About Me

I am a social and intellectual historian with a special focus on Continental Europe. Teaching, writing, and NGO work has taken me across the globe and this site is an effort to try to draw together the many strands and to make it accessible to those interested in learning more, partnering, and taking these ideas and projects further.

My research focuses on the intersection of religious and economic practices. My current research project Charity and Violence is analyzing the social effect of religious charitable giving on the support and promotion of conflict. This research began during my research fellowship in Paris, France at the Laboratoire d’excellence – Religions et Sociétés dans le Monde Mediterranéen at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, and has been nurtured through my work at the University of Virginia and Global Covenant Partners. But the ideas at the heart of this project emerged from my time working as an Economist in Washington, DC. You can find my working papers on the Charity and Violence page.

I am Lecturer in Religious Studies and the Associate Director of the Initiative on Religion, Politics and Conflict at the University of Virginia. In addition to my teaching, research and administrative duties at the University of Virginia, I chair working groups on Religion and Political Economy, Political Islam, and Religion and Data Science, and manage student programs and research.

I am currently working on two book-length projects – Charity and Violence and Adolf von Harnack: Der fremde Theologe. Based upon research that I begun Paris as the Fernand Braudel Postdoctoral Fellow at the Laboratoire d’excellence – Religions et Sociétés dans le Monde Mediterranéen at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Charity and Violence brings together the new field of economics of religion with a deep appreciation for the social and economic effects of religious practices. In Adolf von Harnack: Der fremde Theologe (Adolf von Harnack: The Alien Theologian), I am bringing together my reflections on the responsibilities and limitations of a historian in contemporary society, particularly when the historian’s narratives themselves are part of conflict formation and propagation. Adolf von Harnack, who is arguably the father of ‘Church History’, led the ill-fated and ill-conceived effort to defend World War I to the ‘civilized world’ of European academics and churchmen. But it would be a mistake to think that his work as a historian and his promotion of war were unrelated. As historians of religious thought and practice, we should heed the warning that Harnack represents.

In 2014, I received my doctorate from the University of Cambridge, specializing in philosophy of religion and ethics. Since then, my research and teaching have focused on the history and theory of Christian practices, religion and conflict, and the social, economic, and political practices of religious leaders. In January 2018, my PhD dissertation will be published by Oxford University Press as Prayer after Augustine.

Jonathan Teubner

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