Kristine A. Culp
Areas of Study and Research
MDiv (Princeton Theological Seminary)
PhD (University of Chicago)
In her research and teaching, Kris Culp seeks to forward theology’s diagnostic and constructive contributions to knowledge and to life while also critically examining the ways certain theological constructions have functioned. She often focuses on topics, loci, or symbols that lie at the intersection of theology and ethics, for example, the relation of human sociality and community, theology and the public square, vulnerability and changeability, “life” and its enhancement and aliveness. Her work also regularly engages feminist theories, social and critical theories, historical studies, literature, and visual art.
Her current project, O Mortal!, generates theological resources for thinking diagnostically and constructively about enhancing life by exploring creaturely glory. She engages a long history of practical theological discernment and deliberation about eating and tasting, architecture and place, visual art, and the natural world—and thus about enjoyment, vulnerability, suffering, resistance, change, and “aliveness.” The book project was initially developed as part of the Enhancing Life Project at the University of Chicago and Ruhr-University Bochum, funded by the John Templeton Foundation.
Her essays have addressed feminist and womanist theologies; liberal and humanist strands of the Reformed tradition; the thought of Simone de Beauvoir, H. Richard Niebuhr, and John Calvin; fiction and visual art as resources and analogues in theological thinking; protest and resistance as theological themes; pilgrimage in theology and practice; and “experience” in contemporary theology. She is the author of Vulnerability and Glory: A Theological Account (Westminster John Knox, 2010), one of the first theological works to connect multidisciplinary conversations about environmental and economic vulnerability with theological anthropology and sociality. She is the editor of The Responsibility of the Church for Society and Other Essays by H. Richard Niebuhr (2008), which collected Niebuhr’s essays about ecclesiology and communities of faith. She is a member of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches.