June 2021 Update

I am pleased to say that my dissertation and PHD are now complete, and for those who are interested, the dissertation can be accessed here – although I am already becoming more aware of its limits as I revise it.

I am currently finishing the final grades for the introductory course “What on Earth is Religion?” that I’ve taught for two Spring terms at McMaster, and I am looking ahead to the Fall and thinking about how to deliver a University of Waterloo Arts First course called “Religion and Conspiracy Theories.”

This Fall will bring a new stage in my research where I hope to bring the work I have done on violence (in my dissertation) and history (in my book) to a more present and pressing social problem. I am very excited to be presenting on my postdoctoral project, “Critique of Conspiracism,” at the AAR in San Antonio this November, and I hope to gather some helpful resources in the meantime as I read through the Brill Handbook of Conspiracy Theory and Contemporary Religion and the work of Michael Butter. In the conspiracism project I hope to turn my theoretical work on concepts like “violence” and the “postsecular” toward a critical analysis of social narratives that make meaning through political, theological, secular, and religious ways.

In the meantime, I’m excited that several other pieces of my writing will appear in Hamilton Arts and Letters, Implicit Religion, and a volume on the Anabaptist tradition and the arts.

By Max

Maxwell Kennel is a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto.

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