Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

Arthur E. Farnsley

About the Center

Staff

Arthur E. Farnsley

Associate Director

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Arthur E. Farnsley

Arthur E. Farnsley II is clinical research professor and Associate Director of the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture at IUPUI. Professor Farnsley received his AB from Wabash College, his MAR from Yale Divinity School, and his PhD from the Religion and Society program at Emory University. He taught at Emory University, Agnes Scott College, and Clark Atlanta University before coming to IUPUI.

Professor Farnsley received his AB from Wabash College, his MAR from Yale Divinity School, and his PhD from the Religion and Society program at Emory University. He taught at Emory University, Agnes Scott College, and Clark Atlanta University before coming to IUPUI.

His first book was Southern Baptist Politics (Penn State Press, 1994).  He was research manager and contributing author in Nancy Ammerman’s Congregation and Community (Rutgers Press, 1997). In 1994 he came to IUPUI as assistant dean in the Graduate Office, later moving to The Polis Center to become Research Director of the $8 million Project on Religion and Urban Culture. In that role he oversaw the creation of two video series, Religion as a Window on Culture and Faith and Community. He also became co-editor of the Indiana University Press series, Religion and Urban Culture.  The first book in that series was his own, Rising Expectations:  Urban Congregations, Welfare Reform, and Civic Life (2003). The series added 4 more books, including the team-authored capstone volume, Sacred Circles, Public Squares:  The Multicentering of American Religion (2005), which he edited into a single manuscript. 

Farnsley’s time in the world of faith-based welfare reform produced a number of journal articles and research notes, including his oft-cited 10 Good Questions About Faith-Based Welfare Reform.  He wrote three cover stories for Christian Century magazine, served on the Rockefeller Institute’s Roundtable on Religion and Social Welfare Policy, and spoke at public workshops around the country. After a brief period spent recuperating from public policy discussions, he received a grant to study religious and political individualism among flea market dealers.  An article on that subject ran in the 50th Anniversary issue of Christianity Today in 2006 and his book, Flea Market Jesus, was released by Cascade Press in 2012. He is now working with colleagues at the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture on a project concerning the role of scripture in everyday American life.