Professor of Religion
John Barbour received his Ph.D. in the field of Religion and Literature from the University of Chicago Divinity School. His teaching and research interests center on ethical and theological issues raised by works of fiction and autobiography, for instance their exploration of the nature of sin, grace, or community.
He was Chair of the Religion Department (1998-2001) , served as the first Martin Marty Regents Chair in Religion and the Academy (2004-2008), and is at present the O.C. and Patricia Boldt Chair in the Humanities.
John is married to Meg Ojala, Professor of Art, with whom he led the Global Program in 2001-02 and Term in Asia in 2008-09. They have two sons. He enjoys travel and swimming, hiking, biking, tennis, and kayaking on Lake Superior.
John's scholarly work includes four books: Tragedy as a Critique of Virtue: The Novel and Ethical Reflection (1984), The Conscience of the Autobiographer: Ethical and Religious Dimensions of Autobiography (1992), Versions of Deconversion: Autobiography and the Loss of Faith (1994), and The Value of Solitude: The Ethics and Spirituality of Aloneness in Autobiography (2004).
Here is a link to a short c.v. that lists essays and other professional activities since 2000: C.V.
Work in progress includes a study of the religious dimensions of travel narratives, a family memoir entitled "Family Conscience", and Renunciation, a novel about new religious movements in the 1970s.
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