Kirkpatrick_200x200.jpg

 

Associate Professor of Religion
kirkpadx@jmu.edu
Contact Info

Office: Cleveland Hall 220

Phone: 540.568.6394

Fax: 540.568.8072

 

Education:

Ph.D., University of Edinburgh 

Research:

Dr. Kirkpatrick is a scholar of religion, politics, and social movements working at the intersection of Latin America and the United States. Prior to JMU, he was the T. Gannon Postdoctoral Associate in American Religious History at Florida State University and Teaching Fellow in the Centre for the Study of World Christianity at the University of Edinburgh. His first book, A Gospel for the Poor: Global Social Christianity and the Latin American Evangelical Left (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019), draws upon bilingual interviews, archives, and personal papers from three continents. A Gospel for the Poor adopts a transnational perspective to tell the story of a Cold War generation of progressive Latin Americans that developed, named, and exported their version of social Christianity to an evolving coalition of global thinkers. He also co-edited (with historian Jason Bruner) a collection of essays titled Global Visions of Violence: Agency and Persecution in World Christianity (forthcoming with Rutgers University Press). The groundbreaking volume brings together diverse scholars from multiple fields to reassess the relationship between global Christianity, violence, and intolerance around the world.

Dr. Kirkpatrick is currently working on a new book entitled Blood and Borders: Violence and Intolerance at the Intersection of Latin America and the United States (under contract with Oxford University Press). His most recent research also appears in the Journal of the American Academy of ReligionOxford Encyclopedia of American ReligionJournal of World Christianity, and Journal of Ecclesiastical History, as well as public-facing outlets such as the Washington Post and LA Review of Books. His research has also been quoted in mainstream media outlets such as as NBCNews.com and The Australian. Professor Kirkpatrick currently serves on the steering committee of the American Academy of Religion (World Christianity Unit) and the Executive Council of the American Society of Church History (American Historical Association). 

Teaching:

At James Madison University, Dr. Kirkpatrick teaches a variety of courses on religious studies, civil rights movements, and religion and politics in the Americas. In the classroom, he opens up conversations on migration, politics, race and ethnicity, labor, and social movements. His teaching philosophy flows from a conviction that the classroom should be more than a data transfer station. Rather, it should be a learning community, where students are valued and challenged, exchanging diverse opinions, experiences, and cultural backgrounds. Dr. Kirkpatrick has expanded the curriculum of the Religion program with new courses such as Latinx and Latin American Christianity (REL 325), and the Global Civil Rights Movement (REL450), which explores the breadth and diversity of the Civil Rights Movement and its vast worldwide reach.

As Associate Academic Unit Head of Philosophy & Religion, Dr. Kirkpatrick is passionate about identifying and amplifying the wonderful work of his colleagues and working to create new avenues for public engagement and the common good.

Selected Publications:

Forthcoming. Global Visions of Violence: Agency and Persecution in World Christianity. Co-edited with Jason Bruner. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2022.

Forthcoming. “The Historiographical Sweep of Latin American Evangelicalism” in Latin American Evangelicalism. Edited by David Bebbington. Waco: Baylor University Press, 2022.

Forthcoming. “Beneath the United States: Global Crime, Decolonization, and Evangelicals of Color” in Global Faith and Worldly Power: Evangelical Encounters with American Empire. Edited by John Corrigan, Melani McAlister, and Axel Schaeffer. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2022.

2021. “The Origins of Misión Integral in Post-War Latin America” In Global Voices: What Is Integral Mission? (Oxford: Oxford Centre for Mission Studies).

2021. C. René Padilla: Father of Integral Mission." Christianity Today, April 7. 

2019. “Globally many evangelicals lean left: what that means for America’s future.” Washington Post, August 30.

2019. A Gospel for the Poor: Global Social Christianity and the Latin American Evangelical Left. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

2019. “Reforming Fundamentalism in Latin America: Power, Politics and Paternalism in Univeridad Bíblica Latinoamericana.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion, vol. 87, no. 1 (March): 122-155.

2018. “American Protestant Foreign Missions after World War II” in Oxford Encyclopedia of American Religion, 25-37. Edited by John Corrigan (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018).

2017. “Freedom from Fundamentalism: The Surprising Influence of Christian Brethrenism on the Rise of Latin American Social Christianity,” The Journal of World Christianity, Vol. 7, no. 2 (2017): 211-233. 

2017. “Parachurch Competition in the Latin American Religious Marketplace: Scriptural Inerrancy and the Reshaping of Global Protestant Evangelicalism,” inRelocating World Christianity:  Interdisciplinary Studies in Universal and Local Expressions of Christianity, p. 93-112. Edited by Joel Cabrita, David Maxwell, and Emma Wild-Wood.  Leiden: Brill, 2017.  

2016.  “C. René Padilla and the Origins of Integral Mission in Post-War Latin America.”  Journal of Ecclesiastical HistoryVol. 67, No. 2 (April): 351-371.

 

Invited Lectures and Academic Presentations:  

“Decolonizing Social Christianities: The Latin American Evangelical Left in the Shadow of the Cold War.” Latin American Studies Association, San Francisco, CA. Polarización socioambiental y rivalidad entre grandes potencias. May, 2022. 

“Blood and Borders: U.S. Evangelicalism, Anti-Catholicism, and the Reception of Violence from Cold War Colombia.” Bishop Walter F. Sullivan Endowed Lecture Series, Virginia Commonwealth University. April, 2022. 

“A Gospel for the Poor: Misión Integral in the Shadow of the Cold War.” Cambridge University Faculty of Divinity and Cambridge Center for Christianity Worldwide. February, 2022. 

“Ward-heelers from the Underworld”: Violence, Bigotry, and Growth at the Intersection of Latin America and the United States. American Academy of Religion. San Antonio, TX. November, 2021.

 “A Gospel for the Poor: René Padilla and the Reshaping of Global Evangelicalism.” The Billy Graham Center Archival Research Lecture, Wheaton College, October 2021.

“Beneath the United States: Evangelicals of Color and Global Decolonization.” Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire. Workshop on Christianity and Decolonization, September, 2021. Proceedings published by University of Pennsylvania Press.

“New Directions in the Study of the Religious Left.” Roundtable organizer and presenter at the American Society of Church History in New Orleans. April, 2021 (postponed due to COVID-19).

“Ward-heelers from the Underworld”: Violence, Bigotry, and Growth at the Intersection of U.S. and Latin American Evangelicalism.” Panel organizer of “Thinking about World Christianity: Power, Politics, and Violence.” Princeton Theological Seminary’s World Christianity Conference. March, 2021.

 “The Latin American Bullring: Billy Graham, John F. Kennedy, and the Origins of the ‘Global War on Christians’ in Latin America.” American Academy of Religion Winter Conference. November, 2020.

 “Beneath the United States: Global Crime, Decolonization, and the Latin American Evangelical Left.” Paper presented at the American Academy of Religion (AAR), San Diego, CA. November, 2019.

 “Crossing Borders: Intellectual Exchange and the Kingdom of God Motif.” Panel title: “Socio-Economic Marginality, and Latin American Biblical Hermeneutics.” Paper presented at the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL), San Diego, CA. November, 2019.

 “‘Revolutionary Ferment:’ Global Evangelicalism in the Shadow of the Cold War.” Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI. April, 2019.

 “‘Revolutionary Ferment’: Migration, Dependency, and the Evangelical Left at the Latin American University.” Paper presented at the American Historical Association, Chicago IL. January 2019. 

 “New Directions in Social Christianity and American Global Consciousness.” Roundtable organizer and paper at the American Society of Church History, Chicago, IL. January 2019.

 “Violence and New Religious Movements: Disaggregating Hemispheric Boundaries in American Fundamentalism.” Paper presented at the American Academy of Religion, Denver, CO. November 2018. 

 “Crossing Boundaries: Intellectual Exchange in Latin American Social Christianities.” Paper presented at the American Academy of Religion, Denver, CO. November 2018.

“A Child That Refuses to Recognize Her Mommy:” Power, Paternalism, and the Latin American Evangelical Left.” Invited paper presented at the Obama Institute of Transnational Studies Conference on Evangelicals and Empire. Mainz, Germany. October 2018.

 “Reframing Latin American Protestantism: Violence and New Religious Movements.” Organizer and paper presented in roundtable format, Princeton Theological Seminary, Currents, Perspectives, and Methodologies in World Christianity Conference, Princeton, NJ. January 2018. 

 “Reforming Fundamentalism in Latin America: A Transnational Account.” Paper presented at the American Historical Association/American Society of Church History, Denver, CO. January 2017.

“Good News for the Poor: Latin America and the Rise of Integral Mission in Global Evangelicalism.” Invited lecture, Asbury Theological Seminary, KY. April 2017.

 “Fundamentalism and Latin American Culture: A Transnational Account .” The University of Edinburgh, Faculty of History, Global and Transnational History Group. March 2016.

“‘Trembling with Indignation’: Rivalry, Reform, and Latin American Theological Independence.” Panel organizer and conference paper of “Reforming World Christianity: Conflict, Negotiation, and National Leadership.” American Society of Church History, Atlanta, GA, January 2016.

 “Trembling with Indignation: Transnational Competition and Currency in the Latin American Religious Marketplace.” University of Edinburgh, Centre for the Study of World Christianity, October 2015.

 “Beyond Liberal Vs. Conservative: Latin American Liberation Theology, Evangelical Protestantism, and Ecumenism in the Postwar Period.” University of Cambridge, Faculty of Divinity, Cambridge Center for Christianity Worldwide, May 2015.

 “‘The Other Spanish Christ’: The Influence of John A. Mackay on René Padilla and Integral Mission.” Paper presented at the University of Edinburgh, Centre for the Study of World Christianity, March 2015.

 “Crossing Boundaries in Buenos Aires: René Padilla, José Míguez Bonino, and Theological Exchange within Latin American Protestantism.” Paper presented at the American Society of Church History, New York City, NY, January 2015.

“Beyond Catholic Vs. Protestant: Latin American Liberation Theology, Evangelical Protestantism, and Ecumenism in the Postwar Period.” Invited lecture at Oxford University, Centre for Global History, November 2014.                      

 “The Widening of Christian Mission: C. René Padilla and the Origins of Integral Mission.” Wolfson College, University of Cambridge, July 2014.

“‘I Married Latin America—I Don’t Want to Divorce:’ Catharine Padilla and the Missionary Family.” Paper presented at the Yale-Edinburgh World Christianity Scholar Group, June 2014.

 “Revolutionary Ferment and the Latin American University: Migration, Radicalism, and the Origins of Integral Mission.” Paper presented at the Oxford Joint-Gathering of the Ecclesiastical History Society and American Society of Church History, Oxford, UK, April 2014.

  “Revolutionary Ferment in Latin American Universities: C. René Padilla and the Origins of Integral Mission.” Paper presented to the University of Edinburgh, Centre for the Study of World Christianity, December 2013.

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