Area of Interest
Religion, China, Japan, Historical Sociology, Social Movements
I did my undergraduate work at Yale University studying History and East Asian Studies (China) and wrote my senior thesis, under Jonathan Spence and Annping Chin, about the emergence and spread of indigenous Christianity in China during the Republican Era (1911-1949, roughly), specifically focusing on the "Little Flock" movement under Watchman Nee. After graduation, I spent two years studying and living in mainland China, and a subsequent year in Taiwan at Tunghai University, Taichung. I also spent a year in Yokohama, Japan.
Three years living in Chinese cultures and societies brought to life many of the historical concerns I had - how faith communities form and adapt, how they respond to the social context in which they are embedded, how their historical past influences their structural present - all drove me toward more sociological understandings of how religion, culture, and social structural transformations all collide and how people and communities make sense of and respond to those changes.
My dissertation work returns to more historical questions and has broadened to include Japan. I am currently researching how modernization in China and Japan and the attempt to define religion's role in that process highlights the mechanisms involved in developing unique "religious modernities".