bnw headshot

I am currently a PHD candidate in the Department of Religious Studies at McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada) where I am writing a dissertation on ontologies of violence in the works of Continental philosophers, Mennonite pacifists, and Feminist theorists.

My research and teaching are broadly situated in the discipline of Religious Studies, within which I take an interdisciplinary and pluralistic approach to Political Theology and the Philosophy of Religion. My work focuses on the problem of violence, religious and political uses of time and history, and the normative foundations of social critique.

I have taught courses in the Department of Religious Studies at McMaster University on the discipline of religious studies (Spring 2019, syllabus), and on the complex intersections between religion and violence (Fall 2018, syllabus). My main pedagogical approach in the classroom is to foster both suspicion and sympathy. In an effort to prepare my students for further work and study I show my students the benefits of both a negative and critical disposition toward scholarly texts and cultural phenomena, and a positive and charitable approach that begins by assuming the best of the source under consideration. 

Although I work in several overlapping areas of study the scholarly work that I do is divided into three projects: my dissertation on ontologies of violencea book project on postsecular history, and a broader project that reconceptualizes Mennonite Studies.

My work is also detailed on academia.edu, my department profile, and my CV (PDF). Although I don’t often post writing on this site, I do provide regular updates on my research for those who are interested. I am also available by email at max [.] kennel [at] gmail.com.