Victor Thasiah, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Religion
Victor Thasiah's courses in the humanities relate moral, political, and religious thought and practice. He specializes in the history of religion and political theory, Christian theology and ethics, and community organizing theory and practice. Dr. Thasiah has spent the last two summers conducting ethnographic research across Rwanda, and is currently working on writing projects with Rwandans John Rutsindintwarane and Innocent Rugaragu that relate community organizing on the one hand with development, democracy, human rights, postgenocide recovery, and church-state issues on the other. In connection to his teaching and research, Dr. Thasiah serves on the PICO (People Improving Communities through Organizing) International Advisory Board and California Lutheran University's Center for Equality and Justice Steering Committee. Before coming to CLU in 2011, he worked as the Director of Social Policy for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Editor of Journal of Lutheran Ethics.
- Ph.D., Theology, Oxford University (2007)
- Research Fellow, University of Tuebingen (1998)
- M.Div., Princeton Theological Seminary (1997)
- B.A., Psychology, University of California, Santa Cruz (1994)
Religion and Political Thought
Violence, Religion, and Politics
Global Ethics and Development
Introduction to Christianity
Contemporary Christian Ethics
Church History and Theology (Oxford University)
The Problem of Evil (Elmhurst College)
"Reconfiguring Church-State Relations: Toward a Rwandan Political Theology," in Lutheran Identity and Political Theology, eds. Carl Henric-Grenholm and Goran Gunner (Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock, 2014).
"The Right to Freedom of Association: Organizing in Rwanda after Genocide," for a book on Lutheran perspectives on contemporary legal issues (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, forthcoming).
"Washing Your Ears: On Inter-Religious Friendships," Journal of Lutheran Ethics 11:3 (May/June 2011).
"Voluntary Poverty in the Economy of the Spirit," Journal of Lutheran Ethics 10:6 (June 2010).
"Trustworthiness: Infrastructuring a Better Chicago," AREA (Art, Research, Education, Activism) 10 (October 2010).
"How to Improve Rwanda's Human Rights Record," Society of Christian Ethics, January, 2015.
"Countering Complicity: Rwandan Political Theology after Genocide," American Academy of Religion, San Diego, California, November, 2014.
"The Right to Freedom of Association: Organizing in Rwanda after Genocide," Lutheran Perspectives on Contemporary Legal Issues, Valparaiso University Law School, Chicago, March 27, 2014.
"Rwandan Lutheran Political Theology," Remembering the Past, Living the Future: Lutheran Tradition in Transition Conference, University of Uppsala, Sweden, October 9, 2013.
"Ethical, Religious, Anarchist Politics," Third International Conference on Religion and Spirituality in Society, March 9, 2013.
"Second Realities: Karl Barth's Ethics and Socially-Engaged Art," Society of Christian Ethics (Pacific Meeting), February 10, 2012.
"Comprehensive Immigration Reform," Society of Christian Ethics Annual Meeting, January 8, 2010.
"Faith and Immigration Reform," Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service Briefing, Washington, D.C., October 14, 2009.
Review Essay: Christian Ethics as Witness, D. Haddorff (Cascade Books, 2010); and The Analogy of Grace, G. McKenny (Oxford University Press, 2010), Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics 33:1 (Spring/Summer 2013) 192-194.
Holy Scripture: A Dogmatic Sketch, J. Webster (Cambridge University Press, 2003) International Journal of Systematic Theology 6:4 (October 2004) 466-469.
Admiration and Challenge: Karl Barth's Theological Relationship with John Calvin, S. Chung (Peter Lang, 2002) International Journal of Systematic Theology 6:1 (January 2004) 97-98.
Social Statement on Criminal Justice (Chicago: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 2013). Advisor.
Draft Social Statement on Criminal Justice (Chicago: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 2012). Advisor.
Hearing the Cries: Faith and Criminal Justice (Chicago: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 2011). Editor and Contributor.
Toward Compassionate, Just, and Wise Immigration Reform (Chicago: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 2010). Author.
1. Wabash Summer Fellowship, 2013, funded by Lily Endowment, Inc. Conducted ethnographic research in Rwanda on religion and politics after genocide.
2. Faculty Research and Creative Work Grant, 2014, funded by California Lutheran University. Continued research in Rwanda on religion and politics, especially on Rwandan community organizing after genocide.