Department of Religion

Faculty Profile


Victor Thasiah, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Religion

Email: vthasiah@callutheran.edu
Office: Humanities 217

Profile

Victor Thasiah teaches courses in religion, ethics, and politics. Areas of interest: refugee resettlement, community organizing, and Zen Buddhism. He is starting a charitable organization called "Running for Refuge," connecting love for running with support for refugees resettling in the United States. Thasiah serves on the PICO (People Improving Communities through Organizing) International Advisory Group, CLU's Center for Equality and Justice Steering Committee, and Surfrider's Ocean-Friendly Gardens Committee (Ventura); and coaches children's cross-country. Before coming to CLU in 2011, he was Director of Social Policy at the national office of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA),     and Editor of Journal of Lutheran Ethics. 

Education

 
  • 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)

Expertise

Courses Taught

Religion and Social Change

Religion and Political Thought

Violence, Religion, and Politics

Global Ethics

Religion, Identity, and Vocation

Contemporary Christian Ethics

Introduction to Christianity

Church History and Theology (Oxford University)

The Problem of Evil (Elmhurst College)

 

Publications


Work in Progress

Book on religion and community organizing with Cynthia Moe-Lobeda and Ray Pickett

Study of Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh's life of the Buddha

"Organized Religion: Vernacular and Vanguardist Decentralization in Rwanda" (Journal of Religion in Africa, under review)

Book Chapters

"Religion, Forestry, and Democracy in Rwanda after Genocide," inEco-Reformation: Grace and Hope for a Planet in Peril, eds. Lisa E. Dahill and Jim Martin-Schramm(Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock, forthcoming).

"The Right to Freedom of Association: Organizing in Rwanda after Genocide," in On Secular Governance: Lutheran Perspectives on Contemporary Legal Issues, eds. Marie A. Failinger and Ronald W. Duty(Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2016), 285-304.

"Reconfiguring Church-State Relations: Toward a Rwandan Political Theology," inLutheran Identity and Political Theology, eds. Carl Henric-Grenholm and Goran Gunner(Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock, 2014).

Articles

"Prophetic Pedagogy: Critically Engaging Public Officials in Rwanda," Studies in World Christianity, forthcoming.

"Portfolio Work," Teaching Theology and Religion, 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).

Papers

"When Cunning Is Prudence: Rwandan Organizing, Thomistic Virtue," Religion and Power: New Directions in Social Ethics Conference, Princeton University, March 12, 2015. Invited by the Princeton University Religion Department to respond to the work of Ernesto Cortes.

"'Things Are Not Okay in Rwanda If You Shut Up': Community Organizing Practices and Human Rights Advocacy after Genocide," Society of Christian Ethics, Chicago, January 11, 2015.

"Countering Complicity: Rwandan Political Theology after Genocide," American Academy of Religion, San Diego, California, November 23, 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.

"Toward a 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.

Reviews

Morality Truly Christian, Truly African: Foundational, Methodological, and Theological Considerations, Paulinus Ikechukwu Odozor, C.S.Sp. (University of Notre Dame Press, 2015) Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics (forthcoming).

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.

Policies

Social Statement on Criminal Justice (Chicago: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 2013). 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.