About our Bloggers

2017-18 Blogger Cohort

Emanuelle (Mandy) Burton teaches ethics courses in the College of Engineering at University of Illinois at Chicago. In addition to nearly a decade spent teaching in the humanities core at the University of Chicago, she has taught religious studies courses at Elmhurst college, humanities core classes at Centre College, and spent a semester teaching ethics to computer science students at the University of Kentucky. In collaboration with computer scientists at UKy, she is developing materials (including pedagogy guides) for a science fiction-based ethics curriculum aimed at computer science students. She will also, presumably, someday finish her manuscript of Everybody’s Narnia: Moral Formation and Ethical Pluralism in the Chronicles of Narnia for the University Press of Mississippi.

Andrew DeCort is lecturer in ethics and theology at the Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology and director of The Institute for Christianity and the Common Good (www.iccgood.org). Before joining EGST, Andrew’s course design and teaching at Wheaton College for the Authority, Action, Ethics: Ethiopia program was recognized for excellence by the University of Chicago Center for Teaching. Andrew’s first book Bonhoeffer’s New Beginning: Ethics After Devastation is forthcoming with Fortress Press.

Allison Gray teaches New Testament and early Christianity to undergraduate and graduate students as an Assistant Professor in the Theology Department at St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, TX. She taught for several years in the Humanities Core at the UofC and as an adjunct in the Department of Theology and Pastoral Ministry at Dominican University.

Sonam Kachru, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia, is a student of the history of philosophy with a special emphasis on the history of Buddhist philosophy in South Asia. In addition to teaching courses emphasizing themes in Buddhist philosophy and literature to undergraduates and graduate students, he has taught graduate-level pro-seminars on Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion, and developed two new undergraduate seminars in religious studies for students majoring in religious studies: Thinking with Animals, and Of PolytheismAnd All Things Shining.

Kristen Tobey is Assistant Professor of Religion and the Social Sciences in the Theology and Religious Studies Department at John Carroll University.  She has also been an Arts and Sciences Postdoctoral Fellow and a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Religious Studies Department at the University of Pittsburgh.  She teaches courses on American religious history and culture and the sociology of religion, and conducts research on religious identity and community in the United States.  Her first book, Plowshares: Protest, Performance, and Religious Identity in the Nuclear Age, was published last year by the Pennsylvania State University Press.


2016-17 Blogger Cohort

Stephanie Frank, Columbia College Chicago

Sean Hannan, MacEwen University

Anne Mocko, Concordia College

Jawad Qureshi, American Islamic College

Robyn Whitaker, Trinity College Melbourne


2015-16 Blogger Cohort

Joy Brennan (Ph.D. 2015) is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Kenyon College. She devotes her time to sorting out the meaning of Chinese Buddhist texts and the Sanskrit texts that gave shape to some of the ideas found in them. Her particular interest is the Yogacara or mind-only school of Buddhist thought, which beat Sigmund Freud to a sophisticated theory of the unconscious by almost 2,000 years. She also studies Chinese religiosity independently of Buddhism as well as the landscape of Buddhist ideas and practices in the contemporary U.S, particularly the developing relationship between psychological and psychoanalytic frameworks and concepts and practices drawn from Buddhist traditions. See her blogger profile here.

Sam Brody (Ph.D. 2013) is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Kansas University. He studied Political and Social Thought and Middle-Eastern Studies at the University of Virginia before turning his attention to the study of traditional Jewish sources at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, where he received his MA. His Ph.D. in the History of Judaism is from the University of Chicago Divinity School, where he focused on the modern German-Jewish intellectual tradition, while also studying philosophical hermeneutics, Christian exegesis, and varying conceptions of the relationship between religion and politics. See his blogger profile here.

Spencer Dew (Ph.D. 2009) is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Centenary College of Louisiana. A regular reviewer for Rain Taxi Review of Books, and a Staff Book Reviewer for decomP magazine, his fiction and essays have appeared in scores of publications, including art reviews in Newcity Chicago and Chicago Artists’ News. He is currently researching the history of the Moorish Science Temple of America. See his blogger profile here.

Rick Elgendy (Ph.D. 2014) is a Visiting Professor of Public Theology at Wesley Theological Seminary. He is a public theologian, drawing on sources in systematic theology, political theology, and critical theory.  He is currently working on a book that outlines a Christian theology of power by means of a comparison between Karl Barth and Michel Foucault, as well as an edited volume on the concept of authority in political theology. See his blogger profile here.

Lauren Osborne (Ph.D. 2014) is an Assistant Professor of Religion at Whitman College. Her current research is on the recitation of the Qur’an and the possibilities for understanding meaning across the sound and experience of the text. In this research, she employs both hermeneutic and ethnographic methods, drawing on her background in religious studies and music. In both her research and her teaching, she is also interested in non-discursive meaning in religious texts and experience, mysticism (particularly its literary aesthetics), Jews and Muslims in medieval Andalusia, and music and religion. See her blogger profile here.

Inaugural Blogger in Virtual Residence (2014-15)

Rebecca Raphael, a graduate of the Divinity School (Ph.D. 1997), is NEH Distinguished Teaching Professor and Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Philosophy at Texas State University. Her scholarship encompasses religion and literature, biblical studies, classics, disability studies, and film. The author of Biblical Corpora: Representations of Disability in Hebrew Biblical Literature (T. & T. Clark, 2008), she is currently working on a book that examines anomalous bodies in Second Temple apocalypses. She is also a poet and amateur musician.

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