Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Andre C. Willis

Shirley Miller House, Room 305

Downloadable CV

Andre C. Willis

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies


Andre C. Willis is a philosopher of religion whose work focuses on Enlightenment reflections on religion, race, religion and democracy, religion and global affairs, and African American religious thought.  He completed his PhD at Harvard University and taught at Yale Divinity School before joining the Brown faculty in 2013.  He is the author of Towards a Humean True Religion (2015) and is currently working on a project called Afro-Theism and Post-Democracy.  He has published articles in the Journal of Scottish Philosophy, Political Theology, and Radical America, and he has won a Salomon Research Award, a Watson Faculty Fellowship, support from the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, as well as a grant from the Templeton Foundation.  He offers courses in Christian thought, Black religion, Enlightenment philosophy of religion and religion and politics/economics in the Department of Religious Studies.


Willis’s current research considers the deep, practical hopes linked to citizenship (inclusion, recognition, membership, and success) that have framed African American “religious” experience.  These highly stylized hope-acts emerged in response to dehumanizing political conditions in the US and gained momentum from cultural sources rooted in indigenous African spiritual traditions as they were shaped under the guise of varieties of Christianity, Islam, Judaic sects, and fraternal orders inside of an ever-changing political rhetoric that disregarded Black humanity. 


Towards a Humean True Religion (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2015)

“The Use-Value of Hume’s True Religion,” Journal of Scottish Philosophy 12.1 (Spring 2015)

Theology in Post-Democracy, Political Theology 10.2 (July 2009)


Religion and Postmodernism

David Hume’s Philosophy of Religion

African American Religious Strategies

Christianity and Economic Inequality

Foundational Texts in African American Theology

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