Mark D. Jordan

  • Reverend Priscilla Wood Neaves Distinguished Professor of Religion and Politics
  • Umrath Hall 117
  • (314) 935-3952

Mark Jordan is the Reverend Priscilla Wood Neaves Distinguished Professor of Religion and Politics at the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics. A renowned philosopher, ethicist, and theologian, he formerly served as the Richard Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Divinity and Professor of Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Harvard University. He taught previously at the University of Notre Dame and Emory University.

Jordan earned his BA, summa cum laude, from St. John’s College, and his MA and PhD from the University of Texas at Austin. His doctoral training is in pre-modern European philosophy, and he has published widely on medieval theological texts, notably the writings of Thomas Aquinas. Jordan’s work more recently turned to the modern period and to Christianity in the United States. His recent writing and teaching pursue questions about the interactions of political and religious rhetoric, the history of sex and gender in America, and the functions of ritual in creating unexpected identities. He teaches a range of courses in Christian ethics, natural law, theology, and sexuality. He is a renowned teacher and won Harvard Divinity School’s distinguished teaching award in 2010.

His many books include Ordering Wisdom: The Hierarchy of Philosophical Discourses in Aquinas (University of Notre Dame Press, 1986); The Invention of Sodomy in Christian Theology (University of Chicago Press, 1997), winner of the 1999 John Boswell Prize in Lesbian and Gay History; The Ethics of Sex (Basil Blackwell, 2002); Telling Truths in Church: Scandal, Flesh, and Christian Speech (Beacon Press, 2003); Rewritten Theology: Aquinas after His Readers (Basil Blackwell, 2006); and Recruiting Young Love: How Christians Talk about Homosexuality (University of Chicago Press, 2011), which received the 2012 nonfiction book award from the Publishing Triangle. He has just finished a book on religion and bodily resistance in the writings of Michel Foucault. His next project will trace basic patterns of moral formation in some masterworks of Christian theology. In addition to his books, Jordan has published over ninety essays in a range of scholarly publications.

Professor Jordan has received numerous fellowships and grants, from entities that include the John S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, The Carpenter Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and The Henry Luce Foundation. He has held visiting appointments at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies and the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto, Berry College, Memphis State University, University of Notre Dame, and The University of the South (Sewanee); and he has taught short-term courses at Chicago Theological Seminary, Graduate Theological Union, and Episcopal Divinity School, among others. He is a highly sought after speaker and has delivered lectures at universities across the United States and around the world.

Mark Jordan’s CV