Victor Thasiah, DPhil (Oxon)

Assistant Professor of Religion
Humanities 217


Victor Thasiah teaches courses on lived religion; social and environmental ethics; and civil resistance at California Lutheran University. His current research projects focus on religion and community organizing; and on cosmic evolution and contemporary Buddhism. Thasiah serves as an advisor to the organization PICO (People Improving Communities through Organizing) International; and on both CLU's Center for Equality and Justice Steering Committee and CLU's Sustainability Committee (co-chair). He holds degrees from U.C. Santa Cruz (B.A.); Princeton Theological Seminary (M.Div); and Oxford University (DPhil).

  • DPhil, Oxford University (2007)
  • Research Fellow, University of Tuebingen (1998)
  • M.Div., Princeton Theological Seminary (1997)
  • B.A., University of California, Santa Cruz (1994)

Courses Taught

Religion and Social Change

Religion and Political Thought

Violence, Religion, and Politics

Global Ethics

Religion, Identity, and Vocation

Contemporary Christian Ethics

Introduction to Christianity

Church History and Theology (Oxford University)

The Problem of Evil (Elmhurst College)



Work in Progress

Book on religion and community organizing with Cynthia Moe-Lobeda and Ray Pickett

Study of Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh

"Organized Religion: Vernacular and Vanguardist Decentralization in Rwanda" (Journal of Religion in Africa, under review)

Book Chapters

"Religion, Forestry, and Democracy in Rwanda after Genocide," in Eco-Reformation: Grace and Hope for a Planet in Peril, eds. Lisa E. Dahill and Jim Martin-Schramm (Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock, forthcoming).

"The Right to Freedom of Association: Organizing in Rwanda after Genocide," in On Secular Governance: Lutheran Perspectives on Contemporary Legal Issues, eds. Marie A. Failinger and Ronald W. Duty (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2016), 285-304.

"Reconfiguring Church-State Relations: Toward a Rwandan Political Theology," in Lutheran Identity and Political Theology, eds. Carl Henric-Grenholm and Goran Gunner (Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock, 2014).


"Prophetic Pedagogy: Critically Engaging Public Officials in Rwanda," Studies in World Christianity, forthcoming.

"Portfolio Work," Teaching Theology and Religion, forthcoming.

"Washing Your Ears: On Inter-Religious Friendships," Journal of Lutheran Ethics 11:3 (May/June 2011).

"Voluntary Poverty in the Economy of the Spirit," Journal of Lutheran Ethics 10:6 (June 2010).

"Trustworthiness: Infrastructuring a Better Chicago," AREA (Art, Research, Education, Activism) 10 (October 2010).


"When Cunning Is Prudence: Rwandan Organizing, Thomistic Virtue," Religion and Power: New Directions in Social Ethics Conference, Princeton University, March 12, 2015. Invited by the Princeton University Religion Department to respond to the work of Ernesto Cortes.

"'Things Are Not Okay in Rwanda If You Shut Up': Community Organizing Practices and Human Rights Advocacy after Genocide," Society of Christian Ethics, Chicago, January 11, 2015.

"Countering Complicity: Rwandan Political Theology after Genocide," American Academy of Religion, San Diego, California, November 23, 2014.

"The Right to Freedom of Association: Organizing in Rwanda after Genocide," Lutheran Perspectives on Contemporary Legal Issues, Valparaiso University Law School, Chicago, March 27, 2014.

"Toward a Rwandan Lutheran Political Theology," Remembering the Past, Living the Future: Lutheran Tradition in Transition Conference, University of Uppsala, Sweden, October 9, 2013.

"Ethical, Religious, Anarchist Politics," Third International Conference on Religion and Spirituality in Society, March 9, 2013.

"Second Realities: Karl Barth's Ethics and Socially-Engaged Art," Society of Christian Ethics (Pacific Meeting), February 10, 2012.

"Comprehensive Immigration Reform," Society of Christian Ethics Annual Meeting, January 8, 2010.

"Faith and Immigration Reform," Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service Briefing, Washington, D.C., October 14, 2009.


Morality Truly Christian, Truly African: Foundational, Methodological, and Theological Considerations, Paulinus Ikechukwu Odozor, C.S.Sp. (University of Notre Dame Press, 2015) Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics (forthcoming).

Review Essay: Christian Ethics as Witness, D. Haddorff (Cascade Books, 2010); and The Analogy of Grace, G. McKenny (Oxford University Press, 2010),  Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics 33:1 (Spring/Summer 2013) 192-194.

Holy Scripture: A Dogmatic Sketch, J. Webster (Cambridge University Press, 2003) International Journal of Systematic Theology  6:4 (October 2004) 466-469.

Admiration and Challenge: Karl Barth's Theological Relationship with John Calvin, S. Chung (Peter Lang, 2002)  International Journal of Systematic Theology 6:1 (January 2004) 97-98.


Social Statement on Criminal Justice (Chicago: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 2013). Advisor.

Hearing the Cries: Faith and Criminal Justice (Chicago: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 2011). Editor and contributor.

Toward Compassionate, Just, and Wise Immigration Reform (Chicago: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 2010). Author.


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