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John Carlson

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Assoc Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 4302
Lincoln Center Affiliated Faculty
Faculty, DTPHX Campus, Mailcode 3250
Biography

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John Carlson is Interim Director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict at Arizona State University where he is also Associate Professor of Religious Studies.

A scholar of religious ethics, his research explores how religious and moral inquiry informs and invigorates our understanding of political life. He has written on issues of war and peace, religion and violence, human rights, and a variety of social and political issues, both domestic and international. 

He received his B.A. in political science from Vanderbilt University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in religious ethics from The University of Chicago Divinity School. Professor Carlson is coeditor of, and contributor to, three books: From Jeremiad to Jihad: Religion, Violence, and America (California, 2012); Religion and the Death Penalty: A Call for Reckoning (Eerdmans, 2004); and The Sacred and the Sovereign: Religion and International Politics (Georgetown, 2003). He is the author of twenty-five book chapters and articles from leading journals in his field as well as numerous shorter essays. Currently, he is working on a monograph entitled "Justice This Side of Heaven: Human Nature, Religion, and the Moral Order of Politics," a political-theological examination of how ideas about human nature and the divine shape our political pursuits of justice. He has served as president of the Niebuhr Society and on the steering committees of several sections of the American Academy of Religion.

Prof. Carlson has been a principal investigator or Co-PI on research projects sponsored by the Herny R. Luce Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and other agencies. He is currently co-director (with Linell Cady) of the Religion and Global Citizenship project. With colleagues Anand Gopal (CSRC) and Kristin Gilger (Cronkite School of Journalism), he is directing a new project on religion and the media.

Education

BA, Vanderbilt University (Political Sience)

AM, PhD, The University of Chicago Divinity School (Religious Ethics)

Research Interests

Religious ethics; religion and violence; religion and politics; war and peace; religion, ethics and international affairs; Christian realism; just war; human rights; theories and issues of justice; war crimes tribunals; death penalty; religion and the military.

Publications

Popular writings:

"Losing Our Civil Religion," Religion and Politics, Sep. 26, 2017.

"The Democratic Virtue of Losing," Religion and Politics, Mar. 28, 2016.

"Remembering Albert Camus and Longing for the Old Atheism," Huffington Post, Nov. 7, 2013.

"Just War as Punishment," First Things, Oct. 1, 2013.

"A Moral Guide to Obama's Foreign Policy," Religion and Politics, Dec 10, 2012.

 

Edited volumes:

John D. Carlson & Jonathan H. Ebel, eds. From Jeremiad to Jihad: Religion, Violence, and America. (2012).

Erik C. Owens, John D. Carlson & Eric P. Elshtain, eds. Religion and the Death Penalty: A Call for Reckoning. (2004).

John D. Carlson & Erik C. Owens, eds. The Sacred and the Sovereign: Religion and International Politics. (2003).

 

Selected academic articles and chapters:

"Rights versus Right Order: Two Theological Traditions of Justice and Their Implications for Christian Ethics and Pluralistic Polities," Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics 36, no. 2 (Fall/Winter 2016), pp. 79-100.

"Reinhold Niebuhr and Richard John Neuhaus: Religion and American Public Life in the Twentieth Century and Beyond," Political Theology 14, no. 3 (2013), pp. 362-374.

“A Just or Holy War of Independence? The Revolution’s Legacy for Religion, Violence, and American Exceptionalism” in John D. Carlson & Jonathan H. Ebel, eds., From Jeremiad to Jihad: Religion, Violence, and America (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012), pp. 197-219.

"Religion and Violence: Coming to Terms with Terms" in Andrew R. Murphy, ed., The Blackwell Companion to Religion and Violence (Blackwell, 2011), pp. 7-22.

"Cashing in on Religion's Currency? Ethical Challenges for a Post-secular Military," Review of Faith and International Affairs 7, no. 4 (Winter 2009), pp. 51-62.

"The Morality, Politics, and Irony of War: Recovering Reinhold Niebuhr's Ethical Realism," Journal of Religious Ethics 36, no. 4 (December 2008), pp. 619-651.

"God's Disbelief and Ours: Religious Perils and Possibilities of Human Rights," Religion and Human Rights (Nijhoff/Brill, May 2006), pp. 5-15.

"Human Nature, Limited Justice, and the Irony of Capital Punishment" in Erik C. Owens, John D. Carlson & Eric P. Elshtain, eds. Religion and the Death Penalty: A Call for Reckoning  (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2004), pp. 158-194.

"Trials, Tribunals, and Tribulations of Sovereignty: Crimes against Humanity and the imago Dei " in John D. Carlson & Erik C. Owens, eds., The Sacred and the Sovereign: Religion and International Politics (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2003), pp. 196-232.

Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
REL 494Special Topics
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
REL 591Seminar
POS 591Seminar
Fall 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
POS 378Religion, War and Peace
REL 378Religion, War and Peace
REL 494Special Topics
Fall 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
REL 799Dissertation
Spring 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
REL 381Religion and Moral Issues
Fall 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
REL 394Special Topics
POS 394Special Topics
Spring 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
REL 381Religion and Moral Issues
Professional Associations

American Academy of Religion; Society of Christian Ethics

Graduate Faculties / Mentoring History

Graduate Faculty of Religious Studies