“¡Presente! Nonviolent Politics and the Resurrection of the Dead”

(under contract with Georgetown University Press)

What is the place of the dead in our politics? For those who manage geo-political flows of capital, munitions, and security, the dead are unwanted haunts that need to be repressed and kept out of sight. For nonviolent social movements like the School of the Americas Watch, however, the dead are agents that dynamically shape political action. In this book, I argue through this extended case study of one of the longest running nonviolent campaigns currently active in the United States that the presence of the resurrected dead among the SOA Watch gives rise to a messianic political theology. Such messianism does not devolve into either violence or quietism, as some scholars have feared. Rather, I show how the dead call the living into deliberative practical reason about the role of liturgy, pluralism, law and charisma in their movement to close the SOA/WHINSEC and fundamentally change US foreign policy in Latin America.

Journal Articles and Book Chapters

“Conflict as Communion” (forthcoming in Journal of Anglican Studies)

“‘How Long O Lord?’ Lamentation and Political Agency” (forthcoming chapter in a volume honoring the legacy of Lúcás Chan SJ, Building Bridges, Rowman & Littlefield)

“Taking a Stand (or a Seat) in the Peace Studies Classroom” Peace Review (2019) DOI:

“Lovers of God’s Law: The politics of the higher law and the ethics of civil disobedience” Political Theology (2018) DOI: 10.1080/1462317X.2018.1467662.

Reviews and Interviews

“Sanctuary in a Small Southern City: An interview with Anton Maisonet-Flores” (forthcoming in Radical History Review)

Review of Cathleen Kaveny, Prophecy without Contempt: Religious Discourse in the Public Square, Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics 37, no. 2 (Fall/Winter 2017).

Works in Progress

“Mourning the Dead, Following the Living: Exemplary dead and charismatic leadership” (revised and under review for a special issue of the Journal of Religious Ethics)

“Reconsidering Norms and Techniques in Nonviolent Struggle” 

“The Messianism of Ignacio Ellacuría”

Conference Presentations

“¡Presente! Liturgical Protest and Practical Reason”
Annual Meeting of the Society of Christian Ethics, January 2019.

 “The End is Nigh! Taking ecoapocalyptic talk seriously”
Inaugural conference of the Political Theology Network, Emory University, February 2018.

“Just Peacemaking: Practices, norms and ends after twenty-five years”
Annual Meeting of the Society of Christian Ethics, January 2018.

“Lovers of God’s Law: Politics of the higher law and ethics of civil disobedience”
Annual Meeting of the Fellowship for Protestant Ethics, June 2017.

“A Just War on Climate Change?”
Annual Convention of the Catholic Theological Society of America, Moral Theology Group, June 2017.

“Strategic Nonviolence and the Eclipse of Ethics”
Annual Convention of the International Studies Association, Peace Studies Group, February 2017.

“Conflict and Communion: Anglicanism’s Crisis as Transformative Opportunity”
World without End: The New Shape of World Christianity, Georgetown College, January 2017.

“Iconography of Peace: Motivating Movement Participation through Rituals of Lament”
Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Religion, Social Conflict and Peace Group, November 2016.

“Mourning the Dead, Following the Living: Exemplary Dead and Charismatic Leadership”
Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Ethics Section, November 2016.

“‘How Long O Lord?’ Lamentation and Political Agency”
“Biblical Ethics in the 21st Century,” Marquette University, April 2016.

“Crossing the line: Liturgical protest and the tasks of deliberation”
Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Ecclesial Practices Group, November 2015.

“Gospel Obedience: Transgression, affirmation and appropriation of the law at the gates of Fort Benning”
“Beyond Boundaries: Shifting Dynamics in Peace and Conflict Studies,” Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame, November 2015.

“Strategic Nonviolence and the Eclipse of Ethics”
Annual Conference of the Peace and Justice Studies Association, October 2015.

A Dark Theme Revisited: Reading John Howard Yoder’s Sexualized Violence”
Collaborative presentation with Brian Hamilton, Moral Theology Colloquium, University of Notre Dame, March 2015.

“‘How Long O Lord?’ Practices of Lamentation and the Restoration of Political Agency”
Duke Graduate Conference in Theology at Duke Divinity School, October 2014.

“¡Presente!: Eschatological memories and political praxis”
“Eschatology and Moral Order,” University of Chicago, March 2014.

“Human Rights in Pacem in Terris: Universal order, Lingua franca, unicorn or diagnostic tool?”
Biennial conference on the Catholic Social Tradition, University of Notre Dame, March 2013.

Selected popular publications

“The End is Nigh!” Political Theology Network, 2018.

“A One to One on the Road to Emmaus” Daily Theology, 2017.

“What’s ethical about popular casuistry?” Contending Modernities Blog, 2016.

“Engage survivors more, and Yoder less” (co-authored with Brian Hamilton), National Catholic Reporter, February 26 – March 10, 2016.

Research Languages

Spanish (intermediate)

French (reading)

Biblical Hebrew (reading)

Latin (reading)

Professional Research Experience

Managing editor, Political Theology Network, 2017-present

Currently working as managing editor and coordinator of the Political Theology Network’s website, a Luce funded initiative. In this position I organize editorial staff to write, edit and solicit web content related to political theology. I have developed new media platforms for generating dialogue across diverse constituencies committed to the study and practice of political theology, including online reading groups, a podcast, and online symposia.

Research Associate, Contending Modernities, University of Notre Dame, 2013, 2016-2017

Research Assistant, Born of Lament with Emmanuel Katongole, University of Notre Dame, 2014

Research Assistant, Weird John Brown with Ted Smith, Vanderbilt University Divinity School, 2011