Thriving Congregations Lilly Endowment Grant Initiative Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow and Scholar
Jacob Alan Cook is a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary, where his dissertation, “Evangelicals and Identity Politics,” passed with distinction. Fortress Academic will publish a revised version of this project later this year under the title Worldview Theory, Whiteness, and the Future of Evangelical Faith. Jake’s primary research area could be described as a “theology of identity,” aimed at uncovering the often-unseen dynamics in personal and social identity (trans)formation through good interdisciplinary work. This research fuels his strategies for grounded leadership that energizes others in the work of justice, reconciliation, and compassion.
Prior to joining Wake Forest University School of Theology, Jake taught courses in religion and philosophy as a visiting assistant professor at his alma mater, Friends University in Wichita, Kansas, where he also contributed to the work of the Apprentice Institute for Christian Spiritual Formation. Over the last five years, Jake has regularly taught classes and workshops at his local church, developing strategies to nurture genuine dialogue and action on matters of justice with adult learners. During his doctoral studies, Jake served with the late Baptist peacemaker Glen Stassen as the associate director of Fuller’s Just Peacemaking Initiative.
Jake has published chapters on Christian identity, nonviolence and peacemaking, and ecological sustainability. His current writing projects extend his research in new directions. One paper is focused on the complex and ongoing nature of religious “conversion” considering current psychological theories of selfhood and how to envision the process of moral formation in churches as a result. A second paper explores how Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s understanding of the Christian community might have taken on a different texture if Bonhoeffer would have followed through on his plans to learn from Gandhi on the ground in India.
Jake is married to Abigail, whom he met as a fellow student in the Master of Divinity program at Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology. They have three children, Judah (7), Eleanor (5), and Silas Glen (3).