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2004-2005 Visiting Fellows

Martha L. Finch received her Ph.D. in religious studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Southwest Missouri State University. Her research investigates the embodiment of religious meanings in ritual settings and daily life in America. Her book manuscript, “Corporality and Orthodoxy: Religion and the Body in Early New England,” is a study of English puritan and early modern theological, physiological, and aesthetic models of the body, the encoding of those models by colonial civil and church authorities, and the ways models and codes were enacted, resisted, and reconfigured in practice. Among other publications, she has contributed to A Centre of Wonders: The Body in Early America (Cornell 2001), edited by Janet Moore Lindman and Michele Lise Tarter, and is currently co-editing a volume of food studies scholarship, Eating in Eden: Food in American Utopias.

Janet Parker received her Ph.D. in Christian Ethics from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. She taught at Chicago Theological Seminary as Assistant Professor of Religion and Society in 2002-2003 and 2003-2004. Her dissertation, “For All Our Relations: Ecofeminist and Indigenous Challenges to Sustainable Development,” explores the interactions between environmental sustainability, economic equity, and the rights of disenfranchised peoples. Through focusing on three policy areas: land rights, preservation of endangered cultures, and biodiversity conservation, the dissertation argues that an emerging consensus between indigenous peoples and ecofeminists challenges fundamental presuppositions embedded in “sustainable development” discourse and in the discipline of Christian ethics. Her research project at Princeton is focused upon the development of a Christian sustainability ethic that is informed by ecofeminist theory and Native American voices, directed toward the contemporary American context, and engaged in broader public debates over U.S. environmental policy. She is the author of numerous articles, including “Greening Theology and Ethics” (Religious Studies Review, January 2001) and “Christian Ethics and the Environmental Challenge” (Theology for Earth Community: A Field Guide. Orbis Books, 1996).

Jill Witmer Sinha received her Ph.D. in social welfare from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests include the role of faith in transformation at several levels including the individual, the congregation, and the community. Her dissertation, “Compassion Capital: African American Youth and Communities of Faith,” was a mixed methods case study of congregations who provided alternative education and social programs for inner-city minority youth. Her publications include: Cookman United Methodist Church and Transitional Journey: A Case Study in Charitable Choice (2000); Youth Religiosity and Behavior (Youth and Society, in press) and Youth and religion: The Gameboy generation goes to "church" (Social Indicators Research, 2004), co-authored with R. Cnaan and R. Gelles; and "Transitional Journey Ministry: A Church-based Welfare to Work Partnership Model," (In D. K. Ryden & J. Polet (Eds.), Sanctioning Religion? The Constitution and Faith-based Public Services), co-authored with H. R. Unruh. During her year at the Center, she will explore the relevance of congregations to older youth populations in the U.S.

2004-2005 Affiliate Fellows

Scott Cormode holds the George Butler Chair in Church Administration and Finance at the Claremont School of Theology. He founded the Academy of Religious Leadership and is editor of its journal, The Journal of Religious Leadership. He will spend his year at the center writing up the results of a seven year, $1.5 million grant focused on Christian leadership. The book manuscript, titled "The Next Faithful Step: Advanced Christian Leadership," will address the complicated issues that face experienced pastors and others who lead religious organizations. Dr. Cormode received his Ph.D. from Yale University, where he studied the relationship between churches and secular voluntary associations in turn-of-the-century urban America.

Adrien Ngudiankama has a M. Phil in Systematic Theology, King's College, and a Ph.D. in Health Education and Health Promotion, Institute of Education, London University. He did his postdoctorate in Medical Anthropology at the University of Kansas. His interests are in the areas of health promotion, conflict resolutions, and dialogues within the context of people of African descent. His research on health and the culture of peace are focused on some Sub-Saharan African countries. Within the context of African Diaspora, his focus is on Haitian and other emerging African immigrant communities in the US, Great Britain, and France. Through the Baptist Wellness Project for Immigrants and the African Health Concerns, Inc, Dr. Ngudiankama consults, organizes, and facilitates seminars and lectures on promoting health/wellness/wellbeing (addressing such issues as HIV/AIDS) and the culture of peace in Africa and the African Diaspora. He is currently working on health promotion programs for Haitian and African immigrant churches in the Washington Metropolitan area. His "Kongo Divination" in African Folklore: An Encyclopedia eds. Philip M. Peek and Kwesi Yankeh (Routledge, 2003).