Research

All of my research, regardless of discipline, centers upon the topic of religion and politics in American culture. I hold graduate degrees in both religious studies and history, and I am currently taking steps towards a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction, specializing in Social Studies Education and Social Foundations. 

In the area of religious studies, I have two focii: on the theology and history Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement and its historical antecedents, and in the area of Religion and War in American History. My greatest interest is in the political theology of the Stone-Campbell Movement, focused upon Christian anarchism and pacifism in the movement. Both of my master theses have focused upon Christian pacifism during World War I.

I am also the principal investigator for the Glasite Political Theology Project and Digital Archive.

In the area of history, I am an Americanist, with a focus on the Long 19th Century, and especially on Gilded Age and Progressive Era and their wars. My MA thesis focused on the federal prison experiences of conscientious objectors and war resisters to World War I. My research drew upon history, sociology of religion, and political theology.

In the area of education, I am interested in the social foundations of education, especially in the philosophy and history of social studies education in the United States. I plan to continue my education with graduate work in Curriculum and Instruction. Currently, I am conducting research on church-state issues, and especially on the topic of religion in the curriculum, especially upon “Bible Literature and History” courses that have been mandated to be offered as electives in schools in several states across the country.

Books:

  • With John Mark Hicks, Richard Hughes, Lee Camp, and Richard Goode, Babel: God, Government, and Allegiance in the Political Theology of David Lipscomb. (Abilene, TX: Abilene Christian University Press, forthcoming).
  • Co-authored with Justin Bronson Barringer, God and Country (Music): Country Music as Christian Theology, (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Academic, under contract).

Journal Articles:

Book Chapters:

Book Reviews:

  • October 2017, Review of Gordon L. Heath, ed., American Churches and the First World War (2016) in Stone-Campbell Journal 20:2.
  • April 2017, Review of Barry Hankins, Woodrow Wilson: Ruling Elder, Spiritual President (2016) in Stone-Campbell Journal 20:1.
  • September 2015, Review of Peter Gardella, American Civil Religion: What Americans Hold Sacred (2014) in Stone-Campbell Journal 18:1.
  • December 2013, Review of Cassie J.E.H. Trentaz, Theology in the Age of Global AIDS & HIV: Complicity and Possibility (2012) in Leaven Journal 21:4.
  • October 2012, Review of David Sehat, The Myth of American Religious Liberty (2011) in Stone-Campbell Journal 15:2.

Manuscripts in Preparation:

  • Prisoners Present Arms: Sectarian Christians and the American Carceral State during the First World War (Monograph, Religion and War / War and Society).
  • Imprisoned for Jesus: The Prison Memoirs of World War I Conscientious Objector Arthur Dunham (Monograph, Religion and War / War and Society).
  • “From Oneida and Boston to Nashville: Examining the Pedigree of
    Garrisonian Non-Resistance in the Thought of David Lipscomb,” (Journal Article, American Religious History).
  • “Keep the Reserve Intact! A History of Protection of the Bull Run Reserve,” (Journal Article, Environmental History/Federal Law Enforcement).

Presentations and Lectures:

  • April 5, 2019, “A Wall of Separation?: Analyzing Evangelical Attempts to Bring Bible Classes Back to Public Education,” at the Stone-Campbell Journal Conference, Knoxville, TN.
  • June 6, 2018, “‘Christian Principles in the New World Order’: The League of Nations Controversy and the Stone-Campbell Movement,” in the “Religion and War” section at the Christian Scholars’ Conference, Nashville, TN.
  • November 2017, “Religion and War and Why It Matters,” in the “Religion and War” exploratory session for the proposed Religion and War Unit at the American Academy of Religion, Boston, MA.
  • November 5, 2017, “Peace without Victory: Sectarian Christians and the First World War,” New Research on World War I Panel at the East Tennessee Historical Society.
  • October 25, 2017, “Using GIS to Map the Stone-Campbell Movement,” University of Tennessee, Office of Information Technology Community of Practice Seminar.
  • October 20, 2017, “Never Been So Thoroughly Policed”: Religious Pacifists and the American Carceral State during World War I,” at the “Remembering Muted Voices Symposium: Conscience, Dissent, Resistance and Civil Liberties in World War I Through Today,” at the National World War I Museum and Memorial, Kansas City, Missouri.
  • August 22, 2017, “Reviewing Michael Brown: Understanding Police Violence through a Focus on Training and Police Culture,” Vanderbilt University Law School, Nashville, Tennessee.
  • June 8, 2017, “Criminals in the Church: Federal Persecution of War Resisters in Churches of Christ during World War I,” in the “Early Career Scholars in Theological Disciplines” section at the Christian Scholar’s Conference, Nashville, TN.
  • June 8, 2017, “From Oneida to Nashville: Embracing the Spiritual Legacy of Lipscomb, Stone, Garrison, and Noyes for Today’s World,” in the “Reading David Lipscomb’s On Civil Government in the world of Donald Trump” panel at the Christian Scholar’s Conference, Nashville, TN.
  • April 8, 2017, “Criminals in the Church: Federal Persecution of War Resisters in Churches of Christ during World War I,” at the Meredith College Symposium on WWI, Raleigh, NC.
  • April 7, 2017, “From Oneida Community Communism to Tennessee Tradition Pacifism: Tracing the Pedigree of David Lipscomb’s On Civil Government,” at the Stone-Campbell Journal Conference, Knoxville, TN.
  • April 6, 2017, “A Church Full of Slackers: Federal Suppression of Pacifism in Churches of Christ during World War I,” at the “100 Years After World War I: Local to Global Impact of an International War” World War I Symposium, University of South Carolina-Upstate, Spartanburg, SC.
  • February 18, 2017, “Losing My Religion: The Effect of World War I on Pacifism in the Stone-Campbell Movement,” at the “War and Conflict in Twentieth Century US Society and Culture,” Conference, Historians of Twentieth Century United States Winter Symposium, London, England.
  • January 31, 2017, “Losing My Religion: The Effect of World War I on the Theology of the Stone-Campbell Movement,” AfterWars Seminar, Center for the Study of War and Society, University of Tennessee.
  • October 8, 2016, “’The Whole Trouble Lies in Religion’: A Case Study of War Resistance and Social Control during World War I,” at the 8th Annual University of Alabama Graduate History Conference on Power and Struggle, Tuscaloosa, AL.
  • August 23, 2016, “Judged by Twelve, or Carried by Six?: Police Violence, Training, and Culture in 21st Century America,” Vanderbilt University Law School, Nashville, Tennessee.
  • April 2, 2016, “Losing My Religion: The Effects of World War I on the Stone-Campbell Movement,” at the Stone-Campbell Journal Conference, Knoxville, TN.
  • November 22, 2015, “’Never Been So Thoroughly Policed’: Systematic United States Government Surveillance and Suppression of Religious Dissent during the Great War, 1917-1918,” at the American Academy of Religion, Atlanta, GA.
  • June 25, 2015, “Keep the Reserve Intact!: A History of the Protection of the Bull Run Watershed Management Unit,” at the International Water History Association Conference, Delft, The Netherlands.
  • May 21, 2015, “The Assisted Suicide of Cordell College and Church of Christ Pacifism: Federal, Local and Internal Suppression of Resistance to WWI,” Christian Librarians Association, Oklahoma Christian University, Edmond, Oklahoma.
  • April 10, 2015, “A Fight for the Future: Stone-Campbell Eschatology through the Lens of Jürgen Moltmann’s Theology of Hope,” at the Stone-Campbell Journal Conference, Indianapolis, Indiana.
  • March 6, 2015, “Conscientious Objection and Social Control during the Great War: Dwight Pendleton and the Bureau of Investigation” at the 2015 James A. Rawley Graduate Conference in the Humanities: “Humanity in Conflict.”
  • November 25, 2014, “Origins of the National Security and Intelligence State: Systematic U.S. Government Surveillance and Suppression of Religious Dissent during the Great War, 1917-1918,” at the American Academy of Religion, San Diego, CA.
  • March 14, 2014, “D.L. Pendleton, Stanley Prewitt, and the Bureau of Investigation during World War I,” at the Stone-Campbell Journal Conference, Knoxville, TN.
  • February 2013, “Losing My Religion: The Loss of the Non-Violent Tradition in Churches of Christ,” Westside Church of Christ, Hillsboro, Oregon.