Recent Faculty Publications

Adam Ployd
Assistant Professor of Church History and Historical Theology
Eden Theological Seminary

“Augustine, Martyrdom, and the Exemplary Rhetoric of History”
in Journal of Early Christian Studies, Volume 28, Number 3, Fall 2020,
pp. 423-441
Published by Johns Hopkins University Press

While martyrdom is a powerful cultural symbol for early Christianity, those seeking to encourage emulation of the martyrs in the post-Constantinian period face a special problem: how can Christians imitate those who died under imperial persecution when they now live in a period of imperial privilege? This article explores Augustine’s solution to this problem through his cultivation of the martyrs as rhetorical exempla who serve to undermine traditional Roman historiography as represented by Sallust and Livy. By rejecting the premise of a Golden Age and the accompanying narrative of decline, Augustine makes every historical period ripe for imitating the martyrs in their true fight—not against human enemies but against spiritual temptation and demonic powers. In this way, he helps to make martyrdom a relevant category for Christian identity even in a time of imperial privilege for the church.


Journal of Ecumenical Studies
Special Issue
Volume 55, Number 1, Winter 2020
University of Pennsylvania Press

The essays in this special issue of the Journal of Ecumenical Studies arose out of the work of the “Violence in an Age of Genocide” study group, part of the National Council of Churches Faith and Order Convening Table. In light of the proliferation of extrajudicial killings of people of color in the United States—Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, and too many more to name—the majority of these essays address racialized violence against Black people in the U.S.


Laurel Kloepf-Taylor
Associate Professor of Old Testament
Eden Theological Seminary

The SAGE Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood Studies

The SAGE Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood Studies navigates our understanding of the historical, political, social and cultural dimensions of childhood.
Transdisciplinary and transnational in content and scope, the Encyclopedia both reflects and enables the wide range of approaches, fields and understandings that have been brought to bear on the ever-transforming problem of the “child” over the last four decades.


Damayanthi Niles
Professor of Constructive Theology
Eden Theological Seminary

Doing Theology with Humility, Generosity, and Wonder: A Christian Theology of Pluralism

This book looks at how Christians can think about their own theology in a manner that will allow them to not only be more open to interfaith dialogue but also to see that conversation as essential to what it means to be a Christian. For much of history, Christian theology has been used to undergird and justify imperial power. This has required a theological construction that advances a vision of belief that stands above and against the world and other faiths, or at the very least acts as the one vision under which all the others must unite.


Worshipping at the Feet of Our Ancestors: Hendrik Kraemer and the Making of Contextual Theology in South Asia (ContactZone. Explorations in Intercultural Theology)

Worshipping at the Feet of Our Ancestors revisits the theology of Dutch missiologist Hendrik Kraemer (1888-1965) and traces his impact on Asian theologians like M.M. Thomas, Lynn de Silva, Aloysius Pieris, and Lakshman Wickremesinghe. By turning back to these theological ancestors, the book find clues for a future theology of cultural-religious pluralism. (Series: ContactZone. Explorations in Intercultural Theology – Vol. 12)


Christopher Grundy
Associate Professor of Preaching and Worship
Associate Dean of the Chapel
Eden Theological Seminary

Proceedings of the North American Academy of Liturgy 2020
This Is the World I Want to Live in: Toward a Theology of Practical Sacramentality
Pages 121-127

“To whatever extent we can assent to these ideas, however far we are willing to go in stretching our traditions and mindsets, the sacramentality of all these meals presses us to ask what implications the various meals of Jesus’ ministry might have for our theologies and practices of Holy Communion.”

The North American Academy of Liturgy (NAAL) is an ecumenical and interreligious association of liturgical scholars who collaborate in research concerning public worship. The Academy’s purpose is to promote liturgical scholarship among its members through opportunities for exchange of ideas and to extend the benefits of this scholarship to the worshiping communities to which its members belong.


Recovering Communion in a Violent World: Resistance, Resilience, and Risk

The act of breaking and eating a body in Holy Communion forms us over time. What if that’s not such a good thing? Recovering Communion in a Violent World provides an unblinking examination of the ritualized reenactment of the violence done to Jesus in Holy Communion, using insights from the fields of ritual studies and trauma theory. Then, drawing upon recent research in Christian origins, the book raises possibilities for sacramental meal practices that don’t ignore the death of Jesus but respond to it differently. Rather than colluding with systems of violence, these alternative practices respond to violence in our world by continuing to collaborate with the persistence and resilience of God, as well as with the realm of God still coming near. The result is a groundbreaking exploration that is both unflinching in its critique and passionate in its argument for the place of renewed Christian meal practices.



Paul Vasile
Director of Music
Eden Theological Seminary

“Glory to God, Whose Goodness Shines on Me”
All Creation Sings
Voices Together

”Glory to God, Whose Goodness Shines on Me,” will be published in All Creation Sings, the new music/liturgy supplement to Evangelical Lutheran Worship now available for pre-order. It will also be included in the forthcoming Voices Together hymnal of the Mennonite Church along with, ‘God Calls You Good,’ a song celebrating LGBTQIA+ bodies and experiences.