The Political Theology Network is continuing its transition from the “start-up” phase, supported by a pair of Henry Luce Foundation grants, to maturity. We now have more than 1400 members, and we have just completed our first leadership transition. A Nominating Committee consisting of Jeremy Posadas, Ted Smith, and Heather Ohaneson are guiding PTN in the process, as one Executive Committee member cycled off, and the membership nominated two new Executive Committee members.
We are grateful to David True for his two years of service of the Executive Committee and wish him well in his future endeavors. David has been visioning and organizing around PTN since its earliest days, and his work has been invaluable in shaping PTN into what it is today.
We are also grateful to two PTN members for their willingness to join the Executive Committee:
Wonhee Anne Joh is Harry R. Kendall Professor of Christian Theology and Postcolonial Studies at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, just outside Chicago, where she serves as the faculty director of the Center for Asian / Asian American Ministry. Dr. Joh received her M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary and her Ph.D. from Drew University. Her research interests include empire and post/decolonial studies, militarism, carcerality, trauma studies, and constructive theology. She has been deeply involved with numerous mentoring initiatives and editorial boards. Dr. Joh is the author of Heart of the Cross: A Postcolonial Christology (2006) and is currently writing Trauma, Affect, and Race: Postcolonial Theology of Hope. Among her co-edited books are Feminist Praxis Against US Militarism and Critical Theology Against US Militarism in Asia.
Tommy Lynch is Reader in Political Theology at the University of Chichester (UK). His research is at the intersection of continental philosophy, political theory, and political theology. His first book was Apocalyptic Political Theology: Hegel, Taubes, and Malabou, and his current research explores apocalyptic thinking as a resource for addressing contemporary global crises (economic, ecological, social, and political). His recent articles include “Hegel, Islam, and Liberalism: Religion and the Shape of World History” and “Social Construction and Social Critique: Haslanger, Race, and the Study of Religion.” Dr. Lynch received his PhD in Theology and Religion from Durham University. He recently held a fellowship at the University of Heidelberg’s Centre for Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic Studies for a project on apocalyptic imaginaries and the pandemic.
Dr. Joh and Dr. Lynch join Dr. Heather Ohaneson, Dr. Brandy Daniels, and Dr. Lucia Hulsether on PTN’s Executive Committee. Each will coordinate a portfolio of activities:
Deepening (virtual discussion groups and workshops): Ohaneson
Broadening (web streams, podcast, social media): Daniels
Developing (dissertation, post-dissertation, mentoring): Joh
Member Engagement and Outreach: Lynch
PTN is housed at Villanova University’s Center for Political Theology. Vincent Lloyd serves as PTN’s Staff Director, working to match organizational needs with staff capacity. We always welcome new member-led activities. If you are interested in discussing an idea for an activity, please reach out to the PTN leadership team, or to the organization: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is a description of PTN’s structure, from the organization’s handbook:
PTN is an organization whose activities are led by its members, guided by elected leaders and senior advisors, supported by staff.
Membership in PTN is open to all who are aligned with PTN’s values. We welcome scholars, students, activists, clergy, community leaders, and the wider public to become PTN members. While PTN suggests payment of dues on a sliding scale, payment is not required for membership. We encourage members to participate in PTN activities and to initiate new activities. PTN activities are led by member coordinators.
Activity Coordinators are PTN members who volunteer to lead an activity under the umbrella of the Network. Activity coordinators work with the PTN executive committee and staff to ensure activities have the resources they need and are connected with the constellation of activities that constitutes PTN.
Elected Leaders of PTN consist of the PTN executive committee. Elections are held each year at or around the time of the annual PTN conference. Members of the executive committee serve two year terms, renewable once. The executive committee as a group decides on the overall direction of the organization, assesses activities, sets budgets, and determines strategic priorities. Each member of the executive committee serves as a resource for a set of projects. While staff work with activities on a day-to-day basis, executive committee members are resources for activity coordinators for visioning and high-level problem solving.
Senior Advisors are appointed for three year terms. Seasoned scholars, activists, and community leaders, these individuals meet with the executive committee annually. One senior advisor serves on the nominating committee each year.
The Nominating Committee consists of one senior advisor, one member of the executive committee (whose term is not expiring), and one at large PTN member. The nominating committee drafts the call for nominations to the executive committee each fall, assesses nominations each winter, and manages elections each spring, at or around the time of the annual PTN meeting.
Staff support the activities of PTN and are caretakers of PTN’s resources, implementing the executive committee’s vision on a day-to-day basis. Staff provide resources to the activity coordinators and share information about activities with PTN’s membership. The staff director sits ex officio on the executive committee.