Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Director IU Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics, and Society, Indiana University

I received my Ph.D. from Indiana University in 2000. Before coming (back) to IU, I taught for a year at Pace University in New York City and for three years at McGill University in Montreal. I came back to Indiana’s Religious Studies Department both because of the strong interdisciplinary profile of the program, and because of the natural beauty of IU and Bloomington.

In the broadest sense, I am interested in the value and ethical significance of natural processes. My areas of research include environmental ethics, and the science-religion interface, including evolution controversies past and present. Much of my research focuses on conflict and compatibility between scientific (particularly Darwinian) and religious interpretations of nature and natural processes. My first book Environmental Ethics, Ecological Theology, and Natural Selection (Columbia, 2003) critiques the tendency of Christian environmental ethics, or “ecological theology,” to misconstrue or ignore Darwinian theory, and examines the problems this creates for developing a realistic ethic toward nature and animals.
My more recent research has focused on Rachel Carson, whose book Silent Spring (1962) arguably marks the beginning of the environmental movement in America and abroad. I co-edited (with philosopher and nature writer Kathleen Dean Moore) a volume of interdisciplinary essays on Carson's life and work, titled Rachel Carson: Legacy and Challenge (SUNY, 2008). My current research centers on the role of wonder and enchantment in (and with) science, nature, and religion, and the variety of ways in which scientific narratives, particularly those involving evolution, are being "re-enchanted" and recast as mythopoeic stories with moral content.

Experience

  • –present
    Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington