Anne Wills Chair & Professor of Religious Studies
- Ph.D. Duke University
- M.Div. Yale Divinity School
- B.A. Davidson College
Areas of Expertise
- History of U.S. Religions
- Sexuality, Gender, and Religion
- Race and Religion
I teach courses in American religion and culture with an emphasis on gender, sexuality, and race, including “GodLoveSex” (REL 161) and “Myths America Lives By” (REL 365). I also regularly teach in the college's first-year Humanities program.
I recently published a biography of Ruth Bell Graham titled An Odd Cross to Bear, which was named the 2023’s best history/biography by Christianity Today magazine. I coedited a volume on Billy Graham titled Billy Graham: American Pilgrim, published by Oxford University Press in 2017. My most recent article, "’The heavens are telling’: Nature as Theology in Ruth Bell Graham’s Poetry,” examines the literary and theological sources of her understanding of the natural world. My other articles include a study of religion and scrapbooking and an examination of how the contemporary practice of American Thanksgiving got its real start in nineteenth-century women’s magazines. I have contributed articles to Women in American History: An Encyclopedia and the Encyclopedia of Religion in America. My articles and book reviews have appeared in the Christian Century, Church History, Fides et Historia, the Journal of Southern Religion, and Religion and American Culture.
I am active in the Southeast Region of the American Academy of Religion and currently serve as the Regionally Elected Coordinator for the southeast.