Interfaculty Program Study of Religion

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Curriculum Vitae


2002        Ph.D. in the History of Religions, University of Chicago
               “Explaining Mantras: Rhetoric, the Dream of a Natural Language, and the Efficacy of Ritual”
                Advisor: Frank Reynolds

1993        J.D., Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California at Berkeley
                Order of the Coif (class rank: 8 out of 300 (top 3%)

1988        A.B. in Philosophy, Harvard University, cum laude in General Studies

1984        Phillips Academy, Andover, MA (Cum Laude Society)
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Professional Experience

August 2014- Chair and Professor for the Theory and Method of Religious Studies,
                Chair of the Interfaculty Program in Religious Studies,
                Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich

2013-14   Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Memphis

2008-13   Assistant Professor, Department of History
                and the Helen Hardin Honors Program, University of Memphis

2010-13   Program Advisor, Minor in Religious Studies, University of Memphis

2006-08   Research Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of Memphis

2005-06   Postdoctoral Fellow, Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities and
                Visiting Assistant Professor, Program for the Study of Religion, University of Illinois,

2003-05   Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of History, University of Toronto

2001-03   Lecturer, Department of Philosophy, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale

1993-94   Corporate Attorney, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, Los Angeles

1989-90   Legal Assistant, Thelen, Marrin, Johnson & Bridges, San Francisco

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Academic Awards

2021        Harris Fellow, Department of Religion, Dartmouth College (September 2021)

2019        Finalist, AAR Award for Excellence in Constructive-Reflective Studies for Sovereignty
                and the Sacred (see Publications)

2017        Visiting Scholar, Department of Philosophy and Education, University of Turin

2013-14   Joint Tikvah/Senior Emile Noël Fellow, Tikvah Center for Law & Jewish Civilization
                and Jean Monnet Center for International and Regional Economic Law & Justice,
                New York University School of Law

2013-14   Faculty Research Grant, University of Memphis

2012        Professional Development Assignment (sabbatical leave award), Fall Semester 2012,
                University of Memphis College of Arts and Sciences

2006-07   Fellow, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation

2003        Participant, Erasmus Institute Summer Faculty Workshop on
                “Religious Hermeneutics and Secular Interpretation,” College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA

2001-02   Committee on Southern Asian Studies Dissertation Fellow, University of Chicago

2000-01   Martin Marty Center Junior Fellow, University of Chicago Divinity School

1999-00   Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellow, Calcutta, India

1998        Social Science Research Council Predissertation Fellow, Dhaka, Bangladesh

1996-98   Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellow in Bengali

1992-93   Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellow in German

1992        Scholarship to the Hague Academy of International Law from the Ford Foundation Program
                in Public International Law at Boalt Hall School of Law

1990-93   Jurisprudence Awards (1st in class or section): Civil Procedure, Contracts, Comparative Law,
                International Law, International Trade Law, Law and Modern Social Thought, Professional Responsibility

1990-93   Prosser Prizes (2nd in class or section): Conceptions of Punishment, Jurisprudence
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Grants and Grant Proposals

(individual fellowships and time-release grants are covered under Academic Awards)

“EuroBlas.” Co-PI of HERA grant proposal for an unfunded project on blasphemy in Europe. Project one of 35 recommended for funding (top 5-6% of those submitted in first round); only 18 projects were funded. Other PIs were from the Netherlands, the UK, and Denmark. (1.2 million euros; not funded)

Collaborative Research Grant, American Academy of Religion, for “The Sacred/Secular Divide: The Legal Story II” conference, under Project Director Winnifred Sullivan, 2008-09. ($4,500)

Research Areas

general history of religions; history and theory of secularism; religion and politics; South Asian religions; semiotics of religion
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Academic Service (Non-Departmental)

currently   peer reviewer for national scientific research funding agencies in Germany, Switzerland, Belgium,
                the Netherlands, and Israel

2018        Member, external peer review committee for the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies at the
               University of Groningen

2012-22   Editor, Religion, Culture, and History book series, American Academy of Religion/
               Oxford University Press; member, AAR Publications Committee

2016-       Editorial Board, Method & Theory in the Study of Religion

2017-       Co-editor, Semiotics of Religion book series, Walter de Gruyter publishers

2012-17   Steering Committee, Secularism and Secularity Group, American Academy of Religion

2011-13   Editorial Board, Studies in Religion/Sciences Religieuses

2010-13   Steering Committee, Religion, Colonialism, and Postcolonialism Group, American Academy of Religion

2007-11   Executive Secretary and Treasurer, North American Association for the Study of Religion

2005-07   Executive Council, North American Association for the Study of Religion

2005-08   Chair, Law, Religion, and Culture Group, American Academy of Religion

2002-05   Steering Committee, Law, Religion, and Culture Group, American Academy of Religion
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Association Memberships

American Academy of Religion; European Association for the Study of Religion; Deutsche Vereinigung für Religionswissenschaft; North American Association for the Study of Religion