Heath W. Carter - A Destination for Ideation | Asheville Ideas Fest

Heath W. Carter

Associate Professor of American Christianity, Director of PhD Studies, Princeton Theological Seminary

Heath W. Carter is associate professor of American Christianity at Princeton Theological Seminary, where he teaches and writes about the intersection of Christianity and American public life. He earned a BA in English and theology from Georgetown University in 2003, an MA from the University of Chicago Divinity School in 2005, and a PhD in history from the University of Notre Dame in 2012. He came to Princeton from Valparaiso University, where he was on faculty from 2012 to 2019. He spent the 2016–2017 academic year as the William S. Vaughn Visiting Fellow at Vanderbilt University.

He is currently working on a new book entitled On Earth as it is in Heaven: Social Christians and the Fight to End American Inequality (under contract with Oxford University Press), which retells the story of the American social gospel. By the 19th century, some American Christians had come to see participation in fights against structural inequality as essential to their faith. Over the course of roughly 100 years, stretching from 1865 to 1965, these believers—women and men, Catholic and Protestant, black and white and Latinx—cultivated a proud, if fractious, social Christian tradition that transformed not only the churches but also the nation as a whole. This book tells the story of how little-known activists, eminent theologians, radical preachers, and progressive politicians powered faith-filled movements for a more egalitarian United States of America.

Carter serves in a variety of professional leadership roles: he is an Editor-at-Large for William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company and co-editor, with Kathryn Gin Lum and Mark Noll, of the press’s award-winning Library of Religious Biography series. He is co-editor, with Nancy Taylor, of the Journal of Presbyterian History. He is also a member of the Louisville Institute’s Advisory Board.

Carter speaks and moderates public conversations about the relationship of Christian faith to a variety of pressing public questions, including everything from racial injustice and economic inequality to runaway political polarization. In recent years these conversations have often focused on the Future of American Democracy.

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