Young Scholars in American Religion

Young Scholars in American Religion Program

The next generation of leading teachers and scholars in American religion is at work in our colleges and universities today. With support from Lilly Endowment, the Center assists these early career scholars in the improvement of their teaching and research and in the development of professional communities through the Young Scholars in American Religion program. In addition to its historic concentration on teaching and research, the Young Scholars Program now includes a seminar devoted to such other professional issues as constructing a tenure portfolio, publication, grant writing, and department politics.

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Young Scholars in American Religion Syllabi

All participants in the Young Scholars in American Religion program produce a course syllabus, with justification of teaching approach and institutional context, for their own use and for this database. These syllabi are accessed daily by scholars and teaching professionals across the country and around the world.

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Biennial Conference on Religion & American Culture

6th Biennial Conference on Religion & American Culture

Every two years, the Center holds a conference on religion and American culture featuring the work of nationally recognized scholars speaking on a wide variety of subjects. Programs include both presentations and roundtable discussions. Conversation is, in fact, the key to our biennial meetings. As in years past, panelists will sit in the center of the room at a round table. Around them will be risers on all sides for attendees, thus promoting a sense that we’re all gathered around the table together. This promotes more face-to-face conversation rather than the traditional “sage on the stage” presentation followed by a few questions that not everyone can hear. We invite you to join us June 6-9, 2019, for the Sixth Biennial Conference on Religion and American Culture. We have new ideas to push our already non-traditional meeting even further!

Once again, the conference will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana. While best known for its iconic motor speedway and 500-mile race, Indianapolis has a surprise waiting around every turn. The city has glimmering canal walk connected to 250 acres of urban green space with one-of-a-kind museums, a top 10 zoo, the original LOVE sculpture, and the world’s largest children’s museum. Indianapolis also has a collection of monuments and memorials rivaled only by Washington DC.

We are excited to announce that we will again take over The Alexander Hotel in Indianapolis for several days of interdisciplinary conversation about the most pressing topics in the study and teaching about religion in North America. Nestled in the CityWay area of downtown Indianapolis, The Alexander, A Dolce Hotel, presents contemporary design with unparalleled hospitality. In every room, lobby, and dining space is a piece of art designed to inspire you during your stay, commissioned or curated from local and international artists. Thankfully, Lilly Endowment has once again generously agreed to help underwrite hotel rooms. Participants receive a $175 nightly rate, subsidized to $95/night upon checkout following the conference (available on a first come first served basis until reserved rooms are full).


Click here for the 2019 Conference Program.

We are planning eight sessions over two days, following this topical outline:

Teaching American Religion

 For many teaching about religion in North America, it is a tale of two cities. While digital and local resources are richer than ever and many institutions value experiential learning, our students are quite different from a generation ago. Generally, they are less religious and know less about religion, which means for many courses we must recruit them to register and then focus more on content than we want, just to familiarize them with the material. What does this portend for American religious studies over the next decade, as enrollments in the humanities and some social sciences decrease? How do we attract, retain, and truly educate students in our field? What have you found resonates with a new generation prone to avoid the topic?

Kathleen Holscher, University of New Mexico
Carolyn Medine, University of Georgia
Douglas Thompson, Mercer University


Translating Scholarship

In our current context, where universities and colleges are changing and are under pressure to prove their worth, this panel seeks to focus on the applied aspects of our work. While all acknowledge the value of learning for its own sake, we understand the need to be able to explain how our work has direct or indirect implications for policy and practice to the state, school stakeholders, religious organizations, or funders. What are the current uses of religion scholarship? What areas do we need to further develop? How do we prove our value beyond what students turn in during the semester?

Heath Carter, Valparaiso University
Robert Orsi, Northwestern University
Mira Sucharov, Carleton University


Religion and Refugees

Globally, refugees give evidence of a world in flux—both in the homeland they leave and in the new places they inhabit. In North America, what is religion’s role in the daily lives of refugees? How does it individually and communally aid or complicate their new lives? How is religion used in lobbying governmental policy on refugees? How do refugees stimulate religious vitality? How does religion scholarship shape social attitudes and reactions toward refugees?

Melissa Borja, University of Michigan
Tricia Bruce, University of Notre Dame
Gale Kenny, Barnard College


Different Narratives in Religion and American Politics

For decades, the popular running narrative of religion and politics has been focused on white evangelicals. It reached its apogee following the 2016 election. But what if we turn our focus elsewhere and explore the role of religion in politics outside that that familiar story. Where and how should we focus our attention? What are the trends we’re ignoring or missing? What are the other important narratives that have been overshadowed by the dominant focus?

Prema Kurien, Syracuse University
David Harrington Watt, Haverford College
Aubrey Westfall, Wheaton College


Religion and Crisis

Religion can play multiple roles in crises but almost always it is deeply embedded in the social, economic, scientific, cultural, or political circumstances of the day. From violence to peacemaking, from voter suppression to Moral Mondays, from homophobia to human rights, from climate change denials to faithful environmentalism, contemporary American life is rife with pressing contradictions. How can we best understand religion’s relationship to crisis, past and present? Rather than focus on only one side of the equation—religion as the problem or the answer, the cause or the solution—how might we form more holistic understandings of how religion is embedded in crises? 

Amanda Baugh, California State University Northridge
John Corrigan, Florida State University
Anthony Petro, Boston University


New Religious Movements Embodied

Recent work on such subjects as photography, race, and gender have furthered our understandings of the role of the body in religious history. How were conceptions of the body of those who were shaped by new religious movements similar to or different from these? How might more attention to the body in the study of new religious movements complicate our conceptions of race and gender in American religions? 

Andre E. Johnson, University of Memphis
Leonard Primiano, Cabrini University
Judith Weisenfeld, Princeton University


Science, Technology, and Spirituality

Recent studies of the modern spiritual imagination, including the spirituality of the “nones” and spiritual-but-not-religious, have opened new inquiries into areas that once seemed settled. No longer do we assume the closed, deterministic world of science has triumphed over a world of belief in spiritual dimensions. Indeed, scientific assumptions and technologies have long shaped religious and spiritual views. How have scientific ideas both fostered secularity and religious decline and also helped people believe in the existence of unseen realms, spurring them to beliefs in other dimensions? How has science and technology caused, or at least helped, religious elements in culture to be reformulated and inspired different activities understood to be “spiritual”?

Sylvester Johnson, Virginia Tech
Hillary Kaell, Concordia University
Christopher White, Vassar College


Looking Ahead

This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture, after several major national meetings in the 1980s, as an effort to coordinate the efforts of those studying American religions and perhaps help to shape a more coherent field. Activities such as the founding of a journal, the Young Scholars in American Religion Program, and most recently the Biennial Conferences have been efforts toward those goals. Two driving questions behind these and other activities have been: “what needs to be done that isn’t being done to further this field of study?” and “what needs to be done better to further this field of study?” Given the changes in scholarship and academia, as well as our understanding of the subject, now is a good moment to pose that question again. Beyond looking at new topics or developing new methodologies, what sort of institutional or public structures need to be developed? What common activities, networks, and formats need to be created or improved to significantly extend new insights into the relationship of religion to other aspects of American culture?

Rudy Busto, University of California – Santa Barbara
Laura Levitt, Temple University
Rhys Williams, Loyola University Chicago


Conference Schedule

Thursday, June 6

6:00-8:00 Opening Reception, Platt 99


Friday, June 7

6:30-9:00 Coffee and breakfast available for purchase at Market Table and Yolk

8:30-9:00 Registration

Block 1

9:00-10:30 Session 1: Teaching American Religion

10:30-11:00 Morning Break

11:00-12:30 Session 2: Translating Scholarship

12:30-2:00 Lunch Break/Light snacks and refreshments available at the Nourishment Hub

Block 2

2:00-3:30 Session 3: Religion and Refugees

3:30-4:00 Afternoon Break. Nourishment Hub refreshments available until 4:30

4:00-5:30 Session 4: Different Narratives in Religion and American Politics


Saturday, June 8

6:30-9:00 Coffee and breakfast available for purchase at Market Table and Yolk

Block 3

9:00-10:30 Session 5: Religion and Crisis

10:30-11:00 Morning Break

11:00-12:30 Session 6: New Religious Movements Embodied

12:30-2:00 Lunch Break/Light snacks and refreshments available at the Nourishment Hub

Block 4

2:00-3:30 Session 7: Science, Technology, and Spirituality

3:30-4:00 Afternoon Break. Nourishment Hub refreshments available until 4:30

4:00-5:30 Session 8: Looking Ahead

5:45-8:00 Closing Reception, City Way Gallery (first floor)



  • Proceedings from the biennial conferences are available here.
  • The 2017 Biennial Conference program is available here.

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Reflections on 25 Years of Young Scholars

In the fall of 1991 I was in the midst of fifteen weeks of mandated bed rest and under medical supervision, awaiting the birth of my first child.  His abrupt decision to arrive weeks ahead of schedule had thrown a wrench into my carefully calibrated plans:  finish the PhD, start a teaching position at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, commence plans for a family, revise the book project, get tenure.  Jittery from medication, lonely and bored out of my mind, and fearful of an uncertain outcome to the pregnancy, I came across an ad for a new academic program that promised intellectual companionship and mentoring from William Hutchison and Catherine Albanese, two of the bright lights in our field.  So, with my lumbering computer tilted precariously on a stand next to me, I sat up in bed and applied, not knowing what I might be getting into.

Over twenty-five years the Young Scholars in American Religion program has developed from an experimental adventure to a cherished and highly competitive program for early-career scholars.  It provides an opportunity for unmatched collegiality and disciplined conversation about teaching, research, and myriad professional anxieties that reside at the heart of our professional enterprise.  The relationships that I developed in those early years have been sustained and enriched by a steady building of friendships with subsequent classes of scholars; we have met over the years, compared notes, and been able to help one another work through the many issues, big and small, that arise in our day-to-day work environments.

The most helpful aspect of the program, from my perspective, is the ability it provides to integrate personal and professional goals.  Just as important, it offers a venue to discuss how to juggle the two at a time in life when that task often seems overwhelming.   It allows us to address the lives we actually lead, rather than the aspirations we might have to uninterrupted mental labor.  My oldest son arrived fully healthy at full term that fall, but I left him briefly when he was barely ten weeks old to attend my first Young Scholars conference.  By the fall of 2014, when I met as a mentor to another cohort of YSAR participants, three members of our group were encouraged to bring their infants with them to the meeting and to strategize with us about how to balance the many demands of parenting, teaching, and scholarship.

Obviously children aren’t the only pressure placed on academic careers.  Health issues, divorces, parental care, the stress of moves—all of these and more comprise the realities that humanize and ground us, and that often get relegated to the background noise of the purportedly more important issues of how we will write and teach and publish.  The beauty of YSAR is that it has allowed for the integration of the personal and professional.  And in this sense, it has welcomed and honored the participation of those who might otherwise feel shut out of more narrowly focused “career-building” workshops.  In turn, the collaborative opportunities afforded by the resulting friendships have reshaped the field in significant ways, through edited volumes, surprising insights, and years of extended discussion that subtly shift our thinking about projects.

So bravo and happy birthday, Young Scholars!  And kudos to its sponsors and sustainers who enable the continued creation of lively meetings and generative relationships.

With gratitude,

Laurie Maffly-Kipp

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Cohorts & Mentors

2018-2019 Cohort and Mentors

2018-2019 Seminars

The following individuals were selected to participate in the 2018-2019 Young Scholars in American Religion Program:


Seminar Leaders for this group are Sylvester A. Johnson and Sally M. Promey.

2015-2017 Cohort and Mentors

2015-2017 Seminars

The following individuals were selected to participate in the 2015-2017 Young Scholars in American Religion Program:

Seminar Leaders for this group are Kathryn Lofton and Leigh Schmidt. They met in Indianapolis on four occasions: April 13-17, 2016, October 5-8, 2016, April 5-8, 2017, and October 18-21, 2017

2014-2016 Cohort and Mentors

2014-2016 Seminars

The following individuals were selected to participate in the 2014-2016 Young Scholars in American Religion Program:


Seminar Leaders for this group are Laurie Maffly-Kipp and Douglas Winiarski. They met in Indianapolis onfour occasions: September 17-21, 2014; April 15-19, 2015; October 14-18, 2015; and April 13-17, 2016.

2013-2015 Cohort and Mentors

2013-2015 Seminars

The following individuals were selected to participate in the 2013-2015 Young Scholars in American Religion program:

Seminar Leaders for this group are Courtney Bender and Robert Orsi. The group met in Indianapolis on four occasions: September 25-29, 2013; April 2-6, 2014; September 17-21, 2014; and April 15-19, 2015.

2010-2012 Cohort and Mentors

2010-2012 Seminars

The following individuals were selected to participate in the 2010-2012 Young Scholars in American Religion Program:

These twelve scholars, with seminar leaders Ann B. Braude and Mark Valeri, met in Indianapolis on five occasions: October 14-17, 2010; April 28-May 1 and October 13-16, 2011; and April 26-29 and October 11-14, 2012.

2009-2011 Cohort and Mentors

2009-2011 Seminars

Dr. Tracy Fessenden of Arizona State University and Dr. Clark Gilpin of the University of Chicago Divinity School lead the seminars on teaching, research, and professional matters for the 2009-2011 “class,” which includes the following scholars:

2007-2009 Cohort and Mentors

2007-2009 Seminars

Dr. Amanda Porterfield of Florida State University and Dr. Paul Harvey of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs led the seminars on teaching, research, and professional matters for the 2007-2009 “class,” which included the following scholars:

  • Katherine Carte Engel, Texas A&M University, Department of History; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison, American History, 2003 (Syllabus: Religion in U.S. History Since 1865)
  • J. Spencer Fluhman, Brigham Young University, Department of Church History, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison, History, 2006 (Syllabus: American Religious History)
  • Rebecca A. Goetz, Rice University, History Department, Ph.D., Harvard University, Early American History, 2006 (Syllabus: Religion in Early North America)
  • Charles F. Irons, Elon University, Department of History, Ph.D., University of Virginia, American History, 2003 (Syllabus: History of Religion in the U.S.)
  • Kathryn Lofton, Yale University, Religious Studies and American Studies, Ph.D., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Religious Studies, 2005 (Syllabus: Religion and Sexuality in America)
  • Randall Stephens, Eastern Nazarene College, Department of History; Ph.D., University of Florida, American History, 2003 (Syllabus: Religion and American Culture)
  • Matthew A. Sutton, Washington State University, Department of History, Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara, History, 2005 (Syllabus: Religion and American Culture)
  • Tisa Wenger, Yale Divinity School, American Religious History, Ph.D., Princeton University, Religion, 2002 (Syllabus: Defining Religion in America)

2005-2006 Cohort and Mentors

2005-2006 Seminars

Dr. Judith Weisenfeld of Vassar College and Dr. John Corrigan of Florida State University led the seminars on teaching and research for the 2005-06 “class,” which included the following scholars:

  • Julius Bailey, University of Redlands, Department of Religious Studies, Ph.D., University of North Carolina, American Religious History, 2003 (Syllabus: African American Religions)
  • Courtney Bender, Columbia University; Department of Religion, Ph.D., Princeton University, Sociology, 1997 (Syllabus: Religion and the City)
  • Lila Corwin Berman, Pennsylvania State University; Department of History and Religious Studies Program, and Jewish Studies Program, Ph.D., Yale University, Religious Studies, 2004 (Syllabus: American Jewish History and Culture)
  •  Joseph Creech, Valparaiso University, Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts, and History and Humanities, Ph.D., University of Notre Dame, History, 2000 (Syllabus: Religious Narratives in American Identity)
  • Kathleen Sprows Cummings, University of Notre Dame, Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism, Ph.D., University of Notre Dame, U.S. History, 1999 (Syllabus: Women and American Catholicism)
  • Henry Goldschmidt, Wesleyan University, Department of Religion,, Ph.D., University of California at Santa Cruz, Anthropology, 2000 (Syllabus: Chosen Peoples, Chosen Nation)
  • Charles Israel, Auburn University, Department of History, Ph.D., Rice University, History, 2001 (Syllabus: History of Religion in America)
  • Sylvester Johnson, Indiana University, Department of Religious Studies, Ph.D., Union Theological Seminary, Contemporary Religious Thought, 2002 (Syllabus: The Bible and Race in America)
  • Tracy Leavelle, Creighton University; Department of History, Ph.D., Arizona State University, History, 2001 (Syllabus: American Religions: In Search of the Promised Land)
  • John Lardas Modern, Franklin and Marshall College, Department of Religious Studies, Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara, Religious Studies, 2003 (Syllabus: Varieties of Secularism in American History)
  • Kristy Nabhan-Warren, Augustana College (Rock Island, IL), Religion Department, Ph.D., Indiana University, American Religious History, 2001 (Syllabus: Race, Ethnicity, and Religion)
  • Evelyn Sterne, University of Rhode Island, Department of History, Ph.D, Duke University, History, 1999 (Syllabus: History of Religion in the U.S.)
  • Christopher White, Georgia State University, Religious Studies Department, Ph.D., Harvard University, Religion in America, 2002 (Syllabus: Religion in America)

2004-2005 Cohort and Mentors

2004-2005 Seminars

Dr. Catherine Brekus of the University of Chicago and Dr. Peter W. Williams of Miami University led the seminars on teaching and research for the 2004-05 “class,” which included the following scholars:

  • Jonathan Baer, Wabash College, Department of Religion, Ph.D., Yale University, Religious Studies, 2002 (Syllabus: Religion in America)
  • James B. Bennett, Santa Clara University, Department of Religious Studies, Ph.D., Yale University, American Religious History, 1999 (Syllabus: Religion in America)
  • Wendy CadgeBowdoin College, Department of Sociology, Ph.D., Princeton University, Sociology, 2002 (Syllabus: Religion in American Life: A Sociological Approach)
  • Richard J. Callahan, Jr., University of Missouri-Columbia, Department of Religious Studies, Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara, Religious Studies, 2002 (Syllabus: History of Religion Post-Civil War America)
  • John Giggie, University of Texas at San Antonio, Department of History, Ph.D., Princeton University, History, 1998 (Syllabus: Religion in America)
  • Rebecca Kneale Gould, Middlebury College, Department of Religion,, Ph.D., Harvard University, Religious Studies, 1997 (Syllabus: Religion in America)
  • Thomas S. Kidd, Baylor University, Department of History, Ph.D., University of Notre Dame, History, 2001 (Syllabus: Religion in America)
  • Amy Koehlinger, Florida State University, Department of Religion, Ph.D., Yale University, Religious Studies, 2002 (Syllabus: Religion(s) in the U.S.)
  • Luis E. Murillo, Trinity University, Religion Department, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego, Latin American History, 2002 (Syllabus: Religion in the U.S.)
  • John Schmalzbauer, Southwest Missouri State University, Department of Religious Studies, Ph.D., Princeton University, Sociology, 1997 (Syllabus: Religion in America)
  • Sarah McFarland Taylor, Northwestern University, Department of Religion, Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara, Religion and American Culture, 1999 (Syllabus: American Religion and Popular Culture in Theoretical Perspective)
  • Anne Blue WillsDavidson College, Department of Religion, Ph.D., Duke University, American Church History, 2001 (Syllabus: Particularity, Americanization, and the Aesthetics of the U.S. Religious Quest)

2003-2004 Cohort and Mentors

2003-2004 Seminars

Twelve scholars were chosen from over sixty applicants to be the “class” of 2003-2004. Dr. Anne Taves of the Claremont School of Theology and Dr. Stephen Prothero of Boston University led the seminars on teaching and on research and publication. Participants in the 2003-2004 class included the following scholars:

  • Julie ByrneDuke University, Department of Religion, Ph.D. Duke University, American Religion, 2000 (Syllabus: Lived Religion in America)
  • Martha Finch, Southwest Missouri State University, Department of Religious Studies, Ph.D. University of California Santa Barbara, Religious Studies, 2000 (Syllabus: Religion in America)
  • Kathleen Flake, Vanderbilt University, The Divinity School and Graduate Department of Religion, Ph.D. University of Chicago, History of Christianity, 2000 (Syllabus: Church and State in American History)
  • Clarence Hardy, Dartmouth College, Religion Department, Ph.D. Union Theological Seminary, Theology, 2001 (Syllabus: Religion and Society in America)
  • Khyati Joshi, Fairleigh-Dickinson University, Education Department, Ed.D. University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Social Justice Education, 2001 (Syllabus: Religion and American Public Schools)
  • Kristin SchwainUniversity of Missouri Columbia, Department of Art History and Archaeology, Ph.D. Stanford University, Art History and Humanities, 2001 (Syllabus: Intro to the Visual Culture of American Religions)
  • Danielle Sigler, Austin College, Religion Department, Ph.D. University of Texas, American Studies, 2001 (Syllabus: American Gospels)
  • Rachel Wheeler, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Department of Religious Studies; Ph.D. Yale University, History, 1998 (Syllabus: American Religion)
  • Douglas Winiarski, University of Richmond, Religion Department, Ph.D. Indiana University, Religious Studies, 2000 (Syllabus: Art, Religion, and Material Culture in America)
  • David Yamane, Wake Forest University; Department of Sociology, Ph.D. University of Wisconsin, Sociology, 1998 (Syllabus: Religion in Postwar America)

1997-1999 Cohort and Mentors

1997-1999 Seminars

The third phase of the Young Scholars in American Religion program was expanded to include sections geared toward historians, sociologists, and seminary professors, in addition to scholars in religious studies departments. Seminars were held in Indianapolis, at Duke University Divinity School, at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and at the Cushwa Center at the University of Notre Dame. Senior scholars Deborah Dash Moore,Vassar College, Grant Wacker, Duke University Divinity School, Wade Clark Roof, University of California Santa Barbara, and Philip Gleason, University of Notre Dame, led the seminars.

History Seminar participants: 

  • Karin E. GedgeWest Chester University, Department of History, Ph.D. Yale University, American Studies, 1994 (Syllabus: American Religions)
  • Eugene B. McCarraherUniversity of Delaware, Department of History, Ph.D. Rutgers University, History, 1995 (Syllabus: American Religious History)
  • Linda PrzybyszewskiUniversity of Cincinnati, Department of History, Ph.D. Stanford University, American History, 1989 (Syllabus: Law and Religion in U.S. History)
  • Kathleen RileyOhio Dominican College, Department of History, Ph.D. University of Notre Dame, History, 1988 (Syllabus: History of Christianity in the U.S.)
  • Beth SchweigerUniversity of Virginia, Department of History, Ph.D. University of Virginia, American History, 1994 (Syllabus: Religion in America: 1600-1865)
  • James TreatUniversity of New Mexico, American Studies Department, Ph.D. Graduate Theological Union, Religious Studies, 1993 (Syllabus: Religion and American Culture)
  • Roberto TrevinoUniversity of Colorado at Colorado SpringsDepartment of History, Ph.D. Stanford University, United States History, 1993 (Syllabus: Religion in American History)
  • Beth WengerUniversity of Pennsylvania, Department of History, Ph.D. Yale University, Modern Jewish History, 1992 (Syllabus: Defining Religion in America)
  • David YooClaremont McKenna College, Department of History, Ph.D. Yale University, History, 1994 (Syllabus: American Religious History)

Seminary Seminar participants: 

  • Christopher EvansColgate Rochester Divinity School, Historical Studies, Ph.D. Northwestern University / Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Religious and Theological Studies, 1993 (Syllabus: United Methodist History and Theology)
  • Keith HarperSoutheastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Church History, Ph.D. University of Kentucky, American History, 1991 (Syllabus: American Religious History)
  • Bruce HindmarshBriercrest Biblical Seminary, Church History, Ph.D. University of Oxford, Theology, 1993 (Syllabus: Studies in Christian Conversion and Spiritual Autobiography)
  • Lydia Huffman HoyleGeorgetown College, Department of Religion, Ph.D. University of North Carolina, Religious Studies, 1992 (Syllabus: Denominationalism in America)
  • Julia M. SpellerChicago Theological Seminary, Church History, Ph.D. University of Chicago, History of Christianity, 1996 (Syllabus: American Civil Religion)
  • Eleanor J. StebnerThe University of Winnipeg, Faculty of Theology, Ph.D. Northwestern University / Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Religious and Theological Studies, 1994 (Syllabus: History of Religious Life and Practice in Canada and the U.S.)

Religious Studies Seminar participants: 

  • Ava ChamberlainWright State University, Department of Religion, Ph.D Columbia University, Religion, 1990 (Syllabus: Religion in America)
  • Tracy FessendenArizona State UniversityDepartment of Religious Studies, Ph.D. University of Virginia, Religious Studies, 1993 (Syllabus: Religion in America)
  • Kathleen M. JoyceDuke UniversityDepartment of Religion, Ph.D. Princeton University, Religion, 1995 (Syllabus: Religion in American Life)
  • Laura LevittTemple University, Religion Department, Ph.D. Emory University, Religion, 1993 (Syllabus: Religion in America)
  • Elizabeth A. McAlisterWesleyan University, Department of Religion, Ph.D. Yale University, American Studies and African American Studies, 1995 (Syllabus: Religion in America)
  • Leonard Norman PrimianoCabrini College, Department of Religious Studies, Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania, Religious Studies & Folklore and Folklife, 1993 (Syllabus: American Religious Folklife)
  • Jennifer RycengaSan Jose State University, Comparative Religious Studies Program, Ph.D. Graduate Theological Union, Religion and the Arts, 1992 (Syllabus: Religion in America)
  • T. Paul ThigpenSaint Thomas More College, Religious Studies Department, Ph.D. Emory University, Religion, 1995 (Syllabus: Religion in America)

Sociology Seminar participants: 

  • Lori G. BeamanUniversity of Lethbridge, Department of Sociology, Ph.D. University of New Brunswick, Sociology, 1996 (Syllabus: Sociology of Religion)
  • Patricia M.Y.ChangUniversity of Notre Dame, Department of Sociology, Ph.D. Stanford University, Sociology, 1993 (Syllabus: Sociology of Religion)
  • Michael EmersonBethel College, Department of Cultural Studies, Ph.D. University of North Carolina, Sociology, 1991 (Syllabus: Religion in Society)
  • Eric K. GormlyArizona State University, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Telecommunications, Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin, Radio-Television-Film, 1994 (Syllabus: Media, Religion, and Culture)
  • Conrad KanagyElizabethtown College, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Ph.D. Penn State University, Sociology, 1993 (Syllabus: Sociology of Religion)
  • William L. MacDonaldOhio State University at Newark, Department of Sociology, Ph.D Bowling Green State University, Sociology, 1992 (Syllabus: Sociology of Religion)
  • William MirolaMarian College, Department of Sociology, Ph.D. Indiana University, Sociology, 1995 (Syllabus: Sociology of Religion)
  • Susanne MonahanMontana State University, Department of Sociology, Ph.D. Stanford University, Sociology, 1993 (Syllabus: Sociology of Religion)
  • Richard L. WoodUniversity of New Mexico, Department of Sociology, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Sociology, 1995 (Syllabus: Sociology of Religion)
  • Wendy W. YoungUniversity of Florida, Department of Sociology, Ph.D. Oxford University, Social Studies, 1993 (Syllabus: Sociology of Religion: Dead White Men and Beyond)

1994-1996 Cohort and Mentors

1994-1996 Seminars

Ten young scholars selected from over 70 applicants were selected for the 2 year program begun in 1994. Professor Harry Stout of Yale University conducted the seminars on teaching the introductory course, while Dean John Wilson of Princeton University was selected to lead the seminars on research and publication.

Participants in the second series of Young Scholars in American Religion seminars included the following scholars: 

  • Diana Butler Bass, Rhodes College, Religious Studies Department, Ph.D. Duke University, History of Christianity, 1991 (Syllabus: American Christianity)
  • Yvonne Chireau, Swarthmore College, Department of Religion, Ph.D. Princeton University, Religious Studies, 1994 (Syllabus: Religion in America: A Multicultural Approach)
  • Steven Epperson, Ph.D. Temple University, American Religious History, 1991 (Syllabus: History of Religion in America)
  • James German, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Department of History, Ph.D. University of California, Riverside, History, 1989 (Syllabus: Religions in American Cultures)
  • Philip K. Goff, California State University, Los Angeles, Department of History, Ph.D. University of North Carolina, American Religious History, 1993 (Syllabus: Religion in the U.S.)
  • Paul Harvey, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, Department of History, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, American History, 1992 (Syllabus: History of Religion in America)
  • Judith Hunter, State University of New York at Geneseo, Department of History, Ph.D. Yale University, History, 1991 (Syllabus: Religion in American History)
  • Kathryn Long, Wheaton College, Department of History, Ph.D. Duke University, History of Christianity, 1993 (Syllabus: History of Christianity in North America)
  • Lawrence W. Snyder, Western Kentucky University, Department of Philosophy and Religion, Ph.D. University of North Carolina, American Religious History, 1992 (Syllabus: Religion in Contemporary America)
  • Winnifred Fallers Sullivan, Washington and Lee University, Department of Religion, Ph.D. Religious Studies, University of Chicago, 1993, J.D. 1976 (Syllabus: Introduction to American Religion)
1991-1993 Cohort and Mentors

1991-1993 Seminars

Beginning in 1991, fifteen young scholars from across the nation, selected from over 100 applicants, convened in Indianapolis for four two-day seminars. Two of the seminars were devoted to teaching the introductory course in American religion, and two were devoted to the enhancement of research and publication. Professor Catherine Albanese of the University of California, Santa Barbara served as the director of the seminars on teaching. Professor William Hutchison of the Harvard Divinity School led the seminars on research and publication.

Participants in the first series of Young Scholars in American Religion program included: 

  • Betty A. DeBergUniversity of Northern Iowa, Department of Philosophy and Religion, Ph.D. Vanderbilt University, American Religious History, 1988 (Syllabus: The American Religious Experience)
  • Madeline DuntleyThe College of Wooster, Department of Religious Studies, Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh, Religious Studies, 1990 (Syllabus: Religion in America)
  • Tony FelsUniversity of San Francisco, History Department, Ph.D. Stanford University, United States History, 1987 (Syllabus: Religion in American History)
  • Matthew GlassSouth Dakota State University, Department of Philosophy and Religion, Ph.D. Graduate Theological Union, Religion and Society, 1989 (Syllabus: Religion in American Culture)
  • Rosemary D. GoodenDePaul University, Department of History, Ph.D. University of Michigan, American Culture, 1987 (Syllabus: The American Religious Experience)
  • Laurie F. Maffly-KippUniversity of North Carolina, Department of Religious Studies, Ph.D. Yale University, History, 1990 (Syllabus: History of Religion in America)
  • Andrew M. ManisMercer Press, Ph.D. The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, American Religious History, 1984 (Syllabus: Religion in America)
  • Joel W. MartinFranklin and Marshall College, Department of Religion, Ph.D. Duke University, Religious Studies, 1988 (Syllabus: Religion in America)
  • Gerald R. McDermottUniversity of Roanoke, Religion Department, Ph.D.: University of Iowa, Religion, 1989 (Syllabus: Religion in America)
  • D. Keith NaylorOccidental College, Religious Studies Department, Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara, Religious Studies, 1987 (Syllabus: Introduction to Religion in America)
  • Rodger PayneLouisiana State University, Department of Philosophy, Ph.D. University of Virginia, American Religious History, 1989 (Syllabus: Religion in the U.S.)
  • Stephen ProtheroBoston UniversityDepartment of Philosophy, Ph.D. Harvard University, Study of Religion, 1990 (Syllabus: Religion in America)
  • John Stackhouse, Jr.Regent College, Department of Religion, Ph.D. University of Chicago, History of Christianity, 1987 (Syllabus: The American Religious Experience)
  • Thomas TweedUniversity of North Carolina,, Department of Religious Studies, Ph.D. Stanford University, Religious Studies, 1989 (Syllabus: Religion in American Life)
  • Valarie ZieglerDePauw University, Department of Religious Studies, Ph.D. Emory University, Historical Theology, 1987 (Syllabus: American Religious History)
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Our Programs

Young Scholars in American Religion

The next generation of leading teachers and scholars in American religion is at work in our colleges and universities today. With support from Lilly Endowment, the Center assists these early career scholars in the improvement of their teaching and research and in the development of professional communities through the Young Scholars in American Religion program.

Biennial Conference

Every two years, the Center holds a highly interactive national conference on religion and American culture featuring the work of nationally recognized scholars speaking on a wide variety of subjects.

World Religions in Greater Indianapolis

The Center partnered with Ivy Tech Community College to introduce fifteen community college instructors to the religious traditions of Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist communities in greater Indianapolis. The program, supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, resulted in the production of nearly 150 course modules that incorporate knowledge about world religions into core humanities curriculum.

Teaching K-12

With funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Center has hosted programs for K-12 teachers interested in learning how better to teach about religion in their classrooms.


The Center hosts a variety of events for scholars, educators, and the general public. Recent topics include race, rock ‘n’ roll, and evangelicalism in the 1950s and 1960s, the role of religion in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, evangelical Christianity and social engagement, Mormonism in the 21st century, and flea market religion.

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Journal Index

To subscribe to Religion & American Culture and view articles online visit our site at Cambridge Core.

Autumn 2019 Volume 29 Number 3

“Daʿwa in the Neighborhood: Female-Authored Muslim Students’ Association Publications, 1963–1980,” by Justine Howe

ABSTRACT: Founded in 1963 at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the Muslim Students’ Association of the United States and Canada (MSA) expanded to 116 local chapters by 1968, with members representing more than forty countries. During the Cold War, the MSA embraced the project of daʿwa, or renewing and correcting other Muslims’ devotional practice, and improving the public image of Islam. Extant scholarship on the MSA portrays the organization as ambivalent, if not antagonistic, toward U.S. society during the Cold War because it was deeply enmeshed in the political and religious ideologies associated with the global Islamic Revival. This article offers a different view by examining female-authored writings published under the auspices of the MSA Women’s Committee between 1963 and 1980. Aspirational in scope and pedagogical in approach, MSA women’s literature shifts conceptions of the MSA’s political and religious priorities during this period, from one of detachment to one of selective engagement with American culture. This article makes three main interventions. First, it demonstrates that a focus on the publications of MSA female members yields a more robust understanding of how this important group of American Muslims envisioned daʿwa as a local and global project of religious revival during the Cold War. Second, it shows that, to achieve their revivalist aims, female MSA members identified points of affinity with certain religious non-Muslim Americans, namely, upwardly mobile Christians and Jews. For these authors, the ground on which they found affinity with families of other faiths was not theology or Abrahamic lineage but, rather, a shared gendered and classed vision of raising devout children to meet the unique threats posed by modernity. Finally, this article examines how female MSA authors conceived of the patriarchally organized yet maternally driven nuclear family as essential for reinvigorating Muslim practice.

“‘A Higher and Purer Shape’: Kaufmann Kohler’s Jewish Orientalism and the Construction of Religion in Nineteenth-Century America,” by Evan Goldstein

ABSTRACT: This article uses the case of Kaufmann Kohler (1843–1926), an intellectual and institutional leader of American Reform Judaism, to explore the relationship between Orientalism and the category of religion in nineteenth-century America. Recent scholarship has shown that the lived religion of nineteenth-century American Jews departs significantly from the ideological hopes of Jewish elites. Connecting the emerging portrait of nineteenth-century Jewish laity with elite arguments for American Judaism, I reconsider Kohler’s thought as a theological project out of step with his socioreligious milieu. Kohler is renowned for his theorizing of Judaism as a universal, ethical religion. As scholars have demonstrated repeatedly, defining Judaism as a “religion” was an important feature of Reform thought. What these accounts have insufficiently theorized, however, is the political context that ties the categorization of religion to the history of Orientalism that organized so many late nineteenth-century discussions of religion, Jewish and not. Drawing on work by Tracy Fessenden, John Modern, and Tisa Wenger, I show that Kohler’s universal, cosmopolitan religion is a Jewish version of the Protestant secular. Like these Protestant modernists, Kohler defines Reform Judaism as a religion that supersedes an atavistic tribalism bound to materiality and ritual law. Being Jewish, for Kohler, means being civilized; reforming the soul of Judaism goes together with civilizing Jewish bodies and creating a Judaism that could civilize the world in an era in which religion and imperialism were overlapping interpretive projects with racial and gendered entanglements.

“‘Holy Ghost Tribe:’ The Needles Revival and the Origins of Pentecostalism,” by Skyler Reidy

ABSTRACT: In 1899, a religious revival in Needles, California, included the first recorded instance of tongues-speech in California. The revival was begun by a white Holiness preacher and included a predominantly Native American, but ethnically mixed, congregation. The Mohave Indians at the heart of the Needles Revival had survived in the Southern California borderlands by crossing boundaries and building new communities in the shadow of the modernizing state. As they participated in the Needles Revival, Mohave believers and others combined this pattern of boundary crossing with the theology and praxis of the Holiness movement to develop a local manifestation of the emerging Pentecostal movement. During the early twentieth century, a series of revivals around the world and a network of Holiness groups and missionaries developed into modern Pentecostalism. The most prominent of these revivals took place on Azusa Street in Los Angeles and emphasized speaking in tongues and multiracial community, not unlike the earlier revival in Needles. Taken together, these two revivals show the influence of Southern California on early Pentecostalism. Speaking in tongues enabled early Pentecostals to cross boundaries imposed by California’s racial hierarchy, and the multiethnic communities they formed were a testament to the cultural dynamism of the region. As Mohave converts embraced Pentecostalism and eventually assumed leadership of the Needles congregation, they brought their legacy of survival and adaptation to the movement. In the process, they helped to shape modern Pentecostalism.

“‘Fighting Spirit’: World War I and the YMCA’s Allied Boxing Program,” by Adam Park

ABSTRACT: This article highlights the U.S. Armed Forces’ appointment of the YMCA to train American soldiers in boxing during World War I and so contributes to scholarly research on religion and war as well as religion and sports. As the YMCA taught the fistic art to white regiments in stateside military camps and to the American Expeditionary Forces on the Western Front, I argue that World War I was a watershed moment for both Muscular Christianity and boxing. Religious, political, and military leaders announced boxing to be ideal for the close-proximity encounters in the trenches, and they championed the YMCA as being best equipped to turn newly enlisted recruits into hardened trench-pugs. To the YMCA-military, the practical benefits of boxing were that soldiers would not just be “good with their hands” but also have a good manly character, a “fighting spirit.” In the establishment of a new world order, boxing thereby became a bellicose technique for unmaking evil others and a Christian method for remaking “overcivilized” white men. Immediately after the war—because of the Y—the sport of boxing, previously believed unscrupulous, was redeemed. Protestant Christians and a larger public recast boxing as less an activity for the morally corrupt and the criminal underworld and more an enlightened pursuit in the realization of an authentic, God-given human nature. Legalized, mainstreamed, and backed by antimodern logic, Christian theology, and white fears of racial devolution, boxing was for “character” more than crime.

Summer 2019 Volume 29 Number 2

“FORUM: The Religious Situation, 1968 (Part 2),” with contributions by Irene Oh, Richard Flory, Rebecca C. Bartel, John Modern, Joseph Winters, Lila Corwin Berman, Kathryn Lofton

This FORUM uses a volume published in 1968 to reflect on the religious situation today. The Religious Situation: 1968 announced its intention to be “The First in a Series of Annual Volumes.” As it turned out, only one additional volume was published, in 1969. The 1968 collection reprints famous essays (such as “Civil Religion in America” by Robert Bellah and “Religion as a Cultural System” by Clifford Geertz) and issues for the first time many more, including reports on South India and Japanese peace movements; reflections on idolatry, secularization, and secularity; and updates on Jews, Catholics, and Mormons. There is not a single female author; only one author is a person of color. Every essay speaks with enormous diagnostic confidence about its designated subject and with differing sensitivities toward the significant cultural and political tumult that have come to be associated with 1968. There is not a lot of mirth or irony.

We asked scholars to reflect on a specific essay, and answer two questions: Does the essay’s argument stand the test of time? What do you think is the status of its subject today? We don’t assume anyone has read all of the essays in The Religious Situation: 1968, so we encouraged the contributors to be inspired by, but not defined by, those original essays. We hope readers can use these essays to think about the status of certain perennial subjects in the study of American religion.

“A Prophetic Guide for a Perplexed World: Louis Finkelstein and the 1940 Conference on Science, Philosophy, and Religion,” by Cara Rock-Singer

ABSTRACT: This article traces negotiations over the epistemic, ethical, and political authority of Judaism, Protestantism, Catholicism, and science in mid-twentieth century America. Specifically, it examines how the President of the Jewish Theological Seminary, Rabbi Dr. Louis Finkelstein, led a diverse group of intellectual elites as they planned and convened the 1940 Conference on Science, Philosophy and Religion in their Relation to the Democratic Way of Life (CSPR). Based on the conference’s transcripts, proceedings, and papers, in addition to Finkelstein’s writings from the period, this article shows how Finkelstein used his vision of the Jewish tradition as a model to form a pluralistic intellectual space that brought together the representatives of multiple religious traditions and modern science. To accredit the American way of life to Judaism, Finkelstein traced America’s ethical values, democratic politics, and scientific genius back to the Hebrew Prophets through Rabbinic Judaism. In response to Finkelstein’s historiography and the political and ideological challenges of World War II, scientific and religious experts negotiated their authority and debated how to mobilize their traditions in a quest for political stability. By analyzing the CSPR as a meeting of multiple discourses, this article reinstates science as a fundamental player in the story of American pluralism and demonstrates the way a non-Protestant tradition shaped the terms of an elite public’s understanding of the democratic way of life.

“‘The world food crisis is not a fad’: The More-with-Less Cookbook and Protestant Environmental Spirituality,” by Kevin Stewart Rose

ABSTRACT: This article examines the spirituality reflected in 1976 cookbook More-with-Less. Written by a former Mennonite missionary hoping to provide religious households with a practical way of responding to world hunger, the cookbook’s message of a simple diet that could transform users’ impact on the world is an early example of the religious environmentalism that has grown increasingly popular among middle-class American Protestants in the last several decades. By examining its historical context, narrating its genesis, and critically assessing the spirituality it recommended, this article argues that the cookbook provides a useful window into Protestant environmental spirituality, its version of which allowed practitioners to maintain traditional institutional relationships and conceptions of the divine while cultivating the individuated religiosity increasingly sought after in modern culture. Emerging in the institutional overlap of traditional religious organizations and the putatively secular formations of mass media, globalization, and consumer culture, the cookbook leveraged the incipient emphasis on lifestyle choices within consumer culture to craft an individuated response to a vision of the world in permanent crisis. More-with-Lessand the Protestant environmental spirituality it represents shed light on current scholarly debates about the form religion takes within modern contexts of secularity, especially when religious practitioners seek adaptations that can maintain traditional theological and organizational commitments.

“The Difference Denominations Made: Identifying the Black Church(es) and Black Religious Choices of the Early Republic,” Kyle T. Bulthuis

ABSTRACT: Scholars of African American religious history have recently debated the significance of the black church in American history. Those that have, pro and con, have often considered the black church as a singular entity, despite the fact that African Americans affiliated with a number of different religious traditions under the umbrella of the black church. This article posits that it is useful to consider denominational and theological developments within different African American churches. Doing such acknowledges plural creations and developments of black churches, rather than a singular black church, which better accounts for the historical experience of black religion. In this piece I analyze four different denominational and theological traditions that blacks followed in the early Republic: the Anglican/Episcopalian, the Calvinist (Congregational/Presbyterian), the Methodist, and the Baptist. Each offered a general but unique ecclesiastical structure and set of theological assumptions within which black clergy and laity operated. Each required different levels of interaction with white coreligionists, and while some tended to offer more direct opportunities for reform and resistance, all groups suffered differing constraints that limited such action. I argue that the two bodies connected to formalist traditions, the Episcopalian and Calvinist, were initially better developed despite their smaller size, and thus disproportionately shaped black community and reform efforts in the antebellum United States.

Winter 2019 Volume 29 Number 1

“FORUM: The Religious Situation, 1968,” with contributions by Kathleen Holscher, Jonathan Ebel, Jana Riess, Joseph L. Tucker Edmonds, Angie Heo, Ari Y. Kelman

This FORUM uses a volume published in 1968 to reflect on the religious situation today. The Religious Situation: 1968announced its intention to be “The First in a Series of Annual Volumes.” As it turned out, only one additional volume was published, in 1969. The 1968 collection reprints famous essays (such as “Civil Religion in America” by Robert Bellah and “Religion as a Cultural System” by Clifford Geertz) and issues for the first time many more, including reports on South India and Japanese peace movements; reflections on idolatry, secularization, and secularity; and updates on Jews, Catholics, and Mormons. There is not a single female author; only one author is a person of color. Every essay speaks with enormous diagnostic confidence about its designated subject and with differing sensitivities toward the significant cultural and political tumult that have come to be associated with 1968. There is not a lot of mirth or irony.

We asked scholars to reflect on a specific essay, and answer two questions: Does the essay’s argument stand the test of time? What do you think is the status of its subject today? We don’t assume anyone has read all of the essays in The Religious Situation: 1968, so we encouraged the contributors to be inspired by, but not defined by, those original essays. We hope readers can use these essays to think about the status of certain perennial subjects in the study of American religion.

“American Catholics and ‘The Use and Abuse of Reading,’ 1865–1873,” by Erin Bartram

ABSTRACT: In the wake of the Civil War, Father Isaac Hecker launched several publishing ventures to advance his dream of a Catholic America, but he and his partners soon found themselves embroiled in a debate with other American Catholics, notably his friend and fellow convert Orestes Brownson, over the “use and abuse of reading.” Although the debate was certainly part of a contemporary conversation about the compatibility of Catholicism and American culture, this essay argues that it was equally rooted in a moment of American anxiety over a shifting social order, a moment when antebellum faith in the individual was being tested by the rights claims of women and Americans of color. Tacitly accepting and internalizing historical claims of intrinsic and through-going Catholic “difference,” claims offered both by American Protestants and American Catholics like Brownson, scholars often presume that debates within American Catholicism reflect “Catholic” concerns first and foremost, qualifying their utility as sources of “American” cultural history. By examining American Catholic discussions of reading, individual liberty, social order, and gender in the 1860s and 1870s, this essay argues that Brownson’s arguments against the compatibility of American and Catholic life were in fact far more representative of ascendant ideas in American culture than Hecker’s hopeful visions of a Catholic American future made manifest through the power of reading. In doing so, it demonstrates the ways that American Catholicism can be a valuable and complex site for studying the broader history of religion and culture in the United States.

“‘Development of Body, Mind, and Soul:’ Paramahansa Yogananda’s Marketing of Yoga-Based Religion,” by Dave Neumann

ABSTRACT: As founder of a religious movement emphasizing soteriological goals, Paramahansa Yogananda is at odds with the prevailing scholarly portrayal of yoga as a modern, syncretic bodily practice focused on mindfulness and physical well-being that, even when employing language of transcendence, magic, or the supernatural, typically has this-worldly perfection in mind. Yogananda, thus, offers an important counterpoint to the dominant historiography of yoga. Whereas more recent “global gurus” often remained in India and recruited among diaspora Indians, Yogananda was the first Indian to establish a thriving yoga-based Hinduism among white converts in the United States. He worked to make his message compelling in the often-hostile milieu of a dominant Christian culture. In this article, I consider Southern California’s identity as a “spiritual frontier” that offered a uniquely conducive space to launch a Hindu religious movement in a virulently xenophobic era. I explore Yogananda’s vision of the “science of religion,” language that reflected not a materialist reduction of yoga to somatic goals, but a precise, systematic meditation method designed to achieve God-contact. Yogananda offered various products in an effort to build brand loyalty for his yoga-based religion. Although he strategically promoted the very real health and energy benefits of his instruction, the heart of his commercial and spiritual enterprise was a yoga correspondence course that promised to train disciples in a devotional relationship with a God he often depicted as a personal Being. I conclude by examining Yogananda’s role as the authoritative divine guru who mediated his religious products to devotees and remained present after his death to guide them toward ultimate bliss.

“The Parliament of Empire: Charles Bonney’s American Vision,” by Lucia Hulsether

ABSTRACT:This article places the World’s Parliament of Religions in its social-political milieu of Gilded Age Chicago. It takes up the Parliament not to rehash arguments that scholars have made about its particular performance of religion but, rather, to locate its pluralist production in finer-grained material expenditures and extractions that made it possible. It tells this story through an examination of the Parliament’s organizer, Charles Carroll Bonney. Employed as a federal judge in Chicago, Bonney’s life reflects the coterminous boundaries of capital, state-building, and aspirations for the reconciliation of human conflict through multireligious unity.His tenure as the organizer of the Parliament, and as the President of the World Congress Auxiliary of which it was a part, was riddled by raging conflict with Chicago’s union leaders, who saw the events as an indirect attack on the city’s labor movement. To analyze the Parliament in light of these factors is to begin to understand the history of American religious pluralism as constituted by—and, thus, inextricable from—histories of labor, capital, and the state.

Summer 2018 Volume 28 Number 2

“God, Country, and Anita Bryant: Women’s Leadership and the Politics of the New Christian Right,” by Emily Suzanne Johnson

“Fortune Telling and American Religious Freedom,” by Charles McCrary

“’Termites in the Temple’: Fundamentalism and Anti-Liberal Politics in the Post–World War II South,” by Elizabeth Fones-Wolf and Ken Fones-Wolf

“Agreeing to Disagree: American Orthodox Jewish Scientists’ Confrontation with Evolution in the 1960s,” by Rachel S. A. Pear

Winter 2018 Volume 28 Number 1

“Bureau Clergyman: How the FBI Colluded with an African American Televangelist to Destroy Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” by Lerone Martin

“The Historyless Heathen and the Stagnating Pagan: History as Non-Native Category?,” by Kathryn Gin Lum

“Contesting Civil Religion: Religious Responses to American Patriotic Nationalism, 1919-1929,” by Michael Lienesch

“The Evolution of American Airport Chapels: Local Negotiations in Religiously Pluralistic Contexts,” by Wendy Cadge

Summer 2017 Volume 27 Number 2

“The World Day of Prayer: Ecumenical Churchwomen and Christian Cosmopolitanism, 1920-1946,” by Gale L. Kenny

“Constructing a Plan for Survival: Scientology as Cold War Psychology,” by Robert Genter

“Worship Wars, Gospel Hymns, and Cultural Engagement in American Evangelicalism, 1890-1940,” by Tamara J. Van Dyken

“‘If There Were One People’: Francis Weninger and the Segregation of American Catholicism,” by David Komline

Winter 2017  Volume 27  Number 1

FORUM: “Studying Religion in the Age of Trump,” with contributions by Randal Balmer, Kate Bowler, Anthea Butler, Maura Jane Farrelly, Wes Markofski, Robert Orsi, Jerry Z. Park and James Clark Davidson, Matthew Avery Sutton, and Grace Yukich

“‘Satan Mourns Naked upon the Earth’: Locating Mormon Possession and Exorcism Rituals in the American Religious Landscape, 1830-1977,” by Stephen Taysom

“Lineage Matters: DNA, Race, and Gene Talk in Judaism and Messianic Judaism,” Sarah Imhoff and Hillary Kaell

Summer 2016 Volume 26 Number 2

“Ordering Antimony: An Analysis of Early Mormonism’s Priestly Offices, Councils, and Kinship,” by Kathleen Flake

“Evangelicals and Unevangelicals: The Contested History of a Word, 1500-1900,” by Linford D. Fisher

“For God and Country: Religious Minorities Striving for National Belonging through Community Service,” by Rosemary R. Corbett

“Before Hinduism: Missionaries, Unitarians, and Hindoos in Nineteenth-Century America,” by Michael J. Altman

Winter 2016 Volume 26 Number 1

“Prayer is the answer”: Apocalypticism, Our Lady, and Catholic Identity,” by Jill Krebs

“Declension Comes Home”: Cotton Mather, Male Youth Rebellion, and the Hope of Providential Affliction in Puritan New England,” David Setran

“Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Long Social Gospel Movement,” by Vaneesa Cook

“Evolution and Voices of Progressive Catholicism in the Age of the Scopes Trial,” by Alexander Pavuk

Summer 2015 Volume 25 Number 2

FORUM: “The Role and Future of Academic Journals,” with contributions by Ava Chamberlain, Christopher Evans, Curtis Evans, and Paul Harvey

“Working Jews: Hazanim and the Labor of Religion in Nineteenth-Century America,” by Shari Rabin

“From Sputnik to Spaceship Earth: American Catholics and the Space Age,” by Catherine Osborne

“Beyond Parish Boundaries: Black Catholics and the Quest for Racial Justice,” by Karen J. Johnson

Winter 2015 Volume 25 Number 1

“’An Authentic Record of My Race’: Exploring the Popular Narratives of African American Religion in the Music of Duke Ellington,” by Vaughn Booker

“’Practical Outlet’ to Premillennial Faith: G. Douglas Young and the Evolution of Christian Zionist Activism in Israel,” by Daniel G. Hummel

“Chrismukkah: Millennial Multiculturalism,” by Samira K. Mehta

“Liberal Protestants and Urban Renewal,” by Mark Wild

Summer 2014 Volume 24 Number 2

“Jesus Didn’t Tap: Masculinity, Theology, and Ideology in Christian Mixed Martial Arts,” by Justine Greve

“Bigger, Better, Louder: The Prosperity Gospel’s Impact on Contemporary Christian Worship, by Kate Bowler and Wen Reagan

“‘The Quiet Revivial’: New Immigrants and the Transformation of Christianity in Greater Boston,” by Marilyn Johnson

“Youth, Christianity, and the Crisis of Civiliation, 1930-45,” by Thomas E. Bergler

Winter 2014 Volume 24 Number 1

FORUM: “Religion and the Biographical Turn,” by Leigh Eric Schmidt, Catherine Brekus, Nick Salvatore, Matthew Avery Sutton, and Debby Applegate

“‘If a War It May Be Called’: The Peace Policy with American Indians,” by Jennifer Graber

“Religion, ‘Moral Insanity’, and Psychology in Nineteenth–Century America,” by Jodie Boyer

“The Politicization of Family Life: How Headship became Essential to Evangelical Identity in the Late Twentieth Century,” by Anneke Stasson

Summer 2013  Volume 23  Number 2

“‘Modern Christianity Is Ancient Judaism’: Rabbi Gustav Gottheil and the Jewish-American Religious Future, 1873–1903,” by Caleb J. D. Maskell

“Faith Healing, Medical Regulation, and Public Religion in Progressive Era Chicago,” by Timothy E. W. Gloege

“‘Just a Bunch of Agitators’: Kneel-Ins and the Desegregation of Southern Churches,” by Joseph Kip Kosek

“Antirevivalism and Its Discontents: Liberal Evangelicalism, the American City, and the Sunday School, 1900–1929,” by Matthew Bowman

Winter 2013  Volume 23  Number 1

Forum: “Contemporary Mormonism: America’s Most Successful ‘New Religion,'” with contributions
by Terryl L. Givens, Kathryn Lofton, Laurie Maffly-Kipp, and Patrick Q. Mason

“The Humbug in American Religion: Ritual Theories of Nineteenth-Century Spiritualism,” by David Walker

“‘Doubts still assail me’: Uncertainty and the Making of the Primitive Baptist Self in the Antebellum United States,” by Joshua Guthman

“Yoga for the New Woman and the New Man: The Role of Pierre Bernard and Blanche DeVries in the Creation of Modern Postural Yoga,” by Joseph Laycock

Summer 2012  Volume 22  Number 2

Review Essay: “The Quest for Green Religion,” by Mark Stoll

“‘According to His Own Judgment’: The American Catholic Encounter with Organic Evolution, 1856-1896,” by David Mislin

“The Death of Mormon Separatism in American Universities, 1877-1896,” by Thomas W. Simpson

“American Saints: Gender and the Re-Imagining of U.S. Catholicism in the Early Twentieth Century,” by Kathleen Sprows Cummings

“Broadcasting Mainline Protestantism: The Chicago Sunday Evening Club and the Evolution of Audience Expectations from Radio to Television,” by Michael Stamm

Winter 2012  Volume 22  Number 1

Forum: “American Religion and the Old and New Immigration,” with contributions by Jenna Weissman Joselit, Timothy Matovina, Roberto Suro, and Fenggang Yang

“Permission to Dissent: Civil Religion and the Radio Western, 1933-1960,” by Kip Anthony Wedel

“The Measure of a Magazine: Assessing the Influence of Christian Century,” by Elesha Coffman

“‘Outside the Shul’: The American Soviet Jewry Movement and the rise of Solidarity Orthodoxy, 1964-1986,” by Adam S. Ferziger

Summer 2011  Volume 21  Number 2

Review Essay: “Past Practices—Ethnography and American Religion,” by Courtney Bender

“‘Until This Curse of Polygamy is Wiped Out’: Black Methodists, White Mormons, and Constructions of Racial Identity in the Late Nineteenth Century,” by James B. Bennett

“A Sane Gospel: Radical Evangelicals, Psychology, and Pentecostal Revival in the Early Twentieth Century,” by Heather Curtis

“An ‘Aristocracy of Virtue’: Cultural Development of the American Catholic Priesthood, 1884-1920s,” by Donna J. Drucker

Winter 2011  Volume 21  Number 1

Forum: “American Scriptures,” with contributions by Philip L. Barlow, Paul S. Boyer, Cheryl Townsend Gilkes, Mark A. Noll, and Claudia Setzer

“‘The Secret at the Root’: Performing African American Religious Modernity in Hall Johnson’s Run, Little Chillun,”by Judith Weisenfeld

“Identity Politics and the Fragmenting of the 1970s Evangelical Left,” by David R. Swartz

“‘Last Night, I Prayed to Matthew:’ Matthew Shepard, Homosexuality, and Popular Martyrdom in Contemporary America,” by Scott W.Hoffman

Summer 2010  Volume 20  Number 2

Review Essay: “Religion and the American Presidency,” by Frank Lambert

“The Rise of Black Ethnics: The Ethnic Turn in African American Religions, 1916-1945,” by Sylvester A. Johnson

“Developing the ‘Christian Gentleman’: The Medieval Impulse in Protestant Ministry to Adolescent Boys, 1890-1920,” by David P. Setran

“The Preacher’s Blues: Religious Race Records and Claims of Authority on Wax,” by Jonathan L. Walton

“In the Eye of the Beholder: Perspectives on Intermarriage Conversion in Orthodox Christian Parishes in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,” by Amy Slagle

Winter 2010  Volume 20 Number 1

Forum: “American Religion and Scholarly Publishing: Restrospect and Prospect,” with contributions by John Corrigan, Elaine Maisner, Reed Malcolm, and John Wilson

“Garveyism and the Eschatology of African Redemption in the Rural South, 1920-1936,” by Jarod Roll

“Breaking Faith: Religion, Americanism, and Civil rights in Postwar Milwaukee,” by Kevin D. Smith

“Mourning Becomes Hers: Women, Tradition, and Memory Albums,” by Anne Blue Wills

Summer 2009  Volume 19  Number 2

Review Essay: “Religion, War, and the Meaning of America,” by Harry S. Stout

“Tamales on the Fourth of July: The Transnational Parish of Coeneo, Michoacán,” by Luis E. Murillo

“The Bible, the First Amendment, and the Public Schools in Odessa, Texas,” by Mark A. Chancey

“The Zen of Anarchy: Japanese Exceptionalism and the Anarchist Roots of the San Francisco Poetry Renaissance,” by James Brown

“The International Social Turn: Unity and Brotherhood at the World’s Parliament of Religions, Chicago, 1893,” by Amy Kittelstrom

Winter 2009  Volume 19  Number 1

Forum: “American Religion and ‘Whiteness,'” with contributions by Edward J. Blum, Tracy Fessenden, Prema Kurien, and Judith Weisenfeld

“The Remaking of the Catholic Working Class: Detroit, 1919-1945,” by Matthew Pehl

“‘Representatives of All That Is Noble’: The Rise of the Episcopal Establishment in Early-Twentieth-Century Philadelphia,” by Thomas F. Rzeznik

“Twenty-First-Century American Ghosts: The After-Death Communication—Therapy and Revelation from beyond the Grave,” by Susan Kwilecki

Summer 2008  Volume 18  Number 2

Review Essay: “Where the Action Is-—Law, Religion, and the Scholarly Divide,” by Sarah Barringer Gordon

“Racial Identity and the Civilizing Mission: Double Consciousness at the 1895 Congress in Africa,” by Paul W. Harris

“‘Terrible Laughing God’: Challenging Divine Justice in African American Antilynching Plays, 1916-1945,” by Craig Prentiss

“‘It is a Day of Judgment’: The Peacemakers, Religion, and Radicalism in Cold War America,” by Leilah Danielson

Winter 2008  Volume 18  Number 1

Forum: “Religion and Politics on the American Scene,” with contributions by Daniel Walker Howe, Sheila Suess Kennedy, Kevin Phillips, and Winnifred Fallers Sullivan

“Why Southern Gospel Music Matters,” by Douglas Harrison

“The Religious and Racial Meanings of The Green Pastures,” by Curtis J. Evans

“Framing Catholicism: Jack Chick’s Anti-Catholic Cartoons and the Flexible Boundaries of the Culture Wars,” by Michael Ian Borer and Adam Murphree

“The Greening of American Catholicism: Identity, Conversion, and Continuity,” by Keith Douglass Warner, O.F.M.

Summer 2007  Volume 17  Number 2

Review Essay: “Rethinking the American Jewish Historical Experience,” by Marc Lee Raphael

“‘Congenial to Almost Every Shade of Radicalism’: The Delaware Valley and the Success of Early Mormonism,” by Stephen J. Fleming

“Southern Harmony: Catholic-Protestant Relations in the Antebellum South,” by Andrew Stern

“After the Exodus: The New Catholics in Boston’s Old Ethnic Neighborhoods,” by Regine O. Jackson

“‘And the Word was Made Flesh’: Divining the Female Body in Nineteenth-Century American and Catholic Culture,” by Marie Pagliarini

Winter 2007  Volume 17  Number 1

Forum: “How the Study of Religion and American Culture has Changed at Your Institution in the Past Decade,” with contributions by Catherine L. Albanese, W. Clark Gilpin, Leigh E. Schmidt, and Thomas A. Tweed

“The Church Historians Who Made the First Amendment What it is Today,” by Donald Drakeman

“Beautiful Women Who Dig Graves: Richard Baker-roshi, Imported Buddhism, and the Transmission of Ethics at the San Francisco Zen Center,” by Jason Bivens

“Sin, Spirituality, and Primitivism: The Theologies of the American Social Gospel,” by Matthew Bowman

Summer 2006  Volume 16  Number 2

Review Essay: “American Catholic Studies at a Crossroads,” by Paula Kane

“And Ever the Twain Shall Meet: The Holiness Missionary Movement and the Birth of World Pentecostalism, 1870-1920,” by Jay R. Case

“A Chosen People in a Pluralist Nation: Horace Kallen and the Jewish-American Experience,” by Daniel Greene

“‘The Right Achieved and the Wrong Way Conquered’: J.H. Jackson, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Conflict over Civil Rights,” by Wallace Best

“Minds Intensely Unsettled: Phrenology, Experience, and the American Pursuit of Spiritual Assurance, 1830-1880,” by Christopher G. White

Winter 2006  Volume 16  Number 1

Forum: “Electronic Media and the Study of American Religion,” with contributions by John Corrigan, David Morgan, Mark Silk, and Rhys H. Williams

“How the Irish became Protestant in America,” by Michael P. Carroll

“‘Monkeying with the Bible’: Edgar J. Goodspeed’s American Translation,” by R. Bryan Bademan

“The Preacher Paradigm: Promotional Biographies and the Modern-Made Evangelist,” by Kathryn E. Lofton

Summer 2005  Volume 15  Number 2

Review Essay: “American Religious Biography,” by Amanda Porterfield

“Native American Popular Religion in New England’s Old Colony, 1670-1770,” by Douglas Winiarski

“Sex in the City of God: Free Love and the American Millennium,” by Cathy Gutierrez

“The Beauty of the Lilies: Femininity, Innocence, and the Sweet Gospel of Uldine Utley,” by Kristin Kobes Du Mez

Winter 2005  Volume 15  Number 1

Forum: “American Religion and Class,” with contributions by David Hackett, Laurie Maffly-Kipp, R. Laurence Moore, and Leslie Tentler

“Sacred Sites: Nature and Nation in the U.S. National Parks,” by Lynn Ross-Bryant

“The Radicalization of the Social Gospel: Harry F. Ward and the Search for a New Social Order, 1898-1936,” by Doug Rossinow

“Morality for the ‘Democracy of God’: George Albert Coe and the Liberal Protestant Critique of American Character Education, 1917-1940,” by David P. Setran

Summer 2004  Volume 14  Number 2

“Passing as a Pastor: Clerical Imposture in the Colonial Atlantic World,” by Thomas Kidd

“The Politics of Ecumenical Disunity: The Troubled Marriage of Church World Service and the National Council of Churches,” by Jill K. Gill

“Mugwump Cartoonists, the Papacy, and Tammany Hall in America’s Gilded Age,” by Samuel J. Thomas

“Why Women Loved Billy Sunday: Urban Revivalism and Popular Entertainment in Early Twentieth-Century American Culture,” by Margaret Bendroth

Winter 2004  Volume 14  Number 1

Forum: “How I Have Changed My Mind,” with contributions by Catherine L. Albanese, Vine Deloria, Jr., Robert Ellwood, Andrew Greeley, and John F. Wilson

“‘The Christianization’ of Israel and Jews in 1950s America,” by Michele Mart

“The Robes of Womanhood: Dress and Authenticity among African American Methodist Women in the Nineteenth Century,” by Pamela Klassen

“‘Race’ Speech-‘Culture’ Speech-‘Soul’ Speech: The Brief Career of Social Science Language in American Religion during the Fascist Era,” by Anne C. Rose

Summer 2003  Volume 13  Number 2

Review Essay: “What is the Place of ‘Experience’ in Religious History?” by David D. Hall

“Hasidism in the Age of Aquarius: The House of Love and Prayer in San Francisco, 1967-1977,” by Yaakov Ariel

“Mission to America: The Reform Movement’s Missionary Experiments, 1919-1960,” by Lila Corwin Berman

“‘Praying for a Wicked City’: Congregation, Community, and the Suburbanization of Fundamentalism,” by Darren Dochuck

Winter 2003  Volume 13  Number 1

Forum: “The Years Ahead in Scholarship,” with contributions by Leigh E. Schmidt, Deborah Dash Moore, Richard T. Hughes, and Mark Valeri

“Women and Christian Practice in a Mahican Village,” by Rachel Wheeler

“Re-placing Memory: Latter-day Saint Use of Historical Monuments and Narrative in the Early Twentieth Century,” by Kathleen Flake

“‘My God and My Good Mother’: The Irony of Horace Bushnell’s Gendered Republic,” by Mark Edwards

Summer 2002  Volume 12  Number 2

Review Essay: “Local ‘Lived’ Religion in America,” by Rhys H. Williams

“Mystery of the Moorish Science Temple: Southern Blacks and American Alternative Spirituality in 1920s Chicago,” by Susan Nance

“Islamizing the Black Body: Ritual and Power in Elijah Muhammad’s Nation of Islam,” by Edward E. Curtis IV

“‘Heathens and Infidels’? African Christianization and Anglicanism in the South Carolina Low Country, 1700-1750by Annette Laing

“‘Gods of Physical Violence, Stopping at Nothing’: Masculinity, Religion, and Art in the Work of Zora Neale Hurston,” by Peter Powers

Winter 2002  Volume 12  Number 1

Forum: “Teaching the Introductory Course in American Religion,” with contributions by Thomas A. Tweed, Grant Wacker, Jon Pahl, Valarie H. Ziegler, William D. Dinges

“Peace of Mind (1946): Judaism and the Therapeutic Polemics of Postwar America,” by Andrew R. Heinze

“The Influence of American Missionary Women on the World Back Home,” by Dana L. Robert

“The Evil of Abortion and the Greater Good of the Faith: Negotiating Catholic Survival in the Twentieth-Century American Health Care System,” by Kathleen M. Joyce

Summer 2001  Volume 11  Number 2

“Body Salvation: New Thought, Father Divine, and the Feast of Material Pleasures,” by R. Marie Griffith

“Curious Gentiles and Representational Authority in the City of the Saints,” by Eric A. Eliason

“Hollywood Theology: The Commodification of Religion in Twentieth-Century Films,” by Jeffery A. Smith

“Describing the Elephant: Buddhism in America,” by Peter N. Gregory

Winter 2001  Volume 11  Number 1

Forum: “American Religious People as ‘Other'”, with contributions by David Chidester, Sung Gyung Kim, Knud Krakau, M. Thomas Thangaraj

Review Essay: “An Edwards for the Millennium,” by Bruce Kuklick

“The Emergence of California in American Religious Historiography,” by Eldon G. Ernst

“Giving Voice to Place: Three Models for Understanding American Sacred Space,” by Belden C. Lane

“Of Markets and Missions: The Early History of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches,” by Melissa M. Wilcox

Summer 2000  Volume 10  Number 2

Review Essay: “Religion Goes to the Movies,” by Peter W. Williams

“Holy Martin: The Overlooked Canonization of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” by Scott W. Hoffman

“The Use of the New Testament in the American Slave Controversy: A Case History in the Hermeneutical Tension between Biblical Criticism and Christian Moral Debate,” by J. Albert Harrill

“The Sisters of the Holy Family and the Veil of Race,” by Tracy Fessenden

Winter 2000  Volume 10  Number 1

Forum: “Public Theology in Contemporary America,” with contributions by William Dean, Mark A. Noll, Mary Ferrell Bednarowski, and J. Bryan Hehir

“The Aura of Wellness: Subtle-Energy Healing and New Age Religion,” by Catherine L. Albanese

“The Difference Difference Makes: Justine Wise Polier and Religious Matching in Twentieth-Century Child Adoption,” by Ellen Herman

“Infallible Proofs, Both Human and Divine: The Persuasiveness of Mormonism for Early Converts,” by Steven C. Harper

Summer 1999  Volume 9  Number 2

Forum: “American Spirituality,” with contributions by Wade Clark Roof, Anne E. Patrick, Ronald L. Grimes, and Bill J. Leonard

“Entering the ‘Tent of Abraham’: Fraternal Ritual and American Jewish Identity, 1880- 1920,” by Daniel Soyer

“Liberators for Colonial Anahuac: A Rumination on North American Civil Religions,” by Randi Jones Walker

“The Poetic Uses of Religion in The Miraculous Day of Amalia Gomez,” by Luis Leon

“Counterculture and Mission: Jews for Jesus and the Vietnam Era Missionary Campaigns, 1970 – 1975,” by Yaakov Ariel

Winter 1999  Volume 9  Number 1

Forum: “Religion and American Autobiographical Writing,” with contributions by Susan Juster, John D. Barbour, Gary Comstock, and Richard Rabinowitz

“With Bible in One Hand and Battle-Axe in the Other: Carry A. Nation as Religious Performer and Self-Promoter,” by Frances Grace Carver

“‘We Have Heard the Joyful Sound’: Charles E. Fuller’s Radio Broadcast and the Rise of Modern Evangelicalism,” by Philip Goff

“The Pure American Woman and the Wicked Catholic Priest: An Analysis of Anti-Catholic Literature in Antebellum America,” by Marie Ann Pagliarini

Summer 1998  Volume 8  Number 2

Forum: “Southern Religion,” with contributions by Donald G. Mathews, Samuel S. Hill, Beth Barton Schweiger, and John S. Boles

Review Essay: “Religion in American Academic Life,” by Joel Carpenter

“‘To Form a More Perfect Union’: The Moral Example of Southern Baptist Thought and Education, 1890-1920,” by John M. Heffron

“Tares in the Wheat: Puritan Violence and Puritan Families in the Nineteenth-Century Liberal Imagination,” by Daniel P. Buchanan

“Mary Marshall Dyer, Gender, and A Portraiture of Shakerism,” by Elizabeth A. De Wolfe

Winter 1998  Volume 8  Number 1

Forum: “Interpreting Waco,” with contributions by Lawrence Foster, Joel W. Martin, David Chidester, and Nancy T. Ammerman

“Jewish GIs and the Creation of the JudeoChristian Tradition,” by Deborah Dash Moore

“‘Rational Amusement and Sound Instruction’: Constructing the True Catholic Woman,” by Penny Edgell Becker

“The Staking of the Monster: A Politics of Remonstrance,” by Ed Ingebretsen

“Trifling with Holy Time: Women and the Formation of the Calvinist Church of Worcester, Massachusetts, 1815 – 1820,” by Carolyn J. Lawes

Summer 1997  Volume 7  Number 2

“Conjure and Christianity: Religious Elements in Nineteenth-Century African-American Occultism,” by Yvonne Chireau

“Southern Baptists, Northern Evangelicals, and the Nature of Religious Alliances,” by Barry Hankins

“The Church Irrelevant: Paul Hanly Furfey and the Fortunes of American Catholic Radicalism,” by Eugene McCarraher

“Applying the Devil’s Work in a Holy Cause: Working Class Popular Culture and the Salvation Army in the United States, 1879 – 1900,” by Lillian Taiz

“‘Memorial Stones’: Death and the Geography of Womanhood in Heathen Women’s Friend, 1869 – 1879,” by Anne Blue Wills

Winter 1997  Volume 7  Number 1

Forum: “Neglected Resources in Scholarship,” with contributions by Theodore Dwight Bozeman, Giles Gunn, Peter J. Paris, and Anne C. Rose

“The Religious Construction of Masculinity in Victorian America: The Male Mediumship of John Shoebridge Williams,” by Bret E. Carroll

“The Scalabrini Fathers, the Italian Emigrant Church and Ethnic Nationalism in America,” by Peter R. D’Agostino

“Sentimental Catechism: Archbishop James Gibbons, Mass Print Culture, and American Literary History,” by James Emmett Ryan

“Character, Public School, and Religious Education, 1920-1934,” by Heather Warren

Summer 1996  Volume 6  Number 2

Forum: “Religious Communities,” with contributions by Kathleen Neils Conzen, Brooks Holifield, Harry Stout, and Michael Zuckerman

“Manna and Manual: Sacramental and Instrumental Constructions of Space in the Victorian Camp Meeting,” by Steven Cooley

“The Puritans as Founders: The Quest for Identity in Early Whig Rhetoric,” by Dean C. Hammer

“The New Divinity and Williams College, 1793-1836,” by David Kling

“Christians Love the Jews! Origins and Growth of American PhiloSemitism, 1790-1860,” by Robert K. Whalen

Winter 1996  Volume 6  Number 1

Editors’ Preface

“The Troubles with Harry: Freedom, America, and God in John Updike’s Rabbit Novels,” by Kyle A. Pasewark

“How Realistic Can a Catholic Writer Be? Richard Sullivan and American Catholic Literature,” by Una M. Cadegan

“Carnival of Shame: Doctorow and the Rosenbergs,” by Robert Detweiler

“In Memory of Cassie: Child Death and Religious Vision in American Women’s Novels,” by Ann-Janine Morey

Summer 1995  Volume 5  Number 2

“Gender and Religion in American Culture, 1870-1930,” by David G. Hackett

“Religion and Culture in Tension: The Abortion Discourses of the U.S. Catholic Bishops and the Southern Baptist Convention,” by Michele Dillon

“The Spiritual Labour of John Barnard: An Eighteenth-Century Artisan Constructs His Piety,” by Erik R. Seeman

“Fundamentalism and Folk Science between the Wars,” by Edward B. Davis

“A New Denominational Historiograph?” by John F. Wilson

Winter 1995  Volume 5  Number 1

Forum: “Female Experience in American Religion,” with contributions by Rosemary Skinner Keller, Ann Braude, Maureen Ursenbach Beecher, and Elizabeth Fox-Genovese

“The Holocaust, Second Generation Witness, and the Voluntary Covenant in American Judaism,” by Alan L. Berger

“‘Proclaiming Together’? Convergence and Divergence in Mainline and Evangelical Evangelism, 1945-1967,” by Thomas C. Berg

“Thomas Merton and the Religion of the Bomb,” by James J. Farrell

“The Ideal of Professionalism and the White Southern Baptist Ministry, 1870-1920,” by Paul Harvey

Summer 1994  Volume 4  Number 2

“The Easter Parade: Piety, Fashion, and Display,” by Leigh Eric Schmidt

“Vernacular American Landscape: Methodists, Camp Meetings, and Social Respectability,” by Roger Robins

“The Church and American Destiny: Evangelical Episcopalians and Voluntary Societies in Antebellum America,” by Diana Hochstedt Butler

“Racial Justice and the People of God: The Second Vatican Council, the Civil Rights Movement, and American Catholics,” by John T. McGreevy

“Song and Dance: Native American Religions and American History,” by Lawrence E. Sullivan

Winter 1994  Volume 4  Number 1

Forum: “American Civil Religion Revisited,” with contributions by Phillip E. Hammond, Amanda Porterfield, James G. Moseley, and Jonathan D. Sarna

“‘A True Revival of Religion’: Protestants and the San Francisco Graft Prosecutions,1906-1909,” by Douglas Firth Anderson

“Purgatory and the Powerful Dead: A Case Study of Native American Repatriation,” by Johnny P. Flynn and Gary Laderman

“The Power of Interpretation: The Revival of 1857-58 and the Historiography of Revivalism in America,” by Kathryn T. Long

“Mass Culture, UpperClass Culture, and the Decline of Church Discipline in the Evangelical South: The 1910 Case of the Godbold Mineral Well Hotel,” by Ted Ownby

Summer 1993  Volume 3  Number 2

“Religion: A Private Affair, in Public Affairs,” by Martin E. Marty

“‘Spiritual Warfare’: Cultural Fundamentalism and the Equal Rights Amendment,” by Donald G. Mathews

“The Godly Insurrection in Limestone County: Social Gospel, Populism, and Southern Culture in the Late Nineteenth Century,” by Richard C. Goode

“Women, Public Ministry, and American Fundamentalism, 1920-1950,” by Michael S. Hamilton

“From Spiritualism to Theosophy: ‘Uplifting’ a Democratic Tradition,” by Stephen Prothero

“‘Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Left To Do’: Choosing a Textbook for Religion in America,” by Stephen J. Stein

Winter 1993  Volume 3  Number 1

Forum: “The Decade Ahead in Scholarship,” with contributions by Robert A. Orsi, George Marsden, David W. Wills, and Colleen McDannell

“Imaging Protestant Piety: The Icons of Warner Sallman,” by David Morgan

“Sociological Christianity and Christian Sociology: The Paradox of Early American Sociology,” by Susan E. Henking

“Mary Lyon, the Founding of Mount Holyoke College, and the Cultural Revival of Jonathan Edwards,” by Joseph A. Conforti

“Religion in the United States: Notes Toward a New Classification,” by Julia Mitchell Corbett

Summer 1992  Volume 2  Number 2

“Creation, Evolution, and Holy Ghost Religion: Holiness and Pentecostal Responses to Darwinism, ” by Ronald L. Numbers

“Representative Emersons: Versions of American Identity,” by David L. Smith

“The Apocalyptic Origins of Churches of Christ and the Triumph of Modernism,” by Richard T. Hughes

“The Early Years of the Jewish Presence at the University of Illinois,” by Winton U. Solberg

Winter 1992  Volume 2  Number 1

Forum: “Sources of Personal Identity: Religion, Ethnicity, and the American Cultural Situation,” with contributions by Robert Wuthnow, Martin E. Marty, Philip Gleason, and Deborah Dash Moore

“Benevolent Calvinism and the Moral Government of God: The Influence of Nathaniel W. Taylor on Revivalism in the Second Great Awakening,” by William R. Sutton

“The Troubled Soul of the Academy: American Learning and the Problem of Religious Studies,” by D. G. Hart

“Lemuel Haynes and the Revolutionary Origins of Black Theology, 1776-1801,” by John Saillant

“Witchcraft and the Colonization of Algonquian and Iroquois Cultures,” by Amanda Porterfield

Summer 1991  Volume 1  Number 2

Forum: “The Decline of Mainline Religion in American Culture,” with contributions by William R. Hutchison, Catherine L. Albanese, Max L. Stackhouse, and William McKinney

“The Private Hopes of American Fundamentalists and Evangelicals, 1925-1975,” by David Harrington Watt

“Saving the Children by Killing Them: Redemptive Sacrifice in the Ideologies of Jim Jones and Ronald Reagan,” by David Chidester

“The New Infidelity: Northern Protestant Clergymen and the Critique of Progress, 1840-1855,” by Mark Y. Hanley

“John Eliot and the Millennium,” by Richard W. Cogley

Winter 1991  Volume 1  Number 1

Editors’ Introduction

Review Essay: “The Encyclopedia of the American Religious Experience,” by David Brion Davis

“Prophecy, Gender, and Culture: Ellen Gould Harmon [White] and the Roots of Seventh-day Adventism,” by Jonathan M. Butler

“Subverting Eden: Ambiguity of Evil and the American Dream in Blue Velvet,” by Irena Makarushka

“Religion and the American Public Philosophy,” by William Dean

“Authoritarian or Authority Minded? The Cognitive Commitments of Fundamentalists and the Christian Right,” by Dennis E. Owen, Kenneth D. Wald, and Samuel S. Hill

“The Incorporation of American Religion: The Case of the Presbyterians,” by Louis Weeks

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2020-22 YSAR Application

Beginning in the fall of 2020, a series of seminars devoted to the enhancement of teaching and research will be offered in Indianapolis. The aims of all sessions of the program are to develop ideas and methods of teaching in a supportive workshop environment, stimulate scholarly research and writing, and create a community of scholars that will continue into the future.

The dates for these seminars are:

  • Session I: October 14-18, 2020
  • Session II: April 7-11, 2021
  • Session III: October 13-17, 2021
  • Session IV: March 16-20, 2022


Penny A. Edgell and Jonathan L. Walton will lead the 2019-2020 seminars.

Penny A. Edgell (Ph.D., University of Chicago) is a Professor at the University of Minnesota who studies how religious cultural frames and symbolic boundaries affect social inclusion and exclusion in the contemporary United States; you can find her review of the cultural approach to the study of religion in Annual Review of Sociology. She has conducted several research projects on congregations and congregational culture (Congregations in Conflict, Religion and Family in a Changing Society, and a recent article with Derek Robey in Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion). Her recent research on public religious expression and attitudes toward the non-religious and religious minorities is based on research conducted with colleagues at the University of Minnesota (the American Mosaic Project, funded by the Edelstein Family Foundation and NSF, published in journals including ASR, Social Forces, Social Problems, TSQ, JSSR, NVPSQ, and Social Currents).  She has recently completed an NSF-funded study of how Americans think and talk about social controversies, with a focus on the influence of religious cultural frames and moral schemas in collective reasoning.


Jonathan L. Walton (Ph.D., Princeton Theological Seminary) is a social ethicist whose scholarship focuses on evangelical Christianity, and
its relationship to mass media and political culture. He is an outspoken advocate for social justice and civil rights. His work and insights have been featured in several national and international news outlets including the New York Times, CNN, Time Magazine, and the BBC.
His latest book, A Lens of Love: Reading the Bible in Its World for Our World (Westminster John Knox Press, 2018), blends his work from the pulpit and classroom. A Lens of Love explores the Bible from the perspective of the most vulnerable and violated characters toward developing a Christian social ethic of radical inclusion and human affirmation. He served as the Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church at Harvard University prior to being appointed Dean of the Divinity School and Wait Chapel at Wake Forest University in 2019.


Applying to the Young Scholars program:

Scholars eligible to apply are those working in a subfield of the area of religion in North America, broadly understood, who have a terminal degree in hand, a full-time academic position (tenure track or renewable long-term), and have launched their careers within the last seven years. Scholars are selected with the understanding that they will commit to the program for all seminar dates. Participants are expected to produce two course syllabi, with justification of teaching approach, and a publishable research article over the course of their seminars.

Applicants must submit (a) a curriculum vitae; (b) a 750-word essay indicating why they are interested in participating and describing their current and projected research and teaching interests; and (c) email information for three scholars willing to write letters of reference (portfolios with generic reference letters are not accepted).

All application materials, including letters of recommendation, must be received by March 15th. Please note that the Center will not request supporting letters until after the application is submitted so plan accordingly. Click here to apply to the Young Scholars program.

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