- 2012: Columbia University
Ph.D. in Religion (M.Phil. in Religion, 2010; M.A. in Religion, 2008)
Dissertation: “Book People: Evangelical Books and the Making of Contemporary Evangelicalism”
- 2005: University of Cambridge, Jesus College
B.A. in Theology and Religious Studies (M.A. Cantab., 2010)
- 2002: College of William and Mary
B.A. in Religion, Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude with high honors
- 2020-2021 –
Faculty Fellow, Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History, Harvard University
Robert Gale Noyes Assistant Professor of Humanities, Department of Religious Studies, Brown University
Assistant Professor, Department of Religious Studies, Brown University
Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Religious Studies, Brown University
Postdoctoral Research Associate in Religion and Culture, Center for the Study of Religion (Director: Robert Wuthnow), Princeton University
Areas of Research
American religious history; economy and society; media cultures; consumerism; wealth and inequality
- Evangelicals Incorporated: Books and the Business of Religion in America (Harvard University Press, November 2019).
Awarded honorable mention for 2020 Matei Calinescu Prize, Modern Language Association, for “distinguished work of scholarship in twentieth- or twenty-first-century literature and thought.”
Reviewed in academic journals—Journal of American History (June 2021), Journal of Contemporary Religion (April 2021), Church History (December 2020), Journal of Interdisciplinary History (Winter 2021), Reviews in American History (December 2020), American Religion (Fall 2020), Enterprise and Society (December 2020), Journal of Church and State (September 2020), Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion (September 2020), Business History Review (Summer 2020)—and other periodicals—TLS (January 2021), Themelios (November 2019), WORLD Magazine (November 2020), Christian Century (June 2020), National Catholic Reporter (August 2020), Comment (May 2020), Christianity Today (December 2019)
Edited Volumes and Editorial Initiatives
- Associate editor of A Universe of Terms and co-editor of its essays, which included more than 50 contributions by prominent scholars that collaboratively interrogate key terms in the study of religion. Published on Social Science Research Council’s The Immanent Frame between November 2019 and June 2020.
Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles and Chapters in Peer-Reviewed Anthologies
- “Christmas in the United States,” in The Oxford Handbook of Christmas, edited by Timothy Larsen, 489-499. New York: Oxford University Press, 2020.
- “Believing within Business: Evangelicalism, Media, and Financial Faith.” In The Business Turn in American Religious History, edited by Amanda Porterfield, Darren Grem, and John Corrigan, 20–45. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017.
- “Selling Trust: The Living Bible and the Business of Biblicism.” In The Bible in American Life, edited by Philip Goff, Arthur E. Farnsley II, and Peter J. Thuesen, 169–82. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017.
- “Meeting the Modernistic Tide: The Book as Evangelical Battleground in the 1940s.” In Protest on the Page: Essays on Print and the Culture of Dissent, edited by James L. Baughman, Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen, and James P. Danky, 137–60. Madison, Wisc.: University of Wisconsin Press, 2015.
- “‘Great Religions’ as Peacemaker: What Unitarian Infighting Did for Comparative Religion.” History of Religions 53, no. 2 (November 2013): 115-150.
Chapters in Books
- “Anglicanism and Its Discontents: Protestant Diversity and Disestablishment in British America,” co-authored with Randall H. Balmer. In The Cambridge History of Religions in America, edited by Stephen J. Stein: 429–450. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012.
- “Transcendentalism.” In Encyclopedia of Religion in America, edited by Charles H. Lippy and Peter W. Williams, 2205–2211. Washington, D.C: CQ Press, 2010. (5,000 words)
- “Postmodernism and Deconstruction” and “Foucault’s Impact on Social Theory.” Edited by Alfred J. Andrea. World History Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, 2011: 676-678.
Online Essays and Forums
- Co-editor and contributor to the essay forum “Gospels of Giving” (on giving, philanthropy, and inequality), The Immanent Frame, July 24, 2019.
- “Who do you want me to be?” The Immanent Frame. February 27, 2018.
Review Articles and Essays
- Review of Corporate Spirit: Religion and the Rise of the Modern Corporation, by Amanda Porterfield. Church History 89, no. 1 (March 2020): 239–41.
- Review of Bible Culture and Authority in the Early United States, by Seth Perry. American Religion 1, no. 2 (Spring 2020): 154–56.
- Review of The Rise of Liberal Religion: Book Culture and American Spirituality in the Twentieth Century. By Matthew S. Hedstrom. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013. In The Journal of Interdisciplinary History 44, no. 4 (Spring 2014): 560-562.
- “Saving America’s Soul: Religion and Politics at Pat Robertson’s Church.” In Journal of Anglican and Episcopal History 74 (2005): 137-142.
Manuscripts in Preparation
- A Religious History of Taxes in America (second book project)
- “The Fox News Gospel: Evangelical Christianity and Right-Wing Cable News”
- “What Goes Down Must Go Up: The Religious Authority of Statistics” (journal article)
Invited Lectures and Presentations
- “Gospels of Efficiency in Gilded Ages,” Princeton University, March 2022
- “Selling Religion: Capitalism and Christianity in Modern America,” Oklahoma State University, March 2022
- “Gospels of Efficiency in Gilded Ages,” University of Chicago Divinity School, March 2022
- “The Religion Business: Evangelicals, Media, and Politics,” Brown Club of San Francisco, September 2020.
- “Supermarket Salvation: Retail and Religion in the United States,” lecture for Jonathan M. Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship, Brown University, December 2018
- “Commercial Technologies of Evangelical Empire,” lecture to international colloquium “Global Faith and Worldly Power: Evangelical Encounters with American Empire,” Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany, October 2018
- “Selling a Way of Life: Evangelical Christianity, Retail Value, and Infrastructural Values,” presentation to international conference “Value, Values, and Religion in the Contemporary World,” Center for Contemporary Buddhist Studies, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, May 2018
- “The Business of Distinction: How Michigan’s Christian Book Industry Built American Evangelicalism,” lecture for the Department of Religious Studies, Michigan State University, March 2017
- “Financial Faith: Corporate Finance and the Sacred Logic of Growth,” contribution to Religion in the Americas seminar, Princeton University, November 2016
- “Going Public: Evangelicalism, Media, and Financial Faith,” keynote lecture for the Department for the Study of Religion’s conference, “From Oikonomia to Occupy: Intersections of the Religious and Economic,” University of Toronto, April 2016
- “Animating the Corporation: Religion, Stories, and Social Sense,” lecture for the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life, Columbia University, October 2015
- “Counting Religious Identity,” invited panelist on “Is the Sky Falling? Scholars Analyze the 2013 Pew Report on the Future of American Jews,” Brown University, November 2013
- “Evangelicalism Incorporated: Dwight L. Moody’s ‘Publisher of Evangelical Literature,'” contribution to Yale Roundtable on Fundamentalism, Yale University, May 2013
- “Of Bible Belts and Their Buckles: Evangelicalism in New York” and “Global Pentecostalism,” lectures delivered as part of series on “Modern Revivalism in America,” The Brick Presbyterian Church in the City of New York, February 2013
Presentations at Professional Meetings
- “Infrastructures of Pathology in Gilded Ages,” contribution to roundtable at American Academy of Religion, San Antonio, TX (and virtual), November 2021
- “What is Christmas About?,” American Society of Church History, New York City, January 2020
- Panel respondent, “American Visionaries and Visions of America”, American Society of Church History, New York City, January 2020
- “Media Markets and the Business of Evangelical Ecumenism,” American Society of Church History, Chicago, Ill., January 2019
- “What Kind of World Do Niches Make?,” American Academy of Religion, Denver, Colo., November 2018
- “Telling Lies Beyond Binaries,” American Society of Church History, Washington. DC, January 2018
- “Who Practices Protestantism?”, American Society of Church History, Denver, Colo., January 2017
- “The Future of Religion and Economy,” American Academy of Religion, San Antonio, Tex., November 2016
- “Seeing It and Knowing It: Experiencing Evangelicalism,” American Society of Church History, New York City, January 2015
- “Making Bibles into Books: The Evangelical Book Industry’s Turn Toward the Bible, 1950-1980,” The Bible in American Life Conference, Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture, Indianapolis, Indiana, August 2014
- “The Economic Structures of American Religion” and “Book Bound: The Paradox of Fundamentalist Biblicism,” American Society of Church History, Washington, DC, January 2014
- “Going Public: Evangelical Media and Identity after World War II,” Business History Conference, Columbus, Ohio, March 2013
- “Textual Transactions: Evangelical Books in and of the Marketplace,” American Academy of Religion, Chicago, November 2012
- “The Business of Revival: Dwight Moody, Fleming H. Revell, and the Creation of ‘Evangelical’ Publishing,” Biennial Conference on Faith and History, Wenham, Massachusetts, October 2012
- “The Revolution Will Be Printed: Evangelical Dissent and Evangelical Books in the 1940s,” Protest on the Page: Print Culture History in Opposition to Almost Anything, Center for the History of Print and Digital Culture, University of Wisconsin-Madison, September 2012
- “‘Should We Read Only the Bible?’: Ambivalent Readers and Eager Listeners Before the War,” American Religious History Working Group, Yale University, April 2012
- “From Peddlers to Powerhouses: How Grand Rapids Became the Epicenter of Evangelical Publishing,” American Society of Church History, Grand Rapids, Michigan, April 2011
- “Printing a Public: Evangelical Book Publishers and the Making of the Twentieth-Century Evangelical Coalition,” American Society of Church History, Boston, January 2011
- “Reformed Book Publishers, Fundamentalist Networks, and Evangelical Horizons,” University Seminar on Religion in New York, Columbia University, December 2010
- “Belief’s Past and Future,” Belief Matters: Reconceptualizing Belief and Its Use, Columbia University, April 2009
- “Out with the Old, in with the New: Business Tactics and the Rise of the Institutional Church, 1883-1906,” American Academy of Religion Regional Meeting, New Brunswick, New Jersey, March 2008
- “Institutional Church as ‘Industrial Enterprise’: The Business Side of the Social Gospel,” University Seminar on Religion in America, Columbia University, February 2008
- “Evangelicals and Evangelicalisms in Jesus Camp,” Society for Anthropological Study, Teachers’ College, Columbia University, March 2007
Service to Brown University
- Director of undergraduate studies, Department of Religious Studies, 2015-2016, 2017-2022
- Department of Religious Studies Self-Study Committee, 2019-2020
- Advisory board member, Mellon-Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Committee, 2014-present
- Member of Rhodes, Marshall, and Mitchell Scholarships Committee, 2017-present
- Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan Committee, Department of Religious Studies, 2015-2016
- Instructor on Christianity, Religious Literacy Project, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
- First-year advisor, 2017-present
- Sophomore advisor, 2014-present
- First Readings Program, 2014, 2015
Service to Profession
- Co-chair, program unit on “Religion and Economy,” American Academy of Religion, 2015-2022
- Member of governing council, American Society of Church History, 2017-2020
- Member of program committee for annual meeting, American Society of Church History, 2018, 2019, 2020
- Member of anti-harassment policy committee, American Society of Church History, 2019
- Member of editorial board for The Immanent Frame (tif.ssrc.org), Social Science Research Council, 2016-2020
- Member of editorial board for Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 2015-2018
- Member of research prize committee, American Society of Church History, 2017
- Contributing Editor, The Immanent Frame, Social Science Research Council, 2011-2014
- Conference Chair, “Belief Matters: Reconceptualizing Belief and Its Use,” Columbia University, April 2009
Awards and Distinctions
- John Rowe Workman Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Humanities, Brown University, 2022
- Matei Calinescu Prize for 2020, honorable mention, for “distinguished work of scholarship in twentieth- or twenty-first-century literature and thought,” Modern Language Association, (awarded in December 2021)
- Faculty Fellow, Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History, Harvard University, 2020-2021
- National Research Fellow, Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture, 2019
- Hazeltine Senior Citation for Excellence in Teaching, Guidance, and Support, 2019
- Richard B. Salomon Faculty Research Award, 2019
- Karen T. Romer UTRA Award, Brown University, 2015, 2016, 2017
- First Book Grant, Louisville Institute/Lilly Endowment, 2016-2017
- Selected as Young Scholar in American Religion, Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture, 2016-2017
- Nominated for Bancroft Award for best dissertation in American history, diplomacy, or international affairs, Columbia University, 2013
- Dissertation Fellowship, Louisville Institute, 2011-2012
- Graduate Research Fellowship, Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life, Columbia University, 2011
- Emerging Scholar of Religion and Public Life, Institute for Public Knowledge, New York, 2009-2010
- Frank Rosengarten Fellow, Columbia University, 2008
- Theological Studies Scholarship, University of Cambridge, 2004
- James Monroe Scholar, College of William and Mary, 1998-2002
Teaching and Advising
- RELS 0815: Sacred Economy: Religion and Capitalism in America, Spring 2019
- RELS 0056: Spiritual but Not Religious: Making Spirituality in America, Spring 2018, Spring 2016, Spring 2015, Spring 2014
- RELS 0845: Religious Freedom in America, Spring 2019, Fall 2015, Fall 2014,
- RELS 0090K: Christmas in America, Fall 2019, Fall 2018, Fall 2017, Fall 2015,
- RELS 1380A: Money, Media, and Religion, Spring 2018, Spring 2015, Spring 2014
- RELS 0087: Religion in America, Fall 2013
- Instructor, “The World’s Religions in New York,” Summer Program 2009, 2010, 2011
- Research Assistant, “Spirituality, Political Engagement, and Public Life” (September 2009 – September 2010), Social Science Research Council, New York.
- Rapporteur and Organizer, Religion in America University Seminar, Columbia University, 2008-2012
- Mellon Rare Book and Manuscript Intern Archivist, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University, 2008-2009
- Research Assistant and Workshop Organizer, “Religious, Spiritual, Secular: Invidious Distinctions and Ambivalent Attachments,” (24-25 October 2008), Social Science Research Council. Resulting book: What Matters? Ethnographies of Value in a Secular Age (Columbia, 2011)
- Editorial Assistant, The Immanent Frame, Social Science Research Council, 2008-2010
- Research Assistant and Workshop Organizer, “After Pluralism: Re-imagining Models of Religious Engagement” (October 2007), Columbia University, 2007. Resulting book: After Pluralism: Reimagining Religious Engagement (Columbia, 2010).