Miroslav Volf

Miroslav Volf

Miroslav Volf Biography & Books

Speaker Biography:

Miroslav Volf is “one of the most celebrated theologians of our day” (Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams). He is Founder and Director of Yale Center for Faith and Culture and Henry B. Wright Professor of Theology at Yale University Divinity School. He studied philosophy and theology in his native Croatia and United States, and earned doctoral and post-doctoral degrees (with highest honors) from the University of Tübingen, Germany.

His book EXCLUSION AND EMBRACE  (1996) was a winner of the prestigious Grawemeyer Award in Religion and Christianity Today named it one of the 100 most important religious books of the 20th century. He was a member of the Global Agenda Council of WEF on Faith and Values and for three years taught a course on Faith and Globalization with Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Further Reading:





This insightful exploration of how Christians may faithfully engage today's political and pluralistic culture provides accessible, wise guidance for people of all faiths.

-Publishers Weekly on A PUBLIC FAITH - starred review

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[Volf] is one of the most well-respected modern theologians to address the issue of religion and politics in a fairly systematic way. His contribution in A PUBLIC FAITH is highly original. . . . I found the book learned, interesting, and creative. It is written accessibly and will interest laypersons and scholars alike. The book deserves a wide audience and is one that will affect its readers well after they have turned the final page.

-Hunter Baker for Christianity Today - 5 star review

An indispensable guide for voices of faith within the arena of public discourse. A PUBLIC FAITH is arguably the most important book on the topic since H. Richard Niebuhr's Christ and Culture.

-Randall Balmer, Columbia University

With a conversational tone and the backing of both sacred texts, the author argues in ALLAH: A Christian Response that while beliefs about God may differ, the object of worship for both religions is the same (or at least the objects are "sufficiently similar"). Such "claims are spicy," but come after careful consideration. Volf provides a thorough examination of theology to show the complexity of what seems a simple question of terminology. Perhaps the most stirring and involved debate concerns the comparison of the Christian Trinity to Allah. On such a heated topic, readers will appreciate Volf's sense of humor and optimism...his timely call for Christian love toward Muslims should at least lead to further dialogue, if not increased social cooperation. This is an important book.

-Publishers Weekly

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Quotes from Speaker:

I read the Bible as a sacred text and a witness to Jesus Christ; a site of God’s self-revelation; a text from the past through which God addresses all humanity and each human being today; a text that has an overarching unity yet is internally teeming with rich diversity; a text that encodes meanings and refracts them in multiple ways; a text we should approach with trust and critical judgment as well as engage with receptivity and imagination; a text that defines Christian identity yet speaks to people beyond the boundaries of Christian communities. from the introduction to CAPTIVE TO THE WORD OF GOD


  • A PUBLIC FAITH: How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good (Brazos Press, 2011)
  • ALLAH: A Christian Response (HarperOne, 2011)
  • CAPTIVE TO THE WORD OF GOD: Engaging the Scriptures for Contemporary Theological Reflection (Eerdmans, 2010)
  • A COMMON WORD: Muslims and Christians on Loving God and Neighbor (Eerdmans, 2009)
  • AGAINST THE TIDE: Love in a Time of Petty Dreams and Persisting Enmities (Eerdmans, 2009)
  • THE END OF MEMORY: Remembering Rightly in a Violent World (Eerdmans, 2006)
  • FREE OF CHARGE: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace (Zondervan, 2005)
  • A PASSION FOR GOD'S REIGN: Theology, Christian Learning, and the Christian Self, ed. (Eerdmans, 1998)
  • AFTER OUR LIKENESS: The Church as the Image of the Trinity (Eerdmans, 1998)
  • A SPACIOUS HEART: Essays on Identity and Belonging, co-author (Trinity Press, 1997)
  • EXCLUSION AND EMBRACE: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation (Abingdon, 1996)
  • THE FUTURE OF THEOLOGY: Essays in Honor of Jürgen Moltmann, co-ed. (Eerdmans, 1996)
  • GERECHTIGKEIT, GEIST UND SCHÖPFUNG: Die Oxford-Erklärung zur Frage von Glaube und Wirtschaft, co-ed. (Brockhaus Verlog, 1992)
  • WORK IN THE SPIRIT: Toward a Theology of Work (Oxford University Press, 1991)
  • Zukunft der Arbeit -- Arbeit der Zukunft. Der Arbeitsbegriff bei Karl Marx und seine theologische Wertung (1988)
  • THE SUN IS NOT AFRAID OF THE DARKNESS: Theological Meditations on the Poetry of Aleksa Santic (Osijek: Izvori, 1986)


Winner of the Grawemeyer Award in Religion for EXCLUSION AND EMBRACE

EXCLUSION AND EMBRACE was chosen as one of the 100 most important religious books of the 20th century by Christianity Today

Speaking Topics:

  • The Meaning of Life
  • The Place of the Humanities In Contemporary Universities
  • Religion In Contemporary Life
  • Relations Among Religions (Especially Islam)
  • Religions and Globalization

Speaking History: (partial)

  • "Vocation and Life Worth Living", Georgetown College
  • "Religions and Globalization," 3 public lectures at University of Melbourne
  • "Forgiveness," Christ Church Cathedral, Huston
  • "The Meaning of Life," Dartmouth College
  • "Religion and Violence," Concillium Board conference, Sarajevo
  • "Exclusion and Embrace," National Library, Bucharest, Romania
  • "Religion in Modern World," Yale World Fellows lecture, Yale University
  • "Religions, State, and Economy," and "Religions and the Freedom of Religion," Cunningham Lectures, Edinburgh University
  • "Do Muslims and Christians Believe in the Same God," Edinburgh University
  • "Christian Faith, Political Engagement, and Globalization," Micha Challenge at United Nations