Benjamin M. Stewart Gordon A. Braatz Associate Professor of Worship; Director of the Zygon Center for Religion and Science


Areas of Expertise

    Religion and Science

    Liturgy: theology and practice

    Ritual and Ecology

    Natural burial as a spiritual practice

    Baptism: history, theology, renewal

    The Wisdom in a ‘post-truth’ culture


    B.A., Capital University

    M.Div., Trinity Lutheran Seminary

    S.T.M., Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia

    Ph.D., Emory University


Rev. Dr. Benjamin Stewart is the Gordon A. Braatz Associate Professor of Worship and Director of the Zygon Center for Religion and Science at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, where he has taught since 2008.

Dr. Stewart's academic work illuminates how various forms of liturgical participation are theologically generative, especially for the work of liberation and renewal, and for everyday life in the world.

In addition to his contributions to churchwide liturgical resources and other academic and public scholarship, Ben is author of A Watered Garden: Christian Worship and Earth’s Ecology (2011). His current book project is a liturgical ecotheology of funeral practices, tentatively titled Returning to the Earth: the Spiritual Wisdom of Natural Burial. 

Ben recently completed his second, three-year term as convener of the Ecology and Liturgy seminar of the North American Academy of Liturgy.

A Lutheran pastor, Ben served as pastor to a small congregation in the Appalachian region of Ohio and as village pastor to Holden Village retreat center in the Glacier Peak Wilderness of Washington, where he now serves on the board of directors.

An avid backpacker and fan of poetry read aloud, Ben lives in the Chicago suburbs with his spouse, Dr. Elizabeth Stewart, who works in population health nursing.

Published Works

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