David Justice

PhD Candidate in Theological Studies


I am a PhD Candidate at Saint Louis University entering my fourth year of study. The research focus for my dissertation is the political theology of Martin Luther King Jr. I primarily explore the fundamental transformation and, at times, destruction necessary to make the Beloved Community a reality. In making this argument I draw on King's rootedness in the Black church and put him into conversation with feminist, womanist, and decolonial thought.  I hope that this work will continue the recovery of the radical King and help put his theology into conversation with current activists in new ways.  My dissertation director is Leonard Cornell McKinnis II

I have been a teaching assistant or lead instructor for various undergraduate courses since 2013. My Major Issues in Philosophy course was named one of the Students’ Choice “Best Classes at GU” at Greenville University, and I recently qualified for the “List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by their Students” at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I also completed a year long Culturally Responsive Teaching fellowship in the Reinert Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning in 2020. 

I currently hold a fellowship at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where I am concurrently enrolled as an MA student in the Religion department. I also earned an MA in Theological Ethics from Saint Louis University (2018) and an MA in Philosophy from the  University of Missouri—St. Louis (2015). 
I am active in the American Academy of Religion, where I have published book reviews, presented at regional and national meetings, and was appointed the section chair for undergraduate papers for the Midwest region in 2021. I am also active in the Political Theology Network, Fellowship of Protestant Ethics, and the Wesleyan Theological Society. 



Theological Studies at Saint Louis University page

Religion at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign page

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