Nathan Fredrickson

Ph.D. Candidate


Religions in North America, Religion and Literature, Cognitive Science of Religion


Honors B.A. Classics, Saint Anselm College (2006)

M.A. Classics, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana (2009)

M.S. Library and Information Sciences, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana (2009)

M.A. Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara (2013)

Ph.D. Candidate, University of California, Santa Barbara


After earning my Honors B.A. in classics from Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire, I earned an M.A. in classical philology and an M.S. in library and information science at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. My M.A. thesis in religious studies at UCSB was entitled “The Gospel of Judas, the Subversion of Royal Ideology, and the Generation of a Sovereign Self.” Broadly I am interested both in the way religions function as embodied systems of representations – with the attendant issues associated with encoding, transmitting, and translating information across boundaries – and in the way they organize and modulate social power. I have worked with a variety of western texts and traditions and am now focusing on the interplay between them in an examination of artificial and parody religions in the context of American religious history, particularly with regard to questions related to capacities for play, humor, and imagination, the conceptual gradations between authentic and fake, and on the ground theories of religion.


Dissertation Title: "Making Worlds Withi Worlds: Worldviews in Fantastika"