Johnson’s scholarship focuses on the relationship between the supernatural end, the theological virtues and social ethics, particularly on economic practices of the Church. She works at the intersections of history, theology, and ethics, exploring ways the church has understood revelation and practiced discipleship, considering, for example, arguments justifying the ownership of slaves, arguments for and against devotional mendicancy, and defenses of private property, notably the emergence of «stewardship».
Raised by Catholic parents in East Tennessee, Dr. Johnson has been immersed from childhood in an ecumenical context. Much of her current work is in conversation with Catholic and Reformation traditions, particularly those that see themselves called to congregational discipleship in ways that challenge nationalism and economic privilege. Her intellectual hero is Peter Maurin.