2007-2008 Visiting Fellows
Funding for research on Christian Thought and Practice is provided through a grant from the Lilly Endowment. Funding for research on Public Theology is provided through a grant from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter foundation.
Fellows in the Study of Religion and Religious History
Darren Dochuk received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Notre Dame in 2005 and is now Assistant Professor of History at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. His research explores the intersection of religious, regional, and political change in post-World War II America with particular focus on developments in California and the Southwest. While at Princeton he will complete revisions on a book manuscript entitled From Bible Belt to Sunbelt: Plain Folk Religion and Grassroots Politics in California’s Southland. Winner of the 2006 Allan Nevins Dissertation Prize, this work explains the rise of the Sunbelt Republican Right by accounting for the proliferation and politicization of southern evangelicalism in California and its expanding influence on a national level. He has also contributed essays on related themes to a number of publications, including Religion and American Culture: A Journal of Interpretation, History Compass, and the second edition of Mark Noll’s edited volume Religion and Politics in America (Oxford University, forthcoming).Prof. Dochuk will be a fellow in Christian Thought and Practice.
Matthew S. Hedstrom received his Ph.D. in American Studies from The University of Texas at Austin in 2006. From 2005-2007 he served as a Lilly Fellow and Lecturer in Humanities and American Studies at Valparaiso University. Hedstrom’s scholarly interests range widely in the cultural and religious history of the modern United States, including mass culture, consumerism, race, social reform, and the history of liberalism. He has published a number of pieces related to print culture and religion, including an essay in the forthcoming volume Religion and the Culture of Print in Modern America (University of Wisconsin Press). Hedstrom’s work at Princeton will consist primarily of revising his book manuscript for publication. The project, currently entitled Seeking a Spiritual Center: Mass-Market Books and Liberal Religion in America, 1921-1948, charts the creation of a religious middlebrow culture in the United States through a study of popular books, publication practices, reading promotion efforts, and reader reception, and outlines the implications of this cultural formation for middle-class notions of the self, for religious practice, and for the historical development of liberal spirituality in the twentieth century. The study aims to relate these developments in print culture and liberal religion to larger cultural questions about consumerism and the rise of a therapeutic ethos. Dr. Hedstrom will be a fellow in Christian Thought and Practice.
Lauren F. Winner received her Ph.D. in history from Columbia University in 2006. She is the author of several books, including a spiritual memoir called Girl Meets God, and is an assistant professor at Duke Divinity School. At the CSR, she will complete revisions for a book called A Cheerful and Comfortable Faith (Yale University Press, forthcoming). Based on her dissertation, A Cheerful and Comfortable Faith examines five religious practices undertaken in Anglican households in eighteenth-century Virginia: baptism, daily prayer, feasting and fasting, the production of religious needlework, and death and bereavement. She will also begin a new project on the practice of wearing mourning garb in eighteenth-, nineteenth- and twentieth-century America. Prof. Winner will be a fellow in Christian Thought and Practice and will also receive partial support as the Center’s visiting fellow in Public Theology.
Cynthia Eller is Associate Professor of Religion at Montclair State University, and the author of Revealing World Religions (an interactive DVD-ROM textbook); Am I a Woman? A Skeptic’s Guide to Gender; The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory: Why an Invented Past Won’t Give Women a Future; Living in the Lap of the Goddess: The Feminist Spirituality Movement in America; and Conscientious Objectors and the Second World War: Moral and Religious Arguments in Support of Pacifism. During her year in residence at Princeton University’s Center for the Study of Religion, Dr. Eller will be writing an intellectual history of ideas about prehistoric matriarchies and goddess worship, tentatively titled Motherright, 1861-2000.
Jun Fujii received his Ph.D. in Literature at Tokyo University (Japan) in 2006. While at Princeton, he will expand and revise his dissertation, entitled The Development of Kūkai’s Thought. Kūkai (774-835) was a Japanese Buddhist priest who lived during the eighth and ninth centuries. His thought deeply influenced many fields of pre-modern Japanese society and religion. At Princeton, Fujii will dedicate the majority of his time researching for his next book, which will focus on medieval Japanese Buddhism. His research is interested in how Buddhist doctrine has changed from the origins of the religion to the modern age.
Paul Macdonald received his Ph.D. in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia in 2003 and will be on leave for the fall semester from his position as Assistant Professor in the Department of Religion at Bucknell University. His research occurs at the intersection of western philosophy and Christian theology (philosophical theology), with special attention paid to issues in epistemology. His forthcoming book, Knowledge and the Transcendent: An Inquiry into the Mind’s Relationship to God (The Catholic University of America Press), which is based on work he conducted as a Visiting Fellow at CSR in 2003-2004, explores what knowledge of the world and knowledge of God look like from the classical perspective of Thomas Aquinas alongside contemporary perspectives in epistemology. While at Princeton this semester, he will begin a new project in which he investigates the doctrine of divine providence in Christian thought with an eye towards constructing a comprehensive Christian philosophical and theological response to the problem of evil and suffering.
Robin H. Rogers-Dillon is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Queens College, City University of New York (CUNY) and the CUNY Graduate Center. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology form the University of Pennsylvania in 1998. Her primary areas of research have been poverty, politics, and social policy. From 1998- 2000, Dr. Rogers-Dillon was a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Scholar at Yale University. In 1995-96, she served in Washington DC as a Congressional Fellow on Women and Public Policy. She is the author of The Welfare Experiments: Politics and Policy Evaluation (Stanford University Press, 2004) and articles including, “Hierarchical qualitative research teams: Refining the methodology” (Qualitative Research, 2005) and “Federal Constraints and State Innovation” (Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 1999). In 2008, Dr. Rogers-Dillon joins the Editorial Board of Society. She will spend her year at Princeton conducting research on the shifting boundaries between religion and the state in the United States, particularly in social welfare programs.