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Dr.  Peter Iver Kaufman
Dr. Peter Iver Kaufman
Professor, George Matthews & Virginia Brinkley Modlin Chair in Leadership Studies

Peter Iver Kaufman studies the political cultures of late antique, medieval, and early modern Europe and North Africa. He has written ten books, the latest of which, Arendt, Agamben, Christianity, and the Dark Arts of Civilization, will be published by Bloomsbury early in 2019. He is the author of more than 60 articles on authority, religious conflict, and literary history, which have appeared in, among other journals, Leadership and the HumanitiesJournal of Late Antiquity, Harvard Theological Review, Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte, and Journal of the American Academy of Religion.  He is editor-in-chief of Religions and founding editor of a series of monographs on the religion around iconic figures from Dante and Dürer to Virginia Woolf, Billie Holiday, and Bob Dylan. He has also edited six books, ranging from studies of charisma to others on leadership and Elizabethan culture.

He teaches courses such as the introductory leadership studies course Leadership and the Humanities and Justice and Civil Society, as well as advanced courses on political, cultural and religious leaders in late antiquity and early modern Europe.

Dr. Kaufman is Professor Emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he taught in the departments of history and religious studies and where, in 2003, he founded the Scholars Latino Initiative (SLI-NC). SLI now has additional chapters in Harrisonburg, Winchester, and Richmond Virginia. Kaufman is director of SLI-VA. 

Selected Publications

Arendt, Agamben, Christianity, and the Dark Arts of CivilizationBloomsbury, 2019

Augustine's Leaders, Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2017

Charisma, Medieval and Modern, Printed Edition of the Special Issue Published in Religions, 2014

Religion Around Shakespeare, Penn State University Press, 2013.

Leadership and Elizabethan Culture, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.

Incorrectly Political: Augustine and Thomas More, University of Notre Dame Press, 2007.

Thinking of the Laity in Late Tudor England, University of Notre Dame Press, 2004.

Prayer, Despair, Drama: Elizabethan Introspection, University of Illinois Press, 1996.

Church, Book, and Bishop: Conflict and Authority in Early Latin Christendom, HarperCollins Westview, 1996.

Redeeming Politics, Princeton University Press, 1990.

The Polytyque Church: Religion and Early Tudor Political Culture, 1485-1516, Mercer and Peeters (Leuven), 1986.


“Augustine’s Punishments,” Harvard Theological Review (2016), 550-566.

"Opinion: Education for professional leadership and the humanities: exhortations and demonstrations," Leadership and the Humanities 3 (2015): 145-157.

"Deposito Diademate: Augustine’s Emperors," Religions 6 (2015): 317-327.

"Humility and Civility: Papal Leadership at the Turn of the Seventh Century," Leadership 8 (2012): 245-256.

"Hamlet's Religions," Religions 2 (2011): 427-448.

"Christian Realism and Augustinian Liberalism," Journal of Religious Ethics 38 (2010): 699-724.

"Authenticity, Asceticism, and the Constant 'Inconstancie' of Elizabethan Character," Performance and Authenticity in the Arts (2010): 49-65.

"Augustine and Corruption,” History of Political Thought (2009): 46-59.

"Donatism Revisited; Moderates and Militants in Late Antique North Africa," Journal of Late Antiquity 1 (2009): 131-142.


“Stepping out of Constantine’s Shadow,” Christianity, Democracy, and the Shadow of Constantine (Fordham University Press, 2017), 202-218.

"Clerical Leadership in Late Antiquity," Frontiers in Spiritual Leadership: Discovering the Better Angels of Our Nature (2016), 35-49. 

"Augustine's Dystopia," Cambridge Companion to "The City of God," 2014, 55-73.

“The Protestant Opposition or Elizabethan Religious Reform,” Blackwell Companion to Tudor Britain (2009).

“Authenticity, Asceticism, and the Constant ‘Inconstancie’ of Elizabethan Character,” Performance and Authenticity in the Arts: Cambridge Studies in Philosophy and the Arts (2010).

Ph.D., University of Chicago 1975
M.A., University of Chicago 1973
M.Div., Chicago Theological Seminary 1971
B.A., Trinity College 1968
Contact Information
133 Jepson Hall
(804) 289-8003
(804) 287-6062 (Fax)
Areas of Expertise
Social Justice and Immigration Policy
Religious Leadership
Popular Religion
Political Culture (Late Antiquity through Early Modern Period)