Recent and upcoming events:
-Presentation: respondent to “The Last of Us and Postmodern Moral Ambiguities,” at the American Academy of Religion, annual meeting, San Antonio, November 2023
-Roundtable presentation on “Religion and Memory: Keywords,” at the American Academy of Religion, annual meeting, San Antonio, November 2023
-Facilitated: annual APRIL-Auburn Seminar Summer Colloquium, July 2023
-Presentation: "The Erie Canal and the Undergroud Railroad," at the Juneteenth celebration, Rome, NY, hosted by the Rome NAACP, June 2023
-Presentation: “From Interreligious Dialogue to Interreligious Aesthetics,” at the American Academy of Religion Mid-Atlantic regional conference, Princeton, March 2023
--Presentation: “Digital Dolls: Reciting Scripture in the Robot’s Body,” at the 12th annual conference on Religion and Spirituality in Society, Cordoba, Spain, June, 2022
-Podcast interview: “Spiritual Revolution,” on In Good Faith podcast, 21 May 2023
-Podcast interview: “Engaging Sensuality,” on Pilgrim Lost podcast, 7 June 2022
-Podcast interview: “Blasphemy, Art, and the Law,” on Law and Religion Down Under podcast (Australia), 1 Mar 2022.
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 Professor at Hamilton College in Central New York. I'm also the Executive Director of APRIL (Association for Public Religion and Intellectual Life) and edit the journal CrossCurrents.
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.