This book is the product of a very long thought pro cess that
has been instructed by countless other bodies over the past de-
cade. Financially, Religious Affects was made possible by grants
from the Mellon Foundation, which sponsored first a disserta-
tion fellowship in the Humanities Center at Syracuse Univer-
sity, then a postdoctoral fellowship in the Hurford Center for
the Arts and Humanities at Haverford College. The final round
of revisions was made after taking up a departmental lecture-
ship in the Faculty of Theology and Religion at Oxford.
Intellectually, it owes its greatest debts to my teachers,
who have patiently struggled with me throughout all my in-
terventions in their classrooms, welcome and unwelcome.
This long list would start with Jack Caputo ( Jed Bartlet to
my Leo McGarry) and Gail Hamner (who pushed me to find
ways to always make intellectual labor matter), Lorraine Weir,
Masako Nakatsugawa, and John Simmons. My other mentors
at Syracuse, including Linda Martín Alcoff, Zachary “Zeke”
Braiterman, Joanne Waghorne, Patricia Cox Miller, Jim Watts,
William Robert, Gustav Niebuhr, and Gregg Lambert, are all
distinctly present in this conversation.
Religious Affects was written during a two- year Mellon post-
doctoral fellowship at Haverford, during which time I was
a participant in the Hurford Center’s Faculty Seminar on
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