Religion & American Culture: A Journal of Interpretation
Edited by Tracy Fessenden, Philip Goff, Amy Koehlinger, Laura Levitt, Stephen J. Stein, Peter J. Thuesen, and Judith Weisenfeld, this semiannual publication explores the interplay between religion and other spheres of American culture. The journal embraces a diversity of methodological approaches and theoretical perspectives. Although concentrated on specific topics, articles illuminate larger patterns, implications, or contexts of American life. Religion and American Culture is devoted to promoting the ongoing scholarly discussion of the nature, terms, and dynamics of religion in America.
Meet the Editors
Tracy Fessenden teaches in the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies at Arizona State University. There she has served as Associate Director and Faculty Head in Religious Studies. Prior to receiving the Ph.D. in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia she studied literature at Yale University. Her work focuses gender, race, and sexuality in American religious history; religion and American literature and the arts; and the relationship between religion and the secular in American law and public life. She is the author of Culture and Redemption: Religion, the Secular, and American Literature (Princeton UP, 2007; paperback 2013), co-editor of The Puritan Origins of American Sex: Religion, Sexuality and National Identity in American Literature (Routledge, 2001) and Religion, the Secular, and the Politics of Sexual Difference (Columbia UP, 2013), and General Editor of the North American Religions series at New York University Press.
Philip Goff has been Co-editor of the journal since 2000. He is the Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture and Professor of Religious Studies and American Studies at IUPUI. Specializing in American religious history, he is the author or editor of over forty books and journal volumes and more nearly 200 articles, chapters, and papers. As Director of the CSR&AC, he oversees research and public teaching programs centered on understanding the relation of religion to other aspects of American culture. Recent edited books include The Bible in American Life (with Arthur Farnsley and Peter Thuesen), Religion and the Marketplace in the United States (with Jan Stievermann and Detlef Junker), and The New Evangelical Social Engagement (with Brian Steensland). Goff has served as a legal consultant for church-state cases, co-authored amicus briefs for cases before the Federal Supreme Court, and been an expert witness in legal cases involving religious groups. His current research projects are the history of religious radio during the golden age of that medium and a study of Protestantism in American history and life.
Amy Koehlinger is an Associate Professor in the School of History, Philosophy, and Religion at Oregon State University where she teaches courses in North American religious history and American Catholicism. Her research focuses on the culture of American Catholicism, historical intersections of religion and social reform in the United States, and the construction of gender within American religious traditions. Her first book The New Nuns: Racial Justice and Religious Reform in the 1960s (Harvard University Press, 2007) documents the involvement of Catholic women religious in racial justice programs during the civil rights era. Dr. Koehlinger’s next project (for Princeton University Press) Rosaries and Rope Burns: Boxing and Manhood in American Catholicism, 1880-1970 documents the historical significance of the sport of boxing among American Catholics, exploring boxing's relationship with religious ideas about the redemptive value of physical suffering and blood, and the sport's effect on performances of manhood among Catholics.
Laura S. Levitt is Professor of Religion, Jewish Studies and Gender at Temple University where she has served as chair of the Department of Religion and directed both the Women’s Studies and the Jewish Studies Programs. She is the author of American Jewish Loss after the Holocaust (2007) and Jews and Feminism: The Ambivalent Search for Home (1997). She is an editor of Judaism Since Gender (1997) and Impossible Images: Contemporary Art after the Holocaust (2003). Her current project, “Evidence as Archive” builds on her prior work in feminist theory and Holocaust studies to consider the relationship between material objects held in police storage and artifacts housed in Holocaust collections. With David Watt and Tracy Fessenden, she is an editor of The North American Religions Series at NYU Press.
Stephen J. Stein is Chancellor's Professor, Emeritus in the Department of Religious Studies at Indiana University. He received his Ph.D. from Yale University. Dr. Stein has been co-editor of Religion and American Culture since 2004. His research interests include alternative religious movements with special attention to apocalyptic and eschatological themes. Books he authored include: The Cambridge History of Religions in America, a 3 Volume Set edited by Stephen Stein (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), The Cambridge Companion to Jonathan Edwards (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), The Continuum History of Apocalypticism, edited by Bernard McGinn, John J. Collins, and Stephen J. Stein (New York: Continuum International Publishing Group, 2003), and The "Blank Bible," vol. 24, Parts 1 and 2, in the Yale Edition of The Works of Jonathan Edwards (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006).
Peter J. Thuesen is Professor and former-Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at IUPUI. He has been the Co-editor of Religion and American Culture since 2006. A historian of American religion and of the Christian tradition since the Reformation, he was educated at Princeton University (PhD and MA) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (BA). He joined the IUPUI faculty in 2004 after previous appointments as Assistant Professor of Comparative Religion at Tufts University (2001-2004) and Assistant Editor of The Works of Jonathan Edwards and lecturer in American religious history at Yale Divinity School (1998-2001). He has been a fellow of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation (Mellon Fellow), the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Louisville Institute, and the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism.
Judith Weisenfeld is the Agate Brown and George L. Collord Professor of Religion at Princeton University. A specialist in early twentieth-century African American religious history, her teaching and research focus on African American women’s religious history, religion and in film and popular culture, and religion and constructions of race. She is the author of New World A-Coming: Black Religion and Racial Identity During the Great Migration (NYU, forthcoming 2016), Hollywood Be Thy Name: African American Religion in American Film, 1929-1949 (California, 2007) and African American Women and Christian Activism: New York's Black YWCA, 1905-1945 (Harvard 1997). She is co-editor, with Richard Newman, of This Far By Faith: Readings in African American Women’s Religious Biography (Routledge, 1995) and a co-author of The History of the Riverside Church in the City of New York (NYU, 2004).