Justin Doran

Assistant Professor of Religion

 
 work(802) 443-5405
 Winter Term: Wednesdays 3-5
 Munroe Hall

Professor Doran joined the department in 2018. He teaches courses on religion in the Americas as well as thematic courses on violence, capitalism, and theory in the study of religion. A specialist in modern Pentecostalism, his current research focuses on capitalism, demonology, and Christian prosperity movements in Brazil, Canada, and the southwestern United States. He received his PhD in Religious Studies from the University of Texas at Austin.

 

Courses

Course List: 

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

RELI 0170 - American Religion      

American Religion
In this course we will explore religion in the Americas with a focus on the United States. Relying on a metaphor from linguistics, we will trace how an American religious “grammar” emerged from colonial contact zones and then assess how capitalism, denominationalism, and secularism shaped that grammar during the ensuing centuries. Extending the metaphor, we will seek to understand how different actors “spoke” American religion to shape society, make sense of the world, and harness natural and supernatural power. We will cover American variations on the traditions of Buddhism, indigenous religion, Christianity, African diasporic religion, folk spirituality, and Islam. 3 hrs lect, 1 hr. disc. AMR HIS NOR PHL

Fall 2018

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RELI 0201 - Religion and Violence      

Religion and Violence
“Religion and violence” exists at the knotty intersection between politics, identity, and culture. A critical understanding of how and why religion has been employed to explain or justify violence is essential to becoming a responsible citizen of the world. In this course we will explore the complex relationship between religion, political economy, and violence from a global perspective. Our goal will be to deconstruct popular preconceptions of religion and violence, locate the variety of social structures that induce violence, and to develop a critical apparatus for understanding what is at stake when religion and violence intersect. 3 hrs. lect./1 hr. disc AMR CMP PHL SOC

Spring 2019

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RELI 0273 - Religion Capitalism Americas      

Crossroads: Religion and Capitalism in the Americas
Why are Americans afraid of selling their souls? Legend tells us that the Delta blues were born when a young black American sold his soul at a crossroads to play the guitar. Since the moment of European contact, the “Crossroads” have represented opportunity, danger, and spiritual power. In this course we will study the Crossroads as an entrée into the field of comparative religion and economy in the Americas. We will explore the contact points between European Christian and African diasporic religion in the U.S. and Brazil, while critically assessing how capitalism has shaped religious life across the hemisphere. 3 hours lect./disc. AAL AMR CMP PHL SOC

Fall 2018

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RELI 0372 - Theories of American Religion      

Theories of American Religion
Since the modern academy’s inception, the Americas have been a laboratory for theorists of the human condition. This is particularly true in the field of religion, where Americans have played both scientist and specimen in the process of understanding homo religiosus. In this course we will study theories of religion as a series of dialogues between theorist and subject. We will begin by reading primary theoretical texts and proceed into experiencing the theorist’s human “evidence” in the fullness of their context. Sections will include theorists that range from Emile Durkheim and William James to Roger Bastide, Fernando Ortiz, and Thomas Tweed. 3 hrs lect/dsc. AMR CMP NOR PHL

Spring 2019

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RELI 0500 - Independent Research      

Independent Research
(Approval Required)

Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020

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RELI 0700 - Senior Project in Religion      

Senior Project
(Approval Required)

Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020

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RELI 0701 - Senior Thesis in Religion      

Senior Research for Honors Candidates
Approval required

Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020

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Department of Religion

Munroe Hall
427 College Street
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753