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Robert K. Johnston

Senior Professor of Theology and Culture

As senior faculty at Fuller, this professor primarily mentors students and only occasionally, if ever, teaches courses.

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

Brehm Center for Worship, Theology, and the Arts
Reel Spirituality (Brehm Film)
Center for Advanced Theological Studies

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, theology of beauty, the nature of the human, evangelicalism, Old Testament

“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 an interpretive grid for Scripture.”


Dr. Johnston, in his book God’s Wider Presence: Reconsidering General Revelation.


Robert Johnston joined the faculty of Fuller in 1993, serving as provost until 1995, and now serving as senior 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 five grandchildren, and likes the beach.

Dr. 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 for Baker Books, coeditor of both the Engaging Culture and the Exegeting Culture series for Baker Academic, as well as the Religion and Film series for Routledge. A past president of the American Theological Society and the recipient of two major research grants from the Luce Foundation, Johnston is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Covenant Church.

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