Associate Professor of Theology and Philosophy
Biblical & Theological Studies; Philosophy
Chris approaches the disciplines of philosophy and theology as they were approached in the world of ancient philosophy and early Christianity—namely as ethical enterprises that give expression to embodied ways of life. He is particularly interested in questions that arise at the intersection of knowledge and politics. His current project is an interpretation of the emphasis in the Christian tradition on the interrelationship between martyrdom, knowledge, and the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity. In his book A Precarious Peace, he examined how issues of violence and peace come to be embedded in debates about the nature of Christian theology, theories of knowledge, and questions of selfhood and identity.
In addition to regularly teaching introductory courses in theology, ethics, and philosophy, Chris also offers numerous upper-level seminars addressing topics of contemporary concern. Recent seminars have explored the topics of animal life, the concept of the secular, and the contemporary interest among philosophers and political theorists in the writings of Saint Paul. One of his favourite things about teaching is to take challenging theoretical texts and help students try to make sense of them.
Chris graduated with a PhD in Theology and Ethics from the Duke University Department of Religion in 2002. He earned and MA in Philosophy from the University of Manitoba and has undergraduate degrees in both Philosophy and Theology. Before coming to CMU, he taught courses at Duke University and Meredith College in Raleigh, NC. He returned to Duke University in 2008-09 as a visiting scholar.
Chris was born and raised in Winnipeg, but came to appreciate the complexity of the world during a two year period in Jerusalem in the early 1980s. Chris and his wife Rachel have three children. They attend Charleswood Mennonite Church.
Areas of Teaching
Theology, Ethics, Philosophy
PhD, Duke University, 2002; MA, University of Manitoba, 1995; BA, University of Manitoba, 1992; BTh Canadian Mennonite Bible College, 1992
Work in Detail
Chris teaches in both the Biblical & Theology Studies and Philosophy Departments. He has also offered courses in English and Peace and Conflict Studies Transformation Studies. In addition, he regularly teaches seminars in the Graduate Program in Theology and Ministry and has supervised numerous students in the BTS Honours Program.
- BTS 2000 – Introduction to Christianity
- PHIL/BTS 2020 – Postmodern Philosophy
- PHIL 3950 – Animal Life: Philosophical and Theological Investigations
- PHIL 3950 – Dante: The Divine Comedy
- PHIL/BTS 3950 – Paul and the Philosophers
- BTS/PHIL 4895 – The Secular
- BTS 5700 – Topics in Theology: Karl Barth & Rowan Williams
As author or editor, Chris has published four books as well as numerous essays and book chapters. Some recent publications include:
- A Precarious Peace: Yoderian Explorations on Theology, Knowledge, and Identity. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 2006.
- The New Yoder. Edited with Peter Dula. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2010.
- "Is a Christian University Strange Enough?" In The Church Made Strange for the Nations: Essays in Ecclesiology and Political Theology. Edited by Paul G. Doerksen and Karl Koop. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2011, pp. 152-159.
- "Make Us Your Laughter: Stanley Hauerwas's Joke on Mennonites." Mennonite Quarterly Review 84 (July 2010): 357-373.
- "Marginality, Martyrdom, and the Messianic Remnant: Reflections on the Political Witness of St. Paul." In Locating the Past/Discovering the Present: Perspectives on Religion, Culture, and Marginality. Edited by Stephen R. Reimer and David Gay. Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2010, pp. 131-148.
- "The Work of Reading: Hauerwas, MacIntyre, and the Question of Liberalism." In Unsettling Arguments: A Festschrift on the Occasion of Stanley Hauerwas's 70th Birthday. Edited by Charles R. Pinches, Kelly S. Johnson, and Charles M. Collier. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2010, pp. 284-299.
Chris enjoys lecturing on ethical and social issues and on the role of religion in contemporary culture. He also enjoys the opportunity to deliver the occasional sermon.
Chris is significantly involved in the Winnipeg cycling community. He coaches and helps to organize the Wolseley Wheels "Kids of Mud" program. He organizes some of Manitoba's largest cycling events, including MennoCross, a cyclocross race held at CMU during the annual Fall Festival. He was also the lead organizer of CMU's team in Hot Pursuit 2010, a bike race from Vancouver to Winnipeg.