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Matthew Elia, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Theological Studies

Courses Taught

God-Talk: Ultimate Questions in Theology; Spiritual Exercises at the End of the World; Catholic Social Teaching; Eco-theology and the Colonial World


Ph.D. in Religion (Christian Theological Studies), Duke University, 2019 M.Div., Duke University Divinity School, 2013

Research Interests

  • Political Theology and Religious Ethics
  • Race, Religion, and Coloniality
  • Environmental Justice
  • Augustine and the Augustinian Tradition Science and Theology      

Publications and Media Placements


We Are Each Other’s Harvest: Solidarity at the End of the World (in progress)

The Problem of the Christian Master: Augustine in the Afterlife of Slavery, Yale University Press, 2024
Select Refereed Journal Articles:

Climate Apartheid, Race, and the Future of Solidarity: Three Frameworks of Response,” Journal of Religious Ethics 51.4 (Dec. 2023)

Slave Christologies: Augustine and the Enduring Trouble with the ‘Form of a Slave,’” Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology 75.1 (January 2021)

Sarah’s Laugh, Sodom’s Sin, Hagar’s Kin: Queering Time and Belonging in Genesis 16-21,” Biblical Interpretation 28.4 (Winter 2020)

Ethics in the Afterlife of Slavery: Race, Augustine, and the Problem of the Master,” Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics 38.2 (Fall/Winter 2018)

Honors and Awards

  • Fellowship, Center for Research on Global Catholicism at Saint Louis University. Project Title: “Making Solidarity Global: Climate Migration, Race, and the Future of Catholic Moral Thought” (2024-25).
  • Fellowship, Illuminating Theological Inquiry and Christian Ethics Through Training in Psychological Science at Baylor University. Project Title: “Beyond Allyship: How the Psychological Sciences Can Help Theology Reimagine the Virtue of Solidarity” (2023-24).
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Virginia, Multi-disciplinary Engagements Program (2021-24).
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Duke University Divinity School, Member of ‘God and the Book of Nature,’ Edinburgh University project funded by John Templeton Foundation (2019-22).
  • Summer School Fellowship, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany (2022).
  • Early Career Latinx Religion Faculty Teaching and Learning Workshop, Wabash Center (2020-21).
  • Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship (2018-19).

Professional Organizations and Associations

  • American Academy of Religion
  • Society of Christian Ethics
  • Fellowship for Protestant Ethics
  • La Comunidad of Hispanic Scholars of Religion