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Rachel McBride Lindsey, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Office Hours

W: 1-2 p.m. and by appointment (

Courses Taught

Theological Foundations; Arch City Religion; #GreaterGood: Religious Freedom and Social Justice in America; Religion, Art, and Politics; American Christianities


Ph.D. in American Religion, Princeton University, 2012
M.A. in American Religion, Princeton University, 2009
B.A. in Religious Studies, Missouri State University, 2006

Research Interests

  • Visual and material cultures of American religion
  • Religion and American public life
  • Local history and culture
  • American religious history

Publications and Media Placements


A Communion of Shadows: Religion and Photography in Nineteenth-Century America (UNC Press, 2017)

Religion and Digital Humanities: Material Religion, co-edited with Emily Clark, DeGruyter (in progress)

Handbook in Material Religion, co-edited with S. Brent Plate and Pooyan Tamimi Arab, Routledge (in progress)

Peer-Reviewed Articles and Chapters

“Documentary Photography and the Visual Politics of Race and Religion,” Oxford Handbook of Religion and Race in American History, eds. Paul Harvey and Kathryn Gin Lum (New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming March 2018)

""'The Mirror of All Perfection': Jesus and the Strongman in America, 1893-1920,"" American Quarterly 68 (March 2016), 23-47

“Photography and Religion,” MacMillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks, Volume 6: Material Religion, vol. ed. Diane Apostolos-Cappadona, series eds. Jeffrey Kripal, April DeConick, and Anthony Pinn (MacMillan, 2016)

“‘This Barbarous Practice’: Southern Churchwomen in the Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching, 1930-1942,” Journal of Southern Religion 16 (2014)

“’Seen and Read of Men’: Biblical Text and the Living Epistles of Father Divine's Peace Mission Movement,"" Journal of Africana Religions 2.3 (2014), 347-378

“Bodies on Display” and “Haunting the Streets of Cairo: Visual Habits in Nineteenth-century Holy Land Photography,” Bulletin for the Study of Religion 43.2 (2014), 2-4, 4-11

Digital Projects
“Collections: A Communion of Shadows,” Material and Visual Cultures of Religion, Yale University, (under construction).

Arch City Religion, Teaching project mapping religious spaces, objects, and communities in the St. Louis metro with students at Saint Louis University and Webster University.

Other Professional Writing

“’Cannot Tell Aught But the Truth’: Photography and Birth of a Nation (1915),” Sacred Matters: Religious Currents in Culture (May 2016).

“Agents of a Fuller Revelation,” Web blog post. Material Religions (2015),

“Carte de visite Photograph Album,” Object Narrative, in Conversations: An Online Journal of the Initiative for the Study of Material and Visual Cultures of Religion (2014),

“Passages: A Glimpse into the Hobby Lobby’s Family Museum,” Religion & Politics (September 2014)

“Pulled into the Maze”: 12 Years a Slave (2013), Religion & Politics (February 2014)

“A Response to ‘Evidentiary Boundaries and Improper Interventions: Evidence, Implications, and Illegitimacy in American Religious Studies,’” Religion Bulletin: The Blogging Portal of the Bulletin for the Study of Religion, July 22, 2013.

Honors and Awards

  • Grace May Tilton Award in American Art, Princeton University Program in American Studies, 2015 (book subvention)
  • Andrew W. Mellon Dissertation Completion Fellow, American Council of Learned Societies, 2011-2012
  • Teaching Transcript, McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning, Princeton University, awarded June 2011
  • Religion and Culture Fellow, Center for the Study of Religion, Princeton University, 2010-2011
  • Program in American Studies Research Prize, Princeton University, 2008-2009
  • President’s Fellowship, Princeton University, 2006-2011

Professional Organizations and Associations

American Academy of Religion, Organization of American Historians, American Studies Association