Loyola University Chicago

Department of Theology

Kimberly Matheson




PhD Candidate 

Dissertation Title: “Soul as Paraphrase: The Formalism, Minority, and Politics of Prayer" 

Because Christian prayer is located at the limits of language, it bears specifically formalist stakes. As a self-referential schematic moment within religious life, prayer makes reference to the totality of which prayer itself is an element. The resulting structure follows what Graham Priest calls an “inclosure schema” and is, moreover, the same kind of non-self-identical structure that motivates the thought of both Giorgio Agamben and Francois Laruelle. Furthermore, because Agamben and Laruelle jointly diagnose the political and ethical atrocities wrought by modern biopolitics as a function of human beings’ failure to coincide with themselves, questions of formalism open directly onto politics. Taken together with the revolutionary posture many liberation theologians wish to assign to prayer, I suggest that there is a radically immanent political project brewing when the Christian disciple takes to her knees.


Colby Dickinson


Christian contemplative practice, continental philosophy of religion, Francois Laruelle, Giorgio Agamben, Catherine Malabou, Mormon theology


“Points, Plasticity, and the Logic of Contraction in Alain Badiou and Catherine Malabou,” Symposium 25.1 (2021): 180–204.

With Joseph M. Spencer, “‘Great Cause to Mourn’: The Complexity of The Book of Mormon’s Presentation of Gender and Race,” pages 298–320 in The Book of Mormon: Americanist Approaches (ed. Jared Hickman and Elizabeth Fenton, Oxford University Press, 2019)

“Arché-ic: Secularization in Giorgio Agamben’s ‘Homo Sacer’ Series,” Reflexão 2 (2018): 189–204.


“Playing with the Secular,” response to Marlene Deibl, presented at Agamben colloquium, University of Vienna, March 22, 2019.

“Giorgio Agamben, Catherine Malabou, and the Non-Coincidence of Being,” presented at Reunião Científica de Pós-Graduandos e Graduandos: Religião e Política, Pontifical Catholic University of Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil, May 8, 2018.

“(White?) Messianism and Black Prometheus: Giorgio Agamben and Jared Hickman on Sovereignty,” presented at Sovereignty and Strangeness conference, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, October 19–21, 2018.


MTS, Philosophy of Religion, Harvard Divinity School (2017)

BA, Ancient Near East Studies, Brigham Young University (2011)


American Academy of Religion

Book of Mormon Studies Association