Adam Sweatman

Photo: Adam Sweatman

Contact Information

American Religious History

Adam Sweatman (PhD 2019) researches the relationship between religion and aesthetics in twentieth-century U.S. history, with a focus on developing new methods for analyzing the connection between perception and identity.  He has strong interests in the history of evangelicalism, particularly progressive evangelical movements, and the intersection of religion and American pragmatism.  He has taught courses in world religions and religion in the Unites States.

His Master’s thesis, titled “Derridoxology: The Emerging Church Movement in the United States,” framed the history of the Emerging Church Movement and its place in evangelicalism through the lens of the work of sociologist Colin Campbell.  This was published in 2018 as a part of the anthology The Emerging Church, Millennials, and Religion: Volume I: Prospects and Problems.

His dissertation, titled “Interpretations of Santayana and Religion: History, Aesthetics, and Identity,” looks at the life and work of George Santayana, and particularly his definition of religion as a type of poetic production.  Building on the work of William Clebsch and Henry Samuel Levinson, he demonstrates that the “aesthetic tradition of American spirituality” Santayana inherited from William James extended a method of engaging with religion that began with Jonathan Edwards and was refined during the nineteenth century by Ralph Waldo Emerson.  This aesthetic tradition shaped the way Santayana developed his own national, racial, and religious identity, and it played a role in broader twentieth century American conversations about identity formation.

Recent Publications

Teaching Specializations

  • REL 1300: Introduction to World Religions
  • REL 2121: Religion in the United States