James K.A. Smith


PhD, Villanova University, 1999,
MPhil, Institute for Christian Studies, 1995
BS, Emmaus Bible College, 1993
Undergraduate Studies, University of Waterloo, 1992-1993


James K.A. Smith is professor of philosophy at Calvin College where he holds the Gary & Henrietta Byker Chair in Applied Reformed Theology & Worldview. The award-winning author of Who’s Afraid of Postmodernism? and Desiring the Kingdom, his most recent books include Imagining the Kingdom (2013), Discipleship in the Present Tense (2013), Who’s Afraid of Relativism? (2014), and How (Not) To Be Secular: Reading Charles Taylor (2014), You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit (2016).
His popular writing has appeared in magazines such as Christianity Today, Books & Culture, and First Things and periodicals such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Detroit Free Press. Smith is also a Senior Fellow of Cardus and serves as editor of Comment magazine.
"Travel with my wife and our four kids is my favorite pastime. We also enjoy gardening, cooking, wine (er, parents—not the kids), and a little camping. And I relish quiet evenings reading (and occasionally writing) poetry and fiction. We are also committed urban dwellers who love the rhythms and sounds of the core city."

Academic interests

  • Philosophical Theology
  • Continental Philosophy
  • Hermeneutics
  • Postmodernism
  • Saint Augustine
  • Philosophy of the Social Sciences

Research and scholarship

James K.A. Smith is currently at work on a major project on St. Augustine, considering Augustine's influence on twentieth century philosophy and his continued relevance for existential questions in our "secular age."


Selected Books

Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation, Cultural Liturgies, Volume 1 (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2009)

The Devil Reads Derrida: and Other Essays on the Church, the University, Politics, and the Arts (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2009)

After Modernity? Secularity, Globalization, and the Re-enchantment of the World, ed. James K.A. Smith (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2008)

Hermeneutics at the Crossroads: Interpretation in Christian Perspective, eds. Kevin Vanhoozer, James K.A. Smith, and Bruce Ellis Benson, Indiana Series in Philosophy of Religion (Indiana University Press, 2006)

Jacques Derrida: Live Theory (London: Continuum, 2005)

Introducing Radical Orthodoxy: Mapping a Post-Secular Theology (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic Press, 2004) Spanish translation, forthcoming from Editorial Nuevo Inicio (Spain). Korean edition, forthcoming.

Recent Publications

"Reforming Public Theology: Two Kingdoms, or Two Cities?," Calvin Theological Journal 47 (2012): 122-137.

"Formation, Grace, and Pneumatology: Or, Where's the Spirit in Gregory's Augustine?," Journal of Religious Ethics 39 (2011): 556-569.

"Worldview, Sphere Sovereignty, and Desiring the Kingdom: A Guide for (Perplexed) Reformed Folk," Pro Rege 39.4 (June 2011): 15-24.

"The 'Ecclesial' Critique of Globalization: Rethinking the Questions," Faith and Economics 56 (Fall 2010): 5-20.

Professional associations

Smith serves as a Senior Fellow of Cardus, a think tank devoted to "the renewal of North American social architecture," for which he also serves as the editor of Comment magazine.


In 2015 Smith gave the Roberton Lectures at University of Glasgow and the Payton Lectures at Fuller Theological Seminary. In 2016 he will give the Bavinck Lecture in Kampen School of Theology in the Netherlands.

In the news



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