AAR Member Spotlight

Christopher Carter

Rev. Dr. Christopher Carter is an assistant professor, assistant chair, and department diversity officer of theology and religious studies at University of San Diego. His teaching and research focuses on philosophical and theological ethics, Black and Womanist theological ethics, environmental ethics, and animals and religion. He approaches religious studies as a liberation ethicist committed to exploring how the moral economy of U.S. religious thought and culture impact the everyday lives of marginalized populations, particularly African American and Latino/a communities. A member of the AAR since 2008, he serves on the steering committees for both the Religion and Ecology and the Animals and Religion program units. Carter is also a pastor within the United Methodist Church and currently serves as an assistant pastor at Pacific Beach United Methodist Church.

Why did you get involved with AAR and how is your work aligned?

I became involved with AAR as a graduate student. During my second year of coursework I drove from Claremont, CA to attend the conference in San Francisco. The drive through central California and my experience at that conference helped to clarify my desire to explore the areas of ecology, race, and food.

What is your area of expertise or field of study?

I am a decolonial theological ethicist whose work explores the intersections of religion, race, and the environment with particular attention to food and animals. Given the role that industrial agriculture continues to play in contributing to global climate change, and the fact that the negative impacts of climate change will disproportionately impact people of color and the global poor, my work will always be interdisciplinary. 

How has AAR been beneficial to you and your career?

AAR has benefited me in numerous ways, but two immediately come to mind. First, having the opportunity to serve as a steering committee member of the Religion and Ecology and Animal and Religion groups exposed me to a network of people and ideas that continue to influence my writing and activism. Second, the conference is often the only time I am able to reconnect with many of the other Black religious scholars. These life giving moments are essential for the nurturing of the next generation of Black religious scholars.

What book is on your nightstand that you're reading or intend to read in the future?

Howard Thurman's The Inward Journey is on my nightstand right now. My research, writing, and activism can take a lot out of me. Thurman is a balm to my soul. I attempt to channel his influence on my spirituality and activism into all of my work.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

Before my son Isaiah was born 3 years ago I would have said exercising but becoming a father has taken me away from my gym routine! Currently I would say cooking is one of my favorite hobbies, as evidenced by my sneaking recipes into my most recent book! 

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This feature is devoted to profiling AAR members making waves in their departments, institutions, and communities—as well as AAR at large!

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