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Professor of History, Comparative Literature

435 S. State St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1003

Office Location(s): 2634 Haven Hall
Phone: 734.615.3602
View Curriculum Vitae

  • Affiliation(s)
    • Center for European Studies
    • Center for Japanese Studies
    • Department of Comparative Literature
    • Department of History
  • Fields of Study
    • Modern European intellectual history (19th century)
    • Discourses on religion
    • History of human sciences
    • Psychoanalysis
  • About

    Select Publications:

    • “The University and the Advent of the Academic Secular: the State’s Management of Public Instruction,” in Winnifred Fallers Sullivan, Mateo Taussig-Rubbo, & Robert Yelle, eds., Law after Secularism (Stanford University Press, 2011)
    • “An American Secular: Religion and the University Reform before the Postsecular Age,” in Philip Gorski, et al., eds., The Postsecular in Question (NYU Press, 2011)
    • “Reader as Producer: J. Z. Smith on Exegesis, Ingenuity, Elaboration.” In Willi Braun & Russell McCutcheon eds., Introducing Religion: Essays in Honor of Jonathan Z. Smith, 311-24. London, UK: Equinox Press, 2007.
    • “Theory without Method: Situating a Discourse Analysis on Religion.” In Gerrie ter Haar & Yoshio Tsuruoka, eds., Religion and Society: An Agenda for the 21st Century (Proceedings of the 19th World Congress of the International Association for the History of Religions), 173-204. Leiden, NL: Brill, 2007.
    • The Invention of World Religions: Or, How European Universalism Was Preserved in the Language of Pluralism. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2005.
    • “Our Master’s Voice: Friedrich Max Müller after a Hundred Years of Solitude.” Method and Theory in the Study of Religion 15: 4 (2003), 305-328.
    • “Troubles with Materiality: the Ghost of Fetishism in the Nineteenth Century.” Comparative Studies in Society and History, 42: 2 (April 2000), 242-267.
    • “From Empire to Utopia: Effacement of Colonial Markings in Lost Horizon” Positions: East Asia Culture Critique 7: 2 (Fall 1999), 541-572.
    • “Culture,” in Mark C. Taylor, ed., Critical Terms for Religious Studies, 70-93. University of Chicago Press, 1998. 70-93.
    • In Search of Dreamtime: The Quest for the Origin of Religion.Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1993.


  • Education
    • PhD, Religious Studies, University of California (Santa Barbara), 1985
    • MA, Religous Studies, Yale University, 1979
    • BA, International Christian University, 1975
  • Selected Publications:
  • Books
  • Articles