Recent and upcoming events:
Syracuse, NY. 15 Sept '19 – Gathering of Central New York Religion Consortium, Syracuse University
Jeonju, South Korea. 10-11 Oct '19 – Co-organizer and presenter at symposium, "Religious Conflicts and Coexistence: The Korean Context and Beyond"
Saratoga Springs, NY. 15 Oct '19 – Public talk on "The Spiritual Life of Dolls" at Skidmore College
Loretto, PA. 29 Oct '19 – Public talk on "The Spiritual Life of Dolls" at St Francis University
San Diego, CA. 22-26 Nov '19 – Presentations on "infrastructuring religion" and journal editing at the American Academy of Religion annual meeting
Los Angeles, CA. 31 Jan-1 Feb '20 – "Engaging Lived Religion in the 21st Century Museum," Advisory Committee meeting, Fowler Museum, UCLA
New York City. 6-7 Mar '20 – Association for Religion and Intellectual Life board meeting
Ann Arbor, MI. 15 Mar '20 – "A History of Religion in 5 1/2 Objects" at University of Michigan
New York City. 25-29 Mar '20 – Interfilm Symposium, "Spiritual Diversity and the Post-Secular in Contemporary Cinema," Judson Memorial Church
Santiago, Chile. 30 Mar '20 – Presentation on "Material Religion" at Centro de Estudios Interculturales e Indígenas at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Dubin, Ireland. 26-29 May '20 – Digital Sacred Texts conference, Dublin City University
Locarno, Switzerland. 5-15 Aug '20 – Ecumenical Jury member, Locarno Film Festival
Princeton, NJ. 8-10 Oct '20 – Panelist at the Critical Conversations on "Religion and the Built Environment"
New York City. 15-16 Oct '20 – Association for Religion and Intellectual Life board meeting
Toronto, CA. Oct. '20 – Presentation at the University of Toronto
Boston, MA. 21-24 Nov. '20 – American Academy of Religion meeting
I'm a writer, public speaker, editor, and college professor. My work starts with a basic question: What does it mean to be human? For me, this question is inseparable from the question: What makes humans religious?
As I've traveled and talked, parented and partnered, read and written, I've re-discovered the power of basic bodily experiences: eating bread together, looking at images, smelling spices, listening to music, and touching other bodies. These are sensually meaningful activities that gather communities of people, providing order and values for living and, more often than not, a little disorder.
In short, I keep finding religion is about bodies, not beliefs.
I have conducted research and given lectures around the world and taught at the Universities of Vermont and Colorado, Texas Christian University, and the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley. Currently, I hold a special appointment as an associate professor at Hamilton College in Central New York. For the Autumn of 2020 I will be the Gretchen Hoadley Burke '81 Endowed Chair for Regional Studies at Colgate University.
Along the way, I've spent time at an ashram in Vrindavan, India; the Taizé community in France; an evangelical Christian retreat center in the mountains of Southern California; a Vietnamese Buddhist monastery in the Catskills; a two-week intensive seminar on Japanese gardens in Kyoto; and a four-week Fulbright seminar on visual culture in Germany. In the winter of 2016 I walked 750-kilometers of the Camino de Santiago.
Browse the other pages from this site to find out more.