Adam J. Powell is Junior Research Fellow in the Department of Theology & Religion of Durham University (UK) where he was awarded a Durham International Fellowship for Research and Enterprise. Previously, he was Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Lenoir-Rhyne University in North Carolina. Dr. Powell is the author of Hans Mol and the Sociology of Religion (Routledge, 2017) and co-editor of Sacred Selves, Sacred Settings: Reflecting Hans Mol (Routledge, 2015). His research focuses on cognitive and social-scientific theories of religion and identity as well as the application of those theories to the histories, beliefs, practices, and experiences of emerging religious communities – particularly, 19th-century American sects and 21st-century social movements. For example, his previous work has combined the sociology of knowledge with the identity theory of Hans Mol to formulate a sociology of heresy and to illuminate the interplay between religious conflict and the early development of soteriological belief among new religious movements. Of special interest are Mormonism within the broader context of American religious culture and comparative similarities that have been identified between Mormonism and the development of early Christianity. Related concentrations include the life and theoretical work of Hans Mol, the enduring significance of the comparative method, the history of the sociology of religion, and the development of bio-cultural models of religious experience.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
New Religious Movements; Mormonism; Social Theory; Sociology of Religion; Early Christianity; Life and Work of Hans Mol
Religious studies, reading, camping, travel, mountain biking, playing music, making merry, professional basketball - in no particular order