I teach courses on Faith & Culture at Stony Brook School, a college-preparatory school in Long Island, New York. This discussion-based seminar serves as the capstone of our Bible curriculum. It is designed to integrate with humanities coursework by examining human life within a broad historical and cultural context. In particular, Christian theology is investigated through an in-depth scriptural study of the Gospel of John and comparative study of the major religions of the world. This capstone class follows a “Great Conversation” format, where students engage the “Big Questions” of philosophy, including Socratic wisdom, knowledge, reality, mind, body, and freedom, human nature, ethics, God, religion, the problem of evil, and the meaning of life.
Previously, I served as Historian in Residence for the George L. Mosse Program in History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I am also an Honorary Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH) at the University of Queensland and in the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
My most recent book, co-written with David Hutchings, Of Popes and Unicorns: Science, Christianity, and How the ‘Conflict Thesis’ Fooled the World, debunks many of the myths of “conflict” between science and Christianity. This book is a more popular version of my previous book, Science, Religion, and the Protestant Tradition: Retracing the Origins of Conflict, which reinterprets the origins, development, and popularization of the “conflict thesis,” the idea that science and religion are fundamentally and irrevocably at odds.
As an intellectual historian, my research interests ranges over the history of Christian thought, from antiquity to the present. I have a double B.A. in Philosophy and Religious Studies from the University of California-Davis. I completed my M.A. in the History of Christianity at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Finally, I earned my PhD in Religious Studies at the University of Queensland, where I studied under distinguished early modern historian, Peter Harrison.
I have published articles in such journals as Notes and Records of the Royal Society of the History of Science, Notes and Queries, Zygon, Science & Christian Belief, Church History, Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences, and Fides et Historia. I also have more popular pieces in magazines such as Christian History, Christianity Today, and God and Nature, including blog posts for the Emerging Scholars Network and BioLogos. I am also an avid reader and reviewer of books, and my reviews have appeared in the online blogs Reading Religion of the American Academy of Religion, The British Society for Literature and Science, H-Net Reviews in the Humanities & Social Sciences Online, and journals Zygon, Journal of Religious History, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, and Fides et Historia.
As a trained philosopher, scholar of religion, and church historian, I have had the opportunity to teach courses in Early Christianity, Western Religious Thought, Western Civilization, World Religions, Science and Religion, in addition to many courses in Biblical Studies.