United Theological Seminary

Paul E. Capetz

Emeritus Professor of Historical Theology

Paul E. Capetz was educated at the University of California at Los Angeles, Georg-August Universität in Göttingen (Germany), Yale University Divinity School, and the Divinity School of the University of Chicago. He is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and has taught at numerous colleges and seminaries including Macalester College and Claremont School of Theology in addition to United. His research interests focus on the Protestant Reformation and modern Protestant theology. He has authored two books and published many scholarly articles in academic journals such as the Journal of Religion and the Harvard Theological Review. He is currently working on a book about Martin Luther and Rudolf Bultmann as well as preparing a volume of translated essays on theology and ethics by Ernst Troeltsch.


  • B.A. University of California at Los Angeles
  • M.Div. Yale Divinity School
  • M.A. (New Testament) Yale University
  • Ph.D. (Theology) University of Chicago

Teaching and Research

  • Historical and systematic theology
  • Theological ethics

Publications Books

  • 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

    • “Are Christians Responsible for their Own Demise?” Faith, Hope, Love, and Justice, ed. Anselm Min
    • “Kant and Hartshorne on the Ontological Argument,” The Pluralist
    • “A Theology of Protest: The Reformation and Paul Tillich’s Protestant Principle” and “The Reformation Heritage and the Question of Sachkritik: Theological Criticism of the Bible,” Currents in Mission and Theology
    • The Monotheizing Process: Its Origins and Development. By James A. Sanders. Eugene: Cascade, 2014. 62-82.
    • “The Old Testament and the Question of Judaism in Reformed Theology: Calvin, Schleiermacher, and Barth.” Journal of Reformed Theology 8.2 (2014): 121-68.
    • “Theology and the Historical-Critical Study of the Bible.” Harvard Theological Review 104.4 (October 2011): 459-88.
    • “Reformation Views on Celibacy: An Analogy for Gay Protestants Today.” The Embrace of Eros: Bodies, Desires, and Sexuality in Christianity. Ed. Margaret D. Kamitsuka. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 2010. 115-31.
    • Patte, Daniel, ed. “God, Christian Views Of: A Historical Overview.” Cambridge Dictionary of Christianity. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010. 462-64.
    • “A New Theology for the Churches.” The Ecumenist 47.2 (Spring 2010): 8–14.
    • “The Old Testament as a Witness to Jesus Christ: Historical Criticism and Theological Exegesis of the Bible according to Karl Barth.” Journal of Religion 90.4 (October 2010): 475–506.


    • Gerhard Ebeling: Eine Biographie, by Albrecht Beutel. Zeitschrift Für Neuere Theologiegeschichte/Journal for the History of Modern Theology 19.2 (2012): 337-41.
    • The Tragic Vision of African American Religion, by Matthew V. Johnson. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics 32.2 (2012): 215–16.
    • Reinhold Niebuhr on Politics, Religion, and Christian Faith, by Richard Crouter; Reinhold Niebuhr Revisited: Engagements with an American Original, edited by Daniel F. Rice; Reinhold Niebuhr and Contemporary Politics: God and Power, edited by Richard Harries and Stephen Platten. Zeitschrift für neuere Theologiegeschichte/Journal for the History of Modern Theology 18.1 (2011): 182–88.
    • Moses Mendelssohn: Eine Biographie, by Shmuel Feiner. Zeitschrift für neuere Theologiegeschichte/Journal for the History of Modern Theology 17.1 (2010): 130–32.