Mark Jordan, Prominent Scholar of Ethics, Gender Studies, and Theology, to Return to HDS

December 11, 2013
Mark Jordan, Prominent Scholar of Ethics, Gender Studies, and Theology, to Return to HDS
Mark D. Jordan / Photo: Justin Knight

Mark D. Jordan, a pioneer in sexual ethics and a wide-ranging scholar of the history of Christianity, theology, and gender studies, has been named the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Christian Thought at Harvard Divinity School, with a joint appointment in the Committee on Women, Gender, and Sexuality in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, effective July 1, 2014.

"I am delighted to be returning to HDS," Jordan said. "I've missed lively conversations with students and colleagues there across disciplines, but also the innumerable opportunities for engaging larger publics. The school to which I return looks to me even more promising than the school I left. I sense fuller integration within the whole university, and I hear sharper articulations of why the study of religion must share in the world’s great deliberations."

A member of the HDS faculty from 2009 to 2012, Jordan is currently the Reverend Priscilla Wood Neaves Distinguished Professor of Religion and Politics at Washington University in St. Louis.

Jordan has a strong background in medieval theology and textual studies. For over the last two decades, he has focused on the field of sexual ethics, producing books that are widely regarded to have opened important new avenues of discourse, especially in regard to homosexuality and to ethical reflections on marriage.

"Mark Jordan is a remarkably prolific, wide-ranging, and accomplished scholar," said HDS Dean David N. Hempton. "He is uniquely suited to help HDS enhance our offerings in the history of Christian thought, ethics, the study of religion, gender, and sexuality, and theology. He has already made huge contributions to the life of the School from his previous appointment and through his continued advising of doctoral students, and we are delighted to welcome back such a gifted and dedicated scholar, teacher, and colleague."

Covering an expansive array of subjects and disciplines, Jordan's books include: The Ethics of Sex (Blackwell 2001), Telling Truths in Church (Beacon 2002), Rewritten Theology: Aquinas After His Readers (Blackwell 2005), Blessing Same-Sex Unions (Chicago 2005), and Authorizing Marriage? Canon, Tradition, and Critique in the Blessing of Same-Sex Unions (Princeton, 2006).

His most recent book, Recruiting Young Love: How Christians Talk about Homosexuality (Chicago 2011), received a 2012 nonfiction book award from the Publishing Triangle. He recently completed Convulsing Bodies: Religion and Resistance in Foucault, forthcoming from Stanford University Press. His next book project is titled "Teaching Bodies: Traditions of Moral Formation in Thomas Aquinas."

In addition to his books, Jordan has published nearly 100 articles and essays in both online and print publications.

Jordan is the recipient of a number of grants and fellowships, including the John S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, a Fulbright-Hays grant (Spain), and a Henry Luce III Fellowship in Theology.

"We are thrilled that Mark Jordan will be returning to HDS," said Amy Hollywood, Monrad Professor of Christian Studies at HDS and chair of the faculty search committee. "His contributions to theology, ethics, and LGBT studies in religion are extraordinary. Students and faculty loved having him here and can't wait for his return."

—by Jonathan Beasley