MemberStella Marega

Political Philosopher and Politologist. My research focuses on the relationships between philosophy, religion and politics, with special attention to the processes of re-divinization of politics and to the eschatological tension in modern political movements. I investigated thoroughly the thought of Eric Voegelin, Karl Löwith, Jakob Taubes, Alois Dempf, and the legacy of Joachim of Fiore’s eschatological theology of history in modern society. I also deal with problems of symbolic interpretations of political power, corporeality and apocalypse in post-modern imagery and in popular culture.

MemberGregor Thuswaldner

Gregor Thuswaldner is Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Humanities at North Park University in Chicago where I also served as Acting Provost in fall 2017. From 2003 until 2016 he was Professor of German and Linguistics and Senior Fellow of the Center for Faith and Inquiry at Gordon College From 2006 until 2012 he chaired Gordon’s Department of Languages and Linguistics. He is also a co-founder, former Academic Director, and current Senior Fellow of the Salzburg Institute of Religion, Culture and the Arts. He has written on literature, language, religion, culture, politics, and higher education. His publications have appeared in refereed journals, academic books, magazines, and American, German, and Austrian newspapers. His latest book publications are the co-edited volumes Making Sacrifices: Visions of Sacrifice in European and American Cultures (2016) and The Hermeneutics of Hell: Visions and Representations of the Devil in World Literature (2017).

MemberJohn W. Borchert

John began the Ph.D. program at Syracuse in 2013. (B.A., Philosophy and Religion, Ithaca College, 2009; M.A. Religion, Syracuse University, 2013). His research focuses around questions of religion, technology, and embodiment in American contexts. Using a combination of Posthuman and Ritual theories, Borchert approaches questions of embodied practice from the materiality outward and has written about alternate reality games, burial and memorialization, and online churches. He is interested more broadly in Continental Philosophy, Media, Aesthetics, and Materiality.

MemberS. Jonathon O'Donnell

I am an IRC Research Fellow on the project Neo-Charismatic Evangelicalism in the Time of Trump: Demonology, Authoritarianism and Post-Truth Politics. My research draws on religious studies, political science, and critical theory to interrogate contemporary demonologies in a cultural climate in which demonization is increasingly central to the global religious and political landscape. Situated at the cutting edge of transnational American Studies, I interrogate the embeddedness of American religion within broader political, sociocultural, and technological discourses, exploring critical contemporary issues such as Islamophobia, homophobia, and religious nationalism. 

MemberZachary Smith

Zach is a PhD student and graduate teaching associate in Sport Studies at the University of Tennessee. Before Tennessee, he completed an MA in Comparative Religion at Western Michigan University. His academic interests revolve primarily around religion and physical sport cultures in the US, and he is a research assistant at the Center for the Study of Sport and Religion at the University of Tennessee. His dissertation is an ethnographic study of Christian mixed martial arts.

MemberCarmen Celestini

My research is predominately in the field religion and social theory, specifically in the field of improvisational conspiracy, the overlapping belief systems of apocalyptic Christian thought and conspiracy theories, and the impact of these beliefs on the American political system. In my doctoral work, my focus has been on the John Birch Society of the 1950s and 1960s and how their form of improvisational conspiracism is linked to contemporary right-wing mobilization. I also have an interest in religion and pop culture, specifically within subversive or marginalized religious movements.