Professor of Religious Studies
J. F. Rowny Professor Emerita in Comparative Religions & Research Professor
Area: American Religious History
Ph.D., the University of Chicago
Office: HSSB 3075
The field of American religious history is currently exploring new models for narrating the story of religion in the United States. Older consensus models are no longer in favor. I argue for a contact model that foregrounds the meetings and encounters between religious people. Such a model emphasizes the religious combinations made by individuals as well as between and among traditions in and through their American experience. My own work tries to develop this model in a variety of venues.
- A Republic of Mind and Spirit: A Cultural History of American Metaphysical Religion (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007).
A history of the “third force” in American (U.S.) religion – alongside mainstream denominationalism and evangelicalism – beginning from the time of the European Renaissance.
- America: Religions and Religion, 5th. ed. (Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth, 2012). Textbook.
- Nature Religion in America: From the Algonkian Indians to the New Age (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991).
Uses concept of nature religion to explore various eras and movements in American religious history.
Selected Articles, Reviews & Entries
- Reconsidering Nature Religion (Harrisburg, Pa.: Trinity Press International, 2002). A rethinking of the concept and kinds of nature religion in the U.S. after over a decade since Nature Religion in America appeared.
- American Spiritualities: A Reader (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001).
An anthology that develops a typology for spirituality in past and, especially, present-day spirituality in the United States.
- RS 151A: Religion in American History to 1865
- RS 151B: Religion in American History since 1865
- RS 258: Seminar in Religion in America