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Rev. Dr. Jay Emerson Johnson, Assistant Professor of Theology and Culture

Assistant Professor of Theology and Culture
Coordinator of the Certificate of Spirituality and Social Change (CSSC)

Director of the Master of Arts in Social Transformation (MAST)
510/849-8235 | jjohnson@psr.edu

Rev. Dr. Jay Emerson Johnson, Assistant Professor of Theology and Culture is an Episcopal priest and has served congregations in the Midwest and the San Francisco Bay Area. He is also a member of the core doctoral faculty at the Graduate Theological Union. He came to PSR as a staff member at the school’s Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry (CLGS) in 2003 and began teaching courses for the school’s Certificate of Sexuality and Religion program. He coordinates the Certificate of Spirituality and Social Change (CSSC) and the Master of Arts degree in Social Transformation (MAST).

Dr. Johnson’s research and writing interests include the intersections of critical social theory (especially queer theory) and Christian theological traditions, theological anthropology and Christian eschatology, and multimedia/pop-cultural influences on constructive theology. In addition to numerous articles on sexuality, Christian theology, and spirituality, he is the author of Dancing with God: Anglican Christianity and the Practice of Hope (2005), as well as co-editor with Donald Boisvert, of a two-volume anthology, Queer Religion (2011). More recently he is the author of Divine Communion: A Eucharistic Theology of Sexual Intimacy (2013) and Peculiar Faith: Queer Theology for Christian Witness (2014). Dr. Johnson also serves on the editorial board of the journal Theology and Sexuality and is a popular retreat leader and workshop leader in congregations around the country.

“What kind of world do we wish to inhabit? How can religious traditions inspire fresh visions for a world where all creatures can thrive and flourish? Questions like these inform my vocation as a priest in the Episcopal Church and a professor of Christian theology. I am persuaded that theological ideas matter most when they make a difference in how people live and how they shape faith communities for a lively and transformative witness to the Gospel in the world. I invite students to join me a shared project of creating something new from the rich multiplicity of theological traditions in concert with their own wealth of experiences and perspectives. Christian theology is, at its best, a communal endeavor.”

Academic Credentials
Bachelor of Arts, Wheaton College, 1983
Master of Divinity (cum laude), Nashotah House Episcopal Seminary, 1988
Doctor of Philosophy, Graduate Theological Union, 1998

Publications

Books

Dancing with God: Anglican Christianity and the Practice of Hope (2005)

Queer Religion, Two Volumes, co-edited with Donald Boisvert (2011)

Divine Communion: A Eucharistic Theology of Sexual Intimacy (2013)

Peculiar Faith: Queer Theology for Christian Witness (2014)

Select Articles and Essays

“Anglican Bodies: The Gift of Heretical Liminality and the Risk of Relaxed Vigilance,” in Gay Catholic Priests and Clerical Sexual Misconduct: Breaking the Silence (2005)

“Sodomy and Gendered Love: Reading Genesis 19 in the Anglican Communion,” in The Oxford Handbook of the Reception History of the Bible (2011)

“Peculiar: Falling in (Love) with God,” in Dancing Theology in Fetish Boots: Essays in Honour of Marcella Althaus-Reid (2010)

“Apocalypse Later,” in Disquiet Time: Rants and Reflections on the Good Book by the Skeptical, the Faithful, and a Few Scoundrels (2014)

“Liberating Compassion: A Queerly Theological Anthropology of Enchanting Animals,” in Meaningful Flesh: Reflections on Religion and Nature for a Queer Planet (2017)

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