Thomas Albert (Tal) Howard, Ph.D.

Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Chair in Christian Ethics
Professor of Humanities and History

Phone: 219.464.5275


Research assistant:



Tal Howard serves as the Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Chair in Christian Ethics and concurrently as professor of humanities and history. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. Prior to coming to Valpo, he taught for 17 years at Gordon College in Wenham, Ma., where he served as the founding director of the Jerusalem and Athens Forum, a great books honors program, and as the director of the Center for Faith and Inquiry. At Gordon, he also served as the project director for a $2 million grant from the Lilly Endowment on the theological idea of vocation. He writes and speaks on a wide range of topics, but his particular interests include modern religious and intellectual history, moral inquiry and historical knowledge, great books pedagogy, Christian intellectual traditions, ecumenism and interreligious dialogue, and the history and theory of higher education. His work has appeared in numerous venues, scholarly and general, including Hedgehog Review, Commonweal, Inside Higher Ed, First Things, the Christian Century, Pro Ecclesia, Church History, Journal of the History of Ideas, The Cresset, and the National Review, Modern Age. He blogs regularly at the “Anxious Bench: The Relevance of Religious History for the Present.” He is currently working on two projects: “The Riddle of the Religious Other: On the Past, Present, and Purpose of Interfaith Dialogue” and “Modern Christian Theology: An Intellectual History,” which will be published by Princeton University Press. Professor Howard is married to Agnes R. Howard (who also teaches at Valpo). Together they have three children: Elizabeth, Hannah, and Benjamin.


The Pope and the Professor: Pius IX, Ignaz von Döllinger and the Quandary of the Modern Age
Oxford University Press, March 2017

Remembering the Reformation: An Inquiry into the Meanings of Protestantism
Oxford University Press, August 2016

Protestantism after 500 Years
Oxford University Press, August 2016
Edited with Mark A. Noll and 14 other Contributors

Imago Dei: Human Dignity in Ecumenical Perspective
Catholic University Press, June 2013
Editor, John Behr, Russell Hittinger, C. Ben Mitchell

God and the Atlantic: America, Europe, and the Religious Divide
Oxford University Press, 2011
Winner of the 2012 Christianity Today Book Award for History

The Future of Christian Learning: An Evangelical and Catholic Dialogue
Editor, Mark Noll and James Turner, Brazos, 2008

Protestant Theology and the Making of the Modern German University
Oxford University Press, 2006
Winner of the Annual Book Award of the Lilly Fellows Program in the Humanities and the Arts

Religion and the Rise of Historicism: W.M.L. de Wette, Jacob Burckhardt, and the Theological Origins of Nineteenth-Century Historical Consciousness
Cambridge University Press, 2000

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