John Carlson, Ph.D.

Associate Director, Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict

Associate Professor of Religious Studies, School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies

Arizona State University

John Carlson, associate professor of religious studies, is a scholar of religious ethics. His research explores how religious and moral inquiry informs and invigorates our understanding of political life. He has written on issues of war and peace, religion and violence, human rights, and a variety of social and political issues, domestically and internationally. 

He received his B.A. in political science from Vanderbilt University and his Ph.D. in religious ethics from The University of Chicago Divinity School. Professor Carlson is coeditor of, and contributor to, two books: The Sacred and the Sovereign: Religion and International Politics andReligion and the Death Penalty: A Call for ReckoningHe also is the author of fifteen book chapters and academic articles from leading journals in his field (see below). Currently, he is working on a monograph entitled "Justice This Side of Heaven: Human Nature, Religion, and the Moral Order of Politics," a political-theological examination of how ideas about human nature and humanity's relation to the divine shape and limit our political pursuits of justice. He is completing an edited volume (with historian Jonathon Ebel) Religion, Violence, and America: From Jeremiad to Jihad, which will be out in 2012. In 2008, he was elected president of the Niebuhr Society, a related scholarly organization of the American Academy of Religion. He also serves on the editorial board of the Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics and the Steering Committee of the Religion and Social Sciences section of the American Academy of Religion.

Professor Carlson is Associate Director of ASU's Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict and has been a principal investigator or co-principal investigator of numerous CSRC projects, including two funded by the Ford Foundation: Public Religion, the Secular, and Democracy and Teaching and Talking about Religion in Public supported byt the "Difficult Dialogues Initiative." He also directs ASU's Undergraduate Certificate in Religion and Conflict, which grew out of the Difficult Dialogues project. He currently serves as a co-PI and project team member on a project funded by the Luce Foundation entitled Religion and International Affairs: Through the Prism of Rights and Gender.

(source:, accessed 26 October 2018)

Variant Names
John Carlson
Professor John Carlson
John Carlson, Ph.D.