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Department Spotlight

Meet the newest faculty member to the Religious Studies Department, Dr. Lenny Lowe!

lowe

Dr. Lowe received his B.A. in Biblical Studies from Kentucky Christian University, his M.T.S. in Ancient Mediterranean World from Duke University, and his Ph.D. in Religious Studies, Religion in the Americas from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Lowe is a native of Kentucky, and spent seven years living in Haiti. He teaches courses in global Christianity, Black Atlantic religion, and theory and method in the study of religion.

In His Own Words

Teaching religion, for me, is about unlearning, setting aside expectations, and learning how to encounter and appreciate basic human differences. Because my courses are focused on a subject that we call “religion,” I am also exploring some of the most important and foundational values and practices that characterize human social groups. Therefore, learning about religion is, in part, learning what it means to be human and participate in human social life. Teaching, for me, is also about building relationships and encouraging an approach to the world that is empathetic, affirmative, curious, and constructive. My courses are designed with all of these things in mind.

I specialize Black Atlantic traditions, like Haitian Vodou, in which West and Central African traditions have encountered and recombined with Euro-American Christian traditions. For me, these traditions are rich and exciting forms of cultural creativity. They frequently frustrate efforts by scholars to pin down specific religious traditions, and they demonstrate the fluidities, historical and cultural contingencies, and the ultimately bricolage character of what we call “religion.”

 My dissertation, “After God is Music: Affliction, Healing, and Warfare in Haitian Pentecostalism,” explores a new turn in Haitian religion which combines the combative and “hot” musical-religious traditions of Vodou with Pentecostal-Charismatic spiritual warfare theology to express and address conditions of inequality and abject poverty in the Haitian countryside. Future projects will continue to explore the contours of contemporary Haitian Christianities as they interact with transnational missionary and humanitarian forces.

We are proud and pleased to welcome him into the CofC family!