Charles Marsh, Project Director

Charles MarshCharles Marsh is professor of religious studies and director of the Project on Lived Theology at the University of Virginia. He is a graduate of Harvard Divinity School and the University of Virginia, where he earned his PhD in 1989.

Shortly after publishing Reclaiming Dietrich Bonhoeffer: The Promise of His Theology (Oxford, 1994), Marsh began considering the religious and moral paradoxes of his own southern Protestant upbringing. He was struck by the complex ways theological commitments and convictions came into dramatic conflict in the civil rights movement in the American South. The religious beliefs and social practices of ordinary people of faith illuminated a new way of writing theology for him, the first fruit being God’s Long Summer: Stories of Faith and Civil Rights (Princeton, 1997) which won the 1998 Grawemeyer Award in Religion.

His memoir, The Last Days: A Son’s Story of Sin and Segregation at the Dawn of a New South (Basic Books, 2001), is a coming of age account of a minister’s son in a small Mississippi town that was home to the Christian terrorist organization called the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

His 2005 book, The Beloved Community: How Faith Shapes Social Justice, from the Civil Rights Movement to Today (Basic Books), developed a new interpretation of the Civil Rights Movement based on Martin Luther King Jr.’s remark that “the end [of the movement] is not the protest, the end is not the boycott; the end is redemption, reconciliation and the creation of beloved community.”

In 2007, Marsh wrote a theological analysis of the Christian Right’s support of the presidency of George W. Bush entitled Wayward Christian Soldiers: Freeing the Gospel from Political Captivity (Oxford, June 2007), which was excerpted in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune and the Boston Globe.

Marsh is delighted to have co-authored a book with his lifelong friend, the civil rights activist John M. Perkins. Welcoming Justice: God’s Movement Toward Beloved Community was published by InterVarsity Press in Fall 2009 and is based on lectures delivered during the Teaching Communities Conference at the Duke Divinity School Center for Reconciliation.

Marsh, a 2009 John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in the Creative Arts, served as the Ellen Maria Gorrissen Fellow at the American Academy of Berlin in spring 2010. His most recent book, Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Knopf, 2014), received the 2015 Christianity Today Book Award in History/Biography.


Kim earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Classics (double major) from the University of Virginia, and a master’s degree in Cinema Studies from New York University. Prior to coming to The Project on Lived Theology, she served as a copy and research editor at UVA’s Washington Papers. While there, she co-edited an upcoming print and digital edition of Martha Washington documents. Kim also managed communications at Monticello and UVA’s Miller Center. A longtime volunteer and supporter of the Virginia Film Festival, Kim enjoys discovering, watching, and discussing movies. 


Jessica Seibert, Project Manager

Jessica SeibertJessica graduated from Colorado College with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology. Before joining the project team, she worked extensively in grant management at the University of Colorado. She and her husband, a college basketball coach, have two daughters and many animals. They all live together in a cooperative household with extended family, and Jessica is the house chef for ten people. While cooking occupies much of her free time, she also enjoys gardening, reading and sports.


Tim Shriver, Graduate research fellow

Tim is a graduate student at UVA pursuing a dual degree in religious studies and law. His passion and curiosity lie in the intersection of faith and justice and how the interaction between the two shapes our legal system. Most recently, he served as the president of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, an international Catholic service organization that engages passionate young people to serve in marginalized communities. He lives in Charlottesville with his wife, Tamara, and their son, Francis. Together they take every opportunity to go hiking in Shenandoah National Park.


ISAAC BARNES MAY, research fellow

Isaac Barnes May is a graduate of Earlham College and Harvard Divinity School, and recently completed a PhD in Religious Studies at the University of Virginia. He specializes in American religious history, focusing on religion and modernity, liberal religion and the religious left. He is particularly interested in the study of pacifism, religion and law, and how religious groups respond to the pressures of secularization. His dissertation focuses on changing notions of God and the emergence of nontheistic perspectives within twentieth-century Unitarianism, Quakerism, and Reconstructionist Judaism. Isaac was a contributor to The Cambridge Companion to Quakerism, and his research has been published in journals including Peace & Change and Religions.


Dorothea Lebeau, undergraduate research fellow

Dorothea LeBeauDorothea is a second year engineering student at UVa who plans to focus on aerospace. She came here from Missouri, where she was heavily involved in writing and Irish dance. Here on grounds she is part of Shakespeare on the Lawn, as well as the swing dance club. She hopes to someday work somewhere where she can design aircraft. In her spare time she enjoys reading or geocaching in little known parks.



Staff Alumni