Jason Sexton

Contact Information

Email    jasonsexton@ucla.edu
Office  UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, 619 Charles E. Young Drive East, LaKretz Hall – Suite 300

Jason S. Sexton studies internal structural commitments of communities and their members and how these relate to assumed cultural and theological norms that show up in social and ethical action. His research focuses closely on California and its culture, the prison and its governance structures, contemporary religion/theology, and on convergent points where these subjects intersect.

His scholarly work has been published in academic journals like International Journal of Public TheologyReligionsEcclesial PracticesJournal of Theological Studies, and in journals of missiology and criminology. Contributions in religious studies led to his elected role as recent President of the largest, most diverse regional body of the American Academy of Religion, the Western Region. And his contributions to California studies led to his appointment as the recent Editor of the UC Press-published journal, Boom California. His academic writing has been published by presses like Routledge and Bloomsbury, while his popular writing has appeared in the LA TimesZocalo Public Square, Los Angeles Review of Books, HarperCollins, among others.

Prior to joining the California Center for Sustainable Communities at UCLA, he was the Interim State University Associate Dean of Academic Programs and a Visiting Fellow at the UC Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion.

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PhD, University of St Andrews

Selected Publications

British Evangelical Theologians of the Twentieth Century. Co-edited with Thomas A. Noble. London: Inter-Varsity Press, 2022.

Theology and California: Theological Refractions on California’s Culture. Co-edited with Fred Sanders. New York: Routledge, 2014.

The Trinitarian Theology of Stanley J. Grenz. New York: Bloomsbury, 2013; pb 2015.


“The Critical Study of Religion and Division in the Age of Covid-19,” International Journal of Public Theology (Brill) 15/2 (2021): 157-176. https://doi.org/10.1163/15697320-12341652

“Experiencing Justice from the Inside Out: Theological Considerations about the Church’s Role in Justice, Healing, and Forgiveness,” Religions special issue, “Carceral Intersections: Christianity and the Crisis of Mass Incarceration,” 10/2 (2019): 108. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020108

“Redeemed on the Inside: Radical Accounts of Ecclesia Incarcerate,” Ecclesial Practices: Journal of Ecclesiology and Ethnography (Brill) 5/2 (December 2018): 172-90. https://doi.org/10.1163/22144471-00502005

“Confessional Theology in Public Places,” International Journal of Public Theology (Brill) 10/2 (March/April 2016): 234-48. https://doi.org/10.1163/15697320-12341444

“Greystone Chapel: Finding freedom inside Folsom Prison’s walls,” Boom: A Journal of California (UC Press): 6/2 (Summer 2016): 104-110 [after becoming Editor]. https://doi.org/10.1525/boom.2016.6.2.104

“Jesus on LSD: When Religion Met California Blotter,” Boom: A Journal of California (UC Press): 5/4 (December 2015): 78-84 [before becoming Editor]. https://doi.org/10.1525/boom.2015.5.4.78

“Toward a Theology of California’s Ecclesia Incarcerate,” Theology (Sage Press) 118.2 (Mar/Apr 2015): 83-91. https://doi.org/10.1177/0040571X14559159