• John Modern Image Credit: Michelle Johnsen
Professor of Religious Studies



Office: STA223


Modern teaches classes in American religious history, literature, technology, and aesthetics. 

Modern is the author of The Bop Apocalypse: The Religious Visions of Kerouac, Ginsberg, and Burroughs (University of Illinois Press, 2001) and Secularism in Antebellum America (University of Chicago Press, 2011). Modern's work has appeared in journals such as History of the PresentAmerican Literary History, Social Text, Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Religion and American Culture, American ReligionChurch History, Method & Theory in the Study of Religion as well as in a range of on-line venues.  The Religion Machine; or, a particular history of the brain is forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press. Modern is also  working on a long-term project that explores the end of the world through the lens of Akron, OH. Modern’s work has been funded by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Social Science Research Council. 

Modern is a former member of the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ and, most recently, an ACLS Frederick Burkhardt fellow at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies (University of Pennsylvania) in 2018-19.

 Modern is a former editor-at-large for The Immanent FrameHe was also co-curator of  Frequencies: A Collaborative Genealogy of Spirituality and is currently co-editor of Class 200: New Studies in Religion (both with Kathryn Lofton). 

Read an interview with Modern here.

Listen to an interview with Modern here.

Watch Modern lecture on "The Mystical Brain" here.

Be part of Modern's process of subjectivization here.

Follow Modern on Twitter here.

Modern earned his bachelor's in religion from Princeton University in 1993, his master's in comparative religion from Miami University of Ohio (1996) and his Ph.D. in religious studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2003.