Jacob Cook

Teacher-Scholar Postdoctoral Fellow, Thriving Congregations Lilly Endowment Grant Initiative

Visiting Faculty

Cook is studying and experimenting with tools for moral formation in both the academy and local church-communities. His research centers on how to help people of faith thrive as agents of justice, reconciliation, and compassion in their local communities. Growth in this regard often means moving from an ideas-based sense of security about who we are and what we are doing in the world toward a more vibrant, relational posture of faith. Cook’s first book, Worldview Theory, Whiteness, and the Future of Evangelical Faith, is a critical study of key white evangelical leaders who operationalized the “worldview” concept to influence US politics and culture over the last century. Drawing from current conversations in psychology, sociology, and other relevant domains, Cook reveals why worldview theory is inept for grasping real human complexity and begins to reimagine a theology of identity. He is currently writing a practical theology of freedom and moral agency that builds constructively within the Baptist tradition.

Jacob Cook

Education

BA, Friends University; MDiv, McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University; PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary

Religious Affiliation

Baptist

Courses Taught

  • Formation for Moral Agency and Leadership
  • Studying and Developing Local Communities

Books

  • Worldview Theory, Whiteness, and the Future of Evangelical Faith. Fortress Academic/Lexington Books, 2021.

Select Journal Articles, Book Chapters, Book Reviews

  • “Everything, Nothing, Something: Trading in World-Viewing for Everyday Faithfulness in Peacemaking and Sustainability.” In Exploring the Gospel of  Peace. Edited by Shawn and Marlena Graves. InterVarsity Press, 2022.
  • “Toward an Incarnational Theology of Identity.” In Justice and the Way of Jesus: Christian Ethics and the Incarnational Discipleship of Glen Stassen. Edited by David P. Gushee and Reggie L. Williams. Orbis Books, 2020.
  • “War, Nonviolence, and Just Peacemaking.” In Discerning Ethics: Diverse Christian Responses to Divisive Moral Issues. Edited by Hak Joon Lee and Timothy A. Dearborn. InterVarsity Press, 2020.

Select Academic Lectures

  • “Between Don Quixote and Walter Mitty: Ideal Visions, Practical Problems, and Film in Moral Formation,” International Conference on Religion and Film, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, Netherlands, June 2022.
  • “Where It All (Re)Starts: The Image of God, Created Sociality, and the Basis of ‘Our’ Freedom,” National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion Annual Meeting, Nashville, Tennessee, May 2022.
  • “A Free, Responsible Approach to Actively Identifying (with) Jesus in Interreligious and Other Complex Contexts,” Bonhoeffer: Theology and Social Analysis Unit and Christian Spirituality Unit, American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, San Antonio, Texas, November 2021.
  • “Reconceiving the Hopes for and Hindrances to the Conversion of a Plural Self,” Religious Conversions Unit, American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, San Antonio, Texas, November 2021.
  • “The Dangers of Misplacing the Concreteness of Idealist Anthropologies,” Philosophy of Religion Section (AAR), Southwest Commission on Religious Studies Annual Meeting, Dallas, Texas, March 2019.

Select Sermons, Educational Series, and Church Presentations:

  • “Practicing Faith,” 9-week course, First Baptist Church on Fifth, Winston Salem, North Carolina, Spring 2022.
  • “Letter from Birmingham Jail: Reading Group,” workshop co-facilitated, First Baptist Church on Fifth, Winston Salem, North Carolina, February 2022.
  • “The Kind of Change that Takes Forever,” sermon delivered at First Baptist Church on Fifth, Winston Salem, North Carolina, November 2021.
  • “Romans in Reverse,” 13-week course, Chapel Hill United Methodist Church, Wichita, Kansas, Summer 2020.
  • “Following Jesus in a Racialized World,” 3-session workshop, Chapel Hill United Methodist Church, Wichita, Kansas, Summer 2020.
  • “The Bonhoeffer Sessions,” 13-week course, Chapel Hill United Methodist Church, Wichita, Kansas, Spring 2020.
  • “In the Spirit of Improv,” sermon delivered at University Friends Church, Wichita, Kansas, December 2019.
  • “Jesus and the News,” 9-week course, Chapel Hill United Methodist Church, Wichita, Kansas, Spring 2019 and Fall 2019.

Select Media Interviews

Professional Affiliations:

  • American Academy of Religion
  • National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion
  • Society of Christian Ethics

Media Requests

The Office of Communications is responsible for communicating information regarding faculty research, programs, and other news to appropriate media sources. Faculty are available to provide comment for a story or be interviewed (recorded and/or live).  To request, contact Cheryl Walker, director of news and communications for Wake Forest University.