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Dr. Jacob Erickson
Assistant Professor, Loyola Institute

Biography

Ph.D. Drew University
M.Div. Yale Divinity School
B.A. Saint Olaf College


Dr. Jacob J. Erickson (pronouns: he/him) is Assistant Professor of Theological Ethics in the School of Religion at Trinity College Dublin, Director of Undergraduate Teaching and Learning for the School, and Course Coordinator for the School's innovative BA Hons. in Religion. A constructive theologian and theological ethicist, Erickson writes to evoke an ecotheology of planetary conviviality--the playful and just cherishing of life together--in the midst of current ecological crises, ecological injustice, emerging perspectives in the wake of global warming, and new challenges in energy production.

Erickson has taught theology and ethics in the School of Religion since 2016, and has served as the School's Director of Research as well as chair of the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Faculty Research Ethics Committee. Prior to Trinity, he taught Religion and Environmental Studies at Saint Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, USA. Engaging questions of theology and the Anthropocene, he did his doctoral work at Drew University with Catherine Keller.

In his writing, Erickson meditates on the complex relationships of earth and divinity, decolonial environmental ethics and queer theory, classical Christian theologies and contemporary constructive theopoetics. You can read an interview about his queer theology teaching here. He is currently working on an extended project on the intersections of global warming and theology called A Theopoetics of the Earth: Divinity in the Anthropocene and finishing up a manuscript on queer ecotheology, titled Irreverent Theology: On the Queer Ecology of Creation. His book on climate grief and theopoetics is forthcoming with Fortress Press.

He's a contributor to a number of academic books of theology, The Huffington Post, and Religion Dispatches. His 2015 Religion Dispatches piece on Pope Francis' "climate encyclical" received a Wilbur Award from the Religion Communicators Council. He serves on the editorial board of Dialog: A Journal of Theology. And with Dr. Filipe Maia, he co-chairs the Sacred Texts, Theory, and Theological Construction Unit for the American Academy of Religion.

Hear an extended interview with Prof. Erickson on the Homebrewed Christianity Podcast below:




Prof. Erickson is currently open to receiving proposals for PhD and postgraduate research, especially in the areas of:

  • Constructive Theology, Theopoetics, and Ethics
  • Religion and Ecology, Ecotheology, Anthropocene Studies, Climate Ethics, Ecojustice, Ecospirituality, and the Environmental Humanities
  • Posthumanisms, Critical Animal and Plant Studies and Religion
  • Negative Theology, Mysticism, and Ethics
  • Queer Theory and Theology, Religion and Sexuality
  • Process Theology and Philosophy

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Jacob J. Erickson, [Forthcoming, Working Title] On the Floodtide of History: Climate Grief and the Theopoetics of Planetary Feeling, (Under Contract with Fortress Press), 2021 Book, 2021

Jacob J. Erickson, Review of Christianity in a Time of Climate Change, by Kristen Poole , Dialog: A Journal of Theology, 2020 Review, 2020 URL

Jacob J. Erickson, Process Theology: Response to John Cobb and Catherine Keller, Theology in a Time of Crisis, University of Edinburgh (Virtual), June 24th, 2020, University of Edinburgh Invited Talk, 2020 URL

Jacob J. Erickson, An eschatology for today's world, SEARCH, 42, (2), 2020 Journal Article, 2020 URL

Jacob J. Erickson, Grief and New Creation: Theopoetics for a Pandemic, Dialog: A Journal of Theology, 2020, - Miscellaneous, 2020 URL

Jacob J. Erickson, Review of Ecological Solidarities: Mobilizing Faith and Justice for an Entangled World , by Krista E. Hughes, Dhawn B. Martin, and Elaine Padilla , Dialog: A Journal of Theology, 2020 Review, 2020 URL

Jacob J. Erickson, Composting Christ: A Response to Tripp Fuller's Divine Self-Investment, Christ Among the Disciplines: An Online, Interdisciplinary Conference on Christology, Virtual, November 18-24, 2020 Conference Paper, 2020 URL

Jacob J. Erickson and Marion Grau, co-chairs, Sacred Texts, Theory, and Theological Construction Unit, American Academy of Religion, Nov, 2019, In:American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, 2019, San Diego, California, USA Meetings /Conferences Organised, 2019

Jacob J. Erickson, Ghost Species: The Haunting of Inner Animalities, An Und Fur Sich, 2019 Journal Article, 2019 URL

Jacob J. Erickson, Toxic Creativity, Deep Time, and Moral Pleasure: An Ecospirituality of Technology, Concilium: International Journal for Theology, (3), 2019 Journal Article, 2019

European Journal of Food, Drink and Society, Dublin, Ireland, ARROW@TU Dublin, 2019 Editorial Board, 2019 URL

Jacob J. Erickson, A Gentle Reminder of the Earth: Sensual Theopoetics in Deep Time and the Expanded Present, Papers Session on the work of Anne Dufourmantelle, American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, San Diego, California, USA, 2019 Conference Paper, 2019

Jacob J. Erickson, On the Perpetual Desire for Oil: Apophatic Excess, Toxic Creativity, and a Spirituality of Prospective Failure, Religion/Water/Climate: Changing Cultures and Landscapes; International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture (ISSRNC), Cork, Ireland, June 13-16, 2019, 2019 Conference Paper, 2019

Jacob J. Erickson, Being an Environmentalist in a Time of Despair: A Counterpoint Conversation, Religion/Water/Climate: Changing Cultures and Landscapes; International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture (ISSRNC), Cork, Ireland, June 13-16, 2019, 2019 Conference Paper, 2019

Jacob J. Erickson, Laughing at the Anthropocene: De-Fanging Environmental Despair, American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, November 18-21, 2018 Conference Paper, 2018

Religions (Special Issue), Verdant: Knowing Plants, Planted Relations, Religion in Place, 9(11), (2018), Jacob J. Erickson and Lisa Dahill, [eds.] Journal, 2018

Jacob J. Erickson, Whispering Forests, Sacred Groves: Welcome to Night Vale's Abominable New Animism, American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, November 17th - 20th, 2018 Conference Paper, 2018

Jacob J. Erickson, Book Review of Eco-Reformation: Grace and Hope for a Planet in Peril, Review of Eco-Reformation: Grace and Hope for a Planet in Peril, by Lisa E. Dahill and James B. Martin-Schramm , Worldviews, 22, (3), 2018, p289-291 (3) Review, 2018 URL

Jacob J. Erickson and Marion Grau, co-chairs, Sacred Texts, Theory, and Theological Construction Unit, American Academy of Religion, Nov. 2018, In:American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, 2018, Denver, CO Meetings /Conferences Organised, 2018

Dialog: A Journal of Theology, Wiley Blackwell, [eds.], 2018-2021 Editorial Board, 2018

Jacob J. Erickson, Promiscuous Vines: On the Queer Emergence of a Theological Botany, American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, Boston, MA, November 18-21, 2017, pp1-15 Conference Paper, 2017

Jacob J. Erickson, Atmospheric Flesh, Syndicate, (February), 2017, p1-4, 41-49 Journal Article, 2017 URL

"Irreverent Theology: On the Queer Ecology of Creation" in, editor(s)Whitney A. Bauman , Meaningful Flesh: Reflections on Religion and Nature for a Queer Planet., Punctum Books, 2017, pp55 - 80, [Jacob J. Erickson] Book Chapter, 2017

Jacob J. Erickson and Marion Grau, Sacred Texts, Theory, and Theological Construction Unit of the American Academy of Religion, November 18-21, In:AAR, 2017, Boston Meetings /Conferences Organised, 2017

"Theophanic Materiality: Political Ecology, Inhuman Touch, and the Art of Andy Goldsworthy" in, editor(s)Catherine Keller and Mary-Jane Rubenstein , Entangled Worlds: Science, Religion, Materiality, New York, Fordham University Press, 2016, pp203 - 220, [Jacob J. Erickson] Book Chapter, 2016

"Tools for Religious Conviviality: Ivan Illich, Process Thought, and Political Ecology on a Multireligious Planet." in, editor(s)Santiago Slabodsky and Roland Faber , Living Traditions and Universal Conviviality: Prospects and Challenges for Peace in Multireligious Communities, Lanham, MD, Lexington Books, 2016, pp183 - 196, [Jacob J. Erickson] Book Chapter, 2016

"Falling in Love with the Earth: Francis' Faithful Ecology" in, editor(s)John B. Cobb, Jr., and Ignacio Castuera , For Our Common Home: Process-Relational Responses to Laudato si', Anoka, MN, Process Century Press, 2015, [Jacob J. Erickson] Book Chapter, 2015

"The Apophatic Animal: Towards a Negative Zootheological Imago Dei" in, editor(s)Stephen Moore , Divinanimality: Animal Theory, Creaturely Theology, New York, Fordham University Press, 2014, pp88 - 99, [Jacob J. Erickson] Book Chapter, 2014

"Doxological Diversities and Canticle Multiplicities: The Trinitarian Anthropologies of David H. Kelsey and Ivone Gebara" in, editor(s)Wesley Ariarajah and Chris Boesel , Divine Multiplicity: Trinities, Diversities and the Nature of Relation, New York, Fordham University Press, 2014, pp175 - 192, [Jacob J. Erickson] Book Chapter, 2014

Jacob J. Erickson, The Ambiguity of Jehu: A Reexamination of Sanctioned Violence in 2 Kings 9-10, Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, New Historicism and the Hebrew Bible Unit, San Diego California, November 17th-20th, , 2007 Conference Paper, 2007

Non-Peer-Reviewed Publications

Jacob J. Erickson, Wild Spirituality: Queer Grief and Grievance in an Age of Extinctions, Virtual, Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, April 15th, 2021, Union Seminary, The Insight Project Invited Talk, 2021 URL

Jacob J. Erickson, Encountering the Other: Lutheran Theology,, Religious Ministry Formation Programme, March 19th, 2020, Loreto House Invited Talk, 2020

Jacob J. Erickson, COVID-19 Crisis Blog: Are we there yet? Beyond Apocalypse Fatigue and the New Normal, 2020, - Miscellaneous, 2020 URL

Jacob J. Erickson, A Climate Grief, Observed: Transforming Our Ecologies and Theologies of Magical Thinking, 2020, - Miscellaneous, 2020 URL

Jacob J. Erickson, Tripp Fuller, Homebrewed Christianity Podcast, 2020, - Miscellaneous, 2020 URL

Jacob J. Erickson, 'Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology: Spotlights Podcast/Videocast', Episode 13, 2020, - Broadcast, 2020 URL

Jacob J. Erickson, Plagues and Pandemics: Behind the Headlines, Dublin, Ireland, March 26th, 2020, Trinity Long Room Hub Invited Talk, 2020 URL URL

Jacob J. Erickson, Graduate Seminar, School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh, "Planetary Feeling: Theological Ethics and Ecospiritual Despair in an Era of Climate Crisis" Theology and Ethics Research Seminar, Edinburgh, Scotland, February 5th, 2020, Edinburgh School of Divinity Invited Talk, 2020

Jacob J. Erickson, Review of Encountering Earth: Thinking Theologically with the More-Than-Human World, by Trevor Bechtel (Editor), Matt Eaton (Editor), Tim Harvie (Editor) , Reading Religion, (August 14th), 2020 Review, 2020 URL

Jacob J. Erickson, "What is ecopiety?", Review of Ecopiety: Green Media and the Dilemma of Environmental Virtue, by Sarah McFarland Taylor , The Christian Century, (June 5th), 2020 Review, 2020 URL

Jacob J. Erickson, On Seeing that it's Good: Theologies of Climate for the Next Decade, 2020, - Miscellaneous, 2020

Jacob J. Erickson, Echo Effects of a Groaning Creation: Environmental Despair and its Theopoetics, University of Glasgow Graduate Seminar, February 6th, 2020, School of Critical Studies Invited Talk, 2020

Prof Naomi Oreskes, Prof. Linda Doyle, Dr Susan Murphy, Dr. Jacob J. Erickson, Why Trust Science Panel, Tent of Bad Science - European Researchers' Week, Trinity College Dublin, November 24th, 2020 Invited Talk, 2020

Jacob J. Erickson, Of Uncommon Perceptions: A Memorial Lecture on Ecofeminist Theologian Anne Primavesi, Sacred Gaia: A Memorial Day in Honour of Anne Primavesi Pioneering Irish Eco-Feminist Theologian, Dublin, Ireland, November 2nd, 2019, Woman Spirit Ireland Invited Talk, 2019

Jacob J. Erickson, The Queer Matter of Ecospiritual Despair, Insight Colloquium, Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, April 13th, 2019, Prof. John J. Thatamanil Invited Talk, 2019

Jacob J. .Erickson, Queer Identity and Religion: Enemies or Strange Bedfellows?, Identity Politics and Memory Contests, Trinity Long Room Hub, February 5th, 2019, Identities in Transformation Theme Invited Talk, 2019

Lauren Boland, Neither religion or sexuality have ever been only one thing, 2019, - Miscellaneous, 2019 URL

Jacob J. Erickson, Encountering the Other: Lutheran Theology, Religious Ministry Formation Programme - Loreto House, March 14th, 2019 Invited Talk, 2019

Jacob J. Erickson, Social Media for Academics/Researchers, Trinity Long Room Hub, April 1st, 2019 Invited Talk, 2019

Jacob J. Erickson, "Who Speaks for Christianity and Islam?", UCC - Cork, April 9th, 2018, Study of Religions - School of Asian Studies, in Cooperation with UCC LGBT Staff Network and Cork's Three Faiths Forum Invited Talk, 2018

Jacob J. Erickson, Feminist Theology and Theopoetics, Saint Olaf College, 4-1, 2018 Invited Talk, 2018

Jacob J. Erickson, Encountering the Other: Lutheran Theology, Religious Ministry Formation Programme: Loreto House, Loreto House, April 19th, 2018, Loreto House Invited Talk, 2018

Jacob J. Erickson, Faith & Sexuality, Launch of Dublin Pride, Dublin - City Council, June, 2018, Dublin Pride Invited Talk, 2018

Jacob J. Erickson, "Laudato si': Pope Francis and his Love Letter for the Earth": Workshop for RE Teachers in Ireland, 2018, - Miscellaneous, 2018

Jacob J. Erickson, Panel response to theologian Dr. Mary Hunt, Mary Hunt in Trinity College, Mac Neill Theatre, Arts Building, Nassau Street, Trinity College Dublin 2, Ireland, September 10th, 2018, Trinity Centre for Gender and Women's Studies, Woman Spirit Ireland Invited Talk, 2018

Jacob J. Erickson, Vibrant Spirits and Resilient Matter: Expanding Horizons of Ecofeminist Thought, Woman Spirit Ireland Lecture Series, October 23rd, 2017 Invited Talk, 2017 URL

Jacob J. Erickson, Behind the Headlines: Trump's America, 60 Days In, Trinity Long Room Hub, March 20th, 2017, Trinity Long Room Hub Invited Talk, 2017

Jacob J. Erickson, Laudato si': A Springboard for Ambitious Climate Action in Ireland, Trinity College Dublin, November 16th, 2017, Trocraire, The Loyola Institute, Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice Invited Talk, 2017

Jacob J. Erickson, Irish Inter-Church Meeting Workshop on Climate Justice and Care of Creation, St. Finian's Lutheran Church Dublin, November 14th, 2017, Irish Inter-Church Meeting Invited Talk, 2017

Jacob J. Erickson, Animating Ecological Desires: Prismatic Values for the Anthropocene, Green Values, Religion and Secularism, Trinity College Dublin, July 1st, 2017 Invited Talk, 2017

Jacob J. Erickson, 'Religious identities, or any identity, should never be reduced to a violent caricature', thejournal.ie, 2017, - Miscellaneous, 2017 URL

Jacob J. Erickson, Pat Kenny Show, Newstalk , 2017, - Miscellaneous, 2017

Research Expertise

Keywords

Affect Theory; Alfred North Whitehead; Animal Ethics; apophatic theology; Climate Change; Critical theory and Theology; Ecological Theology; ecotheology; Elephants; Environmental Ethics; Environmental Humanities; Feminist theology and philosophy; global warming; land art; Lutheranism; Martin Luther; Mysticism; negative theology; Paul Tillich; political ecology; poststructuralism; process philosophy; Process Theology; queer theology; Queer Theory; Religion; religion and science; Religion, Gender, and Sexuality; Sexuality; Theology; Theology ; theopoetics

Recognition

Representations

Martin Luther and Global Lutheran Traditions Unit, American Academy of Religion, Co-Chair 2021 - Present

Martin Luther and Global Lutheran Traditions Unit, American Academy of Religion, Steering Committee Member 2018 - 2020

Sacred Texts, Theory, and Theological Construction Unit of the American Academy of Religion. Co-Chair 2014 - 2020

Honors Examiner, Religion. Swarthmore College. Swarthmore, Pennsylvania USA. 2021 -

Awards and Honours

Fellow, Panentheism and Religious Life Project, John Templeton Foundation 2021

Fellow, Christ Seminar, Westar Institute 2021

Digital Salon on Theological Education, Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion 2020-2021

Helen LePage and William Hale Chamberlain Prize, Drew University May 2019

Wilbur Award - Religion Communicators Council April 2016

Human Rights Campaign Summer Institute Fellowship Award. HRC Scholarship and Mentorship Program for Religious and Theological Study. 2011

Grants for Advanced Theological Study, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America 2010-11, 2011-12, 12-13, 13-14, 14-15

Kierkegaard Summer Research Fellowship - Kierkegaard Library, Northfield, MN, USA 2009

Junia Prize, St. Olaf College Religion Department May 2006

Memberships

American Academy of Religion (Co-Chair of the Martin Luther and Global Lutheran Traditions Unit)

European Forum for the study of Religion and the Environment

The International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture