Associate Professor of the Practice; Associate Director, Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life
Erik Owens is associate director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life, and associate professor of the practice in theology and international studies at Boston College. His research explores a variety of intersections between religion and public life, with particular attention to the challenge of fostering the common good of a religiously diverse society. His interdisciplinary scholarship bridges the fields of theological ethics, political philosophy, law, education, international studies and public policy.
He is the co-editor of three books: Gambling: Mapping the American Moral Landscape (2009), Religion and the Death Penalty: A Call for Reckoning (2004) and The Sacred and the Sovereign: Religion and International Politics (2003), the last of which was called a "must read" by Foreign Affairs in 2009.
Based in the Theology Department, Owens is also a core faculty member in the International Studies Program. He teaches interdisciplinary courses on ethics and religion in international politics; religion in American public life; religion and public schools; political theology. He teaches interdisciplinary courses in ethics and religion in international politics; religion in American public life; religion and public schools; political theology. In 2017 he taught a BC Summer Abroad course in South Africa with Prof. Stephen Pope on religion, justice and reconciliation.
At the American Academy of Religion, Owens chairs the Committee on the Public Understanding of Religion and leads its Public Scholars Program in partnership with several academic centers and non-partisan institutions. He has also served as co-chair of the Religion and Politics section, and on the founding steering committee of the "Religion and Public Schools: International Perspectives" program unit.