Skip to main content

Joerg Rieger

Distinguished Professor of Theology
Cal Turner Chancellor’s Chair of Wesleyan Studies

Founding Director of the Wendland-Cook Program in Religion and Justice

Affiliate Faculty, Turner Family Center for Social Ventures, Owen Graduate School of Management

Joerg Rieger is the Cal Turner Chancellor’s Chair of Wesleyan Studies and Distinguished Professor of Theology. Previously he was the Wendland-Cook Endowed Professor of Constructive Theology at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University. He received an M.Div. from the Theologische Hochschule Reutlingen, Germany, a Th.M. from Duke Divinity School, and a Ph.D. in religion and ethics from Duke University.

For more than two decades he has worked to bring together theology and the struggles for justice and liberation that mark our age. His work addresses the relation of theology and public life, reflecting on the misuse of power in religion, politics, and economics. His main interest is in developments and movements that bring about change and in the positive contributions of religion and theology. His constructive work in theology draws on a wide range of historical and contemporary traditions, with a concern for manifestations of the divine in the pressures of everyday life.

Author and editor of 22 books and over 140 academic articles, his books include Jesus vs. Caesar: For People Tired of Serving the Wrong God (2018), No Religion but Social Religion: Liberating Wesleyan Theology (2018), Unified We are a Force: How Faith and Labor Can Overcome America’s Inequalities (with Rosemarie Henkel-Rieger, 2016), Faith on the Road: A Short Theology of Travel and Justice (2015), Occupy Religion: Theology of the Multitude (with Kwok Pui-lan, 2012), Grace under Pressure: Negotiating the Heart of the Methodist Traditions (2011), Globalization and Theology (2010), No Rising Tide: Theology, Economics, and the Future (2009), Christ and Empire: From Paul to Postcolonial Times (2007), and God and the Excluded: Visions and Blindspots in Contemporary Theology (2001). His books have been translated into Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, German, Korean, and Chinese.

Rieger is editor of the academic book series New Approaches to Religion and Power with Palgrave Macmillan Publishers and, together with Professor Kwok Pui-lan, he edits the academic book series Religion in the Modern World (Rowman and Littlefield).

Rieger has lectured throughout the United States as well as internationally, including presentations in Brazil, Argentina, Costa Rica, Mexico, South Africa, Zimbabwe, China, Thailand, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Slovakia, the Netherlands, Belgium, England, Russia, with scheduled presentations in India, Cambodia, and Israel. He is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church.