Cover art for podcast Public Theologians

Public Theologians

75 EpisodesProduced by Casey HobbsWebsite

Christian theology animates leftist political action. A conversation among socialists, the Christian Left, fellow travelers and beloved comrades.

75 Episodes | 2020 - 2022

rebroadcast: Daniel K Williams - Abortion, Right, Left and the Politics of the Cross

May 5th, 2022


Dr. Daniel Williams, Professor of History at the University of West Georgia and author of several books including Defenders of the Unborn: The …

Kathryn Gin Lum - Heathen - Religion and Race in American History

April 11th, 2022


Dr. Kathryn Gin Lum discusses her forthcoming book from Harvard University Press Heathen - Religion and Race in American History. The conversation includes not only historical context of Christianity's heightened focus …

Audrey Clare Farley - Evangelical Eugenics

March 21st, 2022


Audrey Clare Farley joins the conversation to talk about Evangelicals and their longstanding connection to something called "positive eugenics" …

Fran Quigley - Religious Socialism: the time is right

March 14th, 2022


Fran Quigley, the author of Religious Socialism: Faith in Action for a Better World (Orbis Books) joins the conversation to discuss the long history of socialism in religious communities. In this conversation we focus …

Charisse Burden-Stelly and Erica Caines - Ukraine and Russia and NATO's war of aggression

March 6th, 2022


Holy shit. 

Russia has invaded Ukraine. The borders of a sovereign nation (ahem. in Europe) have been compromised for the first time since WWII. Is …

Biko Mandela Gray - Malcolm X's Theology

February 21st, 2022


On February 21, 1965, Malcolm X was assassinated at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem. In the decades that have followed his legacy as a leader, an …

Freddie deBoer - Leftists have work to do

February 7th, 2022


Freddie deBoer, prolific writer, Marxist scholar and influential voice of the American left, sits down for a chat. Typically in political discourse …

Daniel Bessner - Leftist Perspectives on US Foreign Policy

January 24th, 2022


How can the Christian Left engage more fully with the broader US Left, particularly when it comes to foreign policy? What do the prophets have to say …

Kat Armas - Abuelita Faith

January 17th, 2022


Kat Armas joins the conversation to discuss her recently released book from Baker Publishing, Abuelita Faith. We talk about Liberation theology, …

Ryan Cagle - Jubilee House, building a rural leftist Alabama

January 3rd, 2022


Ryan Cagle, pastor, spiritual director and founding organizer of Jubilee House in Walker County, Alabama, joins Casey this week. Ryan tells us about mutual aid efforts deep in the rural South and what it means to build …

Phil Nellis - Sabbath, rest and slowing down (rebroadcast)

November 23rd, 2021


Rebroadcast of last year's Thanksgiving episode with Phil Nellis. We talk Abraham Heschel, Eugene Peterson, the necessity of tending to our souls, …

Samuel Perry and Andrew Whitehead - Taking America Back for God

November 17th, 2021


Dr.s Samuel Perry and Andrew Whitehead join the conversation to discuss their research on Christian nationalism. Is Christian nationalism synonymous with white Evangelicalism? What is the difference between civil …

Stolen Elections: Two Can Play this Game - From

November 11th, 2021


Casey reads from/promotes his substack post "Stolen elections: two can play this game."

Back to normal programming next week! 

Follow Casey's …

Kristy Nabhan-Warren - Meatpacking America 2

November 1st, 2021


Dr. Kristy Nabhan-Warren discusses her new book Meatpacking America in part two of our two-part series. This book deals with the decline of rural …

Kristy Nabhan-Warren - Meat Packing America Part 1

October 25th, 2021


Dr. Kristy Nabhan-Warren discusses her new book Meatpacking America in part one of our two-part series. This book deals with the decline of rural …

Robert P. Jones - White Too Long

October 18th, 2021


Dr. Robert P. Jones joins the podcast this week to discuss his book White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity. We discuss the overtly racist religious settings of 18th century Christianity …

Obery Hendricks - Political Docetism in the Leadup to the Iraq War

October 11th, 2021


Dr. Obery Hendricks Jr. joins Casey for a second episode. This time around we discuss the leadup to the War in Iraq, beginning in 2003. Public leaders of the evangelical church...didn't have much to say about it at the …

Biko Mandela Gray - Black Lives Matter in/of Religion

October 4th, 2021


Dr. Biko Mandela Gray, Assistant Professor of Religion, African American Religion and Women's and Gender Studies at Syracuse University joins us for the second part of our two-part conversation. This time around we …

Biko Mandela Gray - Unexamined Goodness

September 27th, 2021


Dr. Biko Mandela Gray, Assistant Professor of Religion, African American Religion and Women's and Gender Studies at Syracuse University joins the conversation to discuss his contribution on is essay discussing Toni …

Danté Stewart - Shoutin' in the Fire

September 20th, 2021


Danté Stewart joins the conversation this week to discuss his forthcoming book Shoutin' in the Fire: An American Epistle. We discuss his experience growing up as a young Black man in white evangelical spaces, what it …

Brian Stiltner - War on Afghanistan and How Christians Can Help Avoid the Next Immoral Invasion

September 8th, 2021


Dr. Brian Stiltner joins Casey to discuss the long-awaited end to the War in (or was it on) Afghanistan and how the outrage of 9/11 was manufactured into a willingness to exact revenge on an enemy that had almost …

Public Theologians Ain't Too Proud To Beg Giveaway!

September 1st, 2021


Ok, so you're looking for a way to help out Public Theologians Podcast and you'd like to score some swag? Well, here's your opportunity!

For every 5 …

Swift Justice - Protest for Solidarity with Kinetic Justice

August 25th, 2021


Action Alert! On Wednesday, September 1st 2021 there will be a protest outside the Montgomery statehouse to make a statement in solidarity with …

Anthea Butler - White Evangelical Racism

August 17th, 2021


Dr. Anthea Bulter joins the conversation to discuss her latest book White Evangelical Racism: The Politics of Morality in America. Our discussion …

Eric Hall - Putting People First

August 13th, 2021


Eric Hall is running for the District 9 City Council seat in Birmingham, AL. A minister, co-founder of BLM Birmingham and co-chair of Our Revolution …

Alyssa Aldape - Latina Fire and Why Simone Biles Should be Celebrated

July 30th, 2021


Alyssa Aldape, Casey's friend from way back, talks about her experience of being a Latina in leadership of predominantly white churches. The conversation includes immigration under Obama, Trump and Biden and what it …

Sheila Gregoire - The Great Sex Rescue

July 21st, 2021


Sheila Gregoire, firebrand marriage and sexuality author, researcher and blogger, discusses her latest book The Great Sex Rescue. Based on extensive surveys with 20,000 women the book explores the causes of the 47% …

Colleen Shaddox and Joanne Samuel Goldblum - Broke in America

July 13th, 2021


Joanne Samuel Goldblum and Colleen Shaddox, the authors of Broke in America (Ben Bella Books, 2021), join Casey for a discussion on their work, the …

Chris Nelson - Citizen Activist

July 7th, 2021


Chris Nelson joins Casey for a second time. Chris found out that a private mega-prison was set to be built right around the corner from his childhood home and he got busy hounding small-town Alabama council meetings,, …

Obery Hendricks - Christians Against Christianity

June 23rd, 2021


Dr. Obery Hendricks is on the podcast this week. How does Casey keep getting to talk to these AMAZING guests, you ask? Well, let's not overthink a good thing! In this episode we discuss Dr. Hendricks' forthcoming book,

Carolyn Foster - Reverence in All the Wrong Places

June 16th, 2021


The Reverend Deacon Carolyn Foster, co-chair of the Alabama chapter of the Poor People's campaign, educates us on Rev. Dr. William Barber's Third …

Mandy Smith - Unfettered: Imagining a Childlike Faith beyond the Baggage of Western Culture

June 2nd, 2021


Mandy Smith, author of the newly released Unfettered: Imagining a Childlike Faith beyond the Baggage of Western Culture, joins Casey to talk  about …

Daniel Walden - How to Stop Talking Theological Nonsense About the Transgender Community

May 20th, 2021


Dr. Daniel Walden returns to Public Theologians Podcast, this time to discuss his recent article in Commonweal Magazine, titled Gender, Sex and Other …

Kristin Kobes Du Mez - History as Gossip

May 12th, 2021


Dr. Kristin Kobes Du Mez, bestselling author of Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation (preorder …

Mason Mennenga - Process Theology

May 5th, 2021


This week Casey is joined by theologian/podcaster/youtuber Mason Mennenga to discuss Process Theology. In addition to taking a deep dive into the …

Oscar Romero's Final Sermon and the call for Justice

April 13th, 2021


In the wake of yet more violence at the hands of our state in the police killing of Duante Wright, just miles away from the Minneapolis courtroom …

Killian Noe - Creating a Place to Belong

April 5th, 2021


Killian Noe, Founding Director of Recovery Cafe in Seattle and the Recovery Cafe Network nationwide, joins the conversation this week. Killian tells …

Jason Kobielus - Organizing DSA for #BamazonUnion

March 31st, 2021


Casey talks with Jason, the co-chair of Birmingham Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) about our chapter's involvement with the #BamazonUnion …

Jo Luehmann - Decolonize your faith!

March 24th, 2021


Jo Luehmann is a force for good on social media and in real life. This week we chat with her about what it means to deconstruct, decolonize and …

Cancel Culture is a joke

March 16th, 2021


Jerran is back this week to discuss literally nobody's favorite topic...cancel culture. We're only going to talk about this once so listen up! We get …

Beth Allison Barr: The Making of Biblical Womanhood

March 8th, 2021


This week Casey interviews Dr. Beth Allison Barr on her forthcoming book, The Making of Biblical Womanhood (Brazos Press). This outstanding book is a …

Olivia Sonell - Working Class Christianity, Marxism, Socialism, Communism and More!

March 3rd, 2021


This week we talk Marxism, Communism, Socialism and Christianity with Olivia Sonell. Olivia writes at We also …

Who is a Theologian?

February 10th, 2021


A couple of brief updates on the local Amazon warehouse unionization efforts, and why this is of theological importance. Also a quick highlight of …

Kristyn Komarnicki - Oriented to Love

February 3rd, 2021


Kristyn Komarnicki is the Director of Dialogue and creator of Oriented to Love, a program with Christians for Social Action. Oriented to Love is an immersive program that creates space for LGBTQ+ Christians and faith …

Dietrich Bonhoeffer on Action, Words, Focus

January 26th, 2021


In 1932 Dietrich Bonhoeffer delivered a sermon in Berlin titled "The Things Above." Today Casey reads the text in its entirety. Listen to the way Bonhoeffer, speaking in a time of heightened fascist/authoritian/right …

The Prophetic Witness of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

January 18th, 2021


Jerran Hill is back this week to discuss Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s impact on basically everything. We'll focus our conversation on Dr. King's radical commitment to speaking the truth at all  costs, to his opposition …

Hannah Bowman - Restorative Justice and Abolition Theology

January 11th, 2021


Hannah Bowman joins Casey this week to discuss the theological underpinnings of prison abolition and alternatives to the current unjust and …

Micah Herskind - Abolition as a Theological Imperative

January 4th, 2021


If we are to take seriously the jubilee Jesus came to bring, how can we be content living in a police and prison state? This week's guest Micah …

Swift Justice - "We are Men" Free Alabama Movement

December 22nd, 2020


In this special episode we hear directly from Swift Justice, an incarcerated organizer with Free Alabama Movement. Free Alabama Movement is a grassroots organization founded by men incarcerated in Alabama that supports …

Lauren Sawyer - Christian Sexuality, Purity Culture and Capitalism

December 17th, 2020


Lauren Sawyer is a Ph.D. student in Christian Social Ethics at Drew Theological School. Her current research focuses on how women and LGBTQ folks …

News Brief: Biden builds his cabinet and Christian nationalists run amok

December 14th, 2020


Jerran and Casey run down a few news topics, from Joe Biden's cabinet picks and leaked conversation with civil rights leaders to Beth Moore calling …

Trey Medley- Critical Race Theory....Is it going to destroy Christianity? (haha no)

December 7th, 2020


Trey Medley joins Casey and Jerran this week to discuss Critical Race Theory and specifically the Evangelical (Southern Baptist Convention even more specifically) freak-out associated with this "worldly theory". We'll …

Chris Nelson and Morgan Duckett - Stop Building Prisons in Alabama

November 30th, 2020


Our conversation this week is with Alabama prison abolitionist activists Chris Nelson and Morgan Duckett. The state of Alabama is intending on …

Phil Nellis - Thanksgiving, Sabbath and Rest

November 24th, 2020


This week, in honor of Thanksgiving, we take a step back and talk with Phil Nellis about rest, sabbath-keeping, why Abraham Heschel should be read by …

Daniel Walden - Comprehending Right Wing Ideology

November 17th, 2020


Daniel Walden, our guest for this week, has been published in Current Affairs, The Bias and other places. He joins us this week to discuss his own deep dive into the murky depths of nominally religious right wing …

Sav Miles - On Local Faith-Based Organizing

November 10th, 2020


Joe Biden won the presidency this past week (though Donald Trump and others are having a hard time with this fact - I thought facts don't care about …

The 2020 Election Results

November 4th, 2020


In which Jerran and Casey discuss the partial results of the 2020 election. The votes are still being counted but there's no big referendum on Trump …

John Piper and Ice Cube Have Weighed in...

October 28th, 2020


This week Jerran and Casey discuss Dr. John Piper's recent foray into political action. We discuss some strengths and a lot of weaknesses. We also …

Christopher James - Where is the Church in all this?

October 20th, 2020


This week we speak with Dr. Christopher James, a professor of practical theology at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. Our conversation …

David Brazil and Sarah Pritchard, Abolition Apostles

October 14th, 2020


This week we speak with David Brazil and Sarah Pritchard, the Abolition Apostles. Their prison ministry currently reaches over 700 inmates around the …

On Injustice for Breonna Taylor, and the new justice Amy Barrett

September 29th, 2020


This past week saw the unjust grand jury decision on the Breonna Taylor killing and the nomination of Amy Barrett for the next justice of the Supreme Court. We have a lot to catch up on and we try to do it all with an …

Dr. Kristin Kobes Du Mez - Jesus and John Wayne, an interview

September 21st, 2020


This week Jerran and Casey welcome on, as our very first guest, Dr. Kristin Kobes Du Mez, author of the excellent recent work on masculinity, …

Is Marxism Antithetical to Christianity?

September 8th, 2020


Casey is a recent convert to Marxist political theory. This week Jerran and Casey talk Marxism, Critical Race Theory, Capitalism and various …

The Law and Order Trope

September 1st, 2020


Jerran and Casey discuss the prevalence of the "law and order" trope. We get into the history of the usage of this term and its weaponization against …

John MacArthur is Reopening Church as Protest

August 25th, 2020


Jerran and Casey have been friends for over a decade, having first met in the halls of Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, AL. In addition to being …

Kamala Harris, Tim Keller and the Church on Social Justice

August 18th, 2020


Jerran and Casey have been friends for over a decade, having first met in the halls of Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, AL. In addition to being …

Facebook, the nature of truth and who gets to decide

August 12th, 2020


Jerran and Casey have been friends for over a decade, having first met in the halls of Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, AL. In addition to being …

Making sense of this historical moment

July 28th, 2020


Jerran and Casey have been friends for over a decade, having first met in the halls of Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, AL. In addition to being …

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