People

Co-Directors

Rachel McBride Lindsey

Assistant Professor of American Religion – Department of Theological Studies – Saint Louis University

Rachel McBride Lindsey is a scholar of American religion and culture in the Department of Theological Studies at Saint Louis University. Her research and teaching focus on religion in the United States with primary expertise in visual and material cultures of religion, race, and nation. Her first book, A Communion of Shadows: Religion and Photography in Nineteenth-Century Americais the first monograph to investigate the influence of commonplace photographs in American religion in the first decades of the medium. According to one early review, the book’s “overall argument” and “theoretical rigor” allow my “analysis of neglected photographic media and their conditioned uses to … illuminate new paths in the study of religion, media, and history.” Her scholarship has been published in refereed journals and collections, including American QuarterlyJournal of Africana ReligionsJournal of Southern Religion, the Oxford Handbook of Religion and Race in American HistoryReligion and Politics, and The Immanent Frame. Her recent research explores religion and race as grammars of American citizenship in the twentieth century through case studies in documentary photography, photojournalism, and other forms of media that orchestrate material objects as registers of the sacred, variously defined, into their visual claims. She is currently working on a cultural history of religion in St. Louis.

Recent Publications and Projects:

Arch City Religion

A Communion of Shadows (UNC Press 2017)

Communion of Shadows (MAVCOR Digital Collection)

Borderlands of the Sacred (Immanent Frame)

An Ozarks Native Crosses the Show Me State (Religion & Politics)

CV: Rachel Lindsey CV

Website: Rachel McBride Lindsey

Pauline Lee

Associate Professor of Chinese religions and Culture – Department of Theological Studies – Saint Louis University

Pauline Lee is an associate professor of Chinese Religions and Cultures in the department of Theological Studies. She received her A.B. from Stanford University, her M.T.S. from Harvard Divinity School, and her Ph.D. from Stanford University. She teaches East Asian religions and philosophy including courses in comparative ethics, Chinese civilization, world religions, and children’s studies, and previously has taught at Santa Clara University and Washington University. Her first monograph, Li Zhi, Confucianism, and the Virtue of Desire (SUNY Press, 2012), examines the 16th century thinker Li Zhi 李贄 and his views on the role of self-expression and desire in a good life. With Haun Saussy and Rivi Handler-Spitz she has co-edited A Book to Burn and A Book to Keep (Hidden) (Columbia UP, 2016), the first book-length English language translation of Li Zhi’s major writings. Her current interests include the Jesuits in China and lived religions in the digital age. Professor Lee’s in-progress monograph, provisionally entitled Play in China: The Trifling, the Wicked, and the Sacred, examines changing views of play in China from ca. 200-1800 CE through a study of Chinese religious and philosophical classics and the rich but too often neglected tradition of commentaries on these works.

Recent Publications and Projects:

Li Zhi, Confucianism, and the Virtue of Desire

A Book to Burn and a Book to Keep (Hidden)

The Matteo Ricci Pluralism Project

CV: Pauline Lee CV

Website: Pauline C. Lee

Project Administrator

Samantha Arten

Faculty Affiliate, Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Saint Louis University

Samantha Arten received her Ph.D in musicology at Duke University (2018). In addition to this position as Project Administrator, she is a faculty affiliate with the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Saint Louis University and the Administrative Manager of the Women’s HOPE Chorale of St. Louis. Her musicological research is centered in the music of the English Reformation, and in addition to sixteenth-century congregational hymnody, her other interests include Reformation theology, print culture and book history, early music performance practice, and contemporary sacred vocal music. Her work can be found in Early Music and in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and the Arts.

CV: Samantha Arten CV

Website: Samantha Arten

David Justice

Ph.D. Student in Christian Theology – Saint Louis University

David Justice is a Ph.D. student at Saint Louis University studying issues of race and gender in American religious life, with a focus on the theology of Martin Luther King, Jr. He is invested in learning from and about the religious practices of various faith communities and putting those practices to work in addressing issues of social justice. In his dissertation he is focused on moving forward a revolutionary interpretation of Dr. King’s theology that he hopes will prove useful in applying Dr. King’s prophetic theology to contemporary issues of injustice. David holds a B.A. in philosophy from Greenville University, an M.A. in philosophy from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and an M.A. in Theological Ethics from Saint Louis University. He has also taught as an adjunct professor for Greenville University since January of 2016.

Please see the the Fellowships page for teaching fellowship application information.

Please see the the Fellowships page for research fellowship application information.

2018-2019 Research Fellows

Miles Adam Park – Saint Louis University

Miles Adam Park is a historian and ethnographer of U.S. history and culture. His research and teaching focus on gender, race, and violence in American religions. In addition to his Research Fellowship, he teaches in the Department of Theological Studies at Saint Louis University. His current book project, Savage Saints: Muscular Christianity, Human Nature, and Fighting in America, 1900-2018, shows that American protestants have routinely advocated for and engaged in boxing, wrestling, eastern martial arts, and contemporary mixed martial arts; and such Christians championed a proudly aggressive theology, assuming an innate, God-given human proclivity for physical confrontation that was both natural and good.

Popular Writing:

Sport in American History

Religion in American History

CV: Miles Adam Park CV

Lauren Pond – Documentary Photographer

Lauren Pond is a documentary photographer who specializes in faith and religion. In addition to photographing formal rituals, she uses her camera to explore the intersection of belief and culture. She often takes an immersive approach in her work, allowing her to experience daily life in religious communities and to portray them in a nuanced manner. Candid yet reflecting deep personal engagement with her subjects, Lauren’s work combines photojournalism, ethnography, and artistic practice.

Lauren frequently collaborates with scholars and currently works as the multimedia producer for the American Religious Sounds Project, a collaborative research initiative led by the Ohio State University and Michigan State University. In 2017, she received the prestigious Duke Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography for her project Test of Faith, which was published that autumn by Duke University Press.

Lauren’s photographs have appeared in publications including The New York TimesSmithsonian MagazineThe Washington PostThe Guardian, The Oxford American, and The Wall Street Journal, and have been recognized by the Magnum/Inge Morath Foundations, the Lucie Foundation, FotoVisura, PDN, College Photographer of the Year, and the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, among others. She has spoken about her work at institutions across the country and has exhibited both nationally and internationally. Lauren received dual Bachelor’s degrees in journalism and art from Northwestern University in 2009 and a Master’s degree in photojournalism from Ohio University in 2014. 

See a sample of Lauren Pond's work below:

Photograph by Lauren Pond/American Religious Sounds Project
Photograph by Lauren Pond/American Religious Sounds Project
Photograph by Lauren Pond (https://www.laurenpondphoto.com/)
Photograph by Lauren Pond (https://www.laurenpondphoto.com/)
Photograph by Lauren Pond/American Religious Sounds Project
Photograph by Lauren Pond/American Religious Sounds Project
Photograph by Lauren Pond/American Religious Sounds Project
Photograph by Lauren Pond/American Religious Sounds Project
Photograph by Lauren Pond (https://www.laurenpondphoto.com/)
Photograph by Lauren Pond (https://www.laurenpondphoto.com/)
Photograph by Lauren Pond (https://www.laurenpondphoto.com/)
Photograph by Lauren Pond (https://www.laurenpondphoto.com/)
Photograph by Lauren Pond (https://www.laurenpondphoto.com/)
Photograph by Lauren Pond (https://www.laurenpondphoto.com/)
Photograph by Lauren Pond (https://www.laurenpondphoto.com/)
Photograph by Lauren Pond (https://www.laurenpondphoto.com/)
Photograph by Lauren Pond (https://www.laurenpondphoto.com/)
Photograph by Lauren Pond (https://www.laurenpondphoto.com/)
Photograph by Lauren Pond (https://www.laurenpondphoto.com/)
Photograph by Lauren Pond (https://www.laurenpondphoto.com/)
Photograph by Lauren Pond (https://www.laurenpondphoto.com/)
Photograph by Lauren Pond (https://www.laurenpondphoto.com/)

For more information about Lauren Pond's work, her award winning book Test of Faith, and her ongoing project "Religion in the Midwest" click here to visit her website