Rev. Kane

The Rev. E. Ross Kane, Ph.D.

Director of Doctoral Programs and Assistant Professor of Theology, Ethics, and Culture

The Rev. E. Ross Kane, Ph.D. is the Director of Doctoral Programs and Assistant Professor of Theology, Ethics, and Culture. His vocation joins a heart for parish ministry with a rigorous scholarship that builds up the church.  

Dr. Kane is fascinated by the intersections of culture and moral decision-making, studying how our cultural identities shape our understanding of right and wrong, and how they shape our understanding of God’s work in the world. He helps students explore the religious practices and teachings that enable us to form communities of love and justice and consider what ones detract from such formation.

A Virginia native, Kane was ordained in 2009 in the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. Before coming to VTS in 2017, Kane was the Senior Associate Rector at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Alexandria, VA. There he crafted innovative adult education offerings and played a leading role in launching and sustaining efforts to serve Alexandria’s most vulnerable citizens.

In 2002, Kane was appointed to the Episcopal Church’s Young Adult Service Corps, working for The New Sudan Council of Churches in East Africa (now the South Sudan Council of Churches). He spent three years working with South Sudanese peacemaking efforts before returning to Virginia in 2005 to attend divinity school and then serve as associate rector at St. Paul’s.

These experiences have led Kane to explore how communities shape moral identity and spiritual community. He is the author of Syncretism and Christian Tradition: Race and Revelation in the Study of Religious Mixture (Oxford University Press, 2021), as well as numerous other publications in academic and popular presses. His writing explores the lived experience of religious communities, particularly the incorporation of new and unfamiliar expressions of belief and practice. He is currently working on a guide to politics for parish life.

Dr. Kane frequently presents lectures and seminars on topics such as:

  • religion and culture
  • everyday ethics

Kane and his wife, Liz Doughty Kane, have two sons, Stephen and Philip.

Ph.D. Religious Studies, University of Virginia
M.Div. and Certificate in Anglican Studies, Duke Divinity School
B.A. Foreign Affairs with a minor in Religious Studies, University of Virginia

Linked Publications

Syncretism and Christian Tradition: Race and Revelation in the Study of Religious Mixture. Oxford University Press, 2020.

s.v. “Syncretism,” in Routledge Encyclopedia of African Studies, forthcoming. Article-length encyclopedia entry.

“The Communion of Ancestors: From Africa, a Case for Reverencing the Dead”, Christian Century, 135.8 (2018), pp. 30-33.

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“Should Episcopalians Repent? American Liberals in a Global Communion”, Christian Century, 133.4 (2016), pp. 32-36. Reproduced by permission of Christian Century.

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Anglican Theological Review, 97, No. 3 (Summer 2015), pp. 391-412. Reproduced by permission of the Anglican Theological Review.

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Journal of Religion in Africa, 44, No. 3/4 (2014), pp. 386-410. Accepted article reproduced by permission of Journal of Religion in Africa.

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“I study theology and ethics because I’m fascinated by the intersections of culture and moral decision-making. How do our cultural identities shape our understanding of right and wrong, and how do they shape our understanding of God’s work in the world? What religious practices and teachings enable us to form communities of love and justice, and what ones detract from such formation?
Two experiences have especially shaped how I think about these questions—parish ministry and working with South Sudanese peacemaking efforts. These experiences led me to explore the shaping of moral identity and spiritual community and to examine how communities incorporate new and unfamiliar expressions of belief and practice.”
The Rev. Ross Kane, Ph.D.