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Visiting and Post-Doctoral Scholars

Post-Doctoral Scholars

Yunus Doğan Telliel

Yunus Doğan Telliel is the Berkeley Postdoctoral Fellow in Public Theology for the 2017-18 academic year. He recently completed his Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology at the City University of New York – Graduate Center. He serves on the steering committees of the “Contemporary Islam” and “Science, Technology, and Religion” groups in the American Academy of Religion. At BCSR, Telliel will be working on a book manuscript, tentatively titled What is the Language of Islam?, in which he examines the politics of secularism and religious difference in Turkey, through the lenses of language and translation. He also has a long-standing interest in debates around science and religion, and will be completing an article charting possible future collaborations between science and technology studies and critical secularism studies.

Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins

Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins was Berkeley Postdoctoral Fellow in Public Theology for the 2016-2017 academic year. He is a historian of modern European political and intellectual thought with a specific focus on Europe and the World. He primarily concentrates on such topics as conservatism, nationalism, secularism, and religion and politics.

Visiting Scholars

Sarah Bakker Kellogg

Sarah Bakker Kellogg (Ph.D. University of California, Santa Cruz, 2013) is a cultural anthropologist whose research focuses on the intersection of religion, politics, and the performing arts. Using the methodological tools of sound studies and the anthropology of voice, she conducts on-going ethnographic fieldwork among Middle Eastern Christian refugees and immigrants who have settled in the Netherlands. This research has yielded several distinct projects, on which she has presented and published widely. These projects include investigations into Dutch secularism’s roots in anti-Enlightenment theocracy; racialization as the ethics and aesthetics of religious difference in Europe; gender, kinship, and ethics in the Syriac liturgical tradition; the secular construction of the category “ethnicity,” and the politics of intra-Christian and inter-faith activism globally. She has previously taught undergraduate and graduate courses at the University of California, Santa Cruz and at San Francisco State University. During the 2017-2018 academic year, she will be completing her book manuscript, Liturgical Song in an Age of Political Calamity: Registers of Recognition in the Syriac Christian Diaspora, with funding from the Wenner-Gren Foundation’s Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship. Representative publications can be found here. link:

Steven Barrie-Anthony

Steven Barrie-Anthony (Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara) is a researcher, writer and consultant in the area of religion/spirituality and public life. He focuses on the rapidly growing category of people who choose not to identify with particular religions—the so-called religious “nones”—and on their innovative contributions to community formation and civic, political and philanthropic life. He also works in the areas of spirituality and the media, technology and medicine; American mystical and metaphysical religion; and new religious movements.

His academic publications have appeared in numerous scholarly volumes, and he has presented his research at national meetings of the American Anthropological Association, the American Academy of Religion and the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. He is currently at work on a book about a particular network of American young adults who eschew “religion” yet who clearly embrace a shared “spirituality,” with a focus on their nontraditional experiments in public life.

Barrie-Anthony has written more than 100 popular essays and articles for publications such as the Los Angeles Times and He was formerly a staff writer for the LA Times where he covered technology and its personal and social impacts and also wrote about art, architecture, the movie business, literature, the media, crime and politics. His Times pieces were often reprinted in newspapers across the U.S. and internationally. He blogs occasionally for The Huffington Post.


Andrea Vestrucci

Andrea Vestrucci (Ph.D., University of Milan; Ph.D., University of Lille) has served as Professor at the Federal University in Fortaleza, Brazil; Australia Award fellow of Monash University; and researcher of the University of Milan. Currently a member of the Eric Weil Institute in Lille, he has recently completed a major research project in systematic theology for the University of Geneva.

His scientific commitment embraces both philosophical and theological speculations.

Concerning philosophy, he is a scholar of Kant and Neo-Kantianism (H. Cohen, E. Weil), and of the Hungarian Kreis called “Budapest School” (G. Lukács, A. Heller, F. Fehér, G. Markus). His philosophical research focuses on transcendental logic, meta-ethics, the ethics-aesthetics relationship, and philosophy of right.

Concerning theology, he deepened Martin Luther’s concept of freedom and its contemporary interpreters (and critics). His theological research focuses on the issue of theological language, the relationship between human meaning and divine revelation, and the rapport (and difference) between theology and philosophy.


Jason Sexton

Jason S. Sexton is a BCSR visiting fellow through June 2018. He has taught at Cal State Fullerton for the last three years, where he is the Pollak Library Faculty Fellow and edits the UC Press-published, Boom California. He holds the Ph.D. from the University of St. Andrews, and has written widely in the areas of California studies, prison studies, religious studies, and contemporary theology. He has written The Trinitarian Theology of Stanley J. Grenz (Bloomsbury) and edited Theology and California: Theological Refractions on California’s Culture (Routledge). He is currently writing a book that gives an interdisciplinary theological account of the incarcerated church.

Claudio Ferlan

I took a degree in Law (1999) and in History (2003) and I completed my PhD in Early Modern History (2006) at the University of Trieste. I have held fellowships from Alpen-Adria Universität (Klagenfurt 2006), Karl-Franzens Universität (Graz 2007), Max Planck Institute for Legal History (Frankfurt am Main 2013) and I have been visiting Scholar at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Paris 2016). Since 2008 (2011 full-time) I am researcher at the Bruno Kessler Foundation, Italian German Historical Institute. As adjunct professor, I teach a course in in History of Historiography at the University of Trent (2014 Atlantic History, 2015 Food History).
My broad areas of research are religious history in the early modern age, Jesuit studies and food history.

My current research explores the historical concept of Patchwork Religion as a spiritual experience characterized by the coexistence of elements from different traditions, religions, exoteric and spiritual movements. In this field of research, I am especially interested in history of food and food habits (ecclesiastical fast, table behaviors, beverages and drunkenness) as essential features of the negotiation between individuals and cultural models.


Graduate Students

New Directions in Theology Grantees

BCSR rewards promising young scholars from diverse disciplines with $5000 New Directions in Theology grants and faculty mentorship to create and shape a long-term community of inquiry on the Berkeley campus. Throughout the year, these first- and second-year graduate students explore new directions for the study of religion in the public university through weekly meetings convened by BCSR faculty. A list of past and present New Directions students is available here.

Summer Research Grant Recipients

With the support of the Frank and Lesley Yeary Endowment for Ethics in the Humanities, BCSR funds graduate summer research projects on topics at the intersection of ethics and the humanities, broadly construed. More information on these awards, and a list of past and present recipients, is available here.

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