Current Student Bios

Tazeen Ali

AliTazeen Ali is a PhD candidate in the Texts and Traditions track, focusing on the relationship between the discursive constructions of gender and sexuality in the exegetical and jurisprudential traditions of Islam under the supervision of Dr. Kecia Ali. She is interested in the historical transformations of Islamic law from the pre-modern to modern eras and the resultant politics of women’s bodies and social engagement, with a focus on the impact of modernity on religious identity, particularly in the context of South Asia, as well as in Muslim minority communities in North America and Europe. She earned her MA in Islamic Studies at Washington University in St. Louis and her BA in Biology and Religious Studies at Lehigh University.

Benae Beamon

Banae BeamonBenae Beamon is a doctoral student in the Graduate Division of Religious Studies in the Religion and Society track. She earned her B.A. in religion from Colgate University and her M.A.R. from Yale Divinity School, concentrating in ethics. Her focus is black queer ethics, folding Black Church ethnography and philosophical hermeneutics into sexual ethics discourse. Using social history to uncover Black moral and social thought surrounding sexuality and building primarily on womanist ethics, queer theory, and black theology and literature, her focus explores the experience and reality of black queers as the world responds to them and as they respond to the world. More broadly, she also has interests in Jewish thought, existentialism, and phenomenology, as they relate to queerness.

Amina Chaudary

Amina shot2-152Amina Chaudary is a doctoral student focusing on historical and contemporary trends of Islam in America with guidance from Stephen Prothero. She has researched identity of American Muslims as hyphenated individuals and is exploring the American religious landscape over the past few decades as it intersects with Islam. She is also a fellow at the Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilizations. She holds an MA from Harvard University’s Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations Program in History and Culture of the Islamic World and an MA from Columbia University with a focus on South Asian and Middle Eastern studies. She has worked on and researched the Muslim world engagement project and the study of Islam in America at various capacities for over 10 years, including work for high ranking global thought leaders like Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner of Human Rights. Amina founded, and currently serves as the Editor in Chief of The Islamic Monthly, an award winning magazine that focuses on intelligent discussion pertinent to the Muslim world. She established an influential leader series for the magazine where she’s interviewed prominent global thinkers on the clash of civilizations and Muslim engagement. Among her interviews are Samuel Huntington, Bernard Lewis, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Secretary Madeleine Albright and Noam Chomsky.

Ian Cooley

IanCooley(DRTS)Ian is a doctoral student in the Graduate Division of Religious Studies (Track 4, Religion & Science) at Boston University. He has a BA in Biology from Pomona College and an MSc in the Philosophy and History of Science from the London School of Economics. His present interests are focused primarily upon the phenomenology of religious experience, particularly as this pertains to engagements with Otherness, and how such analyses might be applied to our understanding of scientific inquiry. He is currently working with Dr. Wesley Wildman on the Quantifying Religious Experience Project (QRXP).

Theresa Cooney

tcooneyTheresa is a doctoral candidate in the GDRS focusing on political theory and political theology under the guidance of Dr. Michael Zank. Her dissertation focuses on the role of political form in Carl Schmitt’s Weimar era Catholic writings. Her area of research broadly includes Church-state relations, sovereignty, dictatorship, theology and legal theory, freedom, order and authority through the lenses of both modernist and anti-modernist movements and thinkers. In addition to her dissertation, she is currently working on a project examining the theoretical foundations of blasphemy as a civil offense in modern Europe. She holds a B.A. in theology and political science from Georgetown University (2006) and a MTS from Harvard Divinity School (2008). Theresa currently serves as the graduate student assistant for the Program in Scripture and the Arts at BU and previously worked at the Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies at BU. She is also the head of the Freedom Trail program at King’s Chapel in downtown Boston, which is open year round seven days a week and aims to help educate the public on the complexities of early American civil and religious heritage.

Joel Daniels

joeldaniels_sq500Joel Daniels is a doctoral candidate in the religion and science program, writing a dissertation titled “Theology, Tragedy, and Natural Evil.” The project focuses on the complications that organic evolution brings about for a theological accounting of the presence of suffering in the world, and proposes the use of tragedy as a theological category for a realist doctrine of creation. Joel is also the editor of the monthly Research Review published by the Institute for the Biocultural Study of Religion, which cites and briefly annotates scientific research articles related to brain, behavior, culture, and religion. He is ordained in the Episcopal Church, and a graduate of Columbia University and The General Theological Seminary.

Eric Dorman

eric dorman drts bio photo2

Eric Dorman is a Ph.D. student in the religion and science track working with Dr. Wesley Wildman. He received his B.A in religious studies from the University of Florida in 2007 and his M.A. in Asian and comparative studies from the California Institute of Integral Studies in 2009. With an academic background in South Asian religious and philosophical traditions, he aims to expand the contemporary science and religion discourse to incorporate a more developed non-Western angle. His research interests include the intersection of Hinduism and science, yoga, yoga in America, medical yoga, and the history of science. Currently he is working on his dissertation, which looks at modern American medical yoga practice, embodiment, and the scientific study of religious experience.

Rebecca Esterson

EstersonRebecca Esterson is a Ph.D candidate at the Graduate Division of Religious Studies working in the Texts and Traditions track. She earned her Masters of Theological Studies in 2002 from Harvard Divinity School with a focus in world religions, and also studied at Hebrew University in Jerusalem as a visiting graduate student in 2000-01. After receiving her masters degree, she worked at Harvard’s Center for the Study of World Religions for 9 years where she was able to further develop her interest in comparative studies and interfaith learning. Her doctoral work will compare Jewish and Christian commentaries on the Hebrew Bible with a historical focus on the 18th century. Rebecca is also Scholar-in-Training at the Swedenborgian House of Studies in Berkeley, CA, where she will join the faculty upon completion of her PhD.

Ada Focer

AdaFocerAda Focer is a Ph.D. candidate in Religion and Society. She has a particular interest in religion and social change and on the history of mission and globalization. She has completed the field work for her dissertation–interviews with 125 people who as new college or seminary graduates participated in Frontier Internship in Mission, a mainline Protestant program, for two years at some time between 1960 and 1974. Participants were so excited about the project they organized two conferences earlier this year to discuss the results! The dissertation should be completed in 2011. A fantastic book full of amazing stories is expected to follow!

Andrew M. Henry

Andrew_Henry_PhotoAndrew M. Henry is a Ph.D candidate in the Graduate Division of Religious Studies specializing in Ancient Christianity (Origins to Late Empire) under Dr. David Frankfurter. Andrew’s research focuses on the popular and domestic religious activity of the eastern Mediterranean with a particular interest in the material evidence of these practices such as ritual space, magico-religious artifact assemblages, and apotropaic objects. Stemming from these interests, Andrew studies theoretical issues pertaining to the limitations and abilities of archaeology to interpret questions on domestic religious activity in Late Antiquity. A graduate from Messiah College, Andrew attended the University of Pennsylvania’s Post-Baccalaureate Program in Classical Languages and worked as a collections assistant at the U.Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology before coming to BU.

Marthe Hesselmans

Marthe HesselmansMarthe Hesselmans is a doctoral student in the Religion and Society track, concentrating on the role of religion in reconciliation processes. For her dissertation research she looks at how national identities are being shaped and reshaped within communities of faith in response to vast social change. Specifically, she is interested in churches in transition in South Africa. Her main focus is on how predominantly white reformed church congregations look back at the end of apartheid and to what extent their faith helps or hamper racial reconciliation. Before coming to Boston, Marthe has been involved in various peace building projects. She worked with youth from conflict areas in the Middle East and the Caucasus on non-violent social action, as well as on dealing with ethnic and religious diversity in Europe, particularly the Netherlands (her home country). She did two Masters in Humanitarian Action and Political History, in which she explored the application of informal conflict resolution techniques in international and domestic conflict situations. For her first thesis she spent a semester in Lebanon and the West Bank to study local mediation practices.

Ruben Hopwood

Ruben Hopwood headsnap 6-2010Ruben Hopwood is a Ph.D. Candidate in Counseling Psychology and Religious Studies at Boston University. Hopwood completed his Master of Divinity in 1995 at Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, MO and his BS in Rehabilitation Psychology in 1987 from Central Missouri State University. Hopwood’s dissertation is a phenomenological study of what female-to-male transsexuals believe religion to be. His research is informed by his work as the Coordinator of the Transgender Health Program at Fenway Health in Boston; a multidisciplinary program of care and care review that oversees the treatment of transgender persons receiving behavioral health and primary medical care. Hopwood has an extensive history working in mental health and social services in several states. He has been working at Fenway with the Transgender Health Program since September 2005. In his work at Fenway, he provides mental health evaluations, consultation and resources to mental health and medical providers, co-leads a clinical care team together with the Medical Director, and conducts clinical trainings and educational seminars on transgender health care to mental health clinicians and medical providers in the New England and nearby East Coast area, including trainings at multiple mental health agencies, medical facilities and medical schools, sexual assault response agencies, conferences, and several regional universities.

Brian P. Jenkin

Jenkin_Author PicBrian P. Jenkin is a doctoral student studying Science, Philosophy, and Religion at Boston University. A committed interdisciplinarian, Brian’s research interests are broad, but fall generally within American philosophy (esp. Pragmatism), philosophy of mind, and philosophy of religion. With a prior background in International Relations and Religion, he is also interested in how conceptual issues of science and religion play out in the practical sphere. His current research involves a contemporary reconstruction of John Dewey’s philosophy of religion utilizing core concepts and principles of ecological psychology and related developments in enactive cognitive science. Brian is an editorial assistant and book reviews coordinator for the Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture.

Lauren Kerby

lauren kerbyLauren Kerby is a Ph.D. candidate in Religion and Society. Her dissertation studies Christian tourism in Washington, D.C., and its role in constructing Christian American identity. Her other research interests include religious literacy, religion in the public schools, American evangelicalism, religious material culture, and religion and American law. She is also interested in practical approaches to religious tolerance and pluralism, and in 2013 was a fellow at the Balkan Summer School on Religion and Public Life. Lauren earned her B.A. in Religious Studies with a minor in Classics from Colgate University in 2011 and her M.A. in Religious Studies from Boston University in 2014. She has previously been a teaching fellow and a lecturer for the BU Department of Religion and will work as a writing fellow in the BU Core Curriculum in 2014-2015.

Ryan Knowles

Ryan B. Knowles is a Ph.D. student in the Graduate Division of Religious Studies studying Ancient Christianity and specializing in the study of texts and practices of ritual power in the world of Late Antiquity under Prof. David Frankfurter. His research interests blend a deep interest in the thought world and content of ‘magical’ spells, in the images conjured, the deities, and magico-religious world of spirits, cosmic sympathy, and apocalyptic transformations represented in the texts and an interest in larger questions of anthropological/sociological terminology and definition utilized by researchers of this material. Ryan is a 2009 graduate of Yale Divinity School, having served as an Assistant in Instruction under Profs. Adela Yarbro-Collins, Diana Swancutt, and Harold Attridge, as well as a Research Assistant under Prof. Jeremy Hultin in the years following his graduation.

Hye Jin Lee

hye_jin_leeHye Jin Lee is a Ph.D. student in the Graduate Division of Religious Studies with Dr. Dana Robert as an advisor. He is interested in World Christianity focusing on the evangelical mission works of the Holiness traditions. In particular, he hopes to study the relationship between the American Holiness movement and the Asian Holiness movement from the global perspective. He is also an ordained pastor in Korean Evangelical Holiness Church.

Hyungkyu Lee

Hyungkyu_Lee

Hyungkyu Lee is a PhD candidate in Religion and Society specializing in Social Ethics. He received a BA in sociology from Yonsei University (Korea), a MTS with a certificate of Black Church Studies (Advisors: Dr. Alton Pollard III and Dr.Robert Franklin) from Emory University, and a STM in Christian Ethics from BU STH. Lee recently served as a teaching and research assistant for Dr.Chai-sik Chung, the Walter Muelder Social Ethics Professor. He was a recipient of James F. Harvey Fellowship at Emory and 2009 Korean Methodist Study Abroad Fellowship. His dissertation examines the relationship between religion and economics in relation to labor ethics under the supervision of professor John Hart. Lee’s current research interests include Church and Economic life, Christian environmental ethics, and Boston Personalism.

Jenn Lindsay

JENN_LindsayJenn Lindsay is an anthropologist and PhD student in the Religion and Society track in the GDRS. She holds a Master of Divinity (’11) in Interfaith Relations and Ecumenics from Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where she was co-chair of the Interfaith Caucus and the Minister of Fun. At BU, Jenn pursues the question of how religion affects personal relationships, particularly interreligious relationships, and how ideals of pluralism translate into social action. Her research has been based in Italy and Indonesia–studying personal relationships between people of different religions, particularly between Muslims and Catholics–and in Peru, where she studied how local spiritualities and Catholicism shape people’s interactions with the environment. In Italy she conducts ethnographic research in a number of ecumenical and interfaith organizations, profiling the individuals who work there and the collectives they have forged. Her documentary film projects on secular humanist Jews, Muslim headscarves in Indonesia, ecumenical eco-activism, and the role of religion in the Occupy Wall Street movement have screened at film festivals, conferences, and in plenty of classrooms! At BU, Jenn is the Coordinator of the Social Science and Religion Network which was started by her advisor Nancy Ammerman. Jenn hails from San Diego, CA, raised by a religiously eclectic family whose members draw from progressive Jewish, Christian Scientist, Presbyterian, Unitarian Universalist, Hindu and secular humanist traditions. For a decade prior to attending Union Theological Seminary, Jenn worked in the film and music industries as a composer, film editor, performer and documentary filmmaker. Jenn focused on playwriting at Stanford University (’01) and on arts management at the Yale University School of Drama (’05).

Yair Lior

yair_Lior copyYair Lior is a Ph.D candidate at the Graduate Division of Religious Studies specializing in Chinese and Jewish spirituality. Some of his particular interests include traditional metaphysical outlooks, typologies of religion and culture and theory of religion. Yair’s dissertation work examines the evolution of cultures through diverse angles such as comparative religion, philosophy of history, and theology. Before arriving at Boston in 2008 he spent 7 years in China where he studied Chinese and completed his Master’s degree in traditional Chinese aesthetics.

Dorie Mansen

136Dorie Mansen is a PhD student in Judaic Studies (Hebrew Bible) under the direction of Dr. Kathe P. Darr.  Her dissertation (“Desecrated Covenant, Deprived Burial: Threats of Non-Burial in the Hebrew Bible”) focuses on non-burial and post-mortem abuse in the Hebrew Bible.  The project examines the rhetorical purpose of references to non-burial and the implications of post-mortem abuse in ancient Israelite death and burial ideology.  Dorie’s current research interests include diversity of religious practice in ancient Israel, nature-oriented imagery in biblical literature, identity construction in religious literature, and the intersection of political and religious dialogue in the exilic period.  Dorie holds a MTS in Hebrew Bible from Boston University School of Theology, and a BA in Theology from Boston College.  In 2012, Dorie received the Edwin S. and Ruth M. White Prize and Angela J. and James J. Rallis Memorial Award from the Boston University Center for the Humanities.  Dorie currently teaches Biblical Hebrew at Boston University, and previously has taught at Bangor Theological Seminary in Portland, ME.

Paul Matthews

Paul MatthewsPaul Matthews is a Ph.D. student on the track of religious thought specializing in 20th century German theology and philosophy, especially Tillich and Heidegger. As an M.A. student in systematic and philosophical theology at the Graduate Theological Union, Paul focused specifically on Tillich’s conception of meaning and its relationship to Tillich’s, and Heidegger’s, conception of being. Additionally, Paul enjoys exploring the relationship between religion and culture, particularly between U.S. Christian fundamentalism and modernity.  For the past two years, Paul has been serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer, teaching English as a foreign language at a small secondary school in western Ukraine.

Derek Michaud

DMichaudDerek Michaud is a PhD candidate in Christian Theology. He has a BA in psychology from the University of Maine, a MA in theology from Bangor Theological Seminary, and a STM in philosophy, theology, and ethics from the Boston University School of Theology. His dissertation, “‘Reason Turned into Sense’: John Smith on Spiritual Sensation,” explores the intersection of early modern science, philosophy, and theology in the 17th century Cambridge Platonist John Smith’s doctrine of the spiritual senses of the soul. He has been a visiting student at Cambridge University and has twice received Graduate Research Abroad Fellowships from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the Humanities Foundation. In addition to his dissertation research, Derek is working on critical bibliographies on the spiritual senses tradition, personalism, the philosophy of Johann Gottlieb Fichte and is also a Doctoral Fellow with the Institute of the Biocultural Study of Religion.

Jonathan Morgan

Jonathan-MorganJonathan Morgan is a doctoral student studying Psychology and Religion.  He holds a BA from North Carolina State University in Mathematics, Philosophy, and Truth and an MTS from Boston University in Psychology and Theology.  His research interests range from the individual to the collective: How does personality relate to religiosity?  How do collective religious practices and beliefs relate to mental health as a culture develops?  How might these questions be pursued in such a way as to help people and communities flourish?  As a Lindamood Fellow Jonathan is working with Drs. Wesley Wildman and Patrick McNamara on research exploring the neurological underpinnings of religious cognition.

Eva Pascal

eva_pascalEva is a Ph.D student of the intersection of History of World Christianity and Religion and Society under the supervision of Dr. Dana Robert and Dr. Diana Lobel. She received her M.Div from Harvard Divinity School in 2005 and from 2006-2010 taught classes on Christianity, Buddhism, and gender and religion at the McGilvary School of Divinity at Payap University in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Her broad areas of interest include Christianity outside the West and its encounters with other religious traditions, mainly Buddhism. She is particularly interested in Christian-Buddhist interaction and dialogue by looking at missionary preparation, education and projects. Current research explores the transformation of missions in the last century in Southeast Asia, especially the burgeoning faith-based organizations, with an emphasis on the role and historical contributions of women in this process.

M. I. Rey

REYM. I. Rey is a PhD student within the Text and Traditions track in the Graduate Division of Religious Studies program. Current research interests include examining archaeological theories on ethnogenesis in the ancient Near East, sociological approaches on intersectionality and how this impacts foreign women within the biblical narrative, and the literary construction of ethnic identity in the ancient Near East. She is also interested in the application of feminist hermeneutics and intercultural criticism. Rey holds an S.T.M. in Hebrew Bible from Boston University School of Theology (2012), an M.A. in Old Testament from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (2011), and a B.A. in Religious Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University (2009). Rey has presented papers at the New England & Eastern Canada Regional Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature (2012; 2013), and was a 2012 recipient of The American Schools of Oriental Research Heritage Fellowship at which time she excavated at Khirbet Qeiyafa in Beit Shemesh, Israel. Rey is currently a Hispanic Theological Initiative Fellow, and serves on the Journal of the American Academy of Religion Book Review Staff as a book review assistant editor.

drohrDavid Rohr

David Rohr earned his M.Div from BU’s School of Theology in 2012 and is currently working on his PhD in “Science, Philosophy, and Religion” at BU’s Department of Religious and Theological Studies. Dave is working with Nancy Ammerman and Wesley Wildman on the Dimensions of Spirituality Project and with Wesley Wildman and Patrick McNamara on the Neuroscience and Religious Cognition Project. Broadly speaking, his research concerns the intersection of scientific and religious perspectives on human nature. More specifically, he is interested in the implications for theological anthropology of contemporary sciences of the mind like neuroscience, cognitive science, and evolutionary psychology. Dave’s long-term goal is to contribute to the development of a theological anthropology that is (1) consistent with contemporary science; (2) capable of integrating biological, neurological, and cultural influences on human life; (3) inclusive of the vast diversity of religious paths charted and explored by human beings; and (4) capable of affirming the existential and theological significance of such religious quests. When he is not reading or writing, Dave spends his free time watching movies, hiking, and laughing with his wife and best friend, Courtney.

Benjamin J. Samuels

Benjamin_SamuelsBenjamin J. Samuels is a doctoral student in the Science, Philosophy and Religion program. He holds a BA in English Literature, a MA in Bible and Medieval Jewish Studies, and rabbinical ordination, all of which he earned at Yeshiva University. Benjamin is primarily interested in how changes in scientific understanding and awareness impact upon the development of Jewish law and theology. He has explored this interest in the context of astronomy and cosmology, as well as regarding Jewish receptions of evolutionary theory. For his doctoral research, he plans to investigate Jewish legal and theological responses to advances in medical theory and technology.

Wendy Scott

Wendy ScottWendy Scott is a Master’s candidate in the Graduate Division of Religious Studies program. Her focus will be in the Texts and Traditions track under the supervision of Prof. Deanna Klepper. Wendy followed an unconventional path to religious studies by first receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in Secondary Education with a focus in Literature and Language Arts from The University of Akron. After spending a year teaching American Literature and being captivated by Puritan works, she decided to pursue a further study of Christian texts. Her research and interests are still quite broad, but they will include the study of texts that are both Biblical and non-canonical. She also hopes to pursue texts that include personal accounts including, but not limited to, the Puritans that drew her in to religious studies. She also hopes to study Biblical interpretation and how varying readings have impacted Christianity throughout its history. During her study of these texts, Wendy also hopes to research the origin and early years of Christianity, as well as explore any connections to Judaic literature and traditions.

Brandon Simonson

brandon simonsonBrandon J. Simonson is a Ph.D. student in Judaic Studies studying Hebrew Bible and Ancient Near Eastern Languages under the direction of Alejandro F. Botta. His research interests surround the corpus of legal documents from the Jewish community at Elephantine and the influence of law on life in ancient Israel, Egypt, and Mesopotamia. He received a master’s degree in Hebrew Bible from Vanderbilt University, and a bachelor’s degree in Biblical Languages, Religion, and Classics from Luther College. At Vanderbilt University, Brandon received the W. Kendrick Grobel Award for outstanding achievement in biblical studies.

Erika K. R. Stalcup

Erika HirschErika Stalcup is a Ph.D. student in History of Christianity specializing in 18th century Methodist history and worship. Her areas of academic interest include historiography, hymnody, ritual studies, and the historic relationship between Methodism and Moravianism. Hirsch is an editorial assistant for Studia Liturgica, an internationally recognized journal for liturgical studies. A graduate of Yale Divinity School, she is an ordained Deacon in The United Methodist Church.

Christopher Stroup

stroupChris is a Ph.D. candidate in Religious Studies specializing in Ancient Christianity (Origins to Late Empire). His dissertation, entitled “Jewish Acts: Christ-followers and Jewishness in Acts of the Apostles,” examines the interconnections of religion, ethnicity, and civic identity in antiquity through the lens of Acts of the Apostles. In it, he argues that Acts presents Christ-following communities as a type of Jewish civic association and categorizes non-Jewish Christ-followers as uncircumcised Jewish proselytes. His current research explores the use of religion, ethnicity, and gender to negotiate identities in first and second century Judaism, Christianity, and other Greco-Roman religions. More broadly, Chris is interested in religion in public discourse, religious literacy, and the role of digital humanities in the study of religion. He has taught courses and lectured on topics ranging from religion and culture, introduction to religion, “Western” religions, “Eastern” religions, New Testament and Christian origins, Second Temple Judaism, civic identity in the Greco-Roman world, and New Testament Greek. Chris is currently the Secretary of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) Student Advisory Board and a member of the SBL New England and Eastern Canada Region’s Executive Committee. In 2012, Chris was awarded the SBL Regional Scholar Award and the Rallis Memorial and Brennan Humanities Awards by the Center for Humanities at Boston University.

Ben Suitt

Suitt Ben_photoBen Suitt is a Ph.D. candidate at the Graduate Division of Religious Studies specializing in Social Ethics in the Religion and Society track. He earned a BS in Business with minors in Religion and Studio Art in 2010 from Wake Forest University and a Masters of Theological Studies in 2012 from Emory University with a certificate of Religious Education, studying closely with Dr. Timothy Jackson. His current research interests focus upon religious engagement with political structures as well as systems of justice and their effect on society and culture. This emphasis involves a range of conversations about just-war theory, social justice, and critical theory about power. Along with other humanistic interests, he wishes to investigate the narrative created by the United States’ involvement in violent conflict and how it shapes contemporary Christian ethics with regard to participation in war, conscientious objection, and pacifism.

Kevin Taylor

Kevin_TaylorKevin is a Ph.D. candidate in Religion and Society. His focus is religion in America. His interests include the historical and contemporary relationship between religion and culture, issues of religious diversity, lived moral philosophy, and the moral and religious facets of education. His dissertation Habits of the Hearth: Parenting, Religion, and the Good Life in America examines American visions of a good life as seen through the lens of what parents from Mainline Protestant, Conservative Protestant, Roman Catholic, Muslim, Hindu, and Atheist communities want for their children.

Connor Wood

Connor Wood picConnor Wood is a Ph.D. student in Religion and Science. Working under Drs. Wesley Wildman and Linda Barnes, Connor researches the connection between religion, spirituality, and health, focusing on the leverage of our biological heritage using religious and spiritual practices to engender psychologically adaptive states. Entailed in this research is inquiry into models of health and sickness, including their connections with social narratives and group hierarchies. A Lindamood Fellow with the Institute for the Biocultural Study of Religion, Connor is investigating the left/right ideological spectrum in religion and serving as the editor of the Institute’s website, IBCSR.org. His professional goals include extensive engagement with the public in matters relating to religion, spirituality, and well-being.

Wensi You

wensi youWensi You is a Ph.D candidate in the Religion & Science Track specializing in the intersection of religion and health. Her academic interests include the interdisciplinary study of religion and healing, medical anthropology, traditional Chinese medicine and religion, spiritual healing, and alternative medicine. She is a graduate of Minzu University(China) and Peking University(China).