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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 antiquity, medieval, and early modern Europe and North Africa. He has written 12 books, the latest of which, Agamben, Donatism, Pelagianism, and the Missing Links, was published in 2020. 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 has also edited six books, ranging from studies of charisma to others on leadership and Elizabethan culture.

Kaufman teaches introductory leadership studies courses, such as 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.

He 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

On Agamben, Donatism, Pelagianism, and the Missing Links, Bloomsbury, 2020.

On Agamben, Arendt, 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 Churche: Religion and Early Tudor Political Culture, 1485-1516, Mercer and Peeters (Leuven), 1986.


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

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

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

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

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


"Political Realism and Nationalism," The Edinburgh Companion to Political Realism (Edinburgh University Press, 2018), 494-506.

“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.

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

"The 'confessing animal' on stage: Authenticity, asceticism, and the constant 'inconstancie' of Elizabethan character," Performance and Authenticity in the Arts (2010): 49-65.

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

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
242 Jepson Hall
(804) 289-8003
(804) 287-6062 (Fax)
Areas of Expertise
Social Justice and Immigration Policy
Modern and Postmodern Political Theory
Political Culture (Late Antiquity through Early Modern Period)