University of Washington

James K. Wellman, Jr.

Comparative Religion Program
Jackson School of International Studies
Box 353650, University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-3340
Phone: (206) 543-0339
E-mail: jwellman@u.washington.edu
Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/jwellman/
Blog: patheos.com/blogs/jameswellman/

EMPLOYMENT

  • 2013-Present Professor, Comparative Religion
  • 2009-Present Associate Professor (adjunct), Sociology
  • 2008-Present Associate Professor, Comparative Religion
  • 2006-Present Associate Editor, Sociology of Religion: A Quarterly Journal
  • 2005-Present Chair, Comparative Religion Program

EDUCATION

  • 1995 PhD: The University of Chicago, Religion and the Human Sciences
  • 1984 MDiv: Princeton Theological Seminary, Practical Theology
  • 1981 BA: University of Washington: With Distinction, English, Honors Program

PROFESSIONAL AWARDS

  • 2014 Nominated, UW Teaching Academy campus wide Distinguished Teaching Award
  • 2013 President, Pacific Northwest American Academy of Religion/Society for Biblical Literature Regional Meeting.
  • 2012 Vice-president, Pacific Northwest American Academy of Religion/Society for Biblical Literature Regional Meeting.
  • 2009 Honorable Mention: Distinguished Book Award, Evangelical vs. Liberal: The Clash of Christian Cultures in the Pacific
  • Northwest. Given annually by the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. (Second out of twenty-six books nominated).
  • 2006 Nominated, The Marsh L. Landolt Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award
  • 2006 Nominated, UW Teaching Academy campus wide Distinguished Teaching Award
  • 2005 Nominated, UW Teaching Academy campus wide Distinguished Teaching Award
  • 2005 Selected, "Teaching Introductory Religion: Lessons from the Practices of Fifty Effective Teachers." Wabash Center for Teaching, University of Notre Dame
  • 2001 Winner of Francis Makemie Award for outstanding book in Reformed History, The Gold Coast Church and the Ghetto: Christ and Culture in Mainline Protestantism. Presbyterian Historical Society
  • 1994 Winner of the Student Paper Award, Society for the Scientific Study of Religion

SELECTED FELLOWSHIPS AND GRANTS

  • 2010 Royalty Research Fund Grant, University of Washington: "Getting High on God: Charisma, Ecstasy, and Power in American Megachurches," ($7,416).
  • 2009 Recipient: International Studies Center Course Development Grant Award, Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington, Religion 590: American Religion and US Foreign Policy, ($2,000).
  • 2008 Principal Investigator: "Teaching Introductory Courses in Religion," Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion, ($1,897).
  • 2007-2009 Co-Principal Investigator and Project Director: "Religion and Human Security." Henry Luce Foundation on Religion and International Affairs, ($300,000; with Reşat Kasaba and Clark Lombardi).
  • 2007 Recipient: International Studies Center Course Development Grant Award, Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington, SIS 405: Political Economy and Religious Institutions, Religion and Human Security, ($2,000).
  • 2006 Non-Resident Fellow: Institute for the Study of Religion, Baylor University, Waco, TX
  • 2006 Co-Principal Investigator: "Religion and Democratic Culture: The Problems and Possibilities for Peace." The Henry M. Jackson Foundation Grant, Comparative Religion Program Colloquium Series, ($24,450; with Cabeiri Robinson, Kyoko Tokuno, Noam Pianko, Gadi Barzilai).
  • 2005 Selected (with Scott Noegel): University Course, "Religion, Violence, and Peace: Patterns across Time." Undergraduate Course Development Fund, University of Washington, (One month summer salary and Research/Teaching Assistant support).
  • 2004-2005 Co-Principal Investigator: "Religion and Democratic Culture: The Problems and Possibilities for Peace." The Henry M. Jackson Foundation Grant, Comparative Religion Program Colloquium Series, ($10,000; with Cabeiri Robinson, Kyoko Tokuno).
  • 2003-2004 Co-Principal Investigator: "Religion, Conflict and Violence: Exploring Patterns Past and Present, East and West." University of Washington Simpson Center Grant, Comparative Religion Program Colloquium Series and Symposium, ($12,500; with Kyoko Tokuno).
  • 2003-2004 Principal Investigator: "The Churching of an Unchurched Region: Evangelical Entrepreneurs in the Pacific Northwest." Louisville Institute, Louisville, Kentucky, ($15,743).
  • 1993-1994 Awarded: Dissertation Fellowship, Louisville Institute for the Study of Protestantism and American Culture, ($5,000).

SELECTED UNIVERSITY AND DEPARTMENTAL SERVICE

  • 2005-Present Chair, Comparative Religion Program
  • 2011-Present JSIS PhD Committee
  • 2009-Present JSIS Curriculum Committee

SELECTED PROFESSIONAL SERVICE

  • 2014, Sept 17 Interview, KUOW Public Radio, "Why the Young, Unchurched Flock to Evangelical Churches," Seattle, WA. http://kuow.org/post/why-young-unchurched-flock-evangelical-churches.
  • 2014, Sept 5 Interview, KMUW Wichita Public Radio, "Global Violence and Its Religious Dimensions: An Interview with Dr. James K. Wellman, Jr.," Wichita, KS. http://kmuw.org/post/global-violence-and-its-religious-dimensions-interview-dr-james-k-wellman-jr.
  • 2014, Sept 3 Interview, Al Jazeera America, "Bully Pulpit: Fall from Grace: Seattle Pastor, Mark Driscoll," Seattle, WA. https://ajam.boxcn.net/s/pjlgd3r4yeer45xbqt6m.
  • 2013-Present Invited to blog forPatheos.com: James Wellman on American Religion.
  • 2013, Jan 15 Interview, KUOW Public Radio, "Rob Bell and a New American Christianity," Seattle, WA.
  • 2012, Sept 5 Interview, KUOW Public Radio, "American Megachurches," Seattle, WA.
  • 2012, Aug 30 Television Interview, "Are Megachurches the Opiate of the Masses?" KING5 News Seattle. http://www.king5.com/news/local/Are-mega-churches-the-opiate-of-the-masses-168089836.html
  • 2012, Aug 29 Interview, Issues, Etc.: Talk Radio for the Thinking Christian. "God Is Like a Drug: American Megachurches." St. Louis, MO. http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/issuesetc.org/podcast/wellman.mp3.
  • 2012, Aug 29 Interview,KUOW Public Radio. "Atheism on the Rise in the U.S." Seattle, WA. http://www.kuow.org/program.php?id=27799.
  • 2011 Reviewer for Joint PhD Program in Religious Studies, University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University. Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
  • Ongoing Reviewer: Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion (Oxford University Press); Sociology of Religion: A Quarterly Review (University of Chicago Press); Journal of Church and State (Baylor University Press); Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion (Baylor University Press); and Review of Religious Research.

BOOKS

  • Wellman, James K. Jr., with Katie Corcoran and Kate Stockly-Meyerdirk. 2015. High on God: How the Megachurch Conquered America. New York: Oxford University Press. Under contract.
  • Wellman, James K. Jr., 2012. Rob Bell and a New American Christianity. Nashville, TN:Abingdon Press.
  • Wellman, James K. Jr., and Clark Lombardi. 2012. Religion and Human Security: Global Perspective. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Wellman, James K. Jr. 2008. Evangelicals vs. Liberals: The Clash of Christian Cultures in the Pacific Northwest. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Wellman, James K. Jr. 2007. Belief and Bloodshed: Religion and Violence across Time and Tradition. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
  • Wellman, James K. Jr. 1999. Gold Coast Church and the Ghetto: Christ and Culture in Mainline Protestantism. Champaign: University of Illinois Press.
  • Wellman, James K. Jr. and William H. Swatos, Jr. 1999. The Power of Religious Publics: Staking Claims in American Society. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.

SELECTED ARTICLES, CHAPTERS AND PAPERS:

  • Wellman, James K. Jr. September, 2014. "The Oprahfication of Rob Bell: The Question of  Desire, Resistance and the Megachurch Culture of Celebrity." Religion and CultureWeb Forum, The University of Chicago Divinity School. https://divinity.uchicago.edu/religion-and-culture-web-forum-0.
  • Wellman, James K. Jr., Katie E. Corcoran and Kate Stockly-Meyerdirk. 2014. "‘God is like a Drug’: Explaining Interactive Rituals in American Megachurches." Sociological  Forum. September, volume 29, number 3.
  • Wellman, James K., and Jon Pahl, Jr. 2014. "Empire of sacrifice USA: violence and the  sacred in American culture." In Paul Gifford and Pierpaolo Antonello, eds. Can We  Survive Our Origins?: Readings in Rene Girard’s theory of Violence and the Sacred. New York: Routledge Publishing.
  • Wellman, James K. Jr. and Katie E. Corcoran. 2013. "Religion and Regional Culture:  Embedding Religious Commitment in Place." Sociology of Religion, 74(4): 496-520.
  • Wellman, James K. Jr. 2013. "Turning Word into Flesh: Congregational History as American Religious History." The Journal of Presbyterian History, 91(2): 68-77. 
  • Wellman, James K. Jr. 2013. "Religious Experience as a Different World," in Religion, Brain, and Behavior, 24-30.
  • Wellman, James K. Jr. 2012. "Human Security: A Secularized Social Gospel and the Rediscovery of Religion" In Chris Seiple, Dennis Hoover, and Pauletta Otis eds. Routledge Handbook of Religion and Security. New York: Routledge Publishing.
  • Wellman, James K. Jr. 2012. "Religion and Fanaticism (Is Religion Dangerous?)." In Patrick McNamara and Wesley Wildman, eds. Science and the World’s Religions: Volume 3: Religions and Controversies. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO Press, 25-44.
  • Thompson, S.R. and James K. Wellman, Jr. 2011. "From the Social Gospel to Neoconservativism: Religion and U.S. Foreign Policy." Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion. Volume 7, Article 6: 1-41.
  • Wellman, James K. Jr. and Charles Richter. 2009. "Matrix as Sacred Canopy: Teaching Theory of Religion." Teaching Theology and Religion 12:2: 141-50.
  • Wellman, James K. Jr. and Matthew Keyes. 2007. "Portable Politics and Durable Religion: The Moral Worldviews of American Evangelical Missionaries." Sociology of Religion: A Quarterly Review 68:4: 383-406.
  • Wellman, James K. Jr. 2006. "Peeling Back the Evangelical Onion: Worldviews and World Affairs," Review of Faith and International Affairs. September: 29-36.
  • Wellman, James K. Jr. and Kyoko Tokuno. 2004. "Is Religious Violence Inevitable?" Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 43(3): 291-96. [Ranked as the most cited article in JSSR between 2005-2007.]
  • Wellman, James K. Jr. 2004. "The Churching of the Pacific Northwest: The Rise of Sectarian Entrepreneurs." In Patricia O’Connell Killen and Mark Silk, eds. Religion and Public Culture in the Pacific Northwest: The None Zone. Religion by Region Series. Walnut Creek: Alta Mira Press: 79-105.
  • Wellman, James K. Jr. 2002. "Religion without a Net: Strictness in the Religious Practices of West Coast Urban Liberal Christian Congregations," Review of Religious Research 44(2): 184-199.
  • Wellman, James K. Jr. 1999. Introduction to "The Debate Over Homosexual Ordination: Subcultural Identity Theory in American Religious Organizations," Review of Religious Wellman, James K. Jr. 1998. "The Decentering of the Protestant Mainline: John Timothy Stone, The Chicago Years 1913-1930." The Journal of Presbyterian History 76: 199-213.

SELECTED INVITED TALKS AND CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS

  • "The Abundant Zone: Theologizing Cascadia." Presentation for the Christ and Cascadia Conference, Fuller Institute of Theology and Northwest Culture. Seattle, WA. September 26, 2014. Invited plenary presentation.
  • "Global Religion and Its Religious Dimensions." Durfee Lecture, First Presbyterian Church in Wichita, Kansas. September 6, 2014. Invited plenary lecture.
  • "Rob Bell, Economies of Desire, and a Megachurch as a Site of Resistance." Presidential Plenary for the Pacific Northwest American Academy of Religion. May 3, 2013.
  • "How the Megachurch ‘Conquered’ the Northwest." Annual Meeting for the American Society of Church History. Portland, OR. April 6, 2013. Invited plenary lecture.
  • "Celebrity Evangelists in Christianity and Islam: The Problems and Promise of Charisma." For Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University. Washington D.C. April 3, 2013. Invited lecture.
  • Wellman, James K. Jr., Katie E. Corcoran, and Kate Stockly-Meyerdirk. "‘God is like a Drug..’: Explaining Interaction Rituals in American Megachurches." American Sociological Association, Annual Meeting. Denver, CO. August 2012. Refereed presentation
  • "High on God: The American Megachurch." Presentation for "Young Scholars—Congregations and Social Change: Adaptation and Innovation among Religious Communities." Calvin College. Grand Rapids, Michigan. July 7, 2011. Invited lecture.
  • "The Origins of Nations and Religious Violence: Imagining Trans-Atlantic ‘America’; Interrogating Evolution." Cambridge Symposium: Surviving our Origins: Violence and the Sacred in Evolutionary-Historical Time." St. John’s College, Cambridge University. Cambridge, United Kingdom. May 28, 2011. Invited lecture.
  • "Interaction Ritual Chains in the Teaching of Religion." American Academy of Religion, Pacific Northwest Region, University of Victoria. Victoria, British Columbia. May 8, 2010. Invited presentation.
  • "Religion and Human Security: Luce Foundation on Religion and International Affairs." Social Science Research Council. Brooklyn, New York. May 19, 20, 2010. Invited presentation.
  • "How Religion Affects Global Civil Society." Religion and Global Civil Society: A Networking Workshop, University of California Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara, CA. May 2, 2009. Invited presentation.
  • Workshop Leader, "Teaching College Introductory Religion Courses." Sponsored by the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion. Pacific Northwest Regional Meeting of American Academy of Religion. Newberg, OR. May 2, 2008.
  • "Belief and War in a Changing World: America and the Middle East." Ochanomizu University. Tokyo, Japan. February 12-15, 2008. Invited lecture series.
  • "Theories of Religious Violence." Issues of Comparative Religious Studies in Central Asia. Tashkent, Uzbekistan. September 15, 2006. Invited presentation

COURSES TAUGHT (2010-2014)

Graduate:
Theories in the Study of Religion (JSIS C 501) (9)
Comparative Fundamentalisms (JSIS 502) (12)
American Religion & US Foreign Policy Seminar (JSIS 590) (15) 
American Enthusiastic Religion (JSIS 590) (9)
Ph.D. Field Seminar, Religions, Cultures, and Civilizations (JSIS 596) (6)
Undergraduate:
Western Religions (JSIS C 201) (110)
Culture, Power and Religion: The Social Construction of the World (JSIS 202) (275)
American Religions (JSIS C 254) (64)
God in Modern Religious Thought (JSIS C 301) (25)
American Religion and US Politics (JSIS C 301) (12)
American Megachurches (JSIS 490) (15)
American Religion and Culture (JSIS 490) (12)
American Religion and US Foreign Policy (JSIS 498) (15)