Carl R. Trueman

Fellow

Carl R. Trueman is a fellow in EPPC’s Evangelicals in Civic Life Program, where his work focuses on helping civic leaders and policy makers better understand the deep roots of our current cultural malaise. In addition to his scholarship on the intellectual foundations of expressive individualism and the sexual revolution, Trueman is also interested in the origins, rise, and current use of critical theory by progressives. He serves as a professor at Grove City College.

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Carl R. Trueman is a fellow in EPPC’s Evangelicals in Civic Life Program, where his work focuses on helping civic leaders and policy makers better understand the deep roots of our current cultural malaise. In addition to his scholarship on the intellectual foundations of expressive individualism and the sexual revolution, Trueman is also interested in the origins, rise, and current use of critical theory by progressives. He serves as a professor at Grove City College. 

Trueman is the author of the best-selling, award-winning 2020 book The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and the Road to the Sexual Revolution. Born and raised in England, Trueman is a graduate of the Universities of Cambridge (M.A.) and Aberdeen (Ph.D), and has taught on the faculties of the Universities of Nottingham and Aberdeen before moving to the United States in 2001 to teach at Westminster Theological Seminary (PA). In 2017-18 he was the William E. Simon Visiting Fellow in Religion and Public Life in the James Madison Program at Princeton University. Since 2018, he has served as a professor at Grove City College in the Calderwood School of Arts and Humanities. 

Trueman’s earlier academic work focused on Reformation and post-Reformation Protestantism, particularly the reception of Martin Luther’s thought in the English context and also the use of late medieval philosophy by seventeenth century Reformed thinkers. More recently, he has studied the rise of modern therapeutic culture, specifically as it shapes popular attitudes to sexual morality, gender identity, and freedom of speech and religion. 

Trueman’s latest book, the best-selling The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self, explores the nature of the sexual revolution against the background of the development of expressive individualism. It has been described by Rod Dreher, writing in the Wall Street Journal as “one of the most important religious books of the decade” and by Ben Shapiro as “the most important book of our moment.” A concise version of his argument, Strange New World, is due to be published in February 2022, with a foreword authored by EPPC President Ryan T. Anderson. 

Trueman has published widely, with scholarly articles in books from Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, and Brill. His commentaries on contemporary issues appear regularly in First Things, where he is a contributing editor, and he has also published in Public Discourse, Deseret News, and Catholic World Report. Trueman has had a longstanding interest in Marxist theory and he is currently working on a book examining the origins of critical theory in the western Marxist tradition of the early twentieth century. 

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Culture War or Cultural Appeasement?

Carl R. Trueman

Our culture’s obsession with identity means that the culture war will demand we take a stand, one way or the other.

Articles

WORLD Opinions / December 2, 2021

Blame It on Luther?

Carl R. Trueman

Did Martin Luther cause modernity? Was it the failure of the medieval papacy? Or was it the printing press and the rise of capitalism? Until such time as we eschew the simplistic blame game and start to think more historically, we are unlikely to move beyond partisan point-scoring.

Articles

First Things / December 2, 2021

An Argument for a Revised Feminism, Rooted in a Correct Anthropology

Carl R. Trueman

At the heart of Erika Bachiochi’s The Rights of Women: Reclaiming a Lost Vision is the assertion that human beings are not defined by autonomy but rather by relations of dependency and obligation.

Articles

The Catholic World Report / November 26, 2021

Are There Any Adults Left in America?

Carl R. Trueman

In describing Israel during the time of the judges, the Bible says on several occasions that “in those days in Israel there was no king.” In years to come, when the history of 21st-century America is written, the phrase is more likely to be “in those days, the U.S.A. had no adults.”

Articles

WORLD Opinions / November 19, 2021

Queering Veterans Day

Carl R. Trueman

Georgetown’s mission statement may claim that the school is Catholic, but it seems its Catholicism must comport with the latest trendy ideas about identity touted by the left’s lobby groups.

Articles

First Things / November 18, 2021

The Moral Heretics of the Woke Revolution

Carl R. Trueman

The employee revolt at Netflix carries lessons for Christian leaders.

Articles

WORLD Opinions / November 4, 2021

Lessons from the Reformation’s Pamphlet War

Carl R. Trueman

Twitter is both a symptom and a contributing cause of the collapse of rationality we see all around us. And sadly, too many Christians are willing accomplices in this cultural disaster.

Articles

First Things / November 4, 2021

Notre Dame Students Go to War over ‘Woke’ Catholicism

Alexandra DeSanctis

The University of Notre Dame has failed to articulate the truth of Catholic Church teaching on human sexuality and gender identity.

Articles

National Review Online / November 1, 2021

The Church Among the Deathworks

Carl R. Trueman

Long ago, Nietzsche’s Madman asked the rhetorical question, “What after all are these churches now if they are not the tombs and sepulchers of God?” Sadly, it seems that too many of the gravediggers these days are members of the clergy.

Articles

First Things / October 21, 2021

Self-Love and the Subversion of the Family

Carl R. Trueman

There can be few things that indicate what a society thinks about the purpose of being human more eloquently than its views on marriage.

Articles

World Magazine / October 20, 2021

The Failure of Evangelical Elites

Carl R. Trueman

We should not expect to be embraced by those whose thoughts and deeds contradict the truths of our faith. Nor should we seek to make our faith more palatable, lest the salt lose its savor. Accommodating the world’s demands is a fool’s errand, as anyone who reads Schleiermacher should know.

Articles

First Things / October 15, 2021

The Body Is More Than A Tool

Carl R. Trueman

As the amicus brief filed in the Dobbs case on behalf of more than five hundred women athletes shows, Cartesianism alive and well today on the left, evident in everything from transgenderism to women’s athletics and the legal arguments surrounding abortion.

Articles

First Things / October 7, 2021