EDUCATION 

2016        Ph.D., American Religious History, Drew University

                Thesis: “Norman Lear and the Spiritual Politics of Religious Liberalism”

                Examination Fields: 1) Pre-1865 American Religion, 2) Post-1865 American                                      Religion, 3) Critical Theory, Religion, and the Culture Industry, 4) The Culture Wars

2010        M.A.R., History of Christianity, Yale Divinity School

2008        M.A., American Religion and Politics, Claremont School of Theology

                Thesis: “Scaling the Wall: Two Presidents on Religion and Politics

2006        B.A., Arizona State University, Barrett Honors College

                 summa cum laude, Religious Studies and History

PROFESSIONAL APPOINTMENTS

2018 - 2019 Monmouth University, Department of History and Anthropology, Adjunct

2018 - 2019 Lehigh University, Department of Religion Studies, Research Fellow

2019 Rutgers University, Department of Religious Studies, Part-Time Lecturer

PUBLICATIONS

 

Books

 

2020        I Love Liberty: 1970s Popular Culture, Mass Media, and the Spiritual Politics of

Religious Liberalism (New York: Columbia University Press)

 

Refereed Journal Articles

 

2017        “Religion, Genealogy, and the Study of US American Religions,” Bulletin for the Study                    of Religion. Forthcoming

 

2012        “Review Essay: Charles H. Long and the Re-Orientation of American Religious History,”                    Journal of the American Academy of Religion 80:3 (July).

 

2011        “Bishop Lamont and the Hermeneutics of Play: Hip Hop, Religion, and the Study of                         American Religious History,” Bulletin for the Study of Religion 40:3 (September).

 

2011        “Edwards and the Enlightenment: Mapping the Secular within the Covenanted                                  Community,” REA: Religion, Education, and the Arts 7 (Spring). Available here:                            http://rea.materdei.ie/pages/journal-issues/issue-7.php

 

Book Chapters

 

2018        Invited. “Charles H. Long,” in Palgrave Handbook of Radical Theologies, edited by                       Christopher Rodkey and Jordan Miller (New York: Palgrave MacMillan).

 

Peer-Reviewed Encyclopedia Entries


2019 "The 1970s" (10,000 words) in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History, Jon Butler, ed. forthcoming

Encyclopedia Entries

2018 “The Chronic” (1500 words), “Producers/Beatmakers” (1500 words), “Culture Wars” (2500 words) in St. James Encyclopedia in Hip Hop Culture, Thomas Riggs, ed. (Farmingdale, MI: Gale Publishing, 2018). [commissioned]

Manuscripts in Progress

 

Inventing the Christian Right: A Religious History of the Public Square

 

Book Reviews

 

2019 Charles Long, Ellipsis...The Collected Writings of Charles H. Long (New York: Bloomsbury). Reading Religion: A Publication of the American Academy of Religion forthcoming [by invitation]

2018 Kevin Kruse and Julian Zelizer, Fault Lines: A History of of the United States since 1974 (New York: W.W. Norton). Los Angeles Review of Books forthcoming


2018 Emily Johnson, This is Our Message: Women’s Leadership in the New Christian Right (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018). Reading Religion: A Publication of the American Academy of Religion forthcoming

2018 Martha Nussbaum, The Monarchy of Fear: A Philosopher Looks at our Political Crisis (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2018). Reading Religion: A Publication of the American Academy of Religion. (August)


2018 Robert Wuthnow, The Left Behind: Decline and Anger in Rural America (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2018). Essay. “Considering the Rural in American Public Life,” Los Angeles Review of Books (May 9th).

2017       Kathryn Lofton, Consuming Religion (Chicago: University of Chicago Press). Review                         Essay. “Theory and Practice in a Time of Precarity: Consuming Religion as the Study                         of Religion,” H-AmRel, H-Net Reviews (November).

 

2017        Mark Lilla, The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics (New York, NY:                                   HarperCollins, 2017). Review Essay. “Liberalism, Mass Media, and the Anatomy of                           American Cultural Warfare,” Sacred Matters (September).

 

2017        David Watt, Antifundamentalism in Modern America (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University                         Press, 2017). Review Essay. “Religion, Antifundamentalism, and the Study of American                     Religious History,” H-AmRel, H-Net Reviews (July).

 

2016        Arlie Russell Hochschild, Strangers in their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the                             American Right, A Journey to the Heart of Our Political Divide (New York: The New Press,                   2016). Review Essay. “Religion, Conservatism, and American Public Life: 2016,”                               Marginalia Review of Books (November).

 

2016        E.J. Dionne, Why the Right Went Wrong: Conservatism—from Goldwater to the Tea Party                     and Beyond (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 2016). Review Essay. "Religion,                                 Conservatism, and the Fundamentalization of the GOP," H-AmRel, H-Net Reviews                          (January).

 

2016        Finbarr Curtis, The Production of American Religious Freedom (New York, NY: New York                   University Press, 2016). Reading Religion: A Publication of the American Academy of                    Religion. Available here: http://readingreligion.org/books/production-american-                                religious-freedom

 

2016        Stephen Prothero, Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars, But Continue to Lose Elections: The                   Battles That Define America from Jefferson's Heresies to Gay Marriage (New York: Harper                     Collins, 2016). Review Essay. “Wall Street Goes to War: Hardhat Politics and the Culture                 War of Everything since the 1960s,” Marginalia Review of Books (February).

 

2015        Monica Miller, Anthony Pinn, and Bernard “Bun-B” Freeman, eds. Religion in Hip-Hop:                   Mapping the New Terrain in the US (New York: Bloomsbury, 2015). Review Essay. “Black                   Millennial Music and the Critical Study of Religion: A State of the Field,” H-AmRel, H-                    Net Reviews (October).

 

2015        Andrew Hartman, A War for the Soul of America: A History of the Culture Wars (Chicago:                   University of Chicago Press, 2015). Review Essay. “Confessions of a Hollywood Liberal:                     American Sitcoms and Culture Wars, from Norman Lear to ‘Parks and Recreation’”                           Marginalia Review of Books (March).

 

———. Review Essay. “You Can't Endorse Me, But I Endorse You: American Religion and Politics                 in the Age of the Culture Wars” H-AmRel, H-Net Reviews (Sept 2015).

 

2015        Kevin Kruse, One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America                  (New York: Basic Books, 2015). Review Essay. “The Businessman's Revival” H-AmRel,                     H-Net Reviews (June 2015).

 

2014        Jeremy Stolow, ed. Deus in Machina: Religion, Technology, and the Things in Between for                      Material Religion (New York: Fordham University Press, 2014) in Material Religion: The                   Journal of Objects, Art, and Belief 10:4 (2014), 528-529.


2014        Monica M. Miller, Religion and Hip-Hop (New York: Routledge, 2013). Review Essay.                      “Hip-Hop and the Study of Religion: Diagnoses and Possibilities,” in Method and Theory                 in the Study of Religion 26:1.

 

Web Essays

 

2018 “Off the Cuff: Teaching with TIF,” The Immanent Frame: Secularism, Religion, and the Public Sphere. Available here: https://tif.ssrc.org/2018/09/20/teaching-with-the-immanent-frame/

2018        “The Fantasy of Analytics: Religion, Fantasy Sports, and the NFL Draft ,” Sacred Matters. Available here: https://sacredmattersmagazine.com/a-critical-study-of-fantasy-football/ [commissioned]

 

2017        “Black Millennial Music, Critical Studies of Religion, and the Gravitational Pull of                             Kendrick Lamar,” Sacred Matters. (January 24th). Available here:                                                       https://sacredmattersmagazine.com/religion-in-hip-hop-part-1-exploring-the-religious-                     history-of-kendrick-lamar/ [commissioned]

 

2017        “American Cultural Warfare and the Recent Religious Past,” The Martin Marty Center:                    Religion and Culture Forum (July 25th). Available                                                                           here: http://voices.uchicago.edu/religionculture/2017/07/27/american-cultural-warfare-                     and-the-recent-religious-past-a-response-to-russell-johnson-by-l-benjamin-rolsky/

 

2017        “Taking Conservatism Seriously in the Age of #MAGA,” The Martin Marty Center:                          Religion and Culture Forum (March 8th). Available here:                                                                 https://voices.uchicago.edu/religionculture/2017/03/08/studying-religion-in-the-era-of-                     trump-part-5-of-a-scholars-roundtable-by-l-benjamin-rolsky/

 

2016        “Colin Kaepernick, Religion, and the Academic Think Piece,” The Marginalia Review of                  Books (Sept 10th). Available here: http://marginalia.lareviewofbooks.org/mrblog-                             colin-kaepernick-religion-academic-think-piece/

 

2016        “Trump, Awash in a Sea of Faith,” The Marginalia Review of Books (June 27th).                             Available here: http://marginalia.lareviewofbooks.org/mrblog-trump-awash-sea-faith/

 

2016        “How the Lear/Reagan Debates Mirrored the Course of America’s Culture Wars,” The                         Norman Lear Center (June 20th). Available at: http://learcenter.org/learreagan-                                debates-mirrored- course-americas-culture-wars/

 

2016        “‘The Evangelicals’ and the Rise of Donald Trump,” The Marginalia Review of Books                      (June 17th). Available here: http://marginalia.lareviewofbooks.org/mrblog-                                         evangelicals-rise-donald-trump/

 

2015        “Are Comedians the Political Vanguard?” The Christian Century (July 8th).                                      Available here: http://www.christiancentury.org/blogs/archive/2015-07/are-comedians-                      political-vanguard

 

2014        “The Jester and the Editor: A Tale of Frustration, Friendship, and the Making of People                      for the American Way,” The Christian Century (Oct 1 2014). Available here:                                    http://www.christiancentury.org/blogs/archive/2014-10/tale-frustration-friendship-and-                    making-people-american-way

 

HONORS AND AWARDS

 

2017             Grant for Manuscript Production, The University Seminars Columbia University

2014             Best Graduate Student Paper Prize, California Studies Association, Symposium on                            Religion in California, University of California, Berkeley

2014             Edwards-Mercer Prize for Dissertation Research, Drew University

2011             Goizueta Foundation Award for Academic Excellence, Hispanic Summer Program

2010             Dwight-Hooker Fellowship Recipient, Yale Divinity School

2006             Best Concurrent Major, Religious Studies and History, Arizona State University

 

PRESENTATIONS

 

Conference Activity/Participation

 

2019 “Keyword: Popular Culture,” Religion and its Many American Publics, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, April 7-9 [invited]

2019 “Making the Christian Right: Media, Religion, and the Academic Study of Evangelicalism,” on a panel, Evangelical Loyalties Reconsidered: A Roundtable on Sex, Power, and the Media in the Study of American Evangelicalism, at the Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association, Chicago, IL, January 2019.

2018 “Left-Wing Patriotism: Race, Religious Toleration, and the Pendulum of Liberty,” Fractured Paradigms: Biennial Scholars’ Conference on American Jewish History, Philadelphia, PA, June 2018.

2017       “Norman Lear and the Spiritual Politics of Religious Liberalism,” on a panel, Whose                          Backlash? Liberal Religious Responses to Conservative Populism, 1965-1985, at the                          Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association, Denver, CO, January. Co-                        organizer

 

2016       “Religion, Race, and Hip-Hop in a Neo-Liberal Age,” The Florida State University                             Department of Religion 16th Annual Graduate Student Symposium in Tallahassee,                        FL, February.

 

2015        Invited Lecture, “Hip-Hop and the 1960s,” Interplay Hip-Hop Symposium at Lehigh                     University in Lehigh, PA.

 

2015        Invited Remarks, “Introduction,” The Richard O. and Cindy F. Connell Lecture Series,                    Harry Stout, at Lehigh University in Lehigh, PA.

 

2015        “The Lear/Regan Debates in Late Twentieth-Century America, The Florida State                               University Department of Religion 15th Annual Graduate Student Symposium in                          Tallahassee, FL.

 

2014        “‘This Dark Diction, Has Become America’s Addition’: Religion, Race, and Hip-Hop in a                 Neo-Liberal Age,” in Critical Approaches to Religion and Hip-Hop at the Annual                             Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, San Diego, CA.

 

2014        Invited Lecture, “The Reagan/Lear Debates: How a Former Actor and Television Writer                     Changed the Course of America’s Culture Wars in late Twentieth Century America” at the                 Annual Meeting of the American Studies Association, Los Angeles, CA.

 

2014        “The Reagan/Lear Debates: How a Former Actor and Television Writer Changed the                         Course of America’s Culture Wars in late Twentieth-Century America” at the Symposium                  on Religion in California, Berkeley, CA, University of California-Berkeley.

 

2011        “The Consumable Other: Becoming the Man in ‘Going to Meet the Man,’” at the Mid-                     Atlantic Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, New Brunswick, NJ.

 

2010        “Prophetic Social Activism Confronts American Terrorism: Ida B. Wells and Anti-                              Lynching Publications” at the Mid-Atlantic Meeting of the American Academy of                           Religion, New Brunswick, NJ, November.

 

2009        “Edwards and the Enlightenment: Mapping the “Secular” within the Covenanted                               Community” at 'A Secular Age': Tracing the Contours of Religion and Belief, Mater                      Dei Institute of Education, Dublin, Ireland.

 

2008        “Real Reasons for Publicizing Religion,” at the Fourth Biennial Symposium on Religion                    and Politics, The Henry Institute, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI.

 

2008       “Scaling the Wall: President Kennedy's Religious Discourse” and “Religious and Non-                         Religious Conceptions of the Sacred: Religion and Human Rights,” at the Western                              Regional Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Pasadena, CA.

 

2007        “Eisenhower, Religion, and the Founding Fathers: A Response to Communism” and                           “Worldview and Ontology among the Ho-Chunk People,” at the Annual Meeting of                        the American Academy of Religion, San Diego, CA.

 

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

 

Monmouth University

Fall 2019 Introduction to the Study of Religion (Instructor of Record)

Fall 2019 Comparative Religions (Instructor of Record)

Spring 2019 Introduction to the Study of Religion (Instructor of Record)

Spring 2019 Comparative Religions (Instructor of Record)


Fall 2018 Introduction to the Study of Religion (Instructor of Record)


Fall 2018 Comparative Religions (Instructor of Record)

Rutgers University

Fall 2019 American Religious History (Instructor of Record)

Fall 2019 Religions of the Western World (Instructor of Record)

Spring 2019 American Religious History (Instructor of Record)

Drew University

Summer 2012 American Religion in American History: Theories and Approaches (Instructor of Record)

Spring 2012 Church History I: The Early Church (Teaching Assistant)

Summer 2011 American Religion in American History: Theories and Approaches (Instructor of Record)
 

SERVICE TO THE PROFESSION

Associate Editor, The Journal of Hip-Hop Studies (2016-Present)

 

Co-Chair, Religion in America Section, for the Mid-Atlantic Region of the American Academy of Religion, (2012-2015)

 

MEMBERSHIPS

American Academy of Religion

American Historical Association

American Studies Association

American Jewish Historical Society

 

References

 

Gastón Espinosa, Arthur V. Stoughton Professor of Religious Studies

Claremont McKenna College and Claremont Graduate University Faculty

Kravis Center 268

Claremont, CA 91711

909-621-8395

gaston.espinosa@claremontmckenna.edu

 

Tisa Wenger, Associate Professor of American Religious History

Yale Divinity School

409 Prospect Street

New Haven, CT 06511

203-432-2493

tisa.wenger@yale.edu

 

John Modern, Associate Professor of Religious Studies

Franklin and Marshall College

P.O. Box 3003

Lancaster, PA 17604

717-358-4771

john.modern@fandm.edu

 

Paul Harvey, Professor and Presidential Teaching Scholar

Department of History - University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway

Colorado Springs, CO 80918

719-255-4078

pharvey@uccs.edu