Dr. Hitchcock's Research Interests

My primary area of interest is slave theology (not to be confused with black theology).  The theology of the slaves has been some of the most profound theological thinking to come out of America.  It is uniquely American yet at the same time offers one of the most serious critiques of American life and assumptions.  Slave theology exemplifies theology from below, and as such has a unique emphasis on the Old Testament, particularly the Exodus, and offers a new type of hermeneutical key to scripture which can be used in various ways.  Slave theology has been highly influential not only on the American black community, but on the American church as a whole.  This influence can be clearly seen in such figures as Martin Luther King, Jr., but can also be found in many other American figures, movements, and institutions.


A secondary area of interest concerns the 19th century American author Louisa May Alcott.  Alcott is most famous for her children’s book Little Women.  She is often dismissed as a children’s author; however, of late, feminist critics have found in her an important voice for the 21st century.  However, it is my belief that most of these feminist critics have deeply misunderstood Alcott, both in her context and in her beliefs.  I am interested in exploring various theological themes presented in Alcott’s work, including the nature of work, the importance of virtue and how that is achieved, and the significance of the Transcendental Movement.


A final area of interest which has been emerging recently concerns the issue of story-telling and the nature of truth.  The importance of story-telling has re-emerged with post-modernism and is being explored anew within the context of the gospel and the Church as well as within more secular circles.  Questions concerning the nature, reality and communication of truth are central to this topic. These questions, in combination with the idea of narrative theology, are of new and exciting interest to me.