Home > Staff > Academic Staff > Emeritus Professor James R (Jim) Cochrane
Academic Staff

Emeritus Professor James R (Jim) Cochrane

Emer. Prof. James R. (Jim) Cochrane

Religion and Society, Religion in Public Health, Globalization and Social Ethics

Emeritus Professor Jim Cochrane (BSc, MDiv, PhD, DDiv h.c.) is Co-Director of the International & African Religious Health Assets Programme (IRHAP/ARHAP) UCT Hub, with Professor Lucy Gilson of the School of Public Health and Family Medicine (SPHFM, where IRHAP is now located) and Jill Olivier, a PhD graduate of our department, who heads it up now as Research Director.  He currently also holds non-remunerated appointments as Senior Scholar in the SPHFM, and as Adjunct Faculty, Dept of Social Sciences & Health Policy, Wake Forest School of Medicine, North Carolina, USA. He is co-founder and convenor of the Leading Causes of Life Initiative (, a loose transdisciplinary international collaboration of scholars and practitioners. His research and writing focuses primarily on religion in public life, including public health, globalization, public theology, and social ethics. In 2006, he was awarded the DDiv honoris causa from the Chicago Theological Seminary.

Professor Cochrane is the spouse of Renate, a German pastor and HIV and AIDS worker, and father of Thembisa (film and media), Thandeka  (social anthropology) and Teboho (English, theatre-in-education).

Selected Publications

Recent Publications 


Douglas R. McGaughey & James R. Cochrane, 2017. The Human Spirit: Groundwork. Stellenbosch: SUN Press. [ISBN 978-1-928357-60-5, DOI 10.18820/9781928357612]

Teresa Cutts & James R. Cochrane (Eds.), 2016. Stakeholder Health: Insights from New Systems of Health. USA: Stakeholder Health. [ISBN 978-0692707289]

Christine Lienemann-Perrin & James R. Cochrane (eds), 2013, The Church and the Public Sphere in Societies in Transition (Pietermaritzburg: Cluster Publications) [ISBN: 978 1920620 042].


James R. Cochrane, 2018. “On Freedom: Risking a (Faithful) Reinterpretation.” In Elias Bongmba (ed.), Religion and Social Reconstruction in Africa (New York: Routledge), 226-242. [ISBN 978-0815348283]

Lazarus, S., Cochrane, James R., Taliep, N., Simmons, C., & Seedat, M., 2017. “Identifying and mobilizing factors that promote community peace.” In M. Seedat, S. Suffla & D Christie (Eds). Enlarging the Scope of Peace Psychology. Peace Psychology Book Series. (Switzerland: Springer International), 161-183. [ISBN 978-3-319-45287-6, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-45289-0_8]

James R. Cochrane, Gunderson, G., Winslow, G., and Ion, H. W., 2016. Global Dynamics At Home. In Cutts, T. & Cochrane, J. R. (Eds.), 2016. Stakeholder Health: Insights from New Systems of Health (pp. 167-183). USA: Stakeholder Health. [ISBN 978-0692707289]

James R. Cochrane, 2016. “Fundamental Evaluation Criteria in the Medicine of the Twenty-First Century.” In Eckhard Nagel and Michael Lauerer (eds), Prioritization in Medicine: An International Dialogue. (Switzerland: Springer International Publishing), 11-37. [ISBN 978-3-319-21111-4]

Teresa Cutts, Jill Olivier, Sandy Lazarus, Naiema Taliep, James R. Cochrane, Mohamed Seedat, Ricardo van Reenen, Cathy Hendricks, & Haseena Carelse, 2016, Community asset mapping for violence prevention: A comparison of views in Erijaville, South Africa and Memphis, USA. African Safety Promotion Journal, Vol. 14,1:1-15. [ISSN: 1728-774X]

Naiema Taliep, Sandy Lazarus, Mohamed Seedat & James R Cochrane, 2016. The Role of Religious Leaders in the Anti-Apartheid Struggle in Mobilizing Spiritual Capacity and Religious Assets: Implications for Violence Prevention in Contemporary South Africa, Religion, State & Society, 4:331-348. [ISSN 0963-7494]

James R. Cochrane, 2016. Religion in Sustainable Development. The Review of Faith & International Affairs, 14:3, 89-94. [ISSN: 1557-0274 (paper), 1931-7743 (electronic), DOI 10.1080/15570274.2016.1215818]

James R. Cochrane. 2015. "Religion in the health of migrant communities: cultural assets or medical deficits?" In Migration and Religion, edited by James A. Beckford. Cheltenham, U.K.: Edward Elgar Publishing, 107-128. [ISBN 9781783472574]. (Republished: originally published in the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 2006, 32:4, 715-736.)

James R. Cochrane, 2015. The Spirit of Humanity: Contra Theologies of Death. Journal of Theology for Southern Africa, (July) 152: 6-20 [ISSN: 0047-2867]

James R. Cochrane. 2014. Thinking about Complexity: Transdisciplinarity and Research on Religion and Health in Africa. Religion and Theology, 21: 333-357.  [ISSN 1023-0807]

James R. Cochrane, Deborah McFarland, & Gary R. Gunderson, 2014. ‘Mapping’ Religious Resources for Health: The African Religious Health Assets Programme, in Ellen L. Idler (ed.), Religion as a Social Determinant of Public Health (New York : Oxford University Press), 344-367. [ISBN 978-0-19-936220-2]

Daniel J. Christie, Catherine Panter-Brick, Jere R. Behrman, James R. Cochrane, Andrew Dawes, Kirstin Goth, Jacqueline Hayden, Ann S. Masten, Ilham Nasser, Raija-Leena Punamäki, and Mark Tomlinson, 2014. Healthy Human Development as a Path to Peace. In James F. Leckman, Catherine Panter-Brick, and Rima Salah (eds), Pathways to Peace: The Transformative Power of Children and Families (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press), 273-302. [ISBN 978-0-262-02798-4]

James R Cochrane, 2013. Introduction. In Christine Lienemann-Perrin & James R. Cochrane (eds), The Church and the Public Sphere in Societies in Transition (Pietermaritzburg: Cluster Publications), ix-xvi. [ISBN: 978 1920620 042].

Katrin Kusmierz & James R Cochrane, 2013. Public Church and Public Theology in South Africa’s Political Transformation. In Christine Lienemann-Perrin & James R. Cochrane (eds), The Church and the Public Sphere in Societies in Transition (Pietermaritzburg: Cluster Publications), 49-90. [ISBN: 978 1920620 042].

James R. Cochrane. 2013. Spiritual Capacity, Spirituality and the Challenge of Freedom. Journal of Theology for Southern Africa, March, 145: 5-17.  [ISSN 0047-2867]


Earlier publications

On religion and public life

"Instruments or Inhibitors of Civil Society? The Role of Christians in South African State Formation", in Samuel K. Elolia (ed.), Religion, Conflict and Democracy in Modern Africa: The Role of Civil Society in Political Engagement, Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications (Wipf and Stock), 2012, 232-253.

“Against the Grain: Responsible Public Theology in a Global era,” International Journal of Public Theology, 2011, 5, 44-62.

“Reflections on the Public Face of Theology,” in Pillay, M., Nadar, S. and Le Bruyns, C., Ragbag Theologies: Essays in Honour of Denise Ackermann, A Feminist theologian of Praxis. Stellenbosch: SUN PReSS, 2009, 183-192.

“Reframing the Political Economy of the Sacred: Readings of Post-Apartheid Christianity,” in Falling Walls: The year 1989/1990 as a Turning Point in the History of World Christianity (Einstürzende Mauern. Das Jahr 1989/90 als Epochenjahr in der Geschichte des Weltchristentums), Klaus Koschorke (Ed.), Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2009, 95-116.

”’Damned if You Do, Damned if You Don’t’: Rereading the Public Theology of the Christian Institute for the Contemporary Practitioner,” in Christian in Public: Aims, Methodologies and Issues in Public Theology, Len Hansen (ed.), Beyers Naudé Centre Series on Public Theology, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch: SUN Press, 2007, 165-176.

(With Katrin Kusmierz) „Öffentliche Kirche und öffentliche Theologie in Südafrikas politischer Transformation,“ in Christine Lienemann-Perrin & Wolfgang Lienemann (Hg), Kirche und Öffentlichkeit in Transformations­gesellschaften, Stuttgart: Verlag W. Kohlhammer, 2006, 195-226.

“To Dream the Impossible Dream: On the Contemporary Calling of the Beloved Community in Africa,” Journal of Theology for Southern Africa, 2007, 129, 23-34.

“The Fragility of Truth: Tolerance, Discourse Ethics & the Formation of a Democratic Citizenry,” in Douglas McGaughey  & Cornelia Crocker (eds), From Biblical Interpretation to Human Transformation: Reopening the Past to Actualize New Possibilities for the Future, Salem, Oregon: Chora-Strangers, 2006, 198-217.

“The Epistemic Violence of Racism: A Structural Basis of Violations of Self and Other,” trans. as “Het verborgen geweld van racisme: Verhulde uitingen van het blank zihn,” in Slavernij en Racisme: Waar waren en waar zijn de kerken?, special edition, Wereld en Sending, The Netherlands, 2002.4, 41-50.

“Modelling a New Economy: Is a Paradigm Shift Possible?” Review article,Journal of Theology for Southern Africa, vol. 112, March 2002: 89-97.

“On Religion and Theology in a Civil Society”. In Theology in Dialogue: The Impact of the Arts, Humanities, & Science on Contemporary Religious Thought , R. Wüstenberg & L. Holness (eds), Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2002, 116-132.

Sameness and Difference: Problems and Potentials in South African Civil Society. Eds J R Cochrane & Bastienne Klein. Washington D.C. : Center for Philosophy and Values, 2000.

“Religion and Civil Society: Readings from the South African Case”. In Sameness and Difference: Problems and Potentials in South African Civil Society. Eds J R Cochrane & Bastienne Klein. Washington D.C. : Center for Philosophy and Values, 2000, pp. 15-53.

“Corruption and the Role of Religion in Public Life”. In In Stan Sangweni & Daryl Balia (eds), Fighting Corruption: South African Perspectives . Pretoria : UNISA, 1999, pp. 41-57.

[With John de Gruchy & Steve Martin (eds)] Facing the Truth: South African Faith Communities and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Cape Town: David Philip, and Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 1999.

On religion and globalization

“On Identity and Faith in the Global Political Economy,” Journal of Theology for Southern Africa, 2009, 134: 14-31.

“Confronting or Accommodating Globalization?” In African Christian Theologies in Transformation , Ernst M Conradie (ed.) ,Stellenbosch: Institute for Theological and Interdisciplinary Research, 2004, 119-135.

“Which Citizen, Whose City? Response to Ward's “Christian Political Practice and the Global City,” Journal of Theology for Southern Africa, Vol. 123, Nov 2005, 42-47.

“Globalization, ‘African Renaissance' and Contested Identities”. In Cultural Identity and Globalization: The Dialogue between Civilization,: East-West, Part II. Vth International Philosophical Symposium, 2001, Ed. Y. Pochta, N. Kirabaev, Moscow : Editing House of the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia , 2002, 41-64.


From Dark Days to Liberation: Perspectives on the Social History of Christianity, 1936-1994, edited by J. R. Cochrane & B. Klein, Special Edition, Journal of Theology for Southern Africa, March 2004. 160pp.

“Agapé: The Cape Office of the Christian Institute”. In J. R. Cochrane & B. Klein (eds), From Dark Days to Liberation: Perspectives on the Social History of Christianity, 1936-1994, Special Edition, Journal of Theology for Southern Africa, March 2004, 53-68.

“Research Challenges on Religion in South Africa .” In Religion, Politics, and Identity in a Changing South Africa, David Chidester, Abdulkadar Tayob & Wolfram Weisse (eds), Münster: Waxmann, 2004, 225-239.

“Seeking Eco-justice in the South African Context.” With E Conradie, D Field W. Sigabi, V. Molobi & C Majiza, in L. Rasmussen & D. Hessel (eds), Earth Habitat: Eco-Injustice and the Church's Response , Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2001, 135-159.

“Questioning Contextual Theology.” In M. T. Speckman & L.T. Kaufmann (eds),Towards an Agenda for Contextual Theology: Essays in Honour of Albert Nolan . Pietermaritzburg, RSA: Cluster Publications, 2001, 67-86.

Circles of Dignity: Community Wisdom and Theological Reflection . Minneaopolis: Fortress Press. 1999.

Servants of Power: The Role of English-Speaking Churches in South Africa, 1903-1930, Johannesburg: Ravan Press, 1987.

Church and Labour, Johannesburg: Skotaville Press, 1986.