Chair of the Department of Justice and Peace Studies; Professor of Theology
Mail # JRC 153
Gerald W. Schlabach is Professor of Theology and Chair of the Department of Justice and Peace Studies at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. He holds a Ph.D. in Theology and Ethics from the University of Notre Dame and an M.A. in Theological Studies from the Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary. During much of the 1980s Professor Schlabach worked with Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) in Nicaragua and Honduras on church-related peace and justice assignments. Upon returning to the U.S. he wrote two books based partly on these experiences -- And Who Is My Neighbor?: Poverty, Privilege and the Gospel of Christ (Herald Press, 1990) and To Bless All Peoples: Serving with Abraham and Jesus (Herald Press, 1991). Together with Philip McManus he also edited Relentless Persistence: Nonviolent Action in Latin America (New Society Publishers, 1991), and contributed two chapters to that volume.
While Professor Schlabach's interests continue to range widely in issues of peacemaking, social justice, globalization, and the integrity of traditional communities, a unifying theme in his work is his concern to link Christian social ethics with ecclesiology and missiology. His critical appropriation of Augustinian thought is reflected in his book, For the Joy Set Before Us: Augustine and Self-Denying Love (University of Notre Dame Press, 2001), along with articles in Augustinian Studies, the Journal of Religious Ethics, and the Journal of Early Christian Studies. Other articles speaking to contemporary ethical issues while drawing on ancient monastic and liturgical traditions have appeared in the Journal of Peace and Justice Studies and the American Benedictine Review. Together with Duane Friesen, he co-edited At Peace and Unafraid: Public Order, Security, and the Wisdom of the Cross (Herald Press, 2006). He is lead author and editor of Just Policing, Not War: An Alternative Response to World Violence (Liturgical Press, 2007). His most recent book is Unlearning Protestantism: Sustaining Christian Community in an Unstable Age (Brazos Press, 2010).
Nurtured in the Mennonite tradition, Professor Schlabach became a Benedictine oblate in 1997 in part to embody his growing commitment to Catholic Christianity. In 1999 he helped to convene a group of Mennonites and Roman Catholics who are indebted to, interested in, or exploring one another's traditions. Now called Bridgefolk (http://www.bridgefolk.net), the movement includes sacramentally-minded Mennonites and peace-minded Roman Catholics who come together to celebrate each other's traditions, explore each other's practices, and honor each other's contribution to the mission of Christ's Church. Schlabach has also moderated the Mennonite-Catholic Theological Colloquium, and has served as a member-at-large on the Peace Committee of Mennonite Central Committee.
At Pentecost 2004 he was received into the Roman Catholic Church. Professor Schlabach and his wife Joetta are the parents of two sons, Gabriel and Jacob. He is a member of St. Peter Claver Catholic Church in St. Paul, MN, and maintains associate membership at Faith Mennonite Church in Minneapolis.
A full curriculum vitae is available at: http://personal.stthomas.edu/gwschlabach/cv.htm