Union Theological Seminary Academics


Christopher J. Ashley

Chris Ashley

Systematic Theology
Theology Consortium


3041 Broadway
New York, NY 10027



M.Div, Harvard Divinity School, 2010
Thesis: "Inverted Virtue: Theological Reflections on Edwardian Homosexuals", supervised by Mark Jordan

B.A., Literature, Yale University, 2005
Thesis: "Being Here: Hermeneutics as Divine Intervention in a South African Bible Study", supervised by Jeremy Hultin


Christopher J. Ashley is a Ph.D candidate in Systematic Theology. He is writing a dissertation entitled “Para-Marital Blessing as Biblical, Sacramental, and Political Practice”. The project seeks to understand the relationship between church marriages and the blessing ceremonies sometimes offered in their stead. It draws on sources including the Hebrew Bible’s blessing narratives (Genesis and Psalms); church legislation with regard to same-sex couples; sociological data on poor and elderly women’s marriage choices; the political theologies of Richard Hooker and Karl Barth; and the recent protological and pneumatological work of Magdalene Frettlöh, Sarah Coakley, and Eugene Rogers. The project is supervised by Christopher Morse, Serene Jones, and Mark Jordan (Harvard Divinity School).

Among Chris’s other research interests are the reconciliation of liberation and postliberal theological method; pop-cultural angelology; queer, Black, and womanist theologies; global Anglican studies; and the application of all of the above to liturgics and homiletics.

In private life, Chris practices choral singing, aikido, and baseball and soccer fandom. He is a member of St Michael’s Church in Manhattan.



"Liberation and Postliberalism.” Union Seminary Quarterly Review, v. 64, no. 2-3 (October 2013), pp. 118-123.

Book Chapters

"Diversity and Episcopal Governance in Recent Anglican Constitutions." In The Open Body: Essays in Anglican Ecclesiology, ed. Charles M. Stang and Zachary Guiliano (New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2012), pp. 63-78.

"Mission @ The Crossing: Where Real Church Meets Real Life."  With E. Marie Harkey, Stephanie Spellers, and Kirsten Wesselhoeft.  In Ancient Faith, Future Mission: Fresh Expressions in the Sacramental Traditions, ed. Steven Croft, Ian Mobsby, and Stephanie Spellers (New York: Seabury Books, 2010), pp. 144-156.

"Liberation and Postliberalism." Presented at the USQR Graduate Students' Conference, "The Future of Liberation Theology", Union Theological Seminary (February 2012).

"Practices of Prophecy and Discernment in Angels in America." Presented at the American Academy of Religion, Gay Men and Religion group (November 2011).

"Diversity and Episcopal Governance in Recent Anglican Constitutions." Presented at the New England Anglican Studies Conference, Harvard Divinity School (April 2011).

"Social and Theological Power in Reinhold Niebuhr and Saul Alinsky." Presented at the Mid-Atlantic Region/New England-Maritimes regional conference of the American Academy of Religion, Contemporary Theology section (March 2011).

“The Hand of God: Secular and Mormon Themes in Battlestar Galactica (1978 and 2004).” Presented at the American Academy of Religion, multi-sponsored session (November 2014).

“Sarah Coakley’s Apophasis and her Feminism: Their Limits and Extent.” Presented at Theology Graduate Students Association Conference, “The Limits of the Thinkable”, Fordham University (February 2014).

“Inverted Virtue: Havelock Ellis' Theology of Sexual Boundaries.” Presented at Queer Christianities 2, The New School (May 2013).


Journey of Transformation, Seton Hall University (Fall 2012, Fall 2013)

Teaching Fellow

Patterns of Preaching (Fall 2012, 2014) with Barbara K. Lundblad
Foundations in Christian Theology II (Spring 2012, Spring 2013) with Christopher L. Morse
Preaching for Social Transformation (Fall 2011, Spring 2013) with Barbara K. Lundblad
God and the Other in Relational Theologies (Fall 2011) with John J. Thatamanil
LGBTQ Social Ethics (Spring 2011) with Kelby Harrison
Foundations in Christian Theology II (Spring 2014) with John J. Thatamanil

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