Recent Dissertations

Students have successfully defended dissertations that demonstrate specialized knowledge as well as the interdisciplinary potential of the program.  

Recent dissertations:

  • Amanda Henderson, "Progressive Paradox in Political Rhetoric: The Hart-Celler Immigration Act of 1965"
  • Madison Tarleton, "Material Culture in the Mediterranean: An Exploration & Examination of Anti-Judaic and Antisemitic Spanish Medieval Material Art Objects in Culture"
  • Michael Laminack, "Encounter-Oriented Subjectivity in Levinas and Barth: Conditioned Freedom in Resistance to Ethnonationalism"
  • Rudy Reyes, "Divergence: Toward a Neurodivergent Latinx Liberative Social Ethic"
  • Brandon Tsark, "Reevaluating the God-Human Relationship through the Psychological Origin of Sin: A Comparative Theology of Schleiermacher and Kierkegaard on the Doctrine of Sin"
  • Felicia George, "The Struggle is Real: Constructing Liberative Meaning Making that Facilitates Black Students’ Authentic Identity Formation and Navigation Through PWI’s"
  • Padraic Fitzgerald, "'Til Valhall': The Formation of Nordic Neopagan Identity, Religiosity, and Community at a Norwegian Heavy Metal Festival"
  • Shubham Sapkota, "Seeing the Unseen: Bridging Realities of Experience through Dependent Origination"
  • Kathleen Douglass, "Being and Trauma:  A Theory of Listening as a Dis/Appropriation of the Listener to the Call of the Unspeakable in Trauma"
  • Shyamaa Creaven, "A Sense of Trust: Somatic Spiritual Practices as a Path to Wholeness in Spiritually"
  • Ryan Hall, " "Maybe Jesus Was Suicidal Too": A Qualitative Inquiry Into Religion and Spirituality in Suicide Attempts"
  • Kristian Diaz, "Transnational Religious Pluralism and Identity Formation: Oscar Romero and Salvadoran Diaspora After the Civil War"
  • Tom Ryan, "Repeating Repetition: Reconstructing a Lacanian Subjectivity through Kierkegaardian Repetition"
  • Rode Molla, "Reframing Hegemonic and Fragmented Identities through Subjective In-betweenness"
  • Teresa Crist, "Decolonizing Interfaith Interaction: Common Humanity and Colonial Legacies"
  • Sarah Neeley, "Criminalized Houseless Women, Jesus, and the Praxis of Kinship: An Outsider’s Liberative Ethic"
  • Rebecca Chabot, "Mia San Mia: Professional Club Soccer, Religion, and Social Ethics"
  • Joshua Smith, "Luke Was Not a Christian: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Jewish Authorship of Luke and Acts"
  • David Pettit, "Turning the Tempest for God’s Forgotten: Psalm 42 as Synecdochic Lead of the Elohistic Psalter"
  • Marc Coulter, "Spiritual Care of Gay Men in Committed Relationships: An Evidenced-Based Intercultural Approach"
  • Joshua Lawrence, "The Martyr’s Desire: Levinas, Girard, and Infinite Responsibility" 
  • Stewart Gabel, "The Role of Dehumanization in the Nazi Era in Activating the Death Drive Resulting in Genocide"
  • Seth Walker, "Righteous Remixes, Sacred Mashups: Rethinking Authority, Authenticity, and Originality in the Study of Religion"
  • Meghan Aelabouni, "Out of Time: Temporal Performativity and Resistance in Popular American Film, Television, and Theater"
  • April Woodson, "'Dialogical Offense': A Postcolonial Womanist Deconstruction of the Colonial Experience of the African American Female through U.S. Institutional Apparatus known as Criminal Justice Policy"
  • Albert McClure, "Immortal Combat: Iconoclasm and the Hebrew Bible"
  • Shawn Fawson, "Sustaining Lamentation in Traumatic Grief through the Contemporary Elegy: A Practical Theology of the Poetics of Testimony"
  • Heidi Rhodes, "Affect and Critique: Negative Dialectics and Massumi’s Politics of Affect"
  • Tracy Temple, "Exploring the Lived Religious Experiences of Gay and Lesbian Ordained Clergy in the United Methodist Church"
  • Tom Barlow, "The Movement of the Spirit: A Constructive Comparison of Divine Grace in the Theologies of Paul Tillich and John Wesley"
  • Rob Heaton, "From 'Most Useful Book' to Scriptura Non Grata: Canon, Ecclesiastical Constrictiveness, and the Loss of the Shepherd of Hermas in Early Christianity"
  • Jennifer McCurdy, "Behind the Mask of Morality, (e)urochristian Bioethics and the Colonial-Racial Discourse"
  • John Schachterle, "Exercising Obedience, John Cassian and the Creation of Monastic Subjectivity"
  • Nestor Gómez-Morales, "En El Poder del Espiritu, a Qualitative Research Study on Social Ethics and Theology among US Latina Latino Pentecostals"
  • David King, "Reclaiming the Radical Economic Message of Luke"
  • Norton Herbst, "A History of Nondenominational Churches in Denver and Beyond, 1945–2000"
  • Ben Sanders, "'Traditioning' Blackness: A Theo-Ethical Analysis of Black Identity in Black Theological Discourse"



DU/Iliff Joint PhD Program in the Study of Religion

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