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Carl S. Hughes

  • Assoc. Professor of Theology & Department Chair
  • Theology, Philosophy, & Classical Language



MW 1-3:30 pm



Ph.D., Graduate Division of Religion, Emory University

M.T.S., Harvard Divinity School

Licence en philosophie, Université de Paris—Paris IV (Sorbonne)

B.A., St. Olaf College


Carl S. Hughes is a historical and constructive theologian. His interests include the legacies and challenges of the Lutheran theological tradition; the intersections of theology, race, and gender; theological responses to religious pluralism; mystical and apophatic theologies; and the possibilities of biblical interpretation. He also has a background in philosophy of religion. He is the author of Kierkegaard and the Staging of Desire: Rhetoric and Performance in a Theology of Eros (Fordham University Press, 2014) and a variety of articles and book chapters.

Dr. Hughes teaches the following courses at TLU: Introduction to Theology; Ancient and Medieval Christian History; Reformation and Modern Christian History; Life and Writings of Martin Luther; Religion in the United States; Critics and Defenders of Faith in the Modern Age; Theology, Literature, and the Arts; and Theologies of the Civil Rights Movement.

Prof. Carl Hughes Curriculum Vitae (CV)




Kierkegaard and the Staging of Desire: Rhetoric and Performance in a Theology of Eros (Fordham University Press, 2014)

Journal Articles

“‘Tehomic’ Christology? Tanner, Keller, and Kierkegaard on Writing Christ,” Modern Theology 31, no. 2 (2015): 257-283.

“Contrasting Augustine and Kierkegaard as Theologians of Desire,” Toronto Journal of Theology 31, no. 1 (2015): 75-83.

“Writing the Law/Gospel Dialectic of, and in, Lutheranism: Rethinking Westphal’s ‘Religiousness C’ in Practice in Christianity,” International Philosophical Quarterly 50, no. 1 (2010): 5-24.

Book Chapters

“Radical Negativity and Infinite Striving: From the Death of God to the Theologia Crucis” in The Meaning and Power of Negativity, ed. Ingolf U. Dalferth and Marlene A. Block (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, forthcoming in 2018).

“Søren Kierkegaard: Protesting the (Lutheran) Establishment,” in Radical Lutherans, Lutheran Radicals, ed. Jason Mahn (Eugene, OR: Cascade, forthcoming in 2017).

“Søren Kierkegaard” in Nineteenth Century Lutheran Theologians, ed. Matthew Becker (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2015), 231-253.

“Kierkegaard and Anders Nygren: Influence in Reverse,” in Kierkegaard’s Influence on Theology, Tome II: Anglophone, Scandinavian, and Jewish Theology, ed. Jon Stewart (Farnham, England: Ashgate, 2012), 205-216.

“Communicating Earnestness: Kierkegaard and Derrida Respond to their (Poorest) Readers,” in International Kierkegaard Commentary: The Point of View (Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 2010), 205-237.

“The Constructive Significance of The Book on Adler for Christian Theology in an Age of Religious Pluralism,” in International Kierkegaard Commentary: The Book on Adler (Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 2008), 193-214.


Translation from the French of Raphaël Gély, “Toward a Radical Phenomenology of Social Life: Reflections from the Work of Michel Henry” in Michel Henry: The Affects of Thought, ed. Jeffrey Hanson and Michael R. Kelley (London and New York: Continuum, 2012), 154-176.

Popular Articles

“The Dangers of ‘Vocation’ for Students Thinking about Career,” Intersections: A Publication by and for the Academic Communities of the Twenty-Six Colleges and Universities of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (Spring 2015): 23-24.

Recent Presentations

“Extending Sinai’s Darkness: From the Bible as Source to the Bible as Model,” Society of Biblical Literature, Søren Kierkegaard and the Bible Section (Boston; November 2017).

“The Promise and Danger of the Spirit in Martin Luther’s Biblical Hermeneutics,” Southwest Commission on the Study of Religion, Theology and Philosophy of Religion Section (Dallas; March 2017).

“Radical Negativity and Infinite Striving: From the Death of God to the Theologia Crucis,” Philosophy of Religion Conference, “The Meaning and Power of Negativity,” Claremont Graduate University (Claremont, CA; February 2017).

“Exegesis and Theology ‘Beyond the Letter’ in Luther and Schleiermacher,” American Academy of Religion, Martin Luther and Global Lutheran Traditions Group and Schleiermacher Group (San Antonio; November 2016).

“Contrasting Luther and Kierkegaard as ‘Augustinian’ Readers of Scripture,” American Academy of Religion, Augustine and Augustinianisms Group and Kierkegaard, Religion, and Culture Group (San Diego; November 2014)

“Schleiermacher’s Atonement Theology in Kierkegaard’s Communion Discourses,” Seventh International Kierkegaard Conference, Hong Kierkegaard Library (St. Olaf College, May 2013).

“‘Touching’ the ‘Glorified’ Body, with Jean-Luc Nancy,” American Academy of Religion, Body and Religion Group (San Francisco; November, 2011).

“Subversive Revelation: Kierkegaard on Unknowing Christ in Desire,” American Academy of Religion, joint session of Christian Systematic Theology Section and Kierkegaard, Religion, and Culture Group (San Francisco; November, 2011).