Religion Program
JeffPool

Jeff B. Pool, Ph.D

The Eli Lilly Professor of Religion and Culture; Chair of the Religion Program

Draper, Room 204B
CPO 2124

Office Hours:

Monday: 1:00 – 2:50 pm
Wednesday: 1:00 – 2:50 pm
Friday: 8:00 – 11:50 am

Class Schedule, Spring 2014:

  • GSTR 310F (Mon/Wed: 8:00 – 9:50 am)
  • REL 109A (Tue/Thur: 8:00 – 9:50 am)
  • REL 109B (Tue/Thur: 10:00 – 11:50 am)

Phone: 859-985-3235
Fax: 859-985-3120

E-Mail: jeff_pool@berea.edu

At Berea College since 2003

Degrees

  • Ph.D., Theology, Philosophy of Religion , The University of Chicago,
  • M.A., Philosophy, Texas Christian University,
  • M.Div., Hebrew Scriptures, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary,
  • B.A., Religion and Philosophy, Wayland Baptist University,

Courses

Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion, Philosophical Anthropology

  • Philosophical Anthropology
  • God, Tragedy, and Evil: Seminar
  • Philosophical Theology
  • Contemporary Theologies of Divine Suffering
  • Ways of Being Religious

Philosophical and Religious Ethics

  • Christianity and Contemporary Culture
  • Theologies of Liberation
  • Seminar in Christianity and Culture (Political and Liberation Theologies): Travel Seminar to Central America (El Salvador and Nicaragua)
  • Trade, Globalization, and Poverty in Nicaragua
  • Roman Catholic Social Thought
  • Theological Anthropology
  • Seminar in Religion: Love in Religious Traditions
  • Themes in Religious Thought and Ethics: Love in Christian Traditions

History of Relgion, Philosophy, and Theology

  • Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy
  • Introduction to the History of Christian Theology
  • Introduction to Contemporary Christian Theology
  • Spirituality in the Christian Tradition
  • Baptist History
  • Religions of the World
  • Introduction to Islam
  • The Protestant Reformation and Its Legacies
  • Seminar in Religion: Love in Religious Traditions
  • Myth, Symbol, and Ritual

Historical, Systematic, and Constructive Theology

  • Understandings of Christianity
  • Christianity and Contemporary Culture
  • Introduction to Christian Thought
  • Introduction to Theology
  • Introduction to the History of Christian Theology
  • Introduction to Contemporary Christian Theology
  • Systematic Theology
  • The Doctrine of God
  • The Doctrine of the Trinity
  • Theologies of Divine Suffering
  • Main Themes in Christian Doctrine: The Suffering of God
  • Images of Jesus
  • Christology
  • Theologies of Atonement
  • Pneumatology and Ecclesiology
  • Ecclesiology
  • Theological Anthropology
  • Themes in Religious Thought and Ethics: Love in Christian Traditions
  • Eschatology
  • The Protestant Reformation and Its Legacies
  • Liberation Theology
  • Theologies of Liberation
  • Theology from Baptist Perspectives

Philosophical and Theological Hermeneutics

  • Old Testament History and Literature
  • Introduction to Christian Theology
  • Introduction to Christian Thought

Aesthetics and The History of Criticism

  • Theological Aesthetics

Special Interests

Celtic studies (languages, archaeology, history, and art); Native American archaeology and history; training and riding horses; birdwatching; painting; woodcarving; music of all kinds; hiking and camping.

Affiliations

  • American Academy of Religion
  • American Association of University Professors
  • National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion
  • Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality
  • Society of Christian Ethics

Papers and Publications

Books

  • Through The Tempest: Theological Voyages in a Pluralistic Culture by Langdon Gilkey. Editor. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Fortress Press, 1991.
  • Sacred Mandates of Conscience: Studies of the Baptist Faith and Message. Editor. Macon, Georgia: Smyth & Helwys Publishing Company, 1997.
  • Against Returning to Egypt: Exposing and Resisting Credalism in the Southern Baptist Convention. Macon, Georgia: Mercer University Press, 1998.
  • The Theology of Langdon Gilkey: Systematic and Critical Studies. Co-editor with Kyle A. Pasewark. Macon, Georgia: Mercer University Press, 1999.
  • God’s Wounds: Hermeneutic of the Christian Symbol of Divine Suffering. Vol. 1. Divine Vulnerability and Creation. Princeton Theological Monographs Series, series ed. K. C. Hanson, Charles M. Collier, and D. Christopher Spinks. No. 100. Eugene, Oregon: Pickwick Publications, An Imprint of Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2009.
  • God’s Wounds: Hermeneutic of the Christian Symbol of Divine Suffering. Vol. 2. Evil and Divine Suffering. Princeton Theological Monographs Series, series ed. K. C. Hanson, Charles M. Collier, and D. Christopher Spinks. No. 119. Eugene, Oregon: Pickwick Publications, An Imprint of Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2010.

Articles in journals, Chapters in books

  • “Baptist Infidelity to the Principle of Religious Liberty.” Perspectives in Religious Studies 17 (Spring 1990): 13–20.
  • “Editor’s Preface.” In Through The Tempest: Theological Voyages in a Pluralistic Culture by Langdon Gilkey, pp. xii–xx. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Fortress Press, 1991.
  • “ ‘Sacred Mandates of Conscience’: A Criteriology of Credalism for Theological Method among Baptists.” Perspectives in Religious Studies 23 (Winter 1996): 353–86.
  • “Christ, Conscience, Canon, Community: Web of Authority in the Baptist Vision.” Perspectives in Religious Studies 24 (Winter 1997): 417–45.
  • “Conscience and Interpreting Baptist Tradition.” In Sacred Mandates of Conscience: Interpreting The Baptist Faith and Message. Edited by Jeff B. Pool. Pp. 1–36. Macon, Georgia: Smyth & Helwys Publishing Company, 1997.
  • “Chief Article of Faith: The Preamble of The Baptist Faith and Message (1963).” In Sacred Mandates of Conscience: Interpreting The Baptist Faith and Message. Edited by Jeff B. Pool. Pp. 37–101. Macon, Georgia: Smyth & Helwys Publishing Company, 1997.
  • “Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.” In Encyclopedia of Religious Controversies in the United States. Edited by George H. Shriver and Bill J. Leonard. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group, 1997.
  • “Beyond Postliberal Foundationalism: The Theological Method of Langdon Gilkey.” In The Theology of Langdon Gilkey. Edited by Kyle A. Pasewark and Jeff B. Pool. Pp. 57–166. Macon, Georgia: Mercer University Press, 1999.
  • “Non Intratur in Veritatem nisi per Charitatem: Toward a Christian Hermeneutic of Love.” Communio Viatorum 43 (Fall 2001): 159–88.
  • “Toward a Christian Hermeneutic of Love: Problem and Possibility.” Perspectives in Religious Studies 28 (Fall 2001): 257–83.
  • “Liberal Theology.” In New Handbook of Theology. Pp. 297–99. Edited by Joseph Price and Donald Musser. Nashville, Tennessee: Abingdon Press, 2003.
  • “Seizure by Divine Raptor: The Pathic Theology of Reinhard Hütter.” Perspectives in Religious Studies 30 (Spring 2003): 55–69.
  • “No Entrance into Truth without Love: Contributions of Augustine of Hippo to a Contemporary Hermeneutic of Love.” Review and Expositor 101 (Fall 2004): 629–66.
  • “In Memoriam: Langdon Gilkey, 1919–2004.” Religious Studies News, AAR Edition 20 (March 2005): 11.
  • “The Heart of Christian Confession.” American Baptist Quarterly 24 (December 2005): 376–90.
  • “Conversations with Langdon Gilkey.” Criterion 44 (Winter 2006): 17–23 (publication of the University of Chicago Divinity School).
  • “Eagle of Power, Raven of Guilt: Historical and Religious Dimensions of the Current Global Crisis.” Interview of Langdon Gilkey. Religion and Culture Web Forum. Published by the Martin Marty Center: Institute for the Advanced Study of Religion, University of Chicago Divinity School (2006) (http://marty-center.uchicago.edu/webforum/index.shtml).
  • “Toward a Conspiracy of Doves: Seeking Common Cause with the New Atheism.” Journal for the Liberal Arts and Sciences 15 (Fall 2011): 141–65 (online version: http://www.oak.edu/academics/school-arts-sciences-jlas.php).
  • “Toward Spirituality of Post-Christian Disciples of Jesus.” Communio Viatorum 53 (2011): 3–48.
  • Contributer, Jennifer A. Lindholm, Melissa L. Millora, Leslie M. Schwartz, Hanna Song Spinosa, A Guidebook of Promising Practices: Facilitating College Students’ Spiritual Development (Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 2011), see pp. 66, 101.

Reviews of books

  • Review of Main Trends in Philosophy by Paul Ricoeur. Dialogue 23 (May 1980): 35.
  • Review of The Living God by Thomas Oden. Journal of Religion 69 (July 1989): 429-30.
  • Review of The Creative Suffering of God by Paul Fiddes. Journal of Religion 70 (July 1990): 471-72.
  • Review of The Descent of God: Divine Suffering in History and Theology by Joseph M. Hallman. Journal of Religion 73 (January 1993): 101-103.
  • Review of Contemporary Gospel Accents: Doing Theology in Africa, Asia, Southeast Asia, and Latin America, edited by Daniel Carro and Richard F. Wilson. Religious Studies Review 24 (July 1998): 274.
  • Review of Process, Praxis, and Transcendence by James L. Marsh. Religious Studies Review 26 (October 2000): 359.
  • Review of A Genealogy of Dissent: Southern Baptist Protest in the Twentieth Century by David Stricklin. Journal of Religion 81 (April 2001): 293-95.
  • Review of Thinking Biblically: Exegetical and Hermeneutical Studies by André LaCocque and Paul Ricoeur. Southern Humanities Review 35 (Spring 2001): 203-206.
  • Review of Primitive Baptists of the Wiregrass South by John G. Crowley. Gulf South Historical Review 16 (Spring 2001): 45-47.
  • Review of The Baptist Reformation: The Conservative Resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention by Jerry Sutton. Baptist History and Heritage 37 (Winter, 2002): 131-33.
  • “Dissent in the Southern Baptist Convention: A Vanishing Tradition?” Booknotes on A Genealogy of Dissent: Southern Baptist Protest in the Twentieth Century, by David Stricklin, Religion in the South Series, ed. John B. Boles (Lexington, Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky, 1999); Baptist Studies Bulletin (Mercer University, online), 1 (January 2002).
  • “Baptist Mal-formation: Recent War against Diversity in the SBC.” Booknotes on The Baptist Reformation: The Conservative Resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention, by Jerry Sutton (Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000); Baptist Studies Bulletin (Mercer University, online), 1 (January 2002).
  • Booknotes on Participating in God: A Pastoral Doctrine of the Trinity, by Paul S. Fiddes (Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox, 2000); Baptist Studies Bulletin (Mercer University, online), 1 (February 2002).
  • Booknotes on Pilgrim Pathways: Essays in Honour of B. R. White, edited by William H. Brackney, Paul S. Fiddes, and John H. Y. Briggs (Macon, Georgia: Mercer University Press, 1999); Baptist Studies Bulletin (Mercer University, online), 1 (February 2002).
  • Booknotes on Primitive Baptists of the Wiregrass South: 1815 to the Present, by John G. Crowley (Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida, 1998); Baptist Studies Bulletin (Mercer University, online), 1 (February 2002).
  • “Freedom and Its Contradictions in Baptist Life.” Booknotes on Richard Furman: Life and Legacy, by James A. Rogers, Baptists: History, Literature, Theology, Hymns Series, ed. Walter B. Shurden (Macon, Georgia: Mercer University Press , 2001); Baptist Studies Bulletin (Mercer University, online), 1 (March 2002).
  • “One of the Most Important Published Advocacies for Religious Liberty in Human History.” Booknotes on The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution for Cause of Conscience, edited by Richard Groves, vol. 1, Classics of Religious Liberty Series, Baptists: History, Literature, Theology, Hymns Series, ed. Walter B. Shurden (Macon, Georgia: Mercer University Press , 2001); Baptist Studies Bulletin (Mercer University, online), 1 (March 2002).
  • “Moral ‘baptist’ Convictions.” Booknotes on Systematic Theology, vol. 1, Ethics, by James Wm. McClendon, Jr. (Nashville, Tennessee: Abingdon Press , 1986); Baptist Studies Bulletin (Mercer University, online), 1 (April 2002).
  • “Doctrinal ‘baptist’ Convictions.” Booknotes on Systematic Theology, vol. 2, Doctrine, by James Wm. McClendon, Jr. (Nashville, Tennessee: Abingdon Press , 1994); Baptist Studies Bulletin (Mercer University, online), 1 (April 2002).
  • “Philosophical ‘baptist’ Convictions.” Booknotes on Systematic Theology, vol. 3, Witness, by James Wm. McClendon, Jr. and Nancey Murphey (Nashville, Tennessee: Abingdon Press , 2000); Baptist Studies Bulletin (Mercer University, online), 1 (April 2002).
  • “‘Soul Freedom’: Root of All Baptist Distinctives.” Booknotes on Soul Freedom: Baptist Battle Cry, by Grady C. Cothen and James M. Dunn (Macon, Georgia: Mercer University Press, 2000); Baptist Studies Bulletin (Mercer University, online), 1 (May 2002).
  • “Contemporary English Baptist Thoughts on Baptism.” Booknotes on Reflections on the Water: Understanding God and World through the Baptism of Believers, vol. 4, Regent’s Study Guides, edited by Paul S. Fiddes (Macon, Georgia: Mercer University Press, 1996); Baptist Studies Bulletin (Mercer University, online), 1 (May 2002).
  • “Diverse Testimonies to Baptist Identity.” Booknotes on Why I Am a Baptist: Reflections on Being a Baptist in the 21st Century, ed. Cecil P. Staton, Jr. (Macon, Georgia: Smyth and Helwys Publishing, Inc., 1999); Baptist Studies Bulletin (Mercer University, online), 1 (June 2002).
  • “Diverse Sources of Baptist Identity.” Booknotes on Baptist Roots: A Reader in the Theology of a Christian People, ed. Curtis W. Freeman, James Wm. McClendon, Jr., and C. Rosalee Velloso da Silva (Valley Forge, Pennsylvania: Judson Press, 1999); Baptist Studies Bulletin (Mercer University, online), 1 (June 2002)
  • Review of The Story of Christian Theology: Twenty Centuries of Tradition and Reform, by Roger Olson (Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1999). Baptist Studies Bulletin (Mercer University, online), 2 (October 2003).
  • Review of The Mosaic of Christian Belief: Twenty Centuries of Unity and Diversity, by Roger Olson (Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2002). Baptist Studies Bulletin (Mercer University, online), 2 (November 2003).
  • Review of The Hebrew God: Portrait of an Ancient Deity, by Bernhard Lang (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2002). Southern Humanities Review 39 (Winter 2005): 89-93.
  • Review of The Way That Leads There: Augustinian Reflections on the Christian Life, by Gilbert Meilander (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2006) and Ethics in the Community of Promise: Faith, Formation, and Decision, by James M. Childs, Jr. (Minneapolis, Minnesota: Augsburg Fortress, 2006). Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics 29 (Fall/Winter 2009): 219–21.
  • Review of On What Cannot Be Said: Apophatic Discourses in Philosophy, Religion, Literature, and the Arts, vol. 1, Classic Formulations, ed. William Franke (Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 2007) (pp. xiv + 401) and On What Cannot Be Said: Apophatic Discourses in Philosophy, Religion, Literature, and the Arts, vol. 2, Modern and Contemporary Transformations, ed. William Franke (Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 2007) (pp. viii + 480). Religious Studies Review 37 (March 2011): 41-42.
  • Review of Remythologizing Theology: Divine Action, Passion, and Authorship, by Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Cambridge Studies in Christian Doctrine, no. 18, ed. Daniel W. Hardy (Cambridge, England, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2010) (pp. xx + 539). Theological Studies 72 (June 2011): 432-33.

Selected presentations and participation in scholarly meetings

  • “Regenerating Academic Freedom Through Religious Liberty.” National Symposium on The Future of Church-Related Colleges in American Society: Role and Effect; 17-18 October 1990; Hardin-Simmons University; Abilene, Texas.
  • “Ontological Preoccupations of Ethics and Hermeneutics in Paul Ricoeur’s Philosophy of Religion,” Society of Christian Ethics; 11-13 January 1991; Culver City, California.
  • “Ontological Preoccupations of Ethics and Hermeneutics in Paul Ricoeur’s Philosophy of Religion,” Southwest Region of the American Academy of Religion; 15 March 1991; Dallas, Texas.
  • Chair, Theology and Continental Philosophy Group Session, American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting; San Francisco, California; 1997
  • Introduction of James M. Dunn, Seminar on Separation of Church and State; Brite Divinity School and the Department of Religion, Texas Christian University; Fort Worth, Texas; 1-2 February 1999
  • “The Strategy and Tactics of Religious Oppression: Case Study of the Southern Baptist Convention,” 6 July 2000, International Baptist Theological Symposium: Pankrac Theological Forum (PATEFO 2000); Baptist Tradition at the Crossroad: Analysis of the Present Situation and the Prospect for the Future; Prague / Siroky Dul, The Czech Republic (2-9 July 2000).
  • “The Priesthood of All Christians”; Whitley College, Melbourne College of Divinity, The University of Melbourne; Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; 25 June 2001
  • “The Church: Autonomous and Cooperative?” Whitley College, Melbourne College of Divinity, The University of Melbourne; Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; 26 June 2001
  • “The Church Diverse: Confessions and Creeds”; Whitley College, Melbourne College of Divinity, The University of Melbourne; Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; 27 June 2001
  • “Shaping the Church into the Future”; Whitley College, Melbourne College of Divinity, The University of Melbourne; Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; 27 June 2001
  • “Love Seeking Understanding, Understanding Seeking Love: Toward a Christian Hermeneutic of Love,” 10 July 2002, International Baptist Theological Symposium: Pankrac Theological Forum (PATEFO 2002); God’s Word as Judgment and Renewal of the Church: Baptist Commitment to Profound Study of the Bible; Prague / Siroky Dul, The Czech Republic (7-14 July 2002).
  • “The Problem of the Christian God in a Polycentric World,” Berea College; Berea, Kentucky; 23 February 2004.
  • “Wars among the Gods: Christian Theologies and Religious Pluralism in a Polycentric World,” International Baptist Theological Symposium: Pankrac Theological Forum (PATEFO 2004); Siroky Dul, The Czech Republic (14 July 2004).
  • Moderator, Panel: Case-Based Ethics, Pluralism, and Decision-Making; Baptist Association of Philosophy Teachers, Eleventh Biennial Meeting; Georgetown College; Georgetown, Kentucky (28 October 2006).
  • “Wisps and Whispers of Spirit: Toward Spirituality for Post–Christian Disciples of Jesus”; International Baptist Theological Symposium: Pankrac Theological Forum (PATEFO 2008); The People of God as a Graced Minority; Charles University, Pankrac Baptist Church; Prague and Jindrichuv Hradec, The Czech Republic (7-13 July 2008).
  • “Toward Spirituality of Post-Christian Disciples of Jesus” (12 April 2011); Keynote Address for the Student Conference, “A Churchless Faith? A Non-Committal Attitude to God in Post-Communist Bohemia and Post-Modern Europe”; International Student Trust Visit; Evangelická teologická fakulta, Univerzity Karlovy v Praze; Prague, The Czech Republic (11-16 April 2011).
  • “On Pilgrimage: Meditation on a Walk from Jerusalem to Emmaus” (Luke 24:13-36); Presentation for Course in Spiritual Formation, Certificate in Applied Theology Program, taught by Dr. Ivana Noble of Evangelická teologická fakulta, Univerzity Karlovy v Praze; International Baptist Theological Seminary; Prague, The Czech Republic (27 April 2011).
  • “Augustine’s Hermeneutic of Love in De Doctrina Christiana”; Presentation to Graduate Research Seminar, taught by Dr. Lydie Kucova; International Baptist Theological Seminary; Prague, The Czech Republic (27 April 2011).
  • “Healing Eros: Recovering Desire in Contemporary Christian Spirituality and Theology” (7 May 2011); Mezioborová studentská konference se zahraniční účastí; víkendový seminář pro zájemce o teologii „Erós a religio“; Institut ekumenických studií a Společnost Křesťanů a Židů; Evangelická teologická fakulta, Univerzity Karlovy v Praze; Prague, The Czech Republic (6-7 May 2011).
  • “The Rule of Love in Augustine’s De Doctrina Christiana”; Lecture to the Faculty and Students; Faculty Convocation; Evangelická teologická fakulta, Univerzity Karlovy v Praze; Prague, The Czech Republic (24 May 2011).

Biography

Dr. Pool came to Berea College in the summer of 2003, accepting and serving in a combined position: in one-half of his role, directing the Willis D. Weatherford, Jr. Campus Christian Center and fulfilling responsibilities as the Senior College Chaplain; and, in the other half of his role, serving as a tenured member of the teaching faculty in the Department of Philosophy and Religion. In the spring semester of 2012, Professor Pool returned to full-time teaching, accepting an appointment to an endowed chair in religious studies as The Eli Lilly Professor of Religion and Culture. Currently, he also serves as Coordinator of the Religion Program.

Although a native Texan, Dr. Pool descends from both Appalachian and Native-American families through two of his maternal great-grandmothers: one great grandmother who emigrated with her parents from Kentucky to Texas by covered wagon in the late 1800s; and the other great grandmother, of a Southern-Cheyenne family, who moved with her Irish husband from the Cheyenne Indian Territory to Texas in the late 1800s as well. While Appalachian by heritage, native American and Irish by descent, and Texan by birth, Dr. Pool has lived in several other places in the United States: Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Illinois, as well as Kentucky at present. For a portion of his childhood, he lived with his family in Tripoli, Libya. Life there introduced him to the larger world and to many different dimensions of human diversity (racial, religious, political, social, economic, culural, etc.). Life in North Africa also alerted him, even as a child, to the stark contrasts between privilege and poverty, to racism and sexism, to oppression of all kinds — all of which contributed significantly to the passion about issues of social justice that later influenced and motivated his educational choices, helped to lead him into the path of his career, and substantially shaped the various features of his professional work, teaching, research, and publications. His experience in North Africa, however, also expanded his sensitivity to the mystery of life, deepened his wonder at and gratitude for the beauty and goodness of the cosmos, and permanently instilled in him a love for travel and people from all cultures.

After graduating from high school in Seminole, Texas, Jeff Pool completed his collegiate education in religious studies and philosophy and his first two graduate degrees in these areas of study. He and his young family then moved to Kansas, where he served as pastor of an American Baptist Church, before moving to Chicago for his doctoral studies in hermeneutics, philosophy of religion, historical and constructive theology, and theological ethics. Following his doctoral studies at the University of Chicago, Professor Pool first taught theology and ethics at Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He later accepted an invitation to teach systematic theology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) in Fort Worth, Texas. After leaving SWBTS, he taught theology for one semester at The International Baptist Theological Seminary in Prague, the Czech Republic. When he returned to Fort Worth after his temporary teaching assignment in Europe, he accepted a combined administrative and teaching position at Brite Divinity School of Texas Christian University, where he taught Baptist studies and systematic theology. During his service at Brite Divinity School, in addition to teaching theology, he served as Special Assistant to the President of the Divinity School and directed two graduate programs: the Baptist Studies Program; and the Doctor of Ministry Program.

Through his research, scholarship, and publications, Dr. Pool explores a wide variety of themes and topics in philosophical, religious, and cultural studies. Professor Pool has published research into religious and cultural pluralism, analyses of theological method, phenomenological-hermeneutical studies of Christian attestations to the suffering of God, philosophical analyses of the New Atheism, and constructive-theological explorations into the possibilities for and limitations of a post-Christian hermeneutic of love. He has also applied the academic study of religious phenomena to his originating religious community, by conducting historical, philosophical, sociological, political, cultural, and theological examinations into the development and employment of confessions and creeds in historic and contemporary Baptist Christian communities. Currently, Dr. Pool’s work focuses on philosophical and theological studies of contemporary spirituality, most specifically the religious and sociological phenomenon that he has identified and described as post-Christian disciples of Jesus.

Professor Pool and his spouse, Laurinda, live between Berea and Lexington, Kentucky, on a mountain along the Kentucky River. They have two adult children and five grandchildren: their daughter, Kristen Lew, her spouse, John, and their five children live in Tulsa, Oklahoma; their son, Jonathan, and his spouse, Lindsay, live in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Pool enjoys hiking through the forest and along the creeks that feed into the Kentucky River, birdwatching with Laurinda, visits to Native-American archaeological sites all over the United States, from Chaco Canyon in New Mexico to Serpent Mound in Ohio, as well as training and riding his Spanish mustang, CoryAodhan, in the discipline of dressage, with natural approaches to working with horses.

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