Peter P. C. Carlson

Peter P. C. Carlson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
(805) 493-3435
Humanities 220

Office Hours: Varies from semester to semester. Please contact for an appointment.


Preferred gender pronouns: he, him, his / they, them, their.

Dr. Carlson’s work at CLU has two primary areas of concentration, which often intertwine: religious history; and gender and religion.

His research in religious history focuses on the late medieval and early modern eras. He is particularly interested in how various kinds of texts (literary, theological, and academic) influence religious thought and practice. He is currently studying the library of a late-medieval monastic college in Ashridge, England, attempting to identify its relationship to diocesan structures, the medieval universities, and English royalty during its 250 year history. His work studying an all-male, medieval, intellectual enclave relates to his second area of study.

Carlson’s work on gender began with his interest in the constructions of masculinity and femininity in the late medieval and early modern periods, but has expanded to include theologies of sexuality and gender construction across religious traditions in the present day. He is particularly interested in incarnational theology -- what he calls in-bodied theology – and seeks to investigate the performative roles of gender in all of his classes. He has taught Gender and Religion and Queer Theology here on campus, and is Director of the Gender and Women’s Studies minor, working closely with a broad range of academic disciplines to expand the course offerings for the program. As a part of his interest in gender, he is one of the faculty advisors for Feminism Is... student club, and works regularly with another student club, PRIDE.

In addition to his work in history and gender, Carlson has additional qualifications in Literature and Religion, American Religious History, Muslim-Christian Relations, Queer Studies and Religion, and the History of Christian Monasticism. He was the 2013 Huntington Fellow at Lincoln College, Oxford; he has been invited to present papers at conferences nationally and internationally; and he has contributed to various encyclopedias and written several articles and book chapters. His chapter, "The Art and Craft of Dying – Death in Early Modern English Faith and Literature," can be found in the Oxford Handbook of Early Modern Literature and Religion (OUP, 2017). He is currently working on a book of queer readings of the Revised Common Lectionary, as well as on a biography of the Edmund Cornwall, the founder of Ashridge.

He is a committed Episcopalian, and gives presentations at a number of Southern California churches of various denominations on the history of the Christian church, the idea of sacred space, and the history of gender and marriage. He also preaches and leads worship services.

Dr. Carlson lives with his husband in Camarillo. He is also privileged to sing with the California Lutheran University professional chamber group, Areté, under the direction of Wyant Morton. When he is not walking, singing, talking about theology, or eating with friends, Dr. Carlson reads mystery fiction, cooks, and has participated in AIDS LifeCycle, for which he raised over $3000, and rode his bicycle from San Francisco to Los Angeles, to provide care for AIDS patients who could not afford their medication.

He also loves watching rugby, and is advisor to the Cal Lutheran Knights, but does not play, because he's donated enough blood already. Go Cal Lutheran Knights Rugby Club!


Ph.D., Claremont Graduate University, Claremont CA:  History of Religion
M.A., Claremont School of Theology, Claremont CA:  History of Christianity
B.A., Wheaton College, Wheaton IL:  Communications


• Medieval and Early Modern Britain and Continental Europe.
• Queer Theology.
• History of Gender/Sexuality and Religion.
• Literature and Religion.
• History of Monasticism.
• American Religious History.
• Evangelicalism, Fundamentalism and Holiness Movements.
• African-American Religion; the Black Church.
• World Religions.
• Muslim-Christian Relations.


Quid Me Dicis Bonum?: A Study of the Library and Theology of the Good Men of Ashridge.
"The Art and Craft of Dying," in Oxford Handbook of Early Modern English Literature and Religion, Ed. Andrew Hiscock and Helen Wilcox (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017).
Published Essays:
• "Sermons," in Encyclopedia of English Renaissance Literature (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell Publishers, 2011).
• "The Liturgical Year," in Cambridge World Shakespeare Encyclopedia (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013).
• The Last Divine Office: Henry VIII and the Dissolution of the Monasteries, by Geoffrey Moorhouse. In Anglican Theological Review, v. 92:3/2010.
• Readers and Authorship in Early Modern England, by Stephen Dobranski. In Comitatus, v. 37/2006.
• Women's Writing in English: Early Modern England, by Patricia Demers. In Comitatus, v. 37/2006.
• Sacraments, Ceremonies and the Stuart Divines: Sacramental theology and liturgy in England and Scotland 1603-1662, by Bryan D. Spinks. In Anglican and Episcopal History, v. LXXIV, No. 1, March 2005.
• Henry VIII and the Evangelicals, by Alec Ryrie. In Comitatus, v. 35/2004.

Grant Funding

• Collegium Scholar-In-Residence, Stonyhurst College, Lancashire, UK, 2019.
• California Lutheran University Hewlett Grant for International Scholarship, 2012, 2014, 2017.
• California Lutheran University Faculty Research and Creative Work Grant, 2015.
• Huntington / Lincoln College Oxford Fellowship for advanced research, 2012.

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