Stephen C Finley, Director
Associate Professor - Religious Studies and African & African American Studies
Phone: (225) 578-7023
Fax: (225) 578-4897
Office: 135 Howe Russell
Bachelor's Degree: Pepperdine University
Master's Degree: MA Rice University, MDiv Virginia Union University
PhD: Rice University
Research & Intellectual Interests
African American Religious Traditions
African American Religious Thought
Africana Esoteric Studies (AES)
Theory and Method in the Study of Religion
Race, Religion, and Embodiment
African American Religion and Psychoanalysis
Religion in America
In and Out of this World: Material and Extraterrestrial Bodies in the Nation of Islam. (Forthcoming, 2020, Duke University Press).
[Co-editor with Biko Mandela Gray and Lori Latrice Martin]. The Religion of White Rage: White Workers, Religious Fervor, and the Myth of Racial Progress. (Forthcoming, 2020, Edinburgh University Press).
The Afro-Theosophysics of Robert T. Browne: Race, the Nature of Reality, and Theory of Religion ( Under Review).
[Co-Author with Biko Mandela Gray and Lori Latrice Martin]. Ivory Towers, Regulatory Technologies, and the (Re)Production of Anti-Black Violence in the Academy: Introducing Black Faculty Studies. ( Under Review).
[Co-Editor with Margarita S. Guillory and Hugh R. Page]. Esotericism in African American Religious Experience: “There Is a Mystery”. . . . (20 chapters + Introduction, Conclusion, Foreword, Afterword). Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill (2015).
Associate Editor, (with Anthony B. Pinn, Editor). Encyclopedia of African American Religious Cultures. 2 Volumes. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO (2009)
Journal Articles and Book Chapters
“‘Make America Great Again’: Racial Pathology, White Consolidation, and Melancholia in Trump’s America.” In The Religion of White Rage: White Workers, Religious Fervor, and the Myth of Racial Progress. Edited by Stephen C. Finley, Biko M. Gray, and Lori L. Martin. (Edinburgh University Press, Forthcoming).
(2nd Author with Biko M. Gray and Lori Martin). “‘High Tech Lynching’: White Virtual Mobs and Administrators as Policing Agents in Higher Education.” (Forthcoming, Issues in Race & Society: An Interdisciplinary and Global Journal)
“Signification and Subjectivity: Reflections on Racism, Colonialism, and (Re)Authentication in Religion and Religious Studies.” [Special Edition: Agency Reduction in the Experiences and Realities of Africana People]. (International Journal of Africana Studies, 19.2 (2018): 15-35. [Lead article, special issue: Agency Reduction].
(1st Author with Biko Mandela Gray and Lori L. Martin). “‘Affirming Our Values’: African American Scholars, White Virtual Mobs, and the Complicity of White University Administrators.” [Feature article, special issue: Mobilizations of Free Speech]. (Journal of Academic Freedom, 9 (2018). DOI: https://www.aaup.org/sites/default/files/FinleyGrayMartin.pdf
“The Secret… of Who the Devil Is”: Elijah Muhammad, the Nation of Islam, and Theological Phenomenology.” In New Perspectives on the Nation of Islam. Edited by Dawn-Marie Gibson and Herbert Berg. New York: Routledge, (2017): 154-173.
“The Supernatural in the African American Experience.” In Super Religion, edited by Jeffrey J. Kripal, 231-246. Vol. 9 of Religion: Sources, Perspectives, and Methodologies. Ed. Jeffrey J. Kripal. Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks, Farmington Hills, MI: Macmillan Reference USA, 2017.
(1st Author with Biko M. Gray). “God Is a White Racist: Immanent Atheism as a Religious Response to Black Lives Matter and State-sanctioned Anti-black Violence.” [Special Issue, Lead Article]. Journal of Africana Religions. 3.4 (October 2015): 443-53. (Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable /10.5325/jafrireli.3.4.0443).
“The Meaning of ‘Mother’ in Louis Farrakhan’s ‘Mother Wheel’: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Cosmology of the Nation of Islam’s UFO.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 80.2 (June 2012): 434-65, (first published online, May 15, 2012: DOI: 10.1093/jaarel/LFS027).
Presentations, Papers, and Panels
“The Deification of Royall Jenkins.” Super Stories Symposia Series: Democratizing the Supernormal. The Esalen Institute Center for Theory and Research, Big Sur, California. Conveners: Lorilei Biernacki and Gregory Shaw. May 31-June 5, 2020.
“The Afro-Theosophysics of Robert T. Browne: Race, the Nature of Reality, and Theory of Religion.” Super Stories Symposia Series: Perennialism: The Religion of No Religion. Conveners: Dana Sawyer and Jeffrey Kripal The Esalen Institute Center for Theory and Research, Big Sur, California., December 8-13, 2019.
“Blackness as African American Religious Experience.” [Invited Paper & Panelist]. African American Religious Experience Symposium. African American Studies Program, Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS. September 18, 2019.
“The Afro-Theosophysics of Robert T. Browne: Race and the Paranormal in Theory of Religion.” (Keynote Lecture). Religion & the Strange: Boundary Making and Crossing. Boston University Graduate Program in Religion Student Association, Boston University, Boston, MA. September 15, 2019.
“The Afro-Theosophysics of Robert T. Browne: Implications of Race, Theory, and Method for the Study of Religion.” (Invited Paper). Theosophy and the Study of Religion. Center for the Study of World Religions, Harvard Divinity School. Co-sponsored by the Esalen Institute for Theory and Research and the Theosophical Society of America. Cambridge, MA, May 15, 2019.
“Corporeal Specter: A Conversation with James H. Cone on Malcolm X, Gender, Sexuality, and Embodiment.” The James Cone Lecture Series: Social Justice as a Path to Liberation in the 21st Century Church. Payne Seminary, Doctor of Ministry Intensive. Irvine, California. February 1, 2019.
“African American UFO Traditions and the Nation of Islam.” Super Stories Symposia Series 3: Cosmology, Eschatology, and UFOs. (Invited Public Lecture). The Esalen Institute Center for Theory and Research, Big Sur, California. Dianna Pasulka and Jeffrey J. Kripal, Conveners. January 23, 2019.
“Cosmology and Eschatology in the Nation of Islam’s UFO.” Super Stories Symposia Series 3: Cosmology, Eschatology, and UFOs. The Esalen Institute Center for Theory and Research, Big Sur, California. Dianna Pasulka and Jeffrey J. Kripal, Conveners. January 22, 2019.
“Wheels, Wombs, & Women: Louis Farrakhan, UFOs, and the Religious Meaning of Black Women’s Embodiment in the Nation of Islam.” (Invited Lecture). Amherst College, Amherst, MA, December 3, 2018