Society for the Anthropology of Lowland South America

Charles T Mathewes

Carolyn M. Barbour Professor of Religious Studies

Charles T. Mathewes specializes in Christian theology and ethics, comparative religious ethics, and religion, politics, and society. His first book, Evil and the Augustinian Tradition, published by Cambridge University Press, explores the challenge of tragedy and the Augustinian tradition. His second book, A Theology of Public Life, also with Cambridge, explores the promise and peril of public engagement for religious believers in modern democracies. He has edited several books, and is Associate Editor of the forthcoming third edition of the Westminster Dictionary of Christian Ethics. Currently he is Editor of The Journal of the American Academy of Religion, the flagship journal in the field of religious studies, and is completing a book on comparative religious ethics and a book about an Augustinian response to 9/11 and everything after.


  • BA, Georgetown University
  • MA, University of Chicago
  • PhD, University of Chicago

Research Interests

Charles Mathewes was initially trained in Christian theology and modern philosophical ethics and philosophy of religion, and he continues his interest in those areas, particularly the history of Christian thought and contemporary theology and ethics.  He is also interested in issues around religion, society, culture, and politics.  Since coming to UVA he has grown increasingly interested in comparative religion, especially comparative religious ethics, and in the past decade he has begun to do more work on the theory of religion and the practice of religious studies.


  • The Ethical State of the World
  • Negativity and the Religious Imagination
  • God, Politics, and War
  • Theory and Method in Religious Ethics
  • Religious Ethics and Moral Problems
  • Augustine's City of God

Selected Publications 

  • The Future of Political Theology.  Forthcoming, possibly from Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Comparative Religious Ethics: The Major Works.  In 4 Volumes. Editor, with co-Editors Matthew Puffer and Mark Storslee. Routledge, 2015.
  • The Republic of Grace: Augustinian Thoughts in Dark Times. Eerdmans, Paperback 2010.
  • Understanding Religious Ethics. Wiley-Blackwell, Paperback/Cloth 2010.
  •  A Theology of Public Life. Cambridge University Press, 2007.  (Paperback 2008.)
  • Evil and the Augustinian Tradition. Cambridge University Press, 2001. (Paperback 2007.)