructing “full-bodied” epistemologies. 

Frederick P. Edie, “Adolescent Joy and Christian Worship: Awakenings and Deepenings

Matthew Kuan Johnson
University of Cambridge

Matthew Kuan Johnson graduated Magna Cum Laude, with distinction in the major, from Yale University. He majored in Cognitive Science (concentration in morality) and had early election to Phi Beta Kappa. His primary areas of research are moral psychology, theory of mind, experimental philosophy, embodied cognition, and neuroethics. He is currently a Master’s Candidate in Social and Developmental Psychology at the University of Cambridge. 

Matthew Kuan Johnson, “Opportunities and Obstacles for Joy during Adolescence: Perspectives from Cognitive Science

Lisa Miller
Columbia University

Lisa Miller is Professor and Director of Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College. She has published over 80 articles on spirituality, mental health, and thriving and is Principal Investigator of numerous funded research studies. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Spirituality in Clinical Practice and editor of Oxford University Press Handbook of Psychology and Spirituality.

Lisa Miller, “Spiritual Awakening; Joy and Depression a Unified Pathway; ‘Two Sides of the Same Coin’

Rodger Nishioka
Columbia Theological Seminary

Rodger Nishioka is the Benton Family Associate Professor of Christian Education at Columbia Theological Seminary. He focuses on equipping pastors to be teachers and leaders in the church’s educational ministry. He is particularly interested in building a congregation’s youth and young adult ministries. 

Rodger Nishioka, “Searching for Joy: A ‘Tangled Portrait’

David White
Austin Seminary

David White is the C. Ellis and Nancy Gribble Nelson Professor of Christian Education and Professor in Methodist Studies at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. His recent publications include Dreamcare: A Theology of Youth, Spirit, and Vocation and Awakening Youth Discipleship in a Consumer Culture, as well as a number of journal articles. 

David White, “Rejoicing in Adolescence: A Parable of God