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Associate Research Scholar
Matt Croasmun is Associate Research Scholar and Director of the Life Worth Living Program at the Yale Center for Faith and Culture and Lecturer of Divinity & Humanities at Yale University. He began working with YCFC after completing his Ph.D. in Religious Studies (New Testament) at Yale in 2014. While a doctoral student, he and his wife, Hannah, planted and pastored the Elm City Vineyard Church, a dynamic, diverse, urban church in the heart of New Haven, CT. With deep grounding in both the church and the academy, Matt brings to all of his work a passion for the intersection of the life of faith and the life of the mind.
His main research interests lie in the Pauline Epistles, illuminated by various streams of contemporary philosophy of science, theological reflection, and critical theory. His dissertation, “The Body of Sin: An Emergent Account of Sin as a Cosmic Power in Romans 5-8,” tackles an age-old problem in New Testament scholarship: namely, how to understand the relationship between “sins” as human misdeeds and “Sin,” the cosmic tyrant, in the Epistle to the Romans. The dissertation deploys emergence in philosophy of science to describe the cosmic tyrant Sin as a real person emergent from a complex system of human sins. Matt was a recipient of the 2015 Manfred Lautenschläger Award for Theological Promise for this work. His first book, The Emergence of Sin, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press in 2017.
Matt received his B.A. in Music from Yale College (MC ‘01) and an M.A.R. in Bible from Yale Divinity School (‘06). After his Divinity degree, he spent a summer at the Akrofi-Christaller Institute in Akropong-Akuapem, Ghana, studying with the great African theologian, Kwame Bediako.
Matt’s deepest passion is for teaching—in both the church and the academy. He has taught New Testament Introduction in Yale College, served regularly as a teaching fellow at YDS, and has taught the Life Worth Living seminar in the Humanities program in Yale College, supported by YCFC, and designed and co-taught with Miroslav Volf the ”Christ and the Good Life” course at YDS.
In addition to planting and pastoring the Elm City Vineyard, Matt has served the Vineyard denomination in helping found and steer the Society of Vineyard Scholars, directing the first-ever Vineyard Seminarian Summit, and consulting with Vineyard leaders and pastors in the U.S. and Canada. He has served as guest preacher in Vineyard, Covenant, Presbyterian, Methodist, and non-denominational churches in the United States, Dominican Republic, Switzerland, and Ghana.
An advocate of interfaith dialogue, Matt has facilitated sacred text readings of the New Testament and Quran in partnership with local churches and mosques. He also serves as a faculty advisor for the Yale Humanist Community and the Life Worth Living Fellows.
Matt and his wife, Hannah, live in New Haven with their daughter, Junia. In his spare time, he loves playing and writing music as well as playing soccer, squash, and basketball.
Selected Publications and Papers
“’Real Participation’: The Body of Christ & the Body of Sin in Evolutionary Perspective.” In ‘In Christ’ in Paul: Explorations in Paul’s Theology of Union and Participation, edited by Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Constantine R. Campbell, and Michael J. Thate. WUNT/II. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2014.
“Sin in Romans 5-8: Person or Personification?” Annual Meeting of the New England and Eastern Canada Region of the Society of Biblical Literature, May 2013. [pdf]
“Improving on ‘Original Manuscripts’: Owning Scripture as the People of God,” Annual Meeting of the Society of Vineyard Scholars, (collaboration with Todd Kennedy), April 2012. [video]