|Chair, Department of Religion
Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Distinguished Research Professor
Richard L. Rubenstein Professor of Religion
Bristol Distinguished Professor of Ethics
Departmental Area: Religion, Ethics, and Philosophy
Address: Department of Religion
John Kelsay (Ph.D. '85, University of Virginia, Ethics) focuses on religious ethics, particularly in relation to the Islamic and Christian traditions. His current work deals with religion and politics. Professor Kelsay serves as editor of Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal, as well as Director of FSU’s Center for Humanities and Society.
- Comparative Religious Ethics
- Political Ethics
- Religion and War
- Arguing the Just War in Islam (Harvard, 2007)
- Islam and War: A Study in Comparative Ethics (Westminster/John Knox, 1993)
- Just War and Jihad (co-edited; Greenwood Press, 1991)
- Human Rights and the Conflict of Cultures (co-authored; University of South Carolina, 1988)
- “Islamist Movements and Shari`a Reasoning” in Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions 10/2 (July 2009): 121-134.
- “Response” to critiques of Arguing the Just War in Islam by Davis, Ilesanmi, Johnson, Oh, and Tibi in Journal of Church and State 53/1 (2011): 73-83.
Current Research Projects
- A book currently entitled The Just War Idea: Historical and Comparative Perspectives
- Articles on doctrines of predestination and their political implications
- Religious Ethics
- Christian and Islamic Political Thought
REL3170 Religious Ethics
This introduction to the study of religious ethics meets the Gordon Rule requirement, the liberal studies area IV requirement and the multicultural x requirement. Students will examine the moral problems raised by issues such as deception, capital punishment, war, the environment, and human sexuality in the context of religious views about love, duty, good, and evil. They will undertake this examination through close readings of texts describing views of different religious traditions including Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and Islam. They will also develop and fine-tune their writing skills by completing two 1500 word papers.
REL4491/RLG5497 Sem Religious Thought: Muslim Theology
Readings and discussion of major authors, themes, and developments in classical and modern Muslim (especially Sunni) religious thought. A particular interest will be the relationship between interpretations of doctrine and judgments about politics.