Eric G. Flett, Ph.D.
M.A. Fuller Theological Seminary
Ph.D. King's College, University of London
At Eastern Since 2004
Dr. Flett has been teaching in the Department of Theology at Eastern since 2004. A Seattle native, he taught at Seattle Pacific University for two years before coming to Eastern. His interests in the intersection of theology and culture arise out of a deep commitment to Trinitarian theology and interdisciplinary work, and from cross-cultural experiences in Germany, Canada, India, Tunisia, England, Brasil, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. His book, Persons, Powers, and Pluralities: Toward a Trinitarian Theology of Culture (Pickwick, 2011), is the result of doctoral work conducted at the University of London. His interests in interdisciplinary theological reflection, contextual theology, and Caribbean theology can be found in articles such as "Engaging the Religiously-Committed Other: Anthropologists and Theologians in Dialogue (Current Anthropology, 2014), "Dingolayin': Theological Notes for a Caribbean Contextual Theology" (In A Kairos Moment for Caribbean Theology (Pickwick, 2013), and "Exploring an Interdisciplinary Theology of Culture" (In On Knowing Humanity: Insights from Theology for Anthropology, Routledge, forthcoming). He delivered the Zenas Gerig Memorial Lecture at Jamaica Theological Seminary (2015), and is presently working on “Son of the Father, Image of God, Messiah of the Jews, Sender of the Spirit: A Christology for Social Engagement” based upon a recent travel seminar to Brasil with the Nagel Institute for the Study of World Christianity.
Dr. Flett teaches in the M.A. in Theological and Cultural Anthropology program at Eastern, a program that emerged out of an inter-disciplinary research project called On Knowing Humanity funded by The John Templeton Foundation. He also teaches a course called Theology of Poverty to student cohorts in Eastern's MBA in Economic Development and MA in International Development.
Dr. Flett thinks jazz is a superior art form and that all good theology is rooted in improvisation. He lives in Newtown Square with his wife JoAnn (who directs Eastern's MBA in Economic Development, and prefers calypso over jazz), and his two sons Miles and Elliot. They are members of Broad Street Ministry on the Avenue of the Arts in Philadelphia.
Theology of Culture, Theology of Poverty, Global Christianity, Theological Thinking, Jesus Christ, The Triune Spirit, On Being Human, Karl Barth, Introduction to Faith, Reason, and Justice
Why I Teach at Eastern
Eastern’s values are my own: a commitment to the Great Tradition of the Christian Church, to the developing human person, and to God’s project of creation as that is mediated through cultural activity that promotes justice, shalom and flourishing. Eastern allows me a role in this mission by keeping me in the classroom, where I encounter the divine image in the creativity, energy, and questions of my students, and am allowed a small role in shaping their engagement with God and God’s world. I can’t think of another place that would allow me the same context for doing that particular kind of theological improvisation.
Theology of culture, social ethics, contextual theology, the church in the Caribbean, theology and development
- Persons, Powers, and Pluralities: Toward a Trinitarian Theology of Culture. Princeton Theological Monographs Series. (Pickwick Publications, 2011).
- “Engaging the Religiously-Committed Other: Anthropologists and Theologians in Dialog.” Article co-written with E. Meneses, L. Backues, D. Bronkema, and B. Hartley. Current Anthropology (Spring 2014).
- “Dingolayin’: Theological Notes for a Contextual Caribbean Theology.” Book chapter in A Kairos Moment for Caribbean Theology: Ecumenical Voices in Dialogue, edited by J. Richard Middleton and Garnett Roper. Pickwick Publications, 2013.
- “Exploring an Interdisciplinary Theology of Culture.” Cultural Encounters 8:2 (2013), 47-58.
- “Culture as a Social Coefficient: Toward a Trinitarian Theology of Culture.” Cultural Encounters 5:1 (2009), 53-74.
- “Priests of Creation, Mediators of Order: The Human Person as a Cultural Being in Thomas F. Torrance’s Theological Anthropology.” Scottish Journal of Theology 58:2 (2005), 1-23.