Faculty Biography for Bruce Rogers-Vaughn
The Divinity School, Vanderbilt University
Bruce Rogers-Vaughn served on the faculty of Vanderbilt Divinity School from 1998 until 2021, achieving the title and rank of Associate Professor of the Practice of Pastoral Theology and Counseling prior to his departure. He was recognized by students for his classroom presence and his ability to nurture classes into what he called “communities of inquiry.” While on the faculty, Bruce taught courses on death and dying, hope and despair, psychoanalytic theories of religion, contemporary psychotherapy and pastoral counseling, pastoral care and global capitalism, race and class, the critical assessment of masculinity, and pastoral care of persons with addictions and mental health disorders. As a Visiting Scholar, Bruce maintains his research and writing program, which feeds his calling as a public theologian. He continues to be available to the students, faculty, and program initiatives of the Divinity School for collaboration, consultation, and activism. To follow Bruce’s current work, consult his personal website.
Bruce has become known as an authority on the corrosive effects of contemporary capitalism (neoliberalism) on assumptions and practices regarding mental health, human suffering, relationships, the self, religion and spirituality, and the meaning and purpose of care. Having grown up in southern Appalachia in agrarian and working-class communities, he is concerned about what he sees as the dominance of “progressive neoliberalism” in academic theology and psychology, and among liberal religious congregations and mainstream media; as well as the “reactionary neoliberalism” of resurgent right-wing movements in both religion and politics. He is particularly attentive to the ongoing and inevitable entanglements between class conflict, white supremacy, and patriarchy. His current research focuses on how money is created in today’s global monetary system, and how this underpins increasing inequality of every kind, as well as harm to the entire spectrum of well-being, from the environment to individual psychology.
Bruce is the author of Caring for Souls in a Neoliberal Age. Aside from writing for scholarly journals and books, he has contributed to popular web outlets such as Radical Discipleship and The Bias Magazine, and has been interviewed on podcasts for Homebrewed Christianity and for It’s Not Just In Your Head. He is also active in The Alliance for Just Money, a U.S. affiliate of the International Movement for Monetary Reform.
A psychotherapy member of the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE), Bruce holds a license in clinical pastoral therapy in the state of Tennessee, and is certified as a sexual addiction therapist (CSAT) by the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP). He maintains his clinical practice at The Pastoral Center for Healing, a non-profit service center, which he co-founded in 2007.