Purpose

A professor of theology at the University of St. Thomas (UST) in St. Paul, Minnesota, William T. Cavanaugh has written about liturgy as politics and challenged the conventional wisdom that religion is prone to promoting violence. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where he earned a baccalaureate degree with highest honors and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Dr. Cavanaugh received a M.A. in theology and religious studies from Cambridge University, where he won the St. Edmund’s College Prize. He then became a member of a base Christian community in Santiago, Chile, and served as a coordinator of a cooperative housing project there. Returning to the United States, he was a research fellow at the Notre Dame Law School’s Center for Civil and Human Rights and went on to study at Duke University, where he held both a Julian Price Graduate Fellowship and a H.F. Guggenheim Foundation Dissertation Fellowship and was awarded a Ph.D. in religion in 1996. He had joined the St. Thomas faculty as an instructor the previous year and was named a full professor in 2008. UST has awarded him several grants, and he has held a visiting fellowship at Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies. Co-editor of Modern Theology, associate editor of Pro Ecclesia: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Evangelical Theology, and a member of the editorial council of Theology Today, Dr. Cavanaugh is a series consultant to Westminster John Knox Press and co-editor (with David Cunningham) of the Brazos Press series The Christian Practice of Everyday Life. He is the author of more than forty papers published in academic journals or in volumes of collected works and the co-editor (with Peter Scott) of The Blackwell Companion to Political Theology (2003) and (with Jeffrey Bailey and Craig Hovey) of The Eerdmans Reader in Contemporary Political Theology (forthcoming). His books include Torture and the Eucharist: Theology, Politics, and the Body of Christ (1998), Theopolitical Imagination: Discovering the Liturgy as a Political Act in the Age of Global Consumerism (2002), Being Consumed: Economics and Christian Desire (2008), which was named an Englewood Honor Book, and, most recently, The Myth of Religious Violence: Secular Ideology and the Roots of Modern Conflict, which was published by Oxford University Press last year.