Biographical Sketch

I grew up in Adams, Massachusetts, and most of my extended family still live in western Massachusetts or southern Vermont.  After graduating from college I spent nearly six years as a monk in the Society of Saint John the Evangelist, a religious order of the Episcopal Church.  Shortly after leaving the monastery I met my future wife, Linda May, who was a former Roman Catholic nun.  We moved to Mount Vernon in 2001, when I began teaching at Cornell.  Linda passed away in the spring of 2015.  I am a member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Iowa City and the Vedanta Society of Iowa, which I serve as treasurer.

Link to Curriculum Vitae


Academic History

  • PhD in Systematic and Comparative Theology, Boston College, 1999

  • MA in Historical Theology, Episcopal Divinity School, 1995

  • BA in Religious Studies, Grinnell College, 1984


  • “A Hindu Monk’s Appreciation of Eastern Orthodoxy’s Jesus Prayer:  The ‘Inner Senses’ of Hearing, Seeing and Feeling in Comparative Perspective.”  In Perceiving the Divine through the Human Body:  Mystical Sensuality.  Edited by June McDaniel and Thomas Cattoi, 17–27.  New York:  Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.

  • “Troeltsch’s Notion of the Cultural Validity of Religions.”  In Ernst Troeltsch et Paul Tillich:  pour une nouvelle synthèse du christianisme avec la culture de notre temps.  Edited by Jean Richard and Alfred Dumais, 359–79.  Québec: Presses de l’Université Laval; Paris: L'Harmattan, 2002.
  • “Troeltsch, Comparative Theology, and the Conversation with Hinduism: Toward a Comparative Systematic Theology.”  Studies in Interreligious Dialogue 11, no. 2 (2001): 133–47.

  • Divergent Traditions, Converging Faiths: Troeltsch, Comparative Theology, and the Conversation with Hinduism.  American University Studies Series VII, vol. 213.  New York: Peter Lang, 2000.

Courses Taught

  • Religions of the World
  • The Hindu Vision
  • The Buddhist Way
  • Jesus in the Gospels
  • The Epistles of Paul
  • Christian Foundations
  • The Protestant Revolution
  • Christianity in America
  • Issues in Christianity Today
  • Religion and Literature
  • Gods and Goddesses of Norse Mythology


  • American Association of University Professors
  • American Academy of Religion
  • Society for Hindu-Christian Studies

Service to the Profession

  • Humanities Evaluator, Humanities Iowa Grant to support the events leading to and the keynote speech of  His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA, May 2010

  • Focus Group Participant, Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions, Iowa City, IA, March 2004


  • “Both Christian and Feminist, with Integrity?” (with Yesenia Hernandez).  Cornell College Third Wave Resource Group Feminist Symposium, Mount Vernon, IA, April 2014.

  • “The Problem of Human Suffering in the Book of Job.”  Chautauqua Program, Cornell College, Mount Vernon, IA, October–November 2010.

  • “Christian Theology of Religious Pluralism.”  Episcopal Diocese of Iowa Summer Ministry School & Retreat, Grinnell, IA, July 2007.

  • “Supreme Divine Female Power in the Sri Lalita Sahasranama.”  American Academy of Religion Upper Midwest Regional Meeting, Saint Paul, MN, April 2006.
  • “Four Great Religions of the World:  Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, and Islam.”  Chautauqua Program, Cornell College, Mount Vernon, IA, March 2006.
  • “Reflections on Religion in the Post-9/11 World.”  Humanities and Arts Interest Group, Cornell College, Mount Vernon, IA, January 2003.

Academic Awards

  • United Methodist Church Exemplary Teacher Award, 2008–2009

  • Campbell R. McConnell Fellow, 2007–2008
  • M.A. Thesis with honors, Episcopal Divinity School, 1995
  • Bachelor’s degree with honors, Grinnell College, 1984
  • Phi Beta Kappa, Grinnell College, 1984

Prior Positions

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Boston College Department of Theology, 1999–2001