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Joerg Rieger

Distinguished Professor of Theology
Cal Turner Chancellor’s Chair in Wesleyan Studies
Director of the Wendland-Cook Program in Religion and Justice
Affiliated Faculty Turner Family Center for Social Venture
Owen Graduate School of Management

Joerg Rieger is Distinguished Professor of Theology, the Cal Turner Chancellor’s Chair of Wesleyan Studies, and the Founding Director of the Wendland-Cook Program in Religion and Justice. Previously he was the Wendland-Cook Endowed Professor of Constructive Theology at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University. He received an M.Div. from the Theologische Hochschule Reutlingen, Germany, a Th.M. from Duke Divinity School, and a Ph.D. in religion and ethics from Duke University.

Rieger’s work brings together the study of theology and of the movements for liberation and justice that mark our age, exemplified by the following questions: Considering the multiple relations of religion and power, what difference does religion make, for good and for ill, and what might be the constructive contributions of theology? What are the implications of various embodiments of faith for politics, economics, and ecology? What options and alternatives can we envision and how might the tools of theology help us make appropriate choices? Rieger’s constructive work in theology draws on a wide range of historical and contemporary traditions, with a concern for the roles that images of the divine play in the pressures of everyday life, locally, nationally, and internationally.

Author and editor of 26 books and more than 175 academic articles, a selection of his books includes Theology in the Capitalocene: Ecology, Identity, Class, and Solidarity (2022), Jesus vs. Caesar: For People Tired of Serving the Wrong God (2018), No Religion but Social Religion: Liberating Wesleyan Theology (2018), Unified We are a Force: How Faith and Labor Can Overcome America’s Inequalities (with Rosemarie Henkel-Rieger, 2016), Faith on the Road: A Short Theology of Travel and Justice (2015), Occupy Religion: Theology of the Multitude (with Kwok Pui-lan, 2012), Grace under Pressure: Negotiating the Heart of the Methodist Traditions (2011), Globalization and Theology (2010), No Rising Tide: Theology, Economics, and the Future (2009), Christ and Empire: From Paul to Postcolonial Times (2007), and God and the Excluded: Visions and Blindspots in Contemporary Theology (2001). His most recent edited books include Methodist Revolutions: Evangelical Engagements of Church and World (with Upulu Luma Vaai, 2021), Faith, Class, and Labor: Intersectional Approaches in a Global Context (with Jin-Young Choi, 2020), and Theologies on the Move: Religion, Migration, and Pilgrimage in the World of Neoliberal Capital (2020). His books have been translated into Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, German, Korean and Chinese. 

Rieger is editor of the academic book series New Approaches to Religion and Power with Palgrave Macmillan Publishers and, together with Professor Kwok Pui-lan, he edits the academic book series Religion in the Modern World (Rowman and Littlefield).

Rieger has lectured throughout the United States as well as internationally, including presentations in Brazil, Argentina, Costa Rica, Mexico, Kenia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, India, China, Cambodia, Korea, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Slovakia, the Netherlands, Belgium, England, Russia, and Israel/Palestine, with planned presentations in countries in Oceania. He is an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church.