Academic interests

U.S. religious history; Christian thought; the Bible in American culture; religion, weather, and the sublime; theological debates over predestination, providence, and theodicy; Catholic-Protestant relations in the U.S.; Mormonism and American culture; history of the book in colonial British America


REL-R133 (Introduction to Religion), REL-R103 (The Bible and Culture), REL-R173 (American Religions), REL-R180 (Introduction to Christianity), REL-R313 (Religion and American Ideas), REL-R314 (Religion and Racism), REL-R339 (Varieties of American Religion), REL-R397 (Mormonism and American Culture)


Co-PI (with Philip Goff and Art Farnsley) on a $507,000 grant from the Lilly Endowment for a three-year research project, "The Bible in American Life" (2011-2014); Overseas Conference Fund Grant, Office of the Vice President for International Affairs, Indiana University (2009); Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism, Research Travel Grant (2007); Indiana University New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities Grant (2006); National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend (2003); fellowships from the Louisville Institute, the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation


  • Current project: Tornado God: American Religion and Violent Weather(Under contract with Oxford University Press).
  • Predestination: The American Career of a Contentious Doctrine (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009; paperback, 2011); winner of the Christianity Today Book Award for History/Biography (2010).
  • The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 26, Catalogues of Books, editor (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008); final volume in the Yale edition of Edwards; includes 113-page critical introduction to Edwards' lifelong career as a reader.
  • In Discordance with the Scriptures: American Protestant Battles over Translating the Bible (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999; paperback 2002); winner of the Frank S. and Elizabeth D. Brewer Prize of the American Society of Church History.
  • Co-editor, with Philip Goff and Arthur E. Farnsley II, The Bible in American Life (New York: Oxford University Press, 2017).


  • Chair, Department of Religious Studies (2009-2015)
  • Executive Committee, IU Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics, and Society (2014-2016)
  • Senior Warden, St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Indianapolis (2013-2014)
  • Governing Board, Institute for Advanced Study, IU Bloomington (2009-2011)
  • Nominating Committee, American Society of Church History (2007-2008)
  • Council, American Society of Church History (2004-2007)