Hi, I’m Chris.
I’ve led a pretty weird life up to this point. As the creator of viral hashtags like #ChristianAltFacts, #EmptyThePews, and #ExposeChristianSchools, I’m currently known primarily as a prominent voice in the exvangelical community and movement. Or, as I like to put it, I’m slightly famous for yelling at Christians on the internet.
If you’ve made your way to this page, you might have read about me in The New Republic, The Economist, or The New York Times, or you might have listened to one of my guest appearances on any number of podcasts. Or perhaps you know me from Twitter, and/or from my work in outlets like Foreign Policy, Political Research Associates, Religion Dispatches, The Moscow Times, Eurasianet, Playboy, or Dame Magazine. Maybe you’ve never heard of me, and you simply followed a link or got here through a keyword search. In any event, welcome to my site! Read on if you’d like to learn a little about my background.
After managing to get both married and divorced in the middle of grad school, in 2012, I graduated from Stanford University with a Ph.D. in Modern Russian History and Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities. I then taught at a Russian university in Moscow for three years, playing a key role in the organization of two international conferences and taking in some of the Russian capital’s cultural offerings in theater and opera as I watched Russia’s relations with the U.S. and E.U. decline precipitously, along with the value of my ruble-denominated salary.
When I was offered the opportunity to become a Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholar in the Social Sciences and Humanities based in the History Department at the University of South Florida in 2015, I moved to Tampa and remained a college instructor for three more years. I spent my third academic year there as a visiting instructor in the Honors College, where I got to create a theme arts and humanities course on apocalypse and dystopia that I particularly enjoyed teaching.
I’m now applying my knowledge, skills, and life experience as a freelance writer, public speaker, and commentator on religion and politics, the US Christian Right, Russia, and foreign policy. I remain a Senior Researcher with the Postsecular Conflicts project directed by Kristina Stöckl at the University of Innsbruck. In the future, I’m more than open to doing more college teaching, which I love, should I get the opportunity to do so on my own terms. I categorically refuse to become an exploited adjunct, and that’s why I’m transitioning out of academia.
As I noted above, I am an ex-evangelical–aka exvangelical or exvie–and in that capacity I seek to help build community for those harmed by and alienated from conservative religious groups. Much of my blogging here is dedicated to this end, and this site also hosts an annotated list of resources for those deconstructing and deconstructed from toxic religion. I am convinced of the need to create more spaces for exvies and exiles from other forms of religious fundamentalism (and yes, the vast majority of white American evangelical Protestants do qualify as fundamentalist, whether they accept the label or not). Reclaiming and sharing our ex-evangelical stories serves both to foster healing for exvies and to raise awareness among the broader American public of the threat to democracy and human rights posed by theocratic ideology, and of the real human harm caused by evangelical ideology and practice.
Understanding both the difficulty of leaving hardline religion and the significance of processing this issue in public in a time of both surging religious radicalism and rapid secularization in North America, my friend Lauren O’Neal and I have co-edited an anthology of personal essays by former conservative Christians (ex-evangelicals, ex-Catholics, ex-Mormons) that will come out with Epiphany Publishers in 2019. The volume is called Empty the Pews: Stories of Leaving the Church, and if you would like to enter your e-mail to receive a free excerpt and information about pre-ordering, click here.
My scholarly research is concerned with the historical and social significance of religious ideas and ideology, that is, with what traditionalist religious thinking does in the world. I have specifically addressed the role of the religious intelligentsia in late Imperial Russian civil society; Russian religious and philosophical responses to war and revolution; the influence of Russian Christian intellectuals in exile and emigration on European and American intellectuals and social actors, particularly with respect to the historical development of anti-Communism; and the Russian origins of post-secularism. I showcase my peer-reviewed academic writing on academia.edu.
If you’d like to book me as a speaker or to get in touch for some other reason, click here.
This page was last updated on April 27, 2019.