David R. Hayworth College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Sean Larsen

seanDr. Sean Larsen |

Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion


Ph.D. Duke University (2013): Christian Theological Studies

M.Div Yale Divinity School (2007): Theology, Summa Cum Laude

B.A. University of Wisconsin-Madison (2003): Majors: History, Philosophy; Certificate in Religious Studies, Phi Beta Kappa, with Distinction



Areas of Specialization:

Contemporary Theology

Ancient and Medieval Western Thought

Feminist Approaches to Religion and Philosophy

Theology and Political Theory

Theology and Sexuality

The Thought of St. Augustine

Catholic Theology and Ethics


Courses Taught:

Introduction to Christianity

Contemporary Christian Theology


I became a theologian because I don’t like authority. So I worked my way up—past parents, teachers, etc.—to the highest authority possible, and I’ve devoted my life to questioning, challenging, and learning to understand it. As a theologian, I study the way that Christians have learned to talk about God and about the world and all its inhabitants as God’s gift. My hope is that by studying the way that Christians have learned to talk about God in critical conversation with some of the most important issues in the world today, like politics and sexuality, I can understand better how to think and talk about both God and the critical issues.


My dissertation, “Beyond Public and Private: A Theological Transfiguration,” explores the way that Christian theology has resources to think better about the distinction between public and private, which is central to the way that most societies organize their social life.  I have also published an article called “The Politics of Desire: Two Readings of Henri de Lubac on Nature and Grace” in Modern Theology that takes up an important and recurring controversy in contemporary catholic theology. I have an article forthcoming in the Scottish Journal of Theology called “How I Think Hauerwas Thinks about Theology,” which addresses how one of the most important theological ethicists of our time reasons philosophically and theologically, which complements another forthcoming piece in The Other Journal called “What Wolterstorff and Hauerwas Have to Say to One Another,” an an extended conversation about Wolterstorff’s recent book The Mighty and the Almighty: An Essay in Political Theology. Additionally, I have an article under review that develops my take on the thought of catholic theologian Henri de Lubac further and extends the reading of him that I lay out in Modern Theology.


In addition to the above, I am working on turning my dissertation into a book, a book on theology, Augustine, and sexuality, and project on the meaning of “nature” in modernity. For more on my teaching and research, you can look at my website


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