The prominence of religion in recent debates around politics, identity formation, and international terrorism has led to an increased demand on those studying religion to help clarify and contextualise religious belief and practice in the public sphere. While many texts focus on the theoretical development of the subject, this book outlines a wider application of these studies by exploring the role of religious studies scholars and theologians as public intellectuals.

This collection of essays first seeks to define exactly what makes an intellectual "public". It then goes on to deal with a few questions of concern: How do public intellectuals construct knowledge in religious and theological scholarship? What is the link between public intellectuals of higher education and their role in society? Do higher education institutions have a responsibility to endorse public intellectualism?

Looking at the individual and collective role of religious studies scholars and theologians in public life, this book will be of great interest to all scholars and academics involved in religious studies and theology across the academy.

chapter 1|3 pages


part I|27 pages

Our role as public intellectuals

chapter 2|5 pages

Presidential address

The future of religious and theological studies: what is our responsibility as public intellectuals?

chapter 3|14 pages

Claiming our voice

Religious studies and public scholarship

chapter 4|6 pages

A scholar’s lament

Public acts of grief in a nation of religious minorities

part II|42 pages

Public intellectual theology for the common good in the post-truth era

chapter 5|10 pages

Tragedy and resistance

Religious and theological studies for the common good

chapter 6|15 pages

Chess boards and boxing gloves

Public theology, aesthetics, and post-truth politics

chapter 7|15 pages

Theological inquiry and leadership in a “post-truth” era

Insights from blessed Oscar Romero

part III|57 pages

Pedagogy and praxis of the public intellectual

chapter 8|14 pages

Decolonizing the classroom

Experimental strategies for decolonial pedagogy and praxis

chapter 10|11 pages

Religion and leadership

Taking some cues from Focolare’s “inundations”

chapter 11|12 pages

The faithful frame

Interfaith conversation and the role of the public intellectual

part IV|67 pages

Public intellectualism across the borderlines of religion and history

chapter 12|13 pages

Welcoming Syrian refugees in Turkey

The role of religious discourse in the case of Diyanet

chapter 15|15 pages

Theological anthropology

Christianity’s metaphysic of oppression

chapter 16|7 pages


Scholars of religion and the duty to speak and act