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Research Fellows

Jonathan Baer
Jonathan Baer (Ph.D Yale University) is an associate professor of religion at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana. He serves as director of Scroll: The Wabash Institute of Theology for Youth, a summer program for young men funded by a grant from the Lilly Endowment. He is also director of Callings: Exploring Vocational Identity and Purpose, a NetVUE-affiliated program at Wabash. He is the author of articles, essays, and reviews that have appeared in a variety of publications, including Church History and the Journal of Religion. At Wabash, he teaches courses related to American religious history, church history, and anthropology and sociology of religion. Baer was educated at Yale, Cambridge (Queens College), and Duke Universities. He and his wife Carolyn are the parents of two sons and a daughter.
Candy Gunther Brown
Candy Gunther Brown (Ph.D Harvard University) is Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University, where she began teaching in 2006. Brown is author of "The Word in the World: Evangelical Writing, Publishing, and Reading in America, 1789-1880" (University of North Carolina Press, 2004); "Testing Prayer: Science and Healing" (Harvard University Press, 2012); and "The Healing Gods: Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Christian America" (Oxford University Press, 2013). She is editor of "Global Pentecostal and Charismatic Healing" (Oxford University Press, 2011), and co-editor (with Mark Silk) of "The Future of Evangelicalism in America" (Columbia University Press, 2016). Her current book project is tentatively titled: "Secular AND Religious: Yoga and Mindfulness in Public Schools, and the Re-Establishment of Religion in America." Dr. Brown is the 2017 president of the American Society of Church History.
Richard Gunderman
Richard Gunderman (University of Chicago) is Chancellor's Professor of Radiology, Pediatrics, Medical Education, Philosophy, Liberal Arts, Philanthropy, and Medical Humanities and Health Studies at Indiana University, where he is also John A Campbell Professor of Radiology. He was named the 2012 Distinguished Educator of the American Roentgen Ray Society. In 2012, he received the Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Award for Teaching Excellence, the top teaching award from the Association of American Medical Colleges. He serves on numerous boards, including the Kinsey Institute for the Study of Human Sexuality, Christian Theological Seminary, and Alpha Omega Alpha National Honor Medical Society. He is the author of over 600 articles and has published ten books, including, "X-ray Vision" (Oxford University, 2013), and "Essential Radiology" (3rd edition, Thieme, 2014). His newest books, "We Come to Life with Those We Serve" and "Hoosier Beacons," were published in 2017.
Paul Gutjahr
Paul Gutjahr (Ph.D University of Iowa) is Ruth N. Halls Professor of English at Indiana University. He also holds adjunct appointments in American Studies and Religious Studies. Along with numerous articles and book chapters, he is the author of "An American Bible: A History of the Good Book in the United States, 1777-1880" (1999), "Charles Hodge: Guardian of American Orthodoxy" (2011), and "The Book of Mormon: A Biography" (Princeton UP, 2012). He has also co-edited "Illuminating Letters: Essays on Typography and Literary Interpretation" (2001) and edited two major anthologies: one on American Popular Literature of the Nineteenth-Century and the other on American Bestsellers in the Nineteenth Century. He has also served as the sole editor for the "Oxford Handbook of the Bible in America" (2017). One of his next projects is what he is calling his UFO theology project: the study of American Religious Traditions and their beliefs concerning life on other planets.
Andrea R. Jain
Andrea R. Jain (Ph.D Rice University) is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Editor of the Journal of American Academy of Religion, and author of Selling Yoga: From Counterculture to Pop Culture (Oxford University Press, 2014). She received her doctorate degree in religious studies from Rice University in 2010. Her areas of interest include contemporary spirituality and the history of modern yoga; the yoga industry's relationship to neoliberalism, market capitalism, and consumer culture; the intersections of gender, sexuality, and yoga; religion and politics in contemporary society; and methods and theories in the study of religion. She is a regular contributor to Religion Dispatches on topics related to yoga in contemporary culture and Co-Chair of the Yoga in Theory and Practice Group of the American Academy of Religion.
Emily Suzanne Johnson
Emily Suzanne Johnson (Ph.D, Yale University) is Assistant Professor of History at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, where she is also an affiliate faculty member in Women's and Gender Studies. Johnson is the author of "This Is Our Message: Women's Leadership in the New Christian Right" (Oxford University Press, 2019). Her research interests center on gender and sexuality in U.S. history, with a particular focus on the intersections between religion, politics, and popular culture. She is a regular contributor to Religion and Politics and to "Made by History" by the Washington Post.
Sylvester A. Johnson
Sylvester A. Johnson (Ph.D Union Theological Seminary) is Assistant Vice Provost for the Humanities, Professor of Religion and Culture, and founding director of the new humanities center being created at Virginia Tech. Dr. Johnson completed his Ph.D at Union Theological Seminary, where he studied race and religion with James H. Cone. His research and teaching examine religion in the Americas and the broader Atlantic world. He has served on the faculties of Florida A&M University, Indiana University-Bloomington, and Northwestern University, where he led the development of an artificial intelligence (AI) application for studying humanities texts. In addition to co-editing the Journal of Africana Religions, Dr. Johnson has authored two award-winning monographs on religion, race, and empire in the Atlantic world and an edited volume on the FBI's engagement with religion in the United States. He is currently writing a study of how intelligent machines and human-machine hybridization are impacting human identity and the future of race.
Sheila Kennedy
Sheila Suess Kennedy (J.D. McKinney School of Law, IUPUI) is Professor of Law and Public Policy and founder of the Center for Civic Literacy at IUPUI. She is the author of eight books, including "What's a Nice Republican Girl Like Me Doing at the ACLU?"; "Charitable Choice at Work: Faith-Based Jobs Programs in the States" (with Wolfgang Bielefield); "God and Country: America in Red and Blue"; "Distrust, American Style: Diversity and the Crisis of Public Confidence"; and "Talking Politics: What You Need to Know Before You Open Your Mouth." Sheila has published numerous book chapters and articles in scholarly journals and law reviews. She was previously a columnist for the Indianapolis Star, and continues to write regular columns for the Indianapolis Business Journal. Professor Kennedy blogs daily at www.sheilakennedy.net, and is a frequent public speaker and contributor to other blogs and periodicals.
Elizabeth Kryder-Reid
Elizabeth Kryder-Reid (Ph.D Brown University) is Professor of Anthropology and Museum Studies in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, Director of the Cultural Heritage Research Center, and the former Director of the IUPUI Museum Studies Program. With a background in archaeology, art history, and public history, her research investigates cultural heritage with a particular focus on the intersections of landscape and power and the contestation of social inequalities across gender, race, class, ethnicity, and religion. She is the author of "California Mission Landscapes: Race, Memory, and the Politics of Heritage" (U. Minnesota Press, 2016), a contributing author to Interpreting Religion (AASLH, in press) and Keywords in American Landscape Design (Yale, 2010), and PI of Shaping Outcomes (www.shapingoutcomes.org).
William Mirola
William Mirola (Ph.D Indiana University) is a professor of Sociology at Marian University. His research and teaching interests center on religion and social class inequality as well as religion and social movement activism. Dr. Mirola co-edited "Sociology of Religion: A Reader" (3rd edition forthcoming from Taylor & Francis) with Sue Monahan and Michael Emerson as well as co-authored "Religion Implicated: What Sociology Teaches Us About Religion in Our World" (Allyn and Bacon). He is also author of "Redeeming Time: Protestantism and the Eight-Hour Movement in Chicago, 1886-1912" (University of Illinois Press) and "Religion and Class in America: Culture, History, and Politics" (Brill Publishing). Dr. Mirola also published an essay, "Religion and Class in America," in the new Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Religion.
Sara M. Patterson
Sara M. Patterson (Ph.D Claremont Graduate University) is Associate Professor of Theological Studies at Hanover College where she teaches courses in religion in the U.S., the intersections of race/ ethnicity and religion, and gender studies. In her research, Dr. Patterson explores understandings of sacred space in the American West. Her work, "Middle of Nowhere: Religion, Art, and Pop Culture at Salvation Mountain" (2015), explores a piece of outsider religious artwork in the southern Californian desert. Her current project examines the intersections of historical memory and sacred space along the Mormon trail.
William C. Ringenberg
William C. (Bill) Ringenberg (Ph.D Michigan State University) completed fifty years of affiliation with Taylor University in 2017. He is the author of two Taylor histories (1973, 1996), two histories of Christian higher education (1984, 2006), two books for college students on applied Christianity (2003, 2018), and a book on academic freedom in Christian higher education (2017). He presently is working with Matthew Ringenberg, Joseph Brain, and the Indiana University Press on an autobiography of an early Taylor student (The Education of Alice Hamilton: From Fort Wayne to Harvard).
Patricia Wittberg
Patricia Wittberg (Ph.D University of Chicago) is Emeritus Professor at IUPUI. After retiring from IUPUI in 2015, Dr. Wittberg has taken a part-time position as Research Associate at the Center for Applied Research (CARA) at Georgetown University. This enables her to continue my sociological research and writing on various topics concerning Catholicism. Dr. Wittberg recently published a single-authored book, "Catholic Cultures" (2016 Liturgical Press) and chapters in two edited volumes of CARA research (Oxford University Press). Recently, I was elected President of the Religious Research, a four-year position (1 year president-elect, 2 years president, 1 year past president). Her current research interests are Millennial and Post-Millennial Catholic generations, religious "nones" and Catholic religious orders.
Marianne S. Wokeck
Marianne S. Wokeck (Ph.D Temple University) is director of the Institute for American Thought, and immediate past president of the IUPUI Faculty Council. Educated in Germany and the United States, her major research has been in the history of the North Atlantic World with a focus on immigration ethnicity, and identity with special interest in the role of religion. A published author and scholarly editor, she has also collaborated on The Papers of William Penn; Lawmaking and Legislators in Pennsylvania; and The Works of George Santayana.
Valerie Ziegler
Valerie Ziegler (Ph.D Emory University) teaches in the Religious Studies department at DePauw University. She has written a monograph on antebellum peace activism and a biography of Julia Ward Howe. Her recent work has focused on Genesis 1-3 in American popular culture. "Enticed by Eden" (Baylor, 2013) examined ways in which evangelical Christians use Adam and Eve as models for courtship, online dating, and domestic discipline (wife-spanking) activities. Dr. Ziegler is currently focusing on creation museums (particularly the Ark Encounter) and their referencing of alien abductions.
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