I was drawn to the study of New Religious Movements and Paganism precisely because there is a dearth of academic resources available on these topics. The chance to study "new" religious traditions, which at the same time draw on some of the oldest religious movements in human history, presents an ever-shifting combination of topics to focus one's research on. While nominally my research focuses on the sociology of new religious movements, it often, by necessity, includes other aspects of the study of religion, such as secularization, gender studies, queer theology, and pagan thealogy. It is precisely the nebulous nature of this area of research that draws me to it. It is this nature that presents, I believe, all the challenges and rewards of which the academic study of religion is capable.
I would be interested in collaborating in any sort of publication or conference presentation. My work is primarily field-research based, and I would be more than happy to share information with anyone working in the same sort of field.
Gender Studies, Cultural Studies, Secularization Studies, Ethnographic/Demographic Mapping, Anthropology, Sociology.
"Withcraft: Worldwide" Multimedia Encyclopedia of Women in Today's World. SAGE Reference, Eds. Dr. Mary Zeiss Stange and Dr. Carol K. Oyster. (forthcoming)
"Mormon Church/ Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" Ibid., forthcoming.
Presentation "Authority in alternative spiritualities: Fact or fiction?", given in Maynooth, Ireland at the Biennial Conference of the European Association of Social Anthropologists as part of a panel "Spirituality against religion: the role of gender and power" on August 26th, 2010.
Publish, publish, publish, obviously. I would like, however, to become involved more in the way political ideologies are shaped by religion and the way in which politics can sometimes shape religion. Specifically, I would like to examine the way in which paganism addresses social justice issues as its community expands and encounters them.
However, teaching is my primary passion, and I would love to find a tenured job where I can reach the next generation of students and examine, with them, the way American religion is changing.
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