Paul Jones headshot

Paul Dafydd Jones

Associate Professor
Unit: College of Arts and Sciences
Department: Department of Religious Studies
Office location and address
Gibson Hall, S-233
1540 Jefferson Park Ave
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
Harvard University: A.M. and Ph.D.
Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg: DAAD Graduate Research Scholar, Wissenschaftlich-Theologisches Seminar
The Divinity School, Harvard University: M.Div.
Oxford University: B.A., M.A.
AS-RELI Patience: A Theological Exploration
Source: Ruhr University Bochum
July 01, 2015 – August 31, 2017
AS-RELI Templeton Award (fiit) for Theological Promise - Travel
Source: University of Heidelberg
May 01, 2010 – May 31, 2013
RELG 1500: Introductory Seminar in Religious Studies
Credits: 3
These seminars introduce first- and second-year students to the academic study of religion through a close study of a particular theme or topic. Students will engage with material from a variety of methodological perspectives, and they will learn how to critically analyze sources and communicate their findings. The seminars allow for intensive reading and discussion of material. Not more than two Intro Seminars may count towards the Major.
RELC 2360: Elements of Christian Thought
Credits: 3
This course considers the complex world of Christian thought, examining various perspectives on the nature of faith, the being and action of God, the identity of Jesus of Nazareth, the role of the Bible in theological reflection, and the relationship between Christian thought and social justice. Students will read various important works of Christian theology and become acquainted with a range of theological approaches and ideas.
RELC 3009: Protestant Theology
Credits: 3
This course uses the category of protest to understand western Christian thought in the modern period. We examine the rise and development of Protestant thought, considering how Christians conceptualized challenges to established ideas, norms, and institutional structures during and after the Reformation.
RELC 3077: Christian Theologies of Liberation
Credits: 3
In the context of Christian thought, "liberation theology" refers to scholarship that links reflection on God, Jesus of Nazareth, human beings, creation, the Holy Spirit, and ethics with normative analyses of race, sex and gender, economic injustice, poverty, sexuality, post-colonialism, and human rights. This course engages both landmark and cutting-edge texts in this field of study.
RELG 4900: Distinguished Major Thesis
Credits: 3
Students write a thesis, directed by a member of the department, focusing on a specific problem in the theoretical, historical or philosophical study of religion or a specific religious tradition. The thesis grows out of the project proposal and annotated bibliography developed in the Research Methods seminar. Prerequisite: Selection by faculty for Distinguished Major Program and completion of RELG 4800.
RELS 4995: Independent Research
Credits: 1–6
Systematic readings in a selected topic under detailed supervision. Prerequisite: Permission of departmental advisor and instructor.
RELC 5445: The Atonement in Christian Thought
Credits: 3
This course engages landmark Christian statements about atonement. For about two-thirds of the semester, we read classic texts by Anselm of Canterbury, Julian of Norwich, Martin Luther, G. W. F. Hegel, and others. In the remaining third of the course we consider contemporary statements, with an especial focus on liberationist perspectives that examine the possible connections between Christian doctrines, violence, and discrimination. Prerequisite: The course is open to graduate students in Religious Studies and undergraduates who have taken at least three academic classes on Christian thought at the university/college level.
RELC 5559: New Course in Christianity
Credits: 1–4
This course provides the opportunity to offer a new topic in the subject of Christianity
RELG 5805: Hegel, Materialism, & Theology
Credits: 3
A study of key texts by G. W. F. Hegel and their impact on philosophical, theological, ethical, and religious thought in the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries. Topics considered include philosophical method, the relationship between philosophy and theology, the meaning of Spirit, dialectical materialism, critical theory, and key topics in Christian theology (God, Christology, pneumatology, etc.).
RELC 5970: Schleiermacher and Tillich: Theology and Culture
Credits: 3
A comparative study of key works by F. D. E. Schleiermacher and Paul Tillich, two of the most important Protestant thinkers of the last two hundred years. The course attends particularly to both authors' attitudes to the category of "religion," the nature and meaning of cultural production, and the vexed category of "experience." It also engages both authors' perspectives on central issues in the fields of Christian thought and religious ethics.
RELC 5980: The Theology of Karl Barth
Credits: 3
A semester-long engagement with the writings of the most important Protestant theologian in the twentieth century. While we will read some of Barth's earlier work, our main focus will be the *Church Dogmatics*.
RELG 7460: Religion, Theory, Theology, and Modernity
Credits: 3
This interdisciplinary class acquaints graduate students with landmark texts that consider the place, significance, and purpose of religion in late modernity. Focusing on works written over the last few decades, it draws on multiple genres of study: philosophy, anthropology, social science, religious studies, and theological inquiry.
RELC 7515: Themes and Topics in Christian Thought
Credits: 3
An advanced graduate class, run tutorial-style, which will acquaint graduate students with core texts, themes, and thinkers in Christian thought.
RELS 8500: Topics for Supervised Study and Research
Credits: 1–6
This topical course provides Master's and Doctoral students in Religious Studies an opportunity for advanced coursework in selected, established areas of the department's curriculum.
RELC 8731: Tutorial in The Theology of Karl Barth
Credits: 3
In this tutorial, we will examine works by Karl Barth, arguably the most important European Protestant theologian of the twentieth century. In addition to considering occasional works, we will read large portions of the Church Dogmatics. We will engage major doctrinal themes -- revelation, the Trinity, Christology, pneumatology, theological anthropology and ethics, ecclesiology, Christian life, -- and a range of philosophical and political issue
RELC 8737: Creation and Providence Tutorial
Credits: 3
This tutorial explores Christian statements regarding the origin of the world and the relationship that God has with the world and its creatures. Topics include the doctrine of creation from nothing, divine action, the nature of human and nonhuman beings, sex and gender, problem of evil, and the relationship between Christian theology, philosophy, scientific inquiry, and critical theory.
RELC 8745: Queer Perspectives in African American Theology and Religion
Credits: 3
This tutorial critically engages literature in the fields of African American religion, Christian theology, and Black queer studies. It considers constructions of sexuality, gender, and normativity in African American Christian communities in light of cutting-edge theological works, while also paying close attention to the concrete lives of the marginalized.
RELS 8960: Thesis Research
Credits: 3
Research on problems leading to a master's thesis.
RELS 8998: Non-Topical Research, Preparation for Research
Credits: 1–12
For master's research, taken before a thesis director has been selected.
RELS 8999: Non-Topical Research
Credits: 1–12
For master's thesis, taken under the supervision of a thesis director.
RELS 9998: Non-Topical Research, Preparation for Doctoral Research
Credits: 1–12
For doctoral research, taken before a dissertation director has been selected.
RELS 9999: Non-Topical Research
Credits: 1–12
For doctoral dissertation, taken under the supervision of a dissertation director.
  • Co-Director, Luce Project on Religion and its Publics
  • Early Career Scholar, The Enhancing Life Project (John Templeton Foundation/The University of Chicago/Ruhr Universität Bochum). See
  • Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, Residential Fellow (Spring 2016)
  • John Casteen III Fellowship in Ethics
  • The John Templeton Award for Theological Promise
  • Mead Honored Faculty
  • Residential Member of the Center of Theological Inquiry, Princeton, New Jersey (Spring 2010)