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Robert K. Johnston

Senior Professor of Theology and Culture

AB, Stanford University
BD, Fuller Theological Seminary
PhD, Duke University

Courses Taught

ST501: Systematic Theology 1: Theology and Anthropology

ST502: Systematic Theology 2: Christology and Soteriology

TC521: Theology and Contemporary Literature

TC530: Theology and Film

TC849/549: A Theology of General Revelation

TC864/564: A Theology of Beauty

Campus Affiliations

Areas of Expertise

Theology/religion and the arts, theology and film, the church and the entertainment industry, theology and the contemporary novel, general revelation, theological hermeneutics, a theology of beauty, the nature of the human, evangelicalism, Old Testament wisdom literature, play

“We need a hermeneutic that includes not only Scripture and the tradition of the church but also cultural receptivity and human experience. . . . Not only can Scripture provide an interpretive grid for our experiences, but our experiences can also become the ‘spectacles’ through which we reread the Scriptures and church tradition, looking for insight from God’s Word that might provide further interpretation and illumination and vice versa.”


Dr. Johnston, in his book God’s Wider Presence: Reconsidering General Revelation. Explore more voices on the topic of theology and popular culture.


Robert Johnston joined the faculty of Fuller in 1993, serving as provost until 1995, and now serving as professor of theology and culture. He brought with him 20 years of teaching, ecclesial, and academic administrative experience, including 11 years as dean and provost at North Park University. He is married to Catherine Barsotti, has two grown daughters, and likes the beach.

Johnston has published in a variety of fields, including theology, selected Old Testament topics, evangelical theology, theology and film, and theology and culture. His recent books include God in the Movies (coedited with Catherine Barsotti, 2017), God’s Wider Presence: Reconsidering General Revelation (2014), Don’t Stop Believin’: Pop Culture and Religion from Ben Hur to Zombies (coedited with Craig Detweiler and Barry Taylor; 2012), Useless Beauty (2004), Finding God in the Movies (coauthored with Catherine Barsotti; 2004), Life Is Not Work/Work Is Not Life (coauthored with J. Walker Smith; 2001), and Reel Spirituality: Theology and Film in Dialogue (2nd ed. 2006). He is editor of Reframing Theology and Film: New Focus for an Emerging Discipline (2007), an Old Testament general editor of the Understanding the Bible Commentary Series (Baker), and coeditor of both the Engaging Culture and the Exegeting Culture series for Baker Academic, as well as the Religion and Film series for Routledge. Also a past president of the American Theological Society, he was a recipient of two major research grants from the Luce Foundation. Johnston is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Covenant Church.

Download Dr. Johnston’s CV, which includes a list of his current publications, here.

Featured Publications