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Paul E. Capetz
Professor of Historical Theology
Associate Dean
Ordained minister, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Appointed 1992


B.A. University of California at Los Angeles
M.Div. Yale Divinity School
Ph.D. The University of Chicago

Teaching and Research

historical and systematic theology
theological ethics

Courses Offered

CH414   John Calvin and the Reformed Tradition
CH417   Jews and Christians in Medieval Europe
CH440   Introduction to the Reformed Tradition: Theology and Confessions
CH457   Radical Theology after the Death of God
CH461   Introduction to Historical Theology
CH474   Introduction to Modern Theology and Modern Religious Thought
CH536   Theology and Ethics of Reinhold Niebuhr
CH537   Introduction to the Theology and Ethics of Thomas Aquinas
IS152   Integration of Ministry and Local Theologies
TR553   Theology & Ethics of James Cone (systems of theological thought course)
TR608   Christology
TR637   Theology of Rudolf Bultmann
TR771   Approaches to the Study of Religion and Religious Communities

Visit the Course Descriptions page for descriptions of all courses.

Visit the Registration Bulletin page for a listing of all courses offered in the current and past academic year.



God: A Brief History
Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2003
Christian Faith as Religion: A Study in the Theologies of Calvin and Schleiermacher
University Press of America, 1998; reprint, 2011

Articles, Essays, and Other Published Works (since 2000)

“Theology and the Historical-Critical Study of the Bible.” Harvard Theological Review. 104, no. 4 (October 2011): 459-488.

“The Old Testament as a Witness to Jesus Christ: Historical Criticism and Theological Exegesis of the Bible according to Karl Barth.” Journal of Religion. 90, no. 4 (October 2010): 475-506.

“Friedrich Schleiermacher on the Old Testament.” Harvard Theological Review. 102, no. 3 (2009): 297-326.

Gustafson, James M. Library of Theological Ethics. Moral Discernment in the Christian Life: Essays in Theological Ethics. Edited and with an introduction by Theo A. Boer and Paul E. Capetz. Louisville and London: Westminster/John Knox Press (2007).

“Theology and the Non-Theological Study of Religion: A Critical Assessment of Schleiermacher’s Legacy.” Subjectivity and Truth: Proceedings of the Schleiermacher-Kierkegaard Congress. Edited by Theodor Jorgensen et al. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2006.

“The First Commandment as a Theological and Ethical Imperative.” The Ten Commandments: The Reciprocity of Faithfulness. Edited by William P. Brown. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004.

“Defending the Reformed Tradition? Problematic Aspects of the Appeal to Biblical and Confessional Authority in the Present Theological Crisis Confronting the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).” The Journal of Presbyterian History. 79, no. 1 (Spring 2001): 23-39.

“Contemporary Theology and the Task of Preaching.” The Clergy Journal. (November-December 2001).

Regular Topics for Presentation

Upcoming Presentations

Contact Paul at 651.255.6130.

I respect the rigors of serious conversation about and inquiry into matters of importance to our common life. I enjoy persons who exemplify a zest for living as well as a sense of humor. I understand the sincere quest for a truth by which to live life in a meaningful and authentic manner. I appreciate the beauty of the natural world.

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“In my teaching I seek to model for students a genuinely dialogical approach to the interpretation of the Christian theological tradition that allows us to engage this complex heritage with our critical questions and contemporary concerns while being open to the spiritual and moral challenges it poses to us.”

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“I am committed to understanding the implications of a thoroughgoing historical approach to the study of religion and theology. My concern is to develop a responsible theological perspective out of the resources of the Protestant tradition that can inform and sustain religious and moral values in an increasingly pluralistic world. My hope is that the historical study of our inherited religious traditions can lead to new possibilities of dialogue with an openness to those who are different from ourselves in order that we may work together toward building a humanly just and ecologically sustainable global community.”

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“Now more than ever there is a pressing need for a highly educated ministry that can give intelligent and thoughtful leadership to churches and that can also assist our broader culture to reflect self-critically upon the ultimate religious questions of the meaning and purpose of human life in the world.”

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“The fundamental calling of the church is to increase love of God and love of neighbor. Christians should be active participants in God’s good but fallen world, taking the side of the ‘least of these’ who are poor and oppressed.

“My biggest interest is to help interpret the Christian tradition for people. There’s a lot of confusion in the church as to what historic Christianity is all about.”

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