Upcoming Forum

Professor Charles Mathewes

2020/21 James Luther Adams Forum on Religion and Society


Dr. Charles Mathewes, Carolyn M. Barbour Professor of Religions Studies at the University of Virginia

Respondent: Dr. Peter Iver Kaufman, Professor Emeritus, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Professor and Chair in Leadership Studies, University of Richmond


Friday, April 23, 2021, 3-5 p.m.  Minor Hall 110, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia.

(Note that the Forum was postponed from the previously announced date in November, 2020. The above date is the new date, due to the Covid 19 pandemic.  Directions to Minor Hall will be posted later.)


The Future of American Christianity After the Religious Right

Professor Mathewes writes: “The era from the 1970s till roughly now has been one era of American Christianity, the era of the ‘Religious Right,’ much as the era before then—say, from the 1920s through its self-immolation in the 1960s—was the era of the ‘Mainline.’ By calling this the Era of the Religious Right I mean that almost all major forces and events for American Christianity in this era were either from, or in response to , the rise and dominance of the Religious Right. . . . The question is, what comes after this period? The demographics of Christianity point to a religious community that is increasingly immigrant and people of color. . . . What that will look like and what it will mean is what I am interested in.”

About the Speaker

Charles Mathewes is the Carolyn M. Barbour Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia.

He spent much of his childhood in Saudi Arabia, and was educated at Georgetown University and the University of Chicago.

He is the author of Evil and the Augustinian Tradition and A Theology of Public Life, both with Cambridge University Press; Understanding Religious Ethics from Wiley-Blackwell; and The Republic of Grace, from Eerdmans. Among other edited volumes, he was the Senior Editor for a four volume collection on Comparative Religious Ethics: The Major Works for Routledge Publishers. He is currently co-directing a major grant from the Henry Luce Foundation, on “Religion and its Publics.”

From 2006 to 2010, he was Editor of The Journal of the American Academy of Religion, the flagship journal in the field of religious studies, and was the youngest Editor ever appointed to lead that journal. He was Chair of the Committee on the Future of Christian Ethics for the Society of Christian Ethics, the inaugural Director of the Virginia Center for the Study of Religion, and from 2010 to 2020 he served on the House of Bishops Theology Committee of the Episcopal Church.