Faculty Directory

Jay Johnson

Assistant Professor of Theology and Culture

Core Doctoral Faculty
At the GTU since
2003
(510) 849-8235

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. As a teacher, I invite my students into careful readings, retrievals, and reconstructions of the classic texts and methods of Western Christian theology. These continue to come under the critical gaze of postmodern and postcolonial sensibilities, troubling the typical association of a “classic” with white, male, Euro-American authors and thus broadening significantly the discipline of theology. The multiplicity of approaches to constructive theological work presents a rich array of challenges and opportunities for both future scholars and religious leaders – and compelling classroom interactions from which I continue to learn and for which I remain grateful.

Degrees and Certifications

PhD, Graduate Theological Union, 1998
MDiv, Nashotah House Episcopal Seminary, 1988
BA, Wheaton College, 1983

Research and Teaching Interests
  • Bridging academic theology and movements for social change
  • Theological anthropology and the place of other-than-human-animals in Christian theology
  • The intersection of race, sexuality, and gender in constructive theology
  • How critical social theory shapes theological method
Academic Committees and Boards
  • “Liberating Compassion: A Queerly Theological Anthropology of Enchanting Animals,” in Meaningful Flesh: Reflections on Religion and Nature for a Queer Planet, Punctum Books, 2017.
  • Peculiar Faith: Queer Theology for Christian Witness, Seabury Books, 2014.
  • Divine Communion: A Eucharistic Theology of Sexual Intimacy, Seabury Books, 2013.
  • Queer Religion (two volumes, ed. with Donald Boisvert), Praeger Publishers, 2012.
  • “Peculiar: Falling in (Love) with God,” in Dancing Theology in Fetish Boots, SCM Press, 2011.
  • “Sodomy and Gendered Love: Reading Genesis 19 in the Anglican Communion,” in The Oxford Handbook of the Reception History of the Bible, Oxford, 2011.
  • Dancing with God: Anglican Christianity and the Practice of Hope, Morehouse Publishing, 2005.
Courses Taught
  • Animals, Nation-state, and God
  • Eros, Eucharist, and Social Change
  • Transforming Christian Theology
  • Christ and Culture
  • Theologies of the Body