Research

This collection of links, documents, and images is related to my ongoing research.

My research follows the same thread as my teaching with a focus on the history of values and how they shift over time.. The book that I published in 2009–and that took me most of my adult life to write–is about how Protestant Christians, particularly clergy involved in counseling and psychotherapy, thought about moral choices. I focus on the years between 1925 and 1975 and examine the fundamental shifts occurred in Christian moral reasoning during these years.

My latest project brings together a number of my older interests with my new interest in American road culture At first road culture seems unrelated to anything I’ve done previously. And yet, if you think about it, the American obsession with the road and the belief that being on the road is somehow redemptive is every bit as much about values as my first book. So when I started thinking about road culture, I thought I was going to write a history of recreational vehicles because I had always promised myself I would stop studying American religion since I am not a religious historian. But then I had a scholarly epiphany and I realized that all of my current interests–psychology (consciousness), spirituality, road culture (pilgrimage), environmentalism, landscape, and geography–intersected in one topic: American spirituality after 1965. So now I have a new project tentatively titled Journeys and Landscapes: A Spiritual Geography of Post Christian America, 1965 to the present. The topic is huge and unwieldy and continues to morph in strange ways, but I’m going to wait it out and see what comes of it.

Journeys and Landscapes

 

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