About Me

Cláudio CarvalhaesCláudio Carvalhaes

Professor of Worship
Union Theological Seminary in New York City


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Cláudio Carvalhaes, earth thinker, theologian, liturgist, performer, artist and playwright, a native Brazilian from São Paulo, he is now the Professor of Worship at Union Theological Seminary in New York. In the Spring of 2023 Carvalhaes received his Full Professorship at Union Seminary. In the Summer of 2023, Carvalhaes received the Honorary Degree Sacrae Theologiae Doctor bestowed by the Board of Trustees of Starr King School for the Ministry. And in the Fall of 2023, Carvalhaes received the award of The Most Creative Play at the New York Theater Festival with his play When Wajcha Meets Pachamama.

Carvalhaes completed his Ph.D. in Liturgy and Theology at Union Theological Seminary in New York City in 2007. He earned his first Master of Philosophy degree in Theology, Philosophy, and History at the Methodist University of Sao Paulo in 1997 and a Master of Divinity degree from the Independent Presbyterian Theological Seminary (Sao Paulo, Brazil) in 1992.

In the summer of 2016, Dr. Carvalhaes joined Union Seminary. Previously, he taught at McCormick Theological Seminary, Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia and Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Carvalhaes is an ordained pastor within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

A much sought after speaker, writer and performer, Carvalhaes preached at the Festival of Homiletics, Academy of Homiletics, Wild Goose Festival, Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry, Jubilee 800 Order of Preachers of the Dominican Order in Italy, Societas Liturgica in Belgium, Council of World Mission in Mexico, International Academy of Practical Theology in Brazil, at the Forum of Liturgics and Ethics at Hildesheim Germany and other places. He led worship for the All African Council of Churches in Mozambique, taught at the Global Institute of Theology of the World Communion of Reformed Churches, and leads worship and teaches at the Hispanic Summer Program since 2013.

Carvalhaes has five books in English:

Inventory, Metamorphoses and Emergenc(i)es: How Do We Become Green People and Earth Communities. (York: The Barber’s Son, 2023).

Ritual’s at World’s End: Essays on Eco-Liturgical Liberation Theology (York: The Barber’s Son, 2021).

Praying With Every Heart – Orienting Our Lives to the Wholeness of the World (Oregon: Cascade Books, 2021).

What Does Worship Have to do With it? Interpreting Life, Church and the World Liturgically (Cascade Books, 2018).

Eucharist and Globalization: Redrawing the Borders of Eucharistic Hospitality (Wipf&Stock, 2013)

He is also the editor of a unique book of liturgical resources: Liturgies from Below: Prayers from People at the Ends of the World (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2020), which is a prayer book done in four continents with more than 100 people.

He also edited the groundbreaking book Liturgy in Postcolonial Perspectives – Only One is Holy, (New York: Palgrave Macmillan: Postcolonialism and Religions Series, 2015).

He has also edited four journals:

(De)coloniality and Religious Practices: Liberating Hope, Cláudio Carvalhes, Júlio Cézar Adam, Valburga Schmiedt Streck, Editors, International Academy of Practical Theology Conference Series, Oslo: Norway, 2021.

Black Religions in Brazi/Religiões Negras no Brasil.” Editors: Cláudio Carvalhaes and Marcos Silva. CrossCurrents, Vol. 68, No. 1 (Winter 2017). Bilingual: English and Portuguese.

The Poetics of Religion in Rubem Alves. Editors: Cláudio Carvalhaes and Paulo Augusto S. Nogueira, Estudos de Religião, Brasil V. 32, N. 2 (Summer 2017); and

Forms of Speech, Religion and Social Resistance, CrossCurrents, Vol. 66, No. 1 (Summer 2016);

Carvalhaes is also the author of five books in Portuguese and two edited ones celebrating the work of Jaci C. Maraschin and Ivone Gebara.

He has authored chapters in more than 50 edited volumes along with more than 100 articles. He has given academic presentations, performances and delivered sermons at over 70 conferences as well as academic societies. Besides the United States, he has lectured in Brazil, Jamaica, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Canada, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Italy, Philippines, Netherlands, South Africa and Mozambique.

A long time member of the American Academy of Religion, he was a Member of the Theological Education Committee, 2017-2022. He served on the board of the Liberation Theology Group and was the co-chair of the Arts, Religion, and Literature Group. He is a member of the North American Academy of Liturgy, Academy of Homiletics and Societas Liturgica and International Academy of Practical Theology.

Dr. Carvalhaes serves/ed on the editorial/advisory board of academic journals and publishing houses including Cross-Currents; Ecclesial Practices: Journal of Ecclesiology and Ethnography; Horizontes Decoloniales/Decolonial Horizons (Argentina) and TEAR: Journal of Liturgical Resources (Brazil).

McCormick Seminary president Frank Yamada said of Dr. Carvalhaes, “I can think of few leaders in theological education who inspire like Cláudio Carvalhaes. He has been on the cutting edge of cross-cultural worship within the PC(U.S.A.). He is a voice of liberation among communities of color, an advocate for young adults, and a prophetic presence among those who are pushing the church into the 21st century.”

Carvalhaes teaches on worship, liturgy, performances, rituals, ecology, theology, theology and the arts, indigenous knowledges, decolonization, anthropocene, interreligious dialogue and immigration and borders.

Carvalhaes is married with Katie Perella and has three kids and a dog.

Website: www.claudiocarvalhaes.com