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Thomas Beaudoin

TB from GRE

Dr. Beaudoin is interested in how what matters most to people comes about and is practiced, and particularly how the mattering and the practices are entangled in experiences, concepts and accounts considered "religious," "spiritual," "secular," or otherwise marked off as fundamentally special, different, or powerful.

His research areas are: theologies, philosophies, and religious studies of practice; comparative spiritual exercises; concepts and practices of religious disaffiliation/affiliation; powers of popular music understood as secularly/ religiously/spiritually/theologically significant.

His current book projects include: Practicing Nothing, an exploration of the potential of the concept and experience of "nothing" as a decompression chamber for the Christian-centrism of practical theology, rendering the theological significance of practice permeable by multireligious/multisecular "others"; Faith in Music, a study of how religious and nonreligious heritages complexly influence popular musicians such that their music both expresses and reconstructs these heritages.

Dr. Beaudoin serves on the Editorial Board of the Theology in Practice book series (Brill), is a Past President of the Association of Practical Theology, and has chaired the Practical Theology Group (American Academy of Religion), the Practical Theology Section (Catholic Theological Society of America), and the Foucault Consultation (American Academy of Religion).

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View Dr. Beaudoin's CV.


M.T.S., Harvard University
Ph.D., Boston College


Theologies, philosophies, and religious studies of practice; Comparative spiritual exercises; Concepts and practices of religious disaffiliation/affiliation; Experiences of ultimacy: religious, spiritual, and secular; Popular music in theological and religious studies.

Selected Publications

Virtual Faith: The Irreverent Spiritual Quest of Generation X (Simon and Schuster, 1998)

Consuming Faith: Integrating Who We Are With What We Buy (Rowman and Littlefield, 2003)

Witness to Dispossession: The Vocation of a Postmodern Theologian (Orbis, 2008)

Secular Music and Sacred Theology, editor (Liturgical Press, 2013)

“Postmodern Practical Theology,” in Kathleen Cahalan and Gordon Mikoski (eds.), Opening the Field of Practical Theology: An Introduction (Rowman and Littlefield, 2014)

“White Practical Theology” (co-authored with Katherine Turpin), in Kathleen Cahalan and Gordon Mikoski (eds.), Opening the Field of Practical Theology: An Introduction (Rowman and Littlefield, 2014)

“Afterword: Reflections from Ecclesiology and Practical Theology” (co-authored with Bradford Hinze), in Christine Firer Hinze and J. Patrick Hornbeck II (eds.), More Than a Monologue: Sexual Diversity and the Catholic Church, Volume 1: Voices of Our Times (Fordham University Press, 2014)

“Why Does Practice Matter Theologically?” in Joyce Ann Mercer and Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore (eds.), Conundrums in Practical Theology (Brill, 2016)

"Secular Catholic Families and Ethics: New Questions, New Answers," in Julie Hanlon Rubio and Jason King (eds.), Love, Sex and Families: Catholic Ethics (Liturgical Press, 2019) [forthcoming]


Foundations of Practical Theology

Faith in Music

Spiritual Exercises Across Religions and Cultures

Doctoral Research Seminar

M.A. Integrating Seminar

Theology of Ministry