Dr. Jeff Robbins

  • Radical Theology: A Vision for Change. Indiana University Press, 2016.
    In this visionary new book, Jeffrey W. Robbins explores the contemporary direction of radical theology and political theology as he charts a course for their future. Robbins claims that radical theology is no longer bound by earlier thinking about God and that it must be conceived of as postsecular and postliberal. As he engages with themes of liberation, gender, and race, Robbins moves beyond the usual canon of death-of-God thinkers, thinking "against" them as much as "with" them. He presents revolutionary thinking in the face of changing theological concepts, from reformation to transformation, transcendence to immanence, messianism to metamorphosis, and from the proclamation of the death of God to the notion of God’s plasticity.
  •  Co-Authored with Ward Blanton, Clayton Crockett and Noëlle Vahanian, An Insurrectionist Manifesto: Four New Gospels for a Radical Politics. Columbia University Press, 2016.
    An Insurrectionist Manifesto contains four insurrectionary gospels based on Martin Heidegger's philosophical model of the fourfold: earth and sky, gods and mortals. Challenging religious dogma and dominant philosophical theories, they offer a cooperative, world-affirming political theology that promotes new life not through resurrection but insurrection.
  •  Co-editor, The Future of Continental Philosophy of Religion. Indiana University Press, 2014.
    What is the future of Continental philosophy of religion? These forward-looking essays address the new thinkers and movements that have gained prominence since the generation of Derrida, Deleuze, Foucault, and Levinas and how they will reshape Continental philosophy of religion in the years to come. They look at the ways concepts such as liberation, sovereignty, and post-colonialism have engaged this new generation with political theology and the new pathways of thought that have opened in the wake of speculative realism and recent findings in neuroscience and evolutionary psychology. Readers will discover new directions in this challenging and important area of philosophical inquiry.
  •  Co-authored with Clayton Crockett, Religion, Politics and the Earth: The New Materialism. Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.
    This book begins with the realization that we are quickly reaching the limits of global capitalism. This reality manifests itself not only economically and politically, but is at once a cultural, aesthetic, political, religious, ecological, and philosophical problem. While there are numerous scenarios of apocalyptic crisis and collapse, there is little or no comprehension of the problem. Drawing primarily from the discourses of contemporary continental philosophy, cultural theory, and radical theology, the new materialism is being offered up as a redress to this problem by its effort to make sense of the earth as an integrated whole.
  • Radical Democracy and Political Theology. Columbia University Press, 2011.
    This book envisions the modern experience of democracy as a social, cultural, and political force which transforms the nature of sovereign power and political authority. As Alexis de Tocqueville once wrote, “The people reign over the American political world like God over the universe.” In Robbins’s view, this unwitting acknowledgement that democracy is the political instantiation of the death of God remains an apt observation of how modern democratic power does not rest with a sovereign authority but operates as a diffuse social force along the lines of radical democratic theorists Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s conception of “network power.” This has profound implications not only for the nature of contemporary religious belief and practice, but also for the reconceptualization of the proper relationship between religion and politics that is currently underway. Challenging the modern, liberal, and secular assumption of a neutral public space, Robbins conceives of a postsecular politics for contemporary society that inextricably links religion to the political.
  • In Search of a Non-Dogmatic Theology.  The Davies Group, 2004.
    This book argues for a post-critical, non-dogmatic theology that is responsive to the transformed religious and theological sensibilities of the postmodern world. It is a constructive engagement with the theological significance of continental philosophical thinkers such as Heidegger, Levinas, Deleuze, and Derrida, cultural theorists such as Žižek and Kristeva, and philosophers of religion such as Marion, Winquist, and Caputo. It also explores various methodological and theoretical issues involved with theology in relationship to the academic study of religion.
  • Between Faith and Thought: An Essay on the Ontotheological Condition.  University of Virginia Press, 2003.
    This book offers both a critical and constructive appraisal of contemporary philosophical theology. It traces the influence of Martin Heidegger and Karl Barth on twentieth-century philosophical and theological figures such as Edmund Husserl, Paul Ricoeur, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Jean-Luc Marion, specifically with regard to the problem of ontotheology, and more generally, with regard to the relationship between faith and thought. It concludes by offering a redefinition of the ontotheological condition and a more dialogical approach to philosophical theology by drawing on the ethical insights of Emmanuel Levinas. 

Edited Volumes:

  • Co-Editor, The Sleeping Giant Has Awoken: The New Politics of Religion in the United States.  Continuum International (2008).
    The Sleeping Giant Has Awoken: The New Politics of Religion in the United States is a collection of articles by a group of young scholars addressing the nexus between political conservatism, evangelical Christianity, and American consumerist culture. Drawing widely upon examples from contemporary culture, these articles represent a critical intervention into this powerful nexus and an attempt to delineate its dynamics, trajectory, and content. It includes an Introduction by John D. Caputo and a Postface by Slavoj Žižek.
  • Editor, After the Death of God, with John D. Caputo and Gianni Vattimo.  Columbia University Press, 2007.
    Drawing inspiration from Nietzsche and in conversation with thinkers such as Heidegger, Bonhoeffer, and Derrida, John Caputo and Gianni Vattimo reflect on the current state of religion and the future of theology after the death of God. Caputo and Vattimo are recognized around the world as two of the most important hermeneutical philosophers and theorists of postmodernism. They are also two of the figures who have contributed most to the theoretical reflection on the philosophical turn to religion. This book records their critical engagement with one another’s work, as well as original essays and interviews on the nature of the postmodern condition, especially as it relates to the return of religion in all its cultural, political, and philosophical significance. It includes an introduction by Jeffrey W. Robbins and an Afterword by the death of God theologian Gabriel Vahanian.

Reviews, Videos and Interviews:

  • "Review and Response to Radical Theology: A Vision for Change," by Cassandra Farrin, The Westar Institute.
  • Podcast, "Radical Theology Come of Age," Interview with Josef Gustafsson of Freestyle Christianity.
  • Video, “The End of Religion,” Public Lecture at Villanova University, Spring 2015.
  • Video, “The End of Religion? Faith in a Postmodern Age.” The Theological Institute, Villanova University. March 13-14, 2015.
  • Video, WITF's MindMatters: A Crash Course in Politics and Religion
  • Video, “Becoming a Brain: The New Materialism and the Challenge of Liberation”, with Clayton Crockett, Mark L. Taylor, and Cornel West. Union Theological Seminary, New York, NY (February 2013). Part 1 Part 2
  • Blogtour on Religion, Politics and the Earth: The New Materialism
  • Interview with Tripp Fuller of Homebrewed Christianity (January 2013). 
  • Video, “Have Yourself a Materialist Christmas” (December 2012). 
  • Video, “What is Post-Secularism” (March 2012).
  • Interview, “The Theo-Politics of Radical Democracy: An Interview with Jeffrey W. Robbins” (January 2012): Part One, Part Two.
  • Introduction to Radical Democracy and Political Theology from The Montreal Review (July 2011)


Chapters in Edited Collections:

  • "Reinterpreting the Reckless Mind: The Political Becoming of Hermeneutics?" edited by Silvia Mazzini. New York: Continuum International (forthcoming).
  • “The Death of God and the Politics of Democracy” in Resurrecting the Death of God: The Past, Present, and Future of Radical Theology, edited by Daniel Peterson and Michael Zbaraschuk. SUNY Press, 2015.
  • "Necessity as Virtue: On Religious Materialism from Feuerbach to Žižek,” in The Future of Continental Philosophy of Religion, edited by Clayton Crockett, B. Keith Putt, and Jeffrey W. Robbins. Indiana University Press, 2014.
  • “Louis Armstrong: A Rhapsody on Repetition and Time,” in The Counter-Narratives of Radical Theology and Popular Music, edited by Michael Grimshaw. Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.
  • “The Death of God and the Politics of Democracy” in Resurrecting the Death of God: The Past, Present, and Future of Radical Theology, edited by Daniel Peterson and Michael Zbaraschuk. SUNY Press, 2015.
  • “God is Green, or a New Theology of Indulgence” in Cosmology, Ecology, and the Energy of God, edited by Donna Bowman and Clayton Crockett. Fordham University Press (2011).
  • “Beating ‘God’ to Death: Radical Theology and the New Atheism” co-authored with Chris Rodkey, in Religion and the New Atheism: A Critical Appraisal. Edited by Amarnath Amarasingam. Brill Academic Publishers (2010).
  • “From the Secular to the Political: The Enduring Power of Religion in Contemporary American Politics” in Droit, Pouvoir et Religion, edited by Chawki Gaddes. Association Tunisienne de Droit Constitutionnel.
  • “How Do We Think Theologically After the Death of God?” in New Pathways in Radical Theological Thinking, edited by Lissa McCullough. SUNY Press (under review).
  • “Dietrich Bonhoeffer,” “Emil Brunner,” “Chicago School of Theology,” Jürgen Moltmann,” “H. Richard Niebuhr,” “Reinhold Niebuhr,” “Wolfhart Pannenberg,” and “Yale School of Theology,” in The New Westminster Dictionary of Church History, Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press (forthcoming).
  • “Ontotheology,” and “Theology,” in The Handbook for Religious Studies, edited by Osborne Lorentzen and Kenneth Lokensgard. Aurora, CO: The Davies Group (forthcoming).
  • “Radical Religion and American Democracy,” in The Sleeping Giant Has Awoken: The New Politics of Religion in the United States, edited by Neal Magee and Jeffrey W. Robbins. New York: Continuum International (2008).
  • “The Slippery Slope of Theology,” in Leaving Fundamentalism, edited by G. Elijah Dann .Wilfrid Laurier University Press (2008).
  • “Terror and the Postmodern Condition: Towards a Radical Political Theology,” in Religion and Violence in a Secular World: Towards a New Political TheologyCharlottesville: University of Virginia Press.
  • “Overcoming Overcoming: In Praise of Ontotheology,” in Continental Philosophy of Religion Engaged, edited by Deane-Peter Baker. Amsterdam: Rudopi (2003).
  • “A Hermeneutics of the Law: Kristeva, Zizek, and the Case for Hypocrisy,” in Between the Human and the Divine: Philosophical and Theological Hermeneutics, edited by Andrzej Wiercinski. Toronto: The Hermeneutics Press (2002).


  • The Post-Secular and the Pluralization of Political Theology.” 2013 Telos Conference on “Religion and Politics in a Post-Secular Word.” New York, NY (April 2013).
  • “On Theological Materialism: Energy for the Church”, with Clayton Crockett. “Subverting the Norm II: Can Postmodern Theology Live in the Churches? Drury University. Springfield, MO (April 2013).
  • Respondent “Politics, Religion, and the Possibility of Radical Political Theology after Liberalism: A Panel Discussion on the Recent Contributions of Jeffrey Robbins and Clayton Crockett.” A Panel of the North American Association for the Study of Religion (NAASR) held at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion. Chicago, IL (November 2012).
  • “Lying Sincerely, or Slavoj Žižek and the Externality of Religious Belief.” The Annual Meeting of the American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division. Washington, DC (December 2011).
  • Respondent: ”Hoc Est Enim Corpus Meum: Biopolitical Fantasies of Community Then and Now.” A Panel of the North American Association for the Study of Religion (NAASR) held at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion. San Francisco, CA (November 2011).
  • “The New Materialism in Religion.” Society of Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy (SPEP) Annual Meeting. Philadelphia, PA (October 2011).
  • “Necessity as Virtue: Religious Materialism from Feuerbach to Žižek.” Postmodernism, Culture and Religion Conference IV. Syracuse University. Syracuse, NY (April 2011).
  • “To Be or Not to Be, or More Than a Matter of Preference: A Response to Christopher Ben Simpson’s Religion, Metaphysics, and the Postmodern.” American Catholic Philosophical Association Conference. Baltimore, MD (November 2010).
  • An Emerging Radical Theology: On Politics and Ecclesiology.” Co-authored with Chris Rodkey. “Subverting the Norm: The Emerging Church, Postmodernism, and the Future of Christianity.” Drury University (Fall 2010).
  • “Biblical Hermeneutics since Spinoza: Beyond Faith and Reason and Between Religion and Politics.” The 12th International Conference of the International Society for the Study of European Ideas. Cankaya University. Ankara, Turkey (August 2010).
  • “Minimal or Maximal? The Contemporary Theological Critique of Secular Reason.” American Catholic Philosophical Association Conference. New Orleans, LA (November 2009).
  • “Charles Taylor, Gianni Vattimo, and the Continuing Viability of Secular Theology.” ’A Secular Age’: Tracing the Contours of Religion and Belief. Mater Dei Institute of Education of the Dublin City University. Dublin, Ireland (June 2009).
  • “From the Secular to the Political: The Role of Religion in Contemporary American Politics.”  (Click here to access an online recording of the presentation)
    International Conference on Religion, Law, and Power sponsored by The Tunisian Association of Constitutional Law. Tunis, Tunisia (March 2009).
  • “God is Green, or a Theology of Indulgence.”
    Interdisciplinary Colloquium on Theology and Energy. University of Central Arkansas. Conway, AR (February 2009).
  • “Alain Badiou and the Secular Reactivation of Theology.”
    Society of Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy (SPEP) Annual Meeting. Duquesne University. Pittsburgh, PA (October 2008).
  • "Reactionary or Revolutionary? The Philosophical Appropriation of St. Paul."
    St. Paul’s Journey into Philosophy. Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver (June 2008).
  • "Political Theology and Radical Democracy: Plasticity, Equality, Governmentality."
    Co-authored with Clayton Crockett. American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA (November 2007).
  • "Left Behind: The Messianic without Sovereignty."
    The Messianic Now, Lancaster University, Lancaster, England (July 2007).
  • "Neither Grapes of Wrath nor the Wine of Violence: Religion as the Fruit of a More Peaceful Vintage."
    A discussion of Religion and Violence in a Secular World, Messiah College. Grantham, PA (Spring 2007).
  • "Back to the Future: Belief in a Post-Metaphysical World."
    Belief and Metaphysics, sponsored by The Centre of Theology and Philosophy, University of Nottingham, Granada, Spain. (September 2006).
  • "Thinking Transcendence: The Idea of the Infinite and the Secularization of the Divine."
    An International and Interdisciplinary Seminar in the Philosophy of Religion hosted by Mount Allison University with the cooperation of the International Institute for Hermeneutics, Sackville, New Brunswick, NJ (August 2006).
  • "Beyond the Politics of Theological Despair."
    Secularity and Globalization: What Comes After Modernity? Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts, Calvin College, Grnad Rapids, MI (November 2005).
  • "Secularization and the Multitude: An Alternative Theology of Empire."
    American Academy of Religion Annual Conference, Philadelphia, PA (November 2005).
  • "The Irony of Radical Theology."
    Graduate Colloquium in Theology, Drew University, Madison, NJ (Fall 2005).
  • "Towards a Radical Political Theology."
    Kampen Theological Research Group, Kampen Theological University, Kaampen, The Netherlands (May 2005).
  • "Weak Thought and Non-Dogmatic Theology."
    The Netherlands School of Advanced Studies in Theology and Religion (NOSTER). Kampen Theological University, Kampen, The Netherlands (May 2005).
  • "Too Hard to Believe? A Reading of Religious Eclecticism in Yann Martel's Life of Pi."
    American Academy of Religion, Mid-Atlantic Region Conference, New Brunswick, NJ (March 2005).
  • "Becoming Theological: Rethinking Philosophy and/of Religion."
    Philosophy of Religion Group, American Academy of Religion Annual Conference, San Antonio, TX (November 2004).
  • "Phenomenology, Pragmatism, and the New Hypothesis of God."
    Questioning Religion, The British Society for Phenomenology Summer Conference, University of Greenwich, London, England (July 2003).
  • "Postmodernism, Orientalism, and the Politics of Theory: A Discussion of Carl Olson's Dialogues on the Margins of Culture."
    American Academy of Religion Eastern International Region Conference, Mercyhurst College (March 2003).
  • "A Hermeneutics of the Law: Kristeva, Zizek, and the Case for Hypocrisy."
    International Congress on Hermeneutics, St. Bonaventure University (May 2002).
  • "The Advance of a Theological Ontology: Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Continuing Contribution to Continental Philosophy of Religion."
    AAR Annual Meeting, Denver, CO (November 2001).
  • "The Postmodern Liberation of the Word: Reflections on Theological Hermeneutics."
    ETS Conference on Postmodernism, New York, NY (March 2001).
  • "Passion and Responsibility: The Question of Ethics in Levinas and Kierkegaard."
    American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, Nashville, TN (November 2000).
  • "Speaking of Love: The Proper Justification of Theology."
    Congress 2000: The Future of the Study of Religion, Sponsored by Harvard University and Boston University, Boston, MA (September 2000).
  • "Overcoming Overcoming: Tracing Religion and Replacing Theology."
    Continental Philosophy of Religion Conference, Sponsored by the British Academy, Lancaster, England (July 2000).
  • "Theology without Religion: Karl Barth's Theological Critique of Religion."
    American Academy of Religion Eastern International Region Conference, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY (April 2000).
  • "Holding Philosophy to Account: The Ethics of Emmanuel Levinas."
    Midwest Regional Conference of the SCP on Jewish and Christian Resources of Social and Political Philosophy, Baylor University, Waco, TX (March 2000).
  • "A Hermeneutics of Becoming: Giambattista Vico and the Counter-Enlightenment."
    SSIPS/SAGP Conference. Institute for Global Cultural Studies, Binghamton University/SUNY, Binghmaton, NY (November 1999).
  • "The Promise of Death: God’s Self-Inscription of Lack."
    American Academy of Religion Eastern International Region Conference, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY (April 1999).
  • "Religious Diversity and the Encounter with the Intolerable."
    American Academy of Religion Eastern International Region Conference, The University of Toronto, Toronto, CA (April 1998).


  • Contributed reviews for the Journal of Religion, Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Theological Studies, Political Theology, American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, The Journal of Church and State, Bridges: an Interdisciplinary Journal of Theology, Philosophy, History and Science, The American Journal of Theology and Philosophy, Religious Studies Review, Religion and Literature.