PhD Dissertations by GDRS (DRTS) Alums

(updated 5/23/17)


“Secrets of Heaven: Allegory, Jews, the European Enlightenment and the Case of Emanuel Swedenborg” by Rebecca Esterson

“John Dewey and an Ecological Philosophy of Religion” by Brian Jenkin


“Exploring Meaningful Experiences of HIV Positive Black Women: A Qualitative Study of Relational Care Practices” by Cherita Cloy

“Revisiting the Concept of Self in the Methodology of Mystical Hermeneutics” by Nickolas Zanetti

“Sincerity, Empathy, and Intersubjectivity in Classical Chinese Ritual” by Brian Loah

“Causes and Causation in Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite and Some Natural Sciences” by Nick DiDonato

“Hierarchies in Time: An Empirical Study of the Indexical Character of Ritual Synchrony” by Connor Wood

“Perceptible Inspiration: Sensory Experience in Early British Methodism, 1730-1760” by Erika Stalcup

“South Africa’s Dutch Reformed Churches and the Struggle for Reconciliation” by Marthe Hesselmans

“Sartre and Augustine on the Self and the Other: the Influence of the Religious Standpoint on the Hope for Human Relations” by Mireille Bishay

“Jewish Acts: Negotiating Jewishness in the Acts of the Apostles” by Christopher Stroup

“Frontiers in Relations: Being Christian in the Post-Colonial World” by Ada Focer



“Sacral Socio-Ecological Labor: Theories of Catholic Social Thought and Engaged Buddhism in Complementary Practice” by Hyungkyu Lee

“Preaching Paul: John Chrysostom and the Construction of a non-Jewish Christian Identity” by Courtney Wilson VanVeller

“Sacral Socio-Ecological Labor: Theories of Catholic Social Thought and Engaged Buddhism in Complementary Practice””The Priority of Form in Carl Schmitt’s Early Theological Perspective” by Theresa Cooney.

“Theology, Tragedy, and Suffering in Nature: Toward a Realist Doctrine of Creation” by Joel Daniels.

“Enzinas to Valera: Motives, Methods, and Sources in Sixteenth-Century Spanish Bible Translation” by Peter W. Hasbrouck.

“Sacral Socio-Ecological Labor: Theories of Catholic Social Thought and Engaged Buddhism in Complementary Practice” by Hyungkyu Lee.

“Inheritance and Legacy: A Phenomenological Exploration” by Giacomo Leoni.

“Kabbalah and Neo-Confucianism: A Comparative Morphology of Medieval Movements” by Yair Lior.

“Desecrated Covenant, Deprived Burial: Threats of Non-Burial in the Hebrew Bible” by Frances Dora Mansen.

“Reason Turned into Sense: John Smith on Spiritual Sensation” by Derek Anthony Michaud.

“Habits of the Hearth: Parenting, Religion and the Good Life in America” by Kevin Taylor.

“Muqatil Ibn Sulayman: A Neglected Figure in the Early History of Qur’anic Commentary” by Achmad Tohe.

“Paul’s Therapy of the Soul: A New Approach to John Chrysostom and Anti-Judaism” by Courtney Wilson Van Veller.


“Making Ethics “First Philosophy”: Ethics and Suffering in the Work of Emmanuel Levinas, Elie Wiesel, and Richard Rubenstein” by Ingrid Anderson.

“‘An Army of Such Ladies’: Mary Magdalene in the Era of Reformation” by Margaret Arnold.

“Violent silence: Second generation South Asian American Hindus on gender and sexual abuse” by Anjuli Harvey.

“Radical Food: Nation of Islam and Latter-day Saint Culinary Ideals (1930-1980)” by Kathleen Holbrook.

“Conceptualizations of Religion in a Sample of Female-to-Male Transsexuals: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis” by Ruben Hopwood.

“Beyond the Dichotomy of Faith and Reason: German Idealism, Philosophy of Religion, and the Modern Idea of the University” by David Larson.

“Black Gods of the Asphalt: Street Basketball, Power, and Embodied Spirit” by Onaje X. Offley Woodbine.


“The Elijah-Elisha Cycle of Stories: A Ring Composition” by Michelle L. Bellamy.

“The Moderating Role of Religious Coping in the Relationship Between Perceived Racial Discrimination and Mental Health- Depression- of Korean American Christians” by Yoo-Yun Cho-Chang.

“Remembering the Infallible Imams: Narrative and Memory in Medieval Twelver Shi’ism” by Matthew O. Pierce.

“Religion, Book Groups and the Social Inflection of Reading” by Emily Ronald.

“The Crossroads of Earth and Heaven: Methodism’s Malaysia Mission and the Making of the Global World, 1885-1915” by David William Scott.

“Love Sex, and Marriage in the Global Mission of Walter and Ingrid Trobisch” by Anneke Stasson.

“Alternatives to Monism and Dualsim: Seeking Yang Substance with Yin Function in Heshanggong’s Commentary on the Daodejing” by Misha Andrew Tadd.

“‘Root Hog or Die:’ William Taylor, Entrepreneurial self-sufficiency, and the Global Spread of an American Frontier Christianity” by Douglas Tzan.

“Pious Designs: Theological Aesthetics in the Writings of George Herbert and the Ferrars of Little Gidding” by Regina L. Walton.


“A Semiotic and Emergent Theory of Religious Communities” by Paul Cassell.

“Distinguishing Mystical Religious Experience From Psychotic Experience in the Presbyterian Church (USA)” by Susan L. DeHoff.

“John E. Smith as Pragmatic Philosophical Theologian” by Charles Demm.

“Spiritual Growth and Decline after Trauma: the Mediating Role of Benevolence Beliefs” by Cecile Gunn Desmond.

“Dialectical Harmony of Self and Other: Implications of Philosophical and Religious Anthropology for Social Justice and Fundamental Ethics” by Hee Kyung Kim.

“The Church and the Seer: Veronica Lueken, the Bayside Movement, and the Roman Catholic Hierarchy” by Joseph Peter Laycock.

“The Superhero Afterlife Subgenre And Its Hermeneutics For Selfhood Through Character Multiplicity” by Aaron David Lewis.


“Romantic Investiture: Formations of the Secular in British Romanticism” by Sean A. Dempsey.

“Culture War Christians: Visions of Fundamentalism in Contemporary Hollywood Cinema” by William P. Dodd.

“Sacramental Materialism: Don DeLillo, Catholicism, and Community” by Sara Jaye Hart.

“Reviling and Revering The Mormons: Defining American Values, 1890-2008” by Christine Hutchison-Jones.

“The Rorschach Perceptual-Thinking Index in a Seminar of Greek Orthodox Seminarians” by Cristian Onofrei.

“Do Religious Conservatives and Religious Liberals Think Differently? An Exploration of Differences in Cognitive and Personality Styles” by Aimee Self Radom.

“‘Go To Joseph; What He Says To You, Do.’; Interpreting Joseph’s Authority Through The Lens of Direct Speech” by Rebecca Rhee.


“Reasoning with Revelation: The Significance of the Qur’anic Contextualization of Philosophy in Al-Ghazali’s Mishkat Al-Anwar (The Niche of Lights)” by Scott Michael Girdner.

“Hiddenness of God’s Action in History: A Theology of Providence Inspired by Karl Barth” by Han Kyung Kim.

“Identity Matters: Bosnian Identity Maintenance in a Post-Migration Setting” by Kristen Lucken.

“The Quest for a New Reformation: Re-Making of Religious Perceptions in the Early History of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions to the Ottoman Near East, 1820-1870” by Bilal Ozaslan.

“A Defense of Naturalism Against Alvin Plantinga’s Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism” by Richard Peters.

“From Method to Practice: A Critique of Two Models for Relating Science and Religion” by Josh Andrew Reeves.

“Levinas and *Time” by Eric Severson.

“Evangelical Fruits and Confucian Roots: Ethnicity and Religous Identity in Korean American Congregations” by Peter June-Young Sun.


“Religion and the American Industrial City: Protestant Culture and Social Transformation in Lowell, Massachusetts, 1824-1890” by Eric Baldwin.

Fideism and Wittgenstein’s Ethic of Perspicuity” by Thomas Donald Carroll.

“Paul’s Use of Part-Whole Rhetoric of To Sympheron in 1 Corinthians” by Kei Eun Chang.

“Hegel, History, and Evil: Towards Finite Theodices” by Eric M. Dale.

“Mindfulness, Compassion, and the Nature of Self: A study of Vipassana Meditation in Context” by Frank Dibert.

“The Virtue of Humble Authority in Saint Thomas Aquinas and Master Zhu Xi” by Catherine A. Hudak Klancer.

“Fostering Social Support and Compassionate Love in the Greek Orthodox Church Through Small Groups” by Markos Achilles Nickolas.

“A Thousand and One Nights and the Construction of Islam in the Western Imagination” by Martyn Oliver.


“The Spontaneity of Nature and Human Experience” by Nathaniel Barrett.

“The Contentious Birth of Wesleyan Methodism, 1738-1741: Gender, Charism, and Sectarian Division” by Brian C. Clark.

“The Future of Inquiry: Charles Peirce, Naturalism, and the Symbols of the Christian Eschaton” by Brandon C. Daniel-Hughes.

“Environmental Ethics Across Worldviews: A Critique of Sustainable Energy Development Indexes” by Sarah Fredericks.

“The Erotic Fringe: Sexual Minorities and Religion in Contemporary American Literature and Film” by Christine Hoff Kraemer.

“Common Grounds without Foundations: A Pragmatic Approach to Ethical Disagreements across Cultural, Philosophical, and Religious Traditions” by David Kratz Mathies.

“Heidegger and the Tragedy of Being” by David Nichols.

“American Gnosis: The Literary Afterlife of a Heresy” by Joshua T. Pederson.

“Ye Shall Be Free From Slavery: The Concept of Freedom In Contemporary WICCA” by Robert Puckett.

“Alberto Rembao (1895–1962): Mexican American Protestant for Internationalism and Christian Holism” by Ruben Rivera.


“Ancient Daoist Diets for Health and Longevity” by Shawn Arthur.

“Female Clergy and Attractiveness: The Impact of Social Context on Both Gender and Pastoral Identity” by Christina Belogour.

“Mysticism, Contextualism, and Community: A Communitarian /Pragmatic Epistemology of Mysticism” by Cecil Theodore Cole, Jr.

“Methodist Preaching in New England, c. 1790-1850: The Armenian Message on Calvinist Soil” by Jonathan D. Cooney.

“The Evil of God: Post-Christian Lamentations at the End of Theodices” by Ioan Dorin Igna.

“’Whatever’: God as Absent Presence in the Poetry of Geoffrey Hill, Derek Walcott, and Charles Wright” by Emily Taylor Merriman.

“The Use of Scripture in Nietzsche’s Zarathustra” by Laura C. Miguelez.

“The Transmission of Religious and Cultural Knowledge and Potentiality in Practice: An Anthropology of Social Navigation in the Kyrgyz Republic” by David William Montgomery.

“Orthodoxy Beyond the Walls of the Church: A Sociological Inquiry into Orthodox Religious Experience in Contemporary Russian Society” by Inna Naletova.

“The Relation of Faith and History in Ernst Troeltsch’s Die Absolutheit des Christentums und die Religionsgeschichte and Robert Neville’s Theory of Religious Symbols: Two Methodologies for Discerning Christian Normativity” by Echol Nix, Jr.

“Comparing Comparisons: An Analysis and Appraisal of Methodologies of Cross-Cultural Comparison from the American Pragmatist and Process Philosophical Traditions” by Robert Smid.


“Dante’s Virgil: A Poet’s Type of Exile” by Joy Lawrence Clark.

“The Dialectics of Tama in Japanese Religious Experience” by Tomoko Iwasawa.

“Transformations of Language and Religion in Rainer Maria Rilke” by Johannes Wich-Schwarz.


“The Concept of Acedia-Melancholia and the Life of its Symbolic Presentiments” by Alina N. Feld.

“Divine Onomatology: Naming God in Imyaslavie, Symbolism, and Deconstruction” by Helena Gourko.

“The Triune Pantokrator: Juergen Moltmann’s Reinterpretation of Omnipotence in Light of Gregory of Nyssa’s Trinitarian Theology” by Peter Heltzel.

“How to Say What Can’t be Said: Techniques and Rules of Ineffability in the Dionysian Corpus” by Timothy Knepper.

“Cultivating perfection: Mysticism and Self-transformation in Early Quanzhen Daoism” by Louis Andor Komjathy III.

“Biblical Fictions: Modern Short Stories That Retell Biblical Narratives” by Marwood Larson-Harris.

“The Virtue of Devils: Vladimir Nabokov’s Phenomenology of the Demonic” by Christopher A. Link.

“Rivers of Ecstasy: Henry Miller’s Affair with religion” by Thomas Nesbit.

“Therapeutic Pieties: Sentimental Prescriptions for Surviving Loss in Mid-Nineteenth Century America” by Marjorie Purnine.

“The Eucharist in the ‘Didache’: Ritual and History” by Jonathn Schwiebert.

“The Book of Lamentations and the Social World of Judah in the Neo-Babylonian Era” by Lauress Wilkins.