Rice University Department of Religion

Placements of Current and Former Students in the Graduate Program

Dr. Torin Alexander (Ph.D., 2010, with Prof. Pinn) is Assistant Professor of Religion at St. Olaf College. His teaching and research areas include American Christianity, African American religion and religious experience, and contemporary philosophies of religion. He is the author of several encyclopedia articles, book reviews, and is co-author with Stephen C. Finley of a chapter in Faith in America (Praeger Publishers, 2006).

Dr. Nathan Carlin (Ph.D., 2010, with Prof. Parsons) is Assistant Professor in The John P. McGovern, M.D. Center for Humanities and Ethics at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Carlin has published widely: over 50 essays and numerous book reviews. His first book, co-authored with Donald Capps, is Living in Limbo: Life in the Midst of Uncertainty (Cascade Books, 2010). Carlin is currently writing a textbook for medical humanities, tentatively titled, An Introduction to Medical Humanities, which is currently being reviewed by Cambridge University Press.

Dr. Stephen Finley (Ph.D., 2009, with Prof. Pinn) is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and African American Studies at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. His research interests revolve around African American religious cultures and the body. His revised dissertation, "Re-imagining Race and Representation: The Black Body in the Nation of Islam," is now under review for publication. He is also a member of the Religious and Theological Reflection Steering Committee of the American Academy of Religion and an Executive Committee member (Registrar) of the Society for the Study of Black Religion

Dr. Margarita Guillory (Ph.D., 20011, with Prof. Pinn) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Religion & Classics at the University of Rochester. Her primary teaching areas are African American religion and religious History.

Dr. Derek Hicks (Ph.D., 2009, with Prof. Pinn) Derek Hicks is Assistant Professor of Religion and Culture at Lancaster Theological Seminary. His research deeply considers the impact of religion on those engaged in social, cultural, and political struggle. He is currently at work on a book project entitled Making the Wounded Whole: Identity, Social Transformation, & Healing in the Black Faith Tradition (to be submitted to NYU Press) that uncovers notions of healing and wholeness through efforts to transform social and racial reality within the antebellum black religious experience. Dr. Hicks will be a Visiting Scholar of Religion at the University of Pennsylvania in 2010-2011.

Dr. Andrea Jain (Ph.D., 2010, with Prof. Kripal) is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Andrea's primary areas of research are South Asian religions and the social-scientific study of religion. Her interests include the transnational construction and global dissemination of Hindu and Jain schools of modern yoga as well as the ascetic dimensions of yoga.

Dr. Jenny Lin (Ph.D., 2010, with Prof. Kripal) is Director of Presidential Scholar Recruitment & Data Analysis at Tulsa University. She has taught literature and served as Assistant to the Dean for Presidential Scholars. As Director of Presidential Scholar Recruitment and Data Analysis, she is primarily responsible for directing Presidential Scholar recruitment and managing admission data analysis projects. She works closely with Professor Jacqueline Caldwell, Chief of Staff, who directs the Presidential Scholars Program.

Dr. Matthew Schunke (Ph.D., 2010, with Prof. Kripal) is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. His research focuses on the relationship between philosophy and religion, particularly as it has been dealt with in the philosophical method of phenomenology. He examines the possibility of a phenomenology of religion by engaging both the works of thinkers such as Martin Heidegger and Jean-Luc Marion and current debates surrounding the nature of religious experience and the academic study of religion.

Dr. Hae Young Seong (Ph.D., 2008, with Prof. Kripal) is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Seoul University in Seoul, South Korea. His areas of expertise and research include the comparative study of mysticism, the psychology of religion, and theory and method in the study of religion.

Dr. Chinghui Ying (Ph.D., 2010, with Prof. Klein) is the vice abbot of Chung Tai Zen Center of Sunnyvale, a branch of the international Buddhist organization, Chung Tai Chan Monastery, based in Taiwan. Therein, he helps run the center and teaches various subjects on meditation and Chan/Zen Buddhist philosophy. His future projects include translating Buddhist scriptures from Chinese to English and converting his dissertation research to book manuscripts.