Thomas A. Lewis is Professor of Religious Studies. He has taught previously at the University of Iowa and at Harvard University. He specializes in religious ethics and philosophy of religion in the modern West and has strong interests in methodology in the study of religion. His research examines conceptions of tradition, reason, and authority and their significance for ethical and political thought. His publications include Freedom and Tradition in Hegel: Reconsidering Anthropology, Ethics, and Religion
(University of Notre Dame Press, 2005); Religion, Modernity, and Politics in Hegel
(Oxford University Press, 2011); Why Philosophy Matters for the Study of Religion--and Vice Versa
(Oxford University Press, 2015); and articles on religion and politics, liberation theology, communitarianism, and comparative ethics.
Professor Lewis's current book project is tentatively titled,
The Eclipse of Ethical Practices in the Modern West: On the Cultivation of Character in Everyday Life
. Much recent work in religious ethics has focused on a purported absence of ethical practices for the formation of good character in modern ethics. Against that narrative, this book will argue that practices of ethical formation have neither gone away nor ceased to be objects of concern: they have migrated to the margins in canonical modern thought. In the wake of the Reformation, these practices have largely become embedded in ordinary life. Accordingly, four sites have taken on particular significance: home, school, work, and church. My project seeks to uncover and argue for the significance of oft-neglected treatments of ethical formation from a decisive moment in Western thought. It thereby sheds new light on the shifting relation of religion and ethics in the last 250 years.
He is also a co-founder, together with Nathaniel Berman (Cogut Center) and Nukhet Sandal (Watson Institute) of Brown's Religion and International Project.
Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Faculty Fellowship, University Center for Human Values, Princeton University, 2015-16.
Faculty Fellowship for "Religion, Secularization, and the International," Cogut Center for the Humanities, Brown University, Spring 2012.
Cogut Center Humanities Research Grant, "Religion, Secularization, and the International" Project, 2011-12.
Kaneb Pre-Doctoral Fellowship from the University of Notre Dame awarded to Doug Finn (an advanced doctoral student at the University of Notre Dame) to spend a year in residence at Brown studying under my supervision, 2010-11.
Irving E. Miller '48 Research Award. Sponsored and Advised two Undergraduate Teaching and Research Assistantship (UTRA) Fellowships on Liberation Theology in the Americas, 2010.
Irving E. Miller '48 Research Award. Sponsored and Advised an Undergraduate Teaching and Research Assistantship (UTRA) Fellowship on Religion and Politics, 2008.
Vartan Gregorian Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, Brown University, 2007-10.
Postdoctoral Fellowship. Center for the Study of Religion, Princeton University, 2002-03.
On Being Human: Religious and Philosophical Conceptions of the Self
Religion and Conflict in the Contemporary World
Introduction to Catholicism
Freshman Seminar: Individuality, Community, and Freedom
Religion, Reason, and Ethics from Kant to Nietzsche
Religion and Politics
Liberation Theology in the Americas
Social Justice and the Catholic Church
Comparing and Interpreting Across Religious Traditions
Methods in Religious Studies (required undergraduate methods course)
Graduate Seminar: Hegel
Graduate Seminar: Reason, Tradition, and Modernity
Graduate Seminar: Religious Ethics: Reinhold Niebuhr and Gustavo Gutiérrez
Graduate Seminar: Theory of Religion (required for doctoral students)
RELS 0065 - On Being Human: Religious and Philosophical Conceptions of Self. Spring 2013, Spring 2015.
RELS 0830 - Religion, Reason, and Ethics from Kant to Nietzsche. Fall 2014.
RELS 1000 - Methods in Religious Studies. Spring 2014.
RELS 1738 - Religion, Music, and Politics, 1750 to the Present. Fall 2013.