Primary Field of Study: Moral Theology/Christian Ethics
Secondary Field of Study: World Religions and World Church
Ph.D. University of Chicago
Research and Training Interests
Theology and Ethnography; Social theory; the Opioid Crisis
Imitating Christ in Magwi: An Anthropological Theology. Bloomsbury/T&T Clark, December 2018.
“The Askēsis of Fieldwork: Practices for a Way of Inquiry, A Way of Life,” in Mary Moschella and Susan Wilhauck, eds., Qualitative Research in Theological Education: Pedagogy in Practice (November 2018, SCM Press).
“Theology as Playbook and Gamefilm: Explaining an Ethnographic Approach to Theology to a Sports-Centered Culture,” in Mary Moschella and Susan Wilhauck, eds., Qualitative Research in Theological Education: Pedagogy in Practice (November 2018, SCM Press).
“Traditional Devotion, Radical Witness: Insights from Fieldwork in Conflict Northern Uganda,” Annual of the College Theology Society (2016).
“Bridging Jesus’ Missions to the Poor and the Wicked: Contributions from an Anthropological Theology,” Annual of the College Theology Society (2012).
Professor Whitmore uses ethnographic methods to raise theological questions. From 2005-2013, this took him to war and post-conflict zones in northern Uganda and South Sudan, leading to his book, Imitating Christ in Magwi: An Anthropological Theology (Bloomsbury/T&T Clark, December 2018). Anthropological theology turns traditional “theological anthropology” on its head, with the conviction that any account of “the person” must be richly informed by accounts of how persons in fact live. His work has led to him being appointed as Concurrent Associate Professor in the Anthropology Department.
Currently Professor Whitmore’s work is local, where he serves as a Certified Addiction Peer Recovery Coach for persons with methamphetamine and opioid addictions in northern Indiana. His research asks how Christianity, race, and class work in the construction of public ideas of who counts as an addict.
In doing “grounded” theology, Professor Whitmore believes that theologians should serve the marginalized by more than writing books. In Uganda in 2008, he co-founded, based on Catholic social teaching, a non-profit that combined agricultural training and peacebuilding. In 2018 he wrote a successful grant to train addiction recovery coaches to work in the local hospital emergency room to help those recovering from overdoses to maintain ongoing sobriety.