Grants & Scholarships

Supporting Academic Research, Public Scholarship, and Practical Training

In the emerging field of faith and philanthropy

Lake Institute helps to promote the emerging field of faith and philanthropy through multiple fellowship opportunities. We support graduate students through Graduate Assistantships at the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy as well as an annual dissertation scholarship. We promote the work of young and established scholars through research collaborations and workshops on issues in the field. We continue to strive to make our Professional Development affordable to as many leaders as possible through raising scholarship support.

Past recipients

Marie Stettler Kleine, Virginia Tech

Proselytizing Problem-Solving: The Religious and Secular Values of Engineering for Good

This dissertation explores how engineers’ values shape their desires to “do good.” Through a comparative, multi-sited ethnographic study of undergraduate engineering for good programs, I describe how value claims are institutionalized, disseminated, and a part of engineers’ professionalization. I argue that these engineering programs with Baptist, Catholic, and secular missions translate engineers’ desire to “do good” into actionable projects, designed to “solve problems” through service, development, and social justice. These universities’ religious affiliation (or lack thereof) shape what problems their engineers can solve and what it means to be successful. The project asks how the technology that these engineers produce has become a ubiquitous feature of humanitarianism, unquestioned as a public good and apolitical intervention. Seen in action, this form of philanthropy—producing and appropriating technology—paints a more complex picture. How is engineering a part of training the next generation of humanitarians? What can pedagogues do to prepare students to think through value claims regarding their future careers? At its core, this project explores how three engineering programs have answered these questions and interrogates the role of technology in “doing good.”

Marie Stettler Kleine conducts research on the cultural dimensions of engineering practice and pedagogy. As a science and technology studies scholar, she is especially interested in the roles of religious and secular values in engineers’ pursuit to “do good” through “humanitarian engineering”—exploring its origins, purposes, and potential futures. Marie holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering and international studies from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Science and Technology Studies from Virginia Tech.

Timothy M. Rainey II, Emory University

Beyond the Shadow of Destiny: Religion, Freedom, and the Rise of Economic Pan-Africanism in the Age of Paul Cuffe, 1807–1817

Beyond the Shadow of Destiny focuses on histories of black Americans who migrated to Freetown, Sierra Leone to cultivate a market in African goods and counter the trade in African bodies. Believing economic agency was God’s providential path toward achieving black freedom, figures like Paul Cuffe show how notions of black religion must be broadened to include intellectual expressions of sacred experience such as economic hope. Cuffe, a wealthy black merchant, Quaker, and philanthropist challenged paternalistic orientations to abolitionism and called for an expanded expression of benevolence based on shared economic power. I contend that black economic agency emerged alongside white Christian abolitionism and philanthropy as early as the beginning of the nineteenth century and redefined how democracy and freedom could be imagined after slavery. While interrogating how abolitionists behind British companies in Freetown employed religious reasoning to explain their pursuit of profit, I narrate the unfolding of black economic cooperation and hope as a revisionist project to desegregate the transatlantic marketplace and alter the blueprint for freedom in Sierra Leone. My dissertation shows that abolitionism and philanthropic giving as a means toward social improvement must include a democratically imagined idea of benevolence. Benevolence on these terms broadens the scope of the humanitarian gift to include aid in support of entrepreneurial growth within communities, cooperative practices between benefactors and beneficiaries, and shared economic power.

Tim Rainey holds a Ph.D from the Department of Religion at Emory University in Atlanta, GA and holds a B.A. degree in Religious Studies from Morehouse College and an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary. His research focuses on religion, race, and economy in the nineteenth century Black Atlantic world. 

Katie Merriman, University of Northa Carolina at Chapel Hill

"Forty Houses of Giving: Muslim Charitable Practices in the United States" 

Forty Houses of Giving charts the growing field of Muslim charitable organizations in the United States. It argues that over the last three decades, the 501(c)(3) faith-based relief and development organization became a dominant form of collective charity among American Muslims. As a religious “third space” institution, charities hold significant regulatory power over the moral obligations, rituals, and technical requirements of Islamic charity. Authority emerges not through the publication of traditional religious tracts but constant multimedia publications and live, embodied engagement with Muslims communities at fundraisers or voluntary service events. Looking at the contemporary field, I demonstrate how humanitarian logic and neoliberal development practices are central to the conceptualization of –and debates over – Islamic charity in the United States. The dissertation is empirically focused on four large US-based international charities as well as several local, grassroots organizations in Chicago, Detroit, and Washington, D.C. It aims to forward theoretical work in the study of religious institutions and ethical authority; morality and affect; and race and class in Islam. Additionally, it seeks to increase public awareness of the historical and contemporary contributions of American Muslims to the eradication of structural inequality in the United States as well as suffering abroad due to global warfare. 

Katie Merriman is a PhD Candidate in Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with foci in contemporary Islam, race and religion, and the anthropology of religion. She has published and presented in academic publications and forums across the United States and internationally while also working to make scholarship accessible and useful to public life. Her dissertation centers on charitable giving in American Muslim communities, at the intersection of race, class, and moral subjectivities. Merriman has been involved in rights-based work in Arab and Muslim communities in the United States and Jordan and also lectures publicly on religious literacy and anti-racism practices. In addition, she is the founder and guide for Muslim History Tour New York City, which explores 400 years of Islamic history captured in often overlooked sites, architecture, and events of the past.

Andrew Jungclaus, Columbia University

"True Philanthropy": A Study of the Birth of the Modern Non-Profit Foundation

Andrew Jungclaus is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Religion at Columbia University. Andrew’s dissertation project, “True Philanthropy”: A Religious History of the Modern Non-Profit Foundation, provides an examination of the role of religious belief in shaping early twentieth-century American market structures and conceptions of the public good. Andrew received his bachelor’s degree in American Studies and English Literature from the College of William and Mary and his master’s degree in Theology from the University of Oxford. 

Before coming to Columbia, Andrew worked for a year as a research associate at Harvard University’s Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research exploring the concept of theodicy within American civil rights struggles. Previously, Andrew’s work has been supported by the Hagley Museum and Library, the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life, and the Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University.

Kimberly Pendleton, George Washington University, American Studies

Captivated: Evangelical Enchantment, Sex Trafficking, and the Politics of Purity


Dissertation Title: Captivated: Evangelical Enchantment, Sex Trafficking, and the Politics of Purity

My dissertation, “Captivated: Evangelical Enchantment, Sex Trafficking, and the Politics of Purity,” asks not only how evangelical Christians in the United States frame the specter of sex trafficking as a human rights and missionary issue, but how an interest in sex trafficking came to fit logically within religious notions of sexuality, theology, and the transnational in the post cold war period. To do this, it traces the emergence of sex trafficking narratives in evangelical missions and devotional language in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries cultural products, based on close readings of sermons, books, media products, fundraising campaigns, and mission trips or domestic events designed to encourage evangelical believers to join the fight against sex trafficking. Domestic prostitution, pornography perusal and production, and individual struggles with purity are also articulated in this evangelical parlance through language of deviance and bondage that sweeps multiple kinds of sexual behavior and actors—within the sex industry and the church—into the narration of struggle between captivity and freedom that animates narrations of sex trafficking in evangelical discourse, whether produced by large NGOs like IJM or by individual evangelical churches.

This dissertation focuses predominantly on evangelical NGOs and parachurch organizations that have incorporated response to sex trafficking into their missions, such as IJM and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s global projects, as well as individual churches and smaller ministries that include view their work as a response to sex trafficking, including Seattle’s former megachurch, Mars Hill, and their (now independent) ministry Real Escape from Sex Trafficking, or REST, and Hookers for Jesus, a Las Vegas-based ministry that counsels women in sex work. The breadth of this range of actors offers the crucial opportunity to examine narrative structures across an array of intended audiences with varying levels of engagement and donor capabilities.

This dissertation mounts a close reading of the narratives of sex trafficking themselves, circulating through the prolific materials that these organizations and churches have produced, and tracks its emergence (and then ascendance) of among the increasingly global focus of evangelical politics in the post cold war period. Thus, a rigorous study of evangelical global politics in the long 1990s, tracking the end of the 1980s and reaching into the early 2000s, is a crucial element of this dissertation as well. Sex trafficking comes to be legible as an issue of missional and devotional importance in a moment when evangelical discourse in the U.S. has already made inroads in considering global crises like poverty and famine to be issues of justice with which they are imbricated, and in the era of transforming HIV/AIDS from a marginalized domestic issue from which most Americans, including evangelicals, could hide into a galvanizing global crisis with which evangelicals must be involved. This examination of cultural impressions and humanitarian engagements, both financial and emotional, and its relationship to narratives of sex trafficking within evangelical discourses of care that makes this dissertation an important contribution to scholarship on religion, transnational cultural studies, scholarship on sexuality and the global sex industry, and the relationship in U.S. evangelicalism between compassion and action, devotion and donations.

Shai Dromi, Yale University, Sociology

From Charitable Concern to Concerted Effort: How Humanitarian Aid Became an International System

Dissertation Title: From Charitable Concern to Concerted Effort: How Humanitarian Aid Became an International System

There has been a growing interest in the origins and nature of the long-distance humanitarian NGO sector in recent years. My project traces the emergence of the humanitarian sector by examining the late-nineteenth-century establishment of the Red Cross, as well as its expansion and lasting effects on the humanitarian community. Some scholars have seen humanitarian activism as a relatively new phenomenon, which can be ascribed to a post-World War II commitment to global justice and welfare. Conversely, other scholars have highlighted the long-standing historical origins of humanitarian activity and sentiments, and have traced them back to the eighteenth-century and beyond. In this, it remains unclear why the most dominant markers of the contemporary humanitarian community, namely the Red Cross, the Geneva Convention, and the notion of humanitarianism as a professional identity, emerged in the nineteenth-century. I draw on archival research in the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Library of Geneva, and news archives, as well as books and pamphlets published by Red Cross societies and other humanitarian organizations. Operating in a Bourdieusian framework, I conceptualize the humanitarian world of the late-nineteenth-century as a nascent social field. I equally draw on cultural sociology in order to analyze the role of beliefs and meanings in the establishment of this field. The case of the Red Cross provides a rare opportunity to expose and strengthen the assumptions of Bourdieusian field analysis, which typically obscures field origins by bracketing them from any rigorous analysis. Building on field theory, I reveal the nuanced origins of the Red Cross, and I also provide a framework for interpreting its momentous expansion and rise to preeminence within the humanitarian community.

The first chapter examines the processes that led to the establishment of the Red Cross movement in the 1860s. It focuses on the religious context that gave rise to the calls to establish a network of impartial aid societies. The chapter shows that the founding members of the movement drew on Calvinist convictions specific to the Réveil movement of the mid-nineteenth-century in order to conceptualize humanitarianism as an impartial and neutral endeavor. The second chapter shifts focus to the late-nineteenth-century and traces the mass expansion of the Red Cross Movement and its contribution to the specific logics, rules, and ethos of the humanitarian field. It demonstrates that the movement enjoyed transnational success because it was adaptable to local and national belief systems. At the same time, it shows that the movement permeated internationally an ethical framework defining the nature of humanitarianism and prescribing types of roles and positions that make it possible. The third chapter evaluates the effects of this expansion on the adjacent fields of international law, journalism, and nursing. Here, I demonstrate that each field developed symbiotic relations with the nascent humanitarian field, which in turn reinforced and institutionalized humanitarian organizations. The fourth chapter assesses the continuity of this nineteenth-century framework by analyzing the emergence of Doctors without Borders in the 1970s, a development which is often considered to have caused a schism in the humanitarian community. Although the latter movement has been one of the sharpest critics of the Red Cross, this chapter shows that this criticism was waged within the preexisting logics of their field. I show that while Doctors without Borders introduced new ways of acting in the humanitarian field, they remained oriented toward a conception of humanitarianism that was established more than a century earlier. 

Across these chapters, I argue that the contemporary humanitarian field emerged from and bears the imprint of the nineteenth-century Réveil movement. By examining how the humanitarian sector evolved, my dissertation sheds light on the genesis of new social fields, and specifically highlights the role of culture therein. In this, it demonstrates how religious belief contributed to contemporary civil society institutions by identifying how Calvinist convictions gave rise to the infrastructure of the world of humanitarian NGOs.

Chris Taylor, Boston University, Anthropology

Islamic Charity in India: Revival and Re-Invention of Ritual Almsgiving

Dissertation Title: Islamic Charity in India: Ethical Entrepreneurism & the Ritual, Revival, and Reform of Zakat Among a Muslim Minority

New Islamic charities and madrasas in Lucknow, India are promoting Islam as a means of development, through revival and reinterpretation of Islamic almsgiving (zakat) and ethical teachings on money and community. Since the partition of India in 1947, Muslims have struggled as a beleaguered minority, the largest in India’s diverse democracy. The relative socioeconomic status of Muslims in India is in decline, nearly on par with dalits (historically oppressed castes). Critics claim that “Muslim backwardness” originates in outmoded commitments to madrasas and illiberal Islamic law (sharī’a). The public views Muslim underdevelopment with alarm, as holding India back from being a leader in the global economy.

This dissertation examines the rise and transformation of zakat in contemporary India. As historical institutions of Muslim welfare and endowments (waqf) decline, a new zakat economy is supplanting them. Yet zakat is a distinctly different social form of welfare. The contemporary practice of zakat reveals contradictions that invite reconsideration of our ideas about philanthropy, civic engagement, and Islam. Voluntary donations of zakat are a ritual obligation for all Muslims, and people in Lucknow often speak of the spiritual merit that accrues to almsgivers. I explore the paradox of zakat as “obligated voluntarism” that is at once selfless and self-interested and analyze the cultural implications of such ethics. While the Qur'an encourages giving in modest secrecy, new forms of zakat are not secret but publicly institutionalized and visible. These shifts even alter the practice of piety by incorporating a more individually accountable, calculative dimension to Muslims’ faith.

Morality is often imagined to be at odds with capitalism and its focus on profit accumulation. The compatibility of capitalism and Islam, in particular, has been in question since Max Weber’s famous inquiry into religions, economy, and ethics. Yet new Islamic charities re-orient Lucknow’s Muslims towards perceived requirements of capitalist markets. This “ethical entrepreneurism” is rooted in Islamic rituals and morality rather than dispelling both in pursuit of modernity; zakat entrepreneurs promote development as simultaneously economic and moral. Through ethnography, surveys, and close readings of Islamic texts, this study makes key contributions to economic anthropology and study of ethics.

Moshe Kornfeld
University of Michigan, Anthropology

The Chosen Universalists: Jewish Philanthropy and Youth Activism in Post-Katrina New Orleans

The Chosen Universalists contributes to our understanding of the sociocultural consequences of growing income inequality. Drawing on ethnographic and archival research on American Jewish philanthropy, service, and activism in post-Katrina New Orleans, my dissertation presents Jewish philanthropy as a crucial discursive field within which American Jewish identity and community are constructed and contested.

I develop a series of interlocking arguments about contemporary Jewish social justice activism and its relationship to Jewish philanthropy. Anthropological theories of the gift illuminate the ways in which an awareness of Jewish identity as social privilege can sometimes motivate progressive activism. This emergent sense of Jewish privilege must be understood in relation to initiatives funded by extremely wealthy philanthropists to promote Jewish continuity in the face of concerns about the biosocial reproduction of Jews and Jewish institutions.

The Chosen Universalists analyzes how this continuity agenda intersects with intra-Jewish debates related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I argue that while Jewish social justice agencies are de-centered or post-diasporic, the American Jewish Zionist mainstream and Jewish anti-Zionists can be understood as inverted and opposite formulations of a diasporic Jewish identity centered on the State of Israel. Through these investigations, The Chosen Universalists traces the processes whereby religious groups and ideologies are continually reformulated and illustrates the impact of a donor class eager to use wealth to achieve large-scale social projects.

My work thus highlights the ways in which class dynamics and growing socioeconomic inequality are shaping and reshaping contemporary American religion. Research completed in support of this dissertation included archival research on the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans as well as interviews with current lay leaders and professionals working for the organization. I also interviewed a number of philanthropists active in New Orleans as well as professional staff working for family foundations. My research of Jewish youth culture included the ethnographic study of a yearlong service corps, an informal Jewish youth activist community, and six service tours to New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Allison Schnable
Princeton University, Sociology

Voluntrepreneurs: The Growth of American Grassroots Development Organizations

The number of American-based international NGOs has increased tenfold since 1990.  The growth is driven by GINGOs: grassroots international non-governmental organizations, or NGOs founded by amateurs with a personal tie to a developing country, and supported with volunteer labor and individual donations.  The Americans who launch these organizations typically are middle-class college graduates, but have no training or professional experience in international development.  Instead of being shaped by the norms of the professional aid field, these organizations are defined by the personal relationships, skills, and religious practices of the people who found them. They represent a counter-movement to the trend of professionalization seen in aid organizations and the nonprofit sector broadly.  


This dissertation combines analysis of IRS records with fieldwork and interviews in Africa and the United States.  I also create an original database of all known websites for international relief, development, and human rights organizations registered with the IRS in 2011, which is analyzed with topic modeling and content analysis of a random sample of 150 organizations.  My findings show that globalization offers a tenuous opening for nonprofit organizations to bypass the isomorphic pressures of professionalization.  And while supporting world society theory’s claims about the ways individual agency and rationalism shape international organization, I show that the expressive possibilities of nonprofit organizations are critical in understanding GINGOs’ emergence.

Religion figures prominently in the ideas expressed by GINGOs and in the resources and networks that support these fledgling organizations. GINGOs have grown in numbers during the same period when large development agencies and scholars of development have developed an interest in religion and development.  But these policy and scholarly conversations have often relied on impoverished understandings of religion that dichotomize “faith-based” and “secular” aid groups. This dissertation’s contribution to discussions of religion and development is to use this new, understudied population of NGOs to illustrate that religion can offer several kinds of symbolic and material resources to aid efforts. I argue that religion affords three things to grassroots NGOs.  First, it provides frames, or ways of thinking and speaking about relief and development work that imbue it with legitimacy.  Next, religion affords familiar modes of action that link the NGO, supporters, and local aid recipients. Finally, religion can offer networks that provide money and volunteers and that provide entrée into aid-receiving communities.

David King
Emory University, Religion

Seeking a Global Vision: The Evolution of World Vision, Evangelical Missions, and American Evangelicalism

The past and present suggest two distinct pictures of World Vision. The organization began in 1950 as an American evangelical missionary support organization. Today, it is the world's largest privately funded Christian relief and development organization. While it has remained decidedly Christian, World Vision has earned the reputation as an elite international non-governmental organization (INGO) managed efficiently by professional experts fluent in the language of both marketing and development. World Vision's transformation is not simply another example of secularization, the story of a small, narrow organization encountering modernity, subduing its religious identity, and succumbing to secular methods in order to succeed. Instead, it is precisely the tensions and re-articulation of its religious identity that has helped to define the organization through its engagement with mainstream media, technology, and professional management, as well as in partnership with secular INGOs and in cooperation with the global church.

Through historical and ethnographic methodologies, I trace World Vision's history as a lens through which to explore both shifts within post-World War II American evangelicalism as well as the nature of religious identity within philanthropic organizations. Attending to the evolution and interplay of World Vision's practices, theology, rhetoric, and organizational structure help explain how it came to rearticulate and retain its Christian identity even as it expanded beyond a strict American evangelical subculture, how the ethos of evangelical missions more generally has shifted from evangelism to humanitarianism, as well as how exposure to global influences catalyzed the reflection and transformation of many American evangelicals' identities at home. The tensions and evolutions within faith based organizations' specific religious identities demonstrate a pivotal place for examining the evolving history and development of religious philanthropy.

Jared Peifer
Cornell University, Sociology

Socially Responsible Investing: Morality, Religion and the Market From A Sociological Perspective

This study explores the intersection of religion and the economy by focusing on the case of socially responsible investing (SRI) mutual funds that are also religiously affiliated. Mutual fund managers and investors understandably want competitive return performance from their investments. Yet religious fund actors are also oriented toward avoiding ownership in "sin stocks" and/or trying to change the behavior of corporations that are held in investment portfolios. Meeting both monetary and moral objectives can be a challenge. In this study, I address two broad research questions.

1) How do social actors balance their moral commitments against their monetary interest?

Through 29 semi-formal phone interviews with fund producers (or the employees) of Catholic, Muslim and Protestant religious mutual funds, I analyze their embedding and differentiating cultural work as they make sense of their involvement in the economic and religious spheres (Chapter 1). In a separate analysis, I conduct and analyze 41 phone interviews with investors of one religious fund family, Mennonite Mutual Aid (MMA) Praxis mutual funds. In particular, I compare the moral meaning respondents articulate for their charitable giving and their SR investing (Chapter 4).

2) Does the moral orientation of investors impact their financial market behavior?

Using data from the Center for Research in Security Prices (CRSP) from 1991 to 2007, I partition mutual funds into religious SRI, religious non-SRI and secular SRI and look for differences in levels of fund asset stability. This stability refers to fund flow volatility and the extent to which investors hold on to their fund shares with little regard to past return performance. Religious SRI assets are found to be the most stable fund category and I adjudicate whether the structural characteristics of religious groups or the moral orientation of religious investors best explains this empirical finding (Chapter 2). In a separate analysis, I analyze original phone survey data of MMA Praxis investors. This article's theoretical orientation focuses on moral and monetary "interest," defined as an individual level driving force. I find empirical evidence that moral interest induces fund commitment to SRI mutual funds, demonstrating that morality impacts behavior even in the financial market, a realm where monetary interest supposedly reigns. At the same time, I also find some evidence that monetary interest decreases fund commitment (Chapter 3).

Sarah Hammond
Yale University, American Religious History

"God's Business Men": Entrepreneurial Evangelicals in Depression and War

November 30, 2011: It is with much sadness and shock that we inform you of the passing of our 2009 Lake Dissertation Fellow, Sarah Hammond. Those of us who had the chance to meet Sarah and listen to her discuss the dissertation which we helped fund will recall her enthusiasm, depth of knowledge, and vast curiosity in the research fields the Lake Institute hopes to expand. We regret that this young scholar will not be with us to carry on the work, but we are grateful for our brief contact with her and for what she has already contributed to the understanding of faith and giving.

For decades, historians of the 20th-century United States have treated evangelicals as politically apathetic and culturally marginal between the 1925 Scopes Trial and the Reagan revolution. To the contrary, evangelical businessmen during the Depression and World War II opposed the New Deal on theological and economic grounds, and claimed a place alongside other conservatives in the public sphere. Like previous generations of devout laymen, they self-consciously merged their religious and business lives, financing and organizing evangelical causes with the same visionary pragmatism they practiced in the boardroom.

For example, industrialist R.G. LeTourneau and executive Herbert J. Taylor countered government centralization in the 1930s and 1940s with philanthropies that invested in a Protestant, capitalist, and democratic world. Meanwhile, the Christian Business Men's Committee International, the Business Men's Evangelistic Clubs, and the Gideons infused spiritual fellowship with the elitism of advertising culture. They were confident that they could steer the masses to Christ and free enterprise from the top down. Indeed, for a few exhilarating years, World War II seemed to give America and its missionaries dominion over the globe. Piety, patriotism, and power drew LeTourneau, Taylor, and the new National Association of Evangelicals to the center of it all, Washington, D.C. The marriage of religious and economic conservatism since the 1970s, which surprised many historians, reflects historical continuity rather than evangelical retreat.

Bradley Koch
Indiana University, Sociology

The Prosperity Gospel and Economic Prosperity: Race, Class, Giving, and Voting

The Prosperity Gospel is the doctrine that God wants people to be prosperous, especially financially. Adherents to the Prosperity Gospel believe that wealth is a sign of God's blessing and the poor are poor because of a lack of faith.

In this dissertation, I conduct a study of the Prosperity Gospel through logit analysis of data collected through telephone survey (N=1003) by SRBI for Time magazine. I report findings in four main areas: (1) there are multiple Gospels of Prosperity, and the Prosperity Gospel is transdenominational; (2) while income has no effect on adherence to the Prosperity Gospel, blacks, the "born-again" or "evangelical," and those who are less educated are more likely to seek out Prosperity messages; (3) Prosperity adherence does not affect how much people give financially to either their churches and other religious causes or to nonreligious causes; (4) Prosperity adherents vote in about the same proportions as the rest of the population, and those with a Prosperity orientation tend to have voted for Bush in the year 2004 and identify as Republican.

This project is an example of how future research in the sociology of religion should acknowledge and take seriously the two dominant theoretical perspectives (i.e. neo-Marxianism and Weberianism) on which the subfield stands. Overall, the Prosperity Gospel is a fairly flexible theology that is well-suited to be adapted to varying social locations, particularly in a society like the United States that is radically individualistic.

Lake Institute Network of Emerging Scholars (LINES)

LINES 2015 cohort

Since its inception, Lake Institute has funded a doctoral dissertation fellowship and an Endowed Lake Scholar to help identify and support the work of emerging and established scholars in this evolving field. As a continuation of our work, the inaugural LINES conference was held April 12-13, 2015.

The LINES gathering served as an important medium to continue to create, foster, and sustain an interdisciplinary field of scholarly research focusing on the broad relationship between religion and philanthropy. In addition to the time set aside to engage each participant's project proposal or research summary, there were several vibrant conversations about the state of research in this field, intentional opportunities for peer conversations, and the importance of collaboration.

A $36,000 competitive research award pool for 2015 LINES participants was introduced during the convening. Each scholar had the opportunity to apply for a grant of $3,000 to support their research.

Scott Alexander
Associate Professor of Islamic Studies
Director of Catholic-Muslim Studies Program
Catholic Theological Union

David Daniels
Henry Winters Luce Professor of World Christianity
McCormick Theological Seminary

Jim Hudnut-Beumler
Anne Potter Wilson Distinguished Professor of American Religious History
Vanderbilt Divinity School

Fred Kniss
Eastern Mennonite University

Elizabeth Lynn
Director of the Institute for Leadership and Service
Director of the Center for Civic Reflection
Valparaiso University

Brian Steensland
Professor of Sociology
Director of Social Science Research at the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture
Indiana University

Carolyn Warner
Professor of Political Science
Arizona State University

Heath Carter
Assistant Professor of History
Valparaiso University

Katie Corcoran
Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute for Studies of Religion
Baylor University

Heather Curtis
Associate Professor, Department of Religion
Tufts University

Hilary Davidson
Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology
University of Notre Dame

David Eagle
Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology
Duke University

Patricia Herzog
Assistant Professor, Sociology/Criminal Justice
Faculty Fellow, Community & Family Institute
University of Arkansas

Moshe Kornfeld
Visiting Lecturer, Program in Jewish Studies (cross-listed in Anthropology & Religion)
University of Colorado Boulder

Jared Peifer
Assistant Professor, Department of Management
Baruch College, CUNY

Amy Reynolds
Assistant Professor of Sociology
Wheaton College

Thomas Rzeznik
Associate Professor Department of History
Seton Hall University

Anelise Shrout
Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Studies
Davidson College

Brandon Vaidyanathan
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Sociology
Rice University

Our next LINES gathering has not yet been scheduled. If you are interested in participating in a future gathering please provide the requested information and we will share updates with you as we move forward.

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