I am a historian by training: I teach and research at Baylor University, where I am based in the Institute for Studies of Religion. Through the years, I have written on a lot of different topics, including Global/World Christianity, as well as many aspects of religion through history, as well as modern US history. This website allows me to collect and showcase materials, as I am using them presently in both writing and teaching.
For practical purposes, the most important items I wanted to post here are my vita materials. But I have also collected material about my teaching through the years, both at Baylor University, and in my former institution, of Penn State.
I have two new books with 2023 dates. The first is called He Will Save You from the Deadly Pestilence: The Many Lives of Psalm 91 (Oxford University Press). You can find some more information about this book here.
The other, just published, is A Storm of Images: Iconoclasm and Religious Reformation in the Byzantine World (Baylor University Press).
I also work on empires through history, and their relationship to making religions. This page discusses recent work on empires in US history.
Also in the realm of books, I have the (quite detailed) plans or proposals here for a couple of other projects of mine. The main one concerns early Christianity, around the year 200AD. Another addresses the long tradition of alternative and heretical Christianities through the millennia, long after they were assumed to have vanished.
I also describe some ideas I am currently exploring about Lived and Everyday Religion.
I know that I will be writing more on Byzantine history, particularly in its later phases, but I am not too sure what form that project might eventually take
Other pages concern interests of mine that may or may not lead to actual publication. One concerns the history of Dark Age Britain – that is, Late Roman and post-Roman times. Some of the appeal of that topic arises from the sense of history in the landscape, together with understanding historical mythologies, and those both relate to another section here, on the theme of folk horror.
There are also a lot of my unpublished papers, articles, and general work in progress – around twenty items, in fact. Several posts concern Pennsylvania, past and present. I have posts on Pennsylvania religion, and even a plan for a book on Philadelphia history that never quite made it to being written (yet). The idea is currently dormant, which is different from dead (!).
Baylor’s ISR offers me terrific opportunities to organize events and speaker visits, on the very general theme of “Historical Studies of Religion.” This is a very selective list of some happenings over the past few years.