I am an Assistant Professor of Religion in the Philosophy Department at Middle Tennessee State University. I teach courses on Method and Theory in the Study of Religion. My areas of specialization are North American Religions; Cultural Anthropology; Sociology of Religion; Discourse Analysis; Religion and Diversity in the Public Sphere.
In 2012, I completed my PhD in the Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto. My dissertation, The New Heretics: Popular Theology, Progressive Christianity and Protestant Language Ideologies is an ethnographic and linguistic analysis of the development of progressive Christianity in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
After completing my PhD, I held a postdoctoral fellowship in the Initiative in Religious Practices and Practical Theology at Emory University.
My research contributes to the emerging field of the Anthropology of Christianity and challenges some of the core assumptions that scholars of religion make about Christian beliefs, practices and identity. I examine the reading practices and alternative rituals employed by liberal and progressive Christians to negotiate questions of faith and tradition in relation to biblical scholarship, scientific empiricism and progressive politics. I argue that in so doing, progressive Christians construct a new way of being Christian that simultaneously departs from but emerges out of evangelical Christian modalities. This research provides a critical methodology that can be translated into classroom discussions that engage issues surrounding intersections between religion, politics, gender and popular culture.
Upcoming Activities and Events:
American Academy of Religion Conference, San Diego, CA (November 2014)
Southeastern Commission for the Study of Religion Regional Meeting, Nashville, TN (March 2015)
Society for the Anthropology of Religion Conference (April 2015)
Canadian Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences, Ottawa, ON (May 2015)