Gary Dorrien is an American social ethicist and theologian. He has taught since 2005 at Union Theological Seminary as the Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics and at Columbia University as Professor of Religion, both in New York City. An Episcopal priest and athlete, he was previously the Parfet Distinguished Professor at Kalamazoo College, where he taught for 18 years and also served as Dean of Stetson Chapel and Chair of Humanities.
Dorrien is the author of 16 books and approximately 275 articles in ethics, social theory, theology, philosophy, politics, and history. More than 40 reviewers have described his three-volume work, The Making of American Liberal Theology, as the definitive work in the field. The Expository Times called it "an endeavor best described, by all accounts, as magisterial, definitive, and authoritative."
In 2013 Dorrien won the Association of American Publishers Prize (the PROSE Award) for the best book of the year in Theology and Religious Studies, Kantian Reason and Hegelian Spirit: The Idealistic Logic of Modern Theology. University of Georgia philosopher Frederick Ferré stated, “Gary Dorrien is a superstar interpreter of modern religious thought. This unique, fascinating, aggressively revisionary book will have no competition until books appear to argue against it.”
In 2009 Dorrien won the Choice Award for his book, Social Ethics in the Making. The Christian Century described this book as "magnificent, sprawling, monumental, captivating, expertly written, and exhaustively researched. Social Ethics in the Making will soon be recognized as a classic."
A frequent lecturer at universities, conferences, civic groups, and religious communities, Dorrien is a recent past president of the American Theological Society and has a long record of involvement in social justice organizations. His book, Imperial Designs, grew out of his extensive lecturing against the U.S.'s invasion and occupation of Iraq. His book, Economy, Difference, Empire: Social Ethics for Social Justice, features his lectures on economic democracy, racial, and gender justice, and anti-imperial politics, and he has lectured extensively on subjects related to his book The Obama Question: A Progressive Perspective.
- Logic and Consciousness: The Dialectics of Mind, Hastings Press, 1985.
- The Democratic Socialist Vision, Rowman & Littlefield, 1986.
- Reconstructing the Common Good: Theology and the Social Order. Orbis Books (June 1990). ISBN 978-0-88344-659-1
- The Neoconservative Mind: Politics, Culture, and the War of Ideology, Temple University Press, 1993, 1994.
- Soul in Society: The Making and Renewal of Social Christianity, Fortress Press, 1995.
- The Word as True Myth: Interpreting Modern Theology, Westminster John Knox Press, 1997.
- The Remaking of Evangelical Theology, Westminster John Knox Press, 1998.
- The Barthian Revolt in Modern Theology: Theology Without Weapons, Westminster John Knox Press, 2000.
- The Making of American Liberal Theology: Imagining Progressive Religion, 1805 - 1900 (v. 1). Westminster John Knox Press; 1 edition (October 1, 2001). ISBN 978-0-664-22354-0
- The Making of American Liberal Theology: Idealism, Realism, and Modernity, 1900-1950 (v. 2). Westminster John Knox Press; 1 edition (February 2003). ISBN 978-0-664-22355-7
- Imperial Designs: Neoconservatism and the New Pax Americana. Routledge (August 31, 2004). ISBN 978-0-415-94980-4
- The Making of American Liberal Theology: Crisis, Irony, and Postmodernity: 1950-2005 (v. 3). Westminster John Knox Press (November 1, 2006). ISBN 978-0-664-22356-4
- Social Ethics in the Making: Interpreting an American Tradition. Wiley-Blackwell; illustrated edition (December 22, 2008). ISBN 978-1-4051-8687-2
- Economy, Difference, Empire: Social Ethics for Social Justice. Columbia University Press; (October 2010). ISBN 978-0-231-14984-6.
- Kantian Reason and the Hegelian Spirit: The Idealistic Logic of Modern Theology. Wiley-Blackwell (April 17, 2012). ISBN 978-0470673317
- The Obama Question: A Progressive Perspective. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc, 2012. ISBN 978-1-4422-1537-5
- Peter Steinfels, “Two Social Ethicists and the National Landscape,” New York Times (May 26, 2007).
- Dave Person, “Athlete to Academic: K-College Names Theologian to First Distinguished Professorship,” Kalamazoo Gazette (February 3, 2001); Chris Meehan, “Dorrien to Leave ‘K’ for N.Y. Seminary,” Kalamazoo Gazette (January 27, 2005).
- Nancy Frankenberry, review of The Making of American Liberal Theology, by Gary Dorrien, The Expository Times, May 2008.
- http://www.proseawards.com/current-winners.html" http://www.proseawards.com/current-winners.html; Union Theological Seminary, “Gary Dorrien Wins Association of American Publishers’ PROSE Award,” February 22, 2013, "http://www.utsnyc.edu/news" www.utsnyc.edu/news.
- Choice Award, cited on paperback edition of Gary Dorrien, Social Ethics in the Making (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010): “A masterful, careful, and encyclopedic history of Christian social ethics…It is simply the definitive history of Christian social ethics.”
- Paul J. Wadell, review of Social Ethics in the Making, by Gary Dorrien, The Christian Century, October 20, 2009.
- Columbia University, Department of Religion, Faculty Biography of Gary Dorrien, http://www.columbia.edu" www.columbia.edu; Union Theological Seminary, Faculty Biography and Vitae of Gary Dorrien, http://www.uts.columbia.edu" www.uts.columbia.edu.
- Gary Dorrien, Imperial Designs: Neoconservatism and the New Pax Americana (New York: Routledge, 2003, 2012), x.
- Gary Dorrien. Faculty, Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York
- Faith and Economic Justice. Gary Dorrien, Cornel West and Serene Jones appear as guests on Bill Moyers Journal. This program originally aired July 3, 2009 on PBS
- "Theologian and Social Ethicist Gary Dorrien," by Thorne Dreyer, The Rag Blog, May 2, 2012. Includes podcast of April 27, 2012, Rag Radio interview with Gary Dorrien. (57:18)
- Faculty profile discusses Dorrien's family life