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2009-2010 Fellows

Amy Kittelstrom

Amy Kittelstrom is an Assistant Professor of American history at Sonoma State University. She received her B.A. in 1994 from Rice University, finished her Ph.D. in 2004 at Boston University, and taught in the History and Literature program at Harvard University from 2004-07. Her research focuses on democratic and religious thought, including Asian influences, Romantic ideas, the role of science, and the culture of American intellectual life. At Princeton, Kittelstrom will finish her first book, The Religion of Democracy: Liberals and Self-Culture in Evolutionary America, 1838-1912, which locates an origin of modern political liberalism in nineteenth-century religious liberalism, in which figures from William Ellery Channing through William James to Jane Addams used the concept of self-culture to redefine first religion and then the relationship of the self to society.

Rebecca Sager

Rebecca Sager is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Sager received her Ph.D. from the University of Arizona and her book Faith, Politics, and Power: The Politics of Faith-Based Initiatives (Oxford) on state implementation of the faith-based initiative will be published this fall. Professor Sager’s research focuses on the intersection of religion, policy, and social movements. She has published several pieces on the Faith-Based Initiative in various research journals including the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Sociology of Religion, and Non-Profit Voluntary Sector Quarterly. In 2007, Rebecca worked as the American Sociological Association’s Congressional Fellow in Washington, D.C. and is currently conducting a National Science Foundation sponsored project that began while she was in D.C. looking at the new progressive religious movement. At the Center she will be writing a new book based on this data examining how the progressive religious movement has shaped party politics and the impact this entanglement of religion and politics has on movement actors. 

Eric Johnson

Returning to Princeton to complete his 2008-2009 fellowship:
Eric B. Johnson received his Ph.D. in Sociology from Columbia University in 2008. His work considers the dynamic interaction between large scale institutions and concrete social processes in ways that combine interpretive and structural approaches. His dissertation, “Meaning through Movement: Institutional Rules and Patterns of Pastor Mobility in Presbyterian (PCUSA) and United Methodist (UMC) Congregations,” treats pastor mobility as a cultural market, tracing the movement of pastors through congregations in order to better understand how structural processes underlie the local production of meaning.  While at Princeton, he will examine narratives of congregational identity, seeking to understand how congregations make sense out of common event sequences and how their interpretations differ between denominations.

James Bell

Affiliate Fellows:

James B. Bell is a Fellow of the Rothermere American Institute at the University of Oxford and a Visiting Scholar during 2009-10 at the Princeton Theological Seminary. He is writing a book at the Center on the subject of England, Ireland, and Virginia: Imperial Politics and Religion in the Sixteenth, Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. Among his previous publications are the following: A War of Religion: Dissenters, Anglicans, and the American Revolution (2008), The Imperial Origins of the King’s Church in Early America, 1607-1783 ( 2004), and the biographical accounts of 1,284 Colonial American Clergy of the Church of England, 1607-1783 Database (2004) at
He has taught at Princeton University, Barnard College, the College of Wooster, and the Ohio State University.
Petra Schierl

Petra Schierl is an assistant ("Assistentin") of Latin at the University of Basel. She received her B.A. in Classics from Oxford University in 1999 and her Dr. phil. from LMU Munich in 2004. Her recent research focuses on the development of Christian poetry in Late Antiquity. Special attention is given to the interplay of panegyric and religion. Schierl is currently co-editing the proceedings of an international conference on Latin poetry in Late Antiquity held in Basel in 2007. For 2009–2010 she will receive a fellowship from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) to conduct research for a book on the transformation of bucolic poetry from Classical to Late Antiquity at the universities of Princeton and St. Andrews. While at the Center she is examining the role of the deus in Vergil's Eclogues and Christian bucolic poems.