James J. Carney, PhD

James J. Carney, PhD

James J. Carney, PhD

Associate Professor
College of Arts and Sciences


  • Modern Catholicism in Africa

Academic Appointments


  • Theology


  • Associate Professor

Teaching Activity

  • Christianity in Africa & African Theology (upper-level undergraduate)
  • Political Theology (upper-level UG and graduate)
  • Spirituality of Reconciliation: Social & Global Perspectives (graduate)
  • Sport & Spirituality (1st-year undergraduate)
  • The Christian Tradition: Global Visions (1st-year undergraduate)
  • The History of the Christian Church (upper-level undergraduate)
  • The Rwanda Genocide as a Challenge for the Church (upper-level UG)


Jay Carney is Assistant Professor of Theology and Director of African Studies at Creighton University. His research focuses on modern Catholic history and theology in Africa, particularly the Great Lakes region (e.g., Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo). He is also interested in the theology and history of Christian social reconciliation, political theology, and the history of Christian missions. His first book, Rwanda Before the Genocide: Catholic Politics and Ethnic Discourse in the Late Colonial Era (Oxford University Press, 2014), won the African Studies Association’s 2015 Bethwell A. Ogot book prize for best book in East African Studies. He is now working on a project exploring post-colonial Catholic leadership in Uganda. Carney is married and has 4 children. 

Publications and Presentations



  • , 41, 181-183
  • , 30, 300-318
  • , 37, 236-236
  • , 55, 149-151
  • , 36, 100-100
  • , 42, 172-202
  • , 18, 82-102
  • , 45, 173-176


  • , Supplement 10, 229-41
  • , Vol. II, 1321-1322


Research and Scholarship

Research and Scholarship Interests

  • Modern Catholicism in Africa; Church & State in Modern Africa; Political Theology; Missiology; Modern Catholic History

Current Research Projects

  • Postcolonial Catholic political engagement in Uganda, including a co-authored book project on Benedicto Kiwanuka (first prime minister of Uganda) and a 2nd book project on Catholic ecclesial leadership and postcolonial politics in Uganda Social Reconciliation in the Catholic Tradition, including a conference and book project on case studies from the historical tradition

Grant Funding Received

  • "A Generation after Genocide: Catholic Reconciliation in Rwanda." Awarded $4,800 Summer Faculty Research Fellowship, 2014; jointly funded by CURAS/CCAS and Kripke Center. Principal Investigator.
  • Course Development Grant ($4,000), Holocaust & Genocide Studies, 2013. Developed Fall 2014 course entitled "The Rwanda Genocide as a Challenge for the Church."
  • “Social Reconciliation & Catholic Ecclesiology in the Diocese of Tshumbe, Democratic Republic of Congo.” Won $5,000 grant from George F. Haddix President’s Faculty Research Fund, Creighton University, 2012-13. Principal Investigator.
  • "Catholic Political Theology in Postcolonial Uganda, 1962-86." Awarded $5,000 research grant from Kripke Center for Religion and Culture, Creighton University, Summer 2015. Principal Investigator

Awards and Honors

  • 2015 Bethwell A. Ogot Book Prize, African Studies Association, 2015
  • Honors Distinction on Dissertation, Catholic University of America, 2011
  • Grant Reviewer, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2007