Douglas Edward Cowan
Assistant Professor of
Religious Studies and Sociology
Sociology/Center for Religious Studies
University of Missouri-Kansas City
204C Haag Hall, 5100 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO 64110
(816) 235-1492 (o) (816) 842-5529 (h) (816) 235-1117 (f)
Past Academic Positions:
Department of Religious Studies, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta: 1999-2000.
Current Position | Academic Interests | Publications | Grants and Awards | Teaching Experience | Conference Participation
Assistant Professor of Sociology and Religious Studies; member of
University of Missouri-Kansas City
Doctor of Philosophy in Religious Studies, The University of Calgary, 1999.
Specialization: History of Religious Movements and Institutions
"Bearing False Witness: Propaganda, Reality-Maintenance, and Christian
Irving R. Hexham (Supervisor),
Department of Religious Studies, University of Calgary; Full Professor; History of
Religions and New Religious Movements.
A.W. Barber, Department of Religious
Studies, University of Calgary; Associate Professor; Buddhism and East Asian Religions.
David G. Taras, Faculty of General Studies, Associate Professor; University of
Calgary; Director of Communications Studies.
Tad Guzie, Faculty of Education, University of Calgary; Dean.
Jeffrey K. Hadden, Department of
Sociology, University of Virginia; Full Professor; Sociology and Sociology of Religion.
Master of Divinity (Honours), St. Andrew's College,
Thesis: "A Nakid Entent Unto God: A Source/Commentary on The Cloud of Unknowing."
Bachelor of Arts (with distinction) in English literature, University of Victoria, 1985.
Distance Education Instructor, St. Andrews Theological College, Saskatoon, SK:
Graduate Teaching Fellow, Department of Religious Studies, The University of Calgary,
Calgary, Alberta: 1998-1999.
World Religions; Cults, Sects, and New Religious Movements;
Sociology of Religion; Sociology of Knowledge; Religion and Media; History and Development
of Religious Thought.
Academic Interests: Research
Sociology of Orthodoxy and Heresy; History of Religions;
New Religious Movements, their organisation, beliefs, and cultural impact; Christian
response to New Religious Movements; Religious Freedom and Religious Intolerance; Research
methods and theory.
(2000) Religion on the Internet: Research Prospects
and Promises. Co-edited with Jeffrey K. Hadden. London: JAI Press/Elsevier Science,
(1991) A Nakid Entent Unto God: A Source/Commentary on The Cloud of
Unknowing. Wakefield, NH: Longwood Academic Press.
(2002) "Explaining Eggs in Terms of Bacon: A
Response to Secular Theories of Religion: Current Perspectives." Review
essay in The Council of Societies for the Study of Religion Bulletin 31 (2):
(2000) "Religion, Rhetoric, and Scholarship: Managing Vested Interest
in E-Space." Chapter in Religion on the Internet: Research Prospects and Promises,
edited by Jeffrey K. Hadden and Douglas E. Cowan, pp.101-124. London: Elsevier Science,
(2000) "No Harmony: Some Notes on Evangelical Response to Buddhism." Religious
Studies and Theology 19 (2): 17-52.
(2000) "Whats in it for us?: Reflections on Membership, Commitment,
and the Current Malaise." Touchstone: Heritage and Theology in a New Age 18
(1998) "Too Narrow and Too Close: Some Problems with Participant Observation in the
Study of New Religious Movements." Method and Theory in the Study of Religion
(1996) "Jacks Buddhism: A Dharma Walk with Jack Kerouac." Journal of
Buddhist and Tibetan Studies 2: 38-91.
(1990) "The Parson and the Landlord: Religion and Capitalism in The Communist
Manifesto and Karl Marxs Contribution to The Critique of Hegels
Philosophy of Right." Studies in Religion/Sciences Religieuses 19 (4):
(2000) "The Promised Land or Electronic Chaos:
Toward Understanding Religion on the Internet," with Jeffrey K. Hadden. Chapter in Religion
on the Internet: Research Prospects and Promises, edited by Jeffrey K. Hadden and
Douglas E. Cowan, pp.3-21. London: Elsevier Science, Inc.
(2001) Christian Responses to the New Age Movement: A Critical Assessment, by John
A. Saliba, 1999. Sociology of Religion 62 no.1 (Spring 2001): 142-3.
(2001) The Channelling Zone: American Spirituality in
an Anxious Age, by Michael F. Brown, 1997. Nova Religio: The Journal of New and
Emergent Religions 4 no.2 (April 2001).
"Martial Arts." Entry in Dictionary of
Contemporary Religion in the Western World, edited by C. Partridge and Douglas Groothuis.
Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press (May 2002).
"Exits and Migrations: Foregrounding the Christian Countercult." Essay
forthcoming in Journal of Contemporary Religion.
"Theologizing Race: The Construction of 'Christian Identity'." Chapter
forthcoming in Craig Prentiss, ed., Religion, Myth,
and the Creation of Race and Ethnicity: An Introduction. New York: New York
"The Invisible Audience: New Religious Movements and the Internet," with Jeffrey
K. Hadden. Chapter forthcoming in James R. Lewis, ed., The Oxford Handbook of New
Religious Movements. New York: Oxford University Press.
Works Currently Under
Witness?: An Introduction to the Christian Countercult. Greenwood, CT: Praeger Publishers (in press).
The Remnant Spirit: Reform and Renewal in Mainline Protestantism. Greenwood, CT:
Works Currently Under Peer Review
the Failed Failure: Christian Eschatology in Light of the Passed Millennium."
Nova Religio: The Journal of New and Emergent Religions.
Works in Progress: Articles
"'A nun walks into a bar...'
Transgression and Reversal as Analytic Categories"
"Cold Water on a Hot Story: Notes on the Media, the Boston Movement, and the
Religious Studies Scholar."
"Countercult Colonialism: Reading the Christian Countercult as Orientalist
"Orthodoxy and Heresy: A Sociological Prolegomenon to the Problem."
"Religion in the Mass Media: The Case of Islam."
"'For the Bible tells me so': Countercult
Epistemology and the Logic of Biblical Apologetics"
Coming Naked Before God: The Cloud of Unknowing
and the English Mystical Tradition. Revised edition of A Nakid Entent Unto God: A
Source/Commentary on The Cloud of Unknowing (see
Fetishizing Faith: Religious Transgression in Art, Literature, and Culture.
Mormons, Masons, and Roman Catholics: Anti-religion in Post-colonial America.
Grants and Awards
University of Missouri Research Board (2001): "Religion
in the Mass Media: The Case of Islam."
Meriwether Lewis Fellow (2001): Transformation in Higher Education Conference.
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of
Canada Post-Doctoral Fellowship (2000-2002; declined due to employment at UMKC).
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Doctoral Fellowship (1998-1999).
The University of Calgary Silver Anniversary Graduate Fellowship (1998-1999).
The University of Calgary Fee Scholarship (1998-1999).
The Province of Alberta Graduate Fellowship (1997-1998).
Graduate Research Scholarships, The University of Calgary (1997, 1998).
The Constantinian Order Scholarship (1997).
St. Andrews College Travelling Scholarship, (1990-1991).
Grand Prize, American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature (Pacific
Northwest Region) Student Paper Contest. (1989).
Willoughby Entrance Scholarship, St. Andrews College (1985).
Presidents Scholarship, University of Victoria (1984, 1985).
of Missouri-Kansas City
Religious Studies 400A/500A (Religion and the Social Sciences)
Religious Studies 400A/500A (Religious Fundamentalisms
in Comparative Perspective)
Religious Studies 510 (Great
Religious Traditions of the World)
Religious Studies 584 (Sacred Texts and Narratives).
Sociology 101 (Sociology: An Introduction).
Sociology 300/580Q (Introduction to the Sociology of Religion).
Sociology 300/580O (Cults, Sects, and New
Religious Movements: A Sociological Approach)
Sociology 303CP/580 (Religion
University of Calgary
Religious Studies 309 (The Nature and Function of Religious Experience): Sessional
Instructor (Winter 2000; Spring 2000).
Religious Studies 341 (Introduction to New Religious Movements): Sessional Instructor
Religious Studies 331 (Evil and Suffering in the Great Religious Traditions): Graduate
Teaching Fellow (Winter 1998; Sessional Instructor Summer 2000).
Religious Studies 205 (Introduction to Religious Studies): Teaching Assistant (Fall 1997).
Andrew's Theological College (In-Community Program for Ordination)
SA 152 (Introduction to Christian Ethics [Master of Divinity]; Fall 1999).
SA 115 (Introduction to Theology [Master of Divinity]; Fall 1998).
Special Academic Service
Preparing Future Faculty mentor (2001-2003)
New Faculty Teaching Scholar (2001-2002)
Conference Participation: Invited Presentations
(2002) Evangelical Ministries to New Religions Annual Conference. Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky (February). Invited paper: "Apologetics and Academia: Prospects for a
(2001) The Center for Study on New Religions/INFORM 2001 International Conference:
"The Spiritual Supermarket: Religious Pluralism and Globalization in the 21st
Century." London School of Economics, (April). Invited plenary presentation:
"From Parchment to Pixels: The Christian Countercult on the Internet."
Academic Conference Participation: General Presentations
(2002) "Reflections on Louisville: The
Christian Countercult in Conversation." The Center for Study on New Religions 2002
International Conference: "Minority Religions, Social Change, and Freedom of
Conscience." Brigham Young University/University of Utah (June).
(2000) Society for the Scientific Study of Religion Annual Meeting, Houston, TX. Organized
session: "Y2K and Religion: Looking Backward at the great Non-Event"; presented
paper: "Didnt Carry the Two: Christian Eschatology in Light of the Passed
(1999) Association for the Sociology of Religion Annual Meeting, Chicago, Illinois.
Presented paper: "Religion and Rhetoric: Managing Scholarship and Interest Groups on
(1998) Society for the Scientific Study of Religion Annual Meeting, Montreal, Quebec.
Presented paper: "Migrating Between Worlds: Dynamics of Conversion and Deconversion
in Christian Anticult Apologetics."
(1998) "Religious Freedom and the New Millennium," Tokyo, Japan.
(1998) "Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in the Liberal Arts: CIRLA
98": Generating Surprises: The Post/Disciplinary University," Banff
Centre, Banff, Alberta. Respondent to Dale Breitkreuz, "From Pluralism/Plurality to
Syncretistic Process: Endeavour and Repose in the Interpretation of Religion."
(1990) American Academy of Religion Annual Regional Meeting (Pacific Northwest Region),
University of Seattle. Presented paper: "Apologetics or Christian Hate
Literature?"; and panellist in discussion of Brown and Bohn, Christianity,
Patriarchy, and Abuse.
American Academy of Religion
Society for the Scientific Study of Religion
Religious Research Association
Association for the Sociology of Religion
Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction.
References available upon request.
Douglas E. Cowan, Ph.D.
The University of Missouri-Kansas City