Natalie Carnes, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
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Assistant Professor of Theology

  • Duke University, Ph.D. (Christian Theological Studies)
  • University of Chicago, M.A. (Religion)
  • Harvard University, A.B. (Comparative Religious Studies)

Natalie is a systematic theologian who reflects on traditional doctrinal loci through slightly less traditional themes. Her first book Beauty: A Theological Engagement with Gregory of Nyssa attends to the arc of the fourth-century bishop’s theology to describe what beauty is, how we come to perceive it, and what relationship it has to poverty and suffering. She received a 2015-16 sabbatical grant from The Louisville Institute to finish a book tentatively titled Image and Presence: A Christological Reflection on Iconoclasm and Iconophilia. In the midst of these projects, she has been writing and reflecting on theological knowledge, religious authority, theological anthropology, and childhood.

Academic Interests and Research:

Systematic theology, Christology, theological anthropology, theological knowledge, theological aesthetics, images, iconoclasms, children, childhood, feminist theology, patristic theology

Select Publications:

Beauty: A Theological Engagement with Gregory of Nyssa. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2014.

“Image Anxiety, Image Love: Christianity’s Ambivalent Platonic Heritage.” Religions. Special issue on Platonism and Christianity. J. Warren Smith, ed. Forthcoming.

“Embracing Beauty in World of Affliction.” Republics of Letters: A Journal for the Study of Knowledge, Politics, and the Arts. Forum on Beauty and Form. Thomas Pfau and Vivasvan Soni, eds. Forthcoming.

“'That Cross’s Children Which Our Crosses Are': Imitatio Christi, Imitatio Crucis.” Scottish Journal of Theology 69:1 (January 2016): 63-80.

"Receiving the Fragments of Balthasar: Critique and Community in Christian Theology." Pro Ecclesia 24:4 (Fall 2015): 318-336.

“We in Our Turmoil: Theological Anthropology Through Maria Montessori and the Lives of Children.” Journal of Religion 95:3 (July 2015): 318-336.

“A Reconsideration of Religious Authority in Christian Theology.” The Heythrop Journal 55:3 (May 2014): 467-480.

"Prelude to a Theology of Iconoclasm: Making, Breaking, Loving, and Hating Images." LOGOS: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture 16:2 (Spring 2013): 15-32.

"Possession and Dispossession: Wittgenstein, Cavell, and Gregory of Nyssa for Life Amidst Skepticism." Modern Theology 29:1 (January 2013): 104-123.

"The Mysteries of Our Existence: Estrangement and Theatricality." Modern Theology 28:3 (July 2012): 402-22.

Courses Taught at Baylor:
  • REL 1350 Introduction to Christian Heritage
  • REL 3351 Introduction to Theology
  • REL 3397 Gender, Feminism, and  Theology
  • REL 4300 Theological Language, Theological Silence
  • REL 4300 Images and Idols
  • REL 4355 Salvation
  • REL 5363 Christology
View Dr. Carnes' CV here.