Social Science

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Jenn Lindsay, Ph.D. completed her doctoral degree in the social science of religion at Boston University under the sociologist of religion Dr. Nancy T. Ammerman. Dr. Lindsay has an excellent track record in teaching social science, religious studies and communications (see course list here), currently as a professor at the University of California Rome Study Center and also at John Cabot University as a Lecturer in Sociology. For her doctoral research, Dr. Lindsay studied how religious difference affects personal relationships–families, friendships and in interfaith dialogue. She is also interested in popular discourse about religious difference and its impact upon religious practice, personal identity, and daily life. Her doctoral research on community-level interreligious activity is based in Rome, Italy and in the Middle East. Here is an animation of her Ph.D. dissertation:

Jenn Lindsay is a Contributing Scholar at State of Formation, the online platform of The Journal for Inter-religious Studies, and part of the International Fellows Network of the KAIICIID interfaith dialogue center.

In 2017 she completed a Advanced Master course in Sociology from La Sapienza University of Rome. Dr. Lindsay also earned a Master of Divinity (’11) in Interfaith Relations and Ecumenics at Union Theological Seminary at Columbia University in New York City, where she was co-chair of the Interfaith Caucus and the Chair of Student Activities (AKA, the Minister of Fun!). She earned a Bachelor of the Arts in Playwriting from Stanford University (’01) and attended the Master of Fine Arts program in Theatre Management at the Yale University School of Drama (’05).


Dr. Lindsay has won a  number of fellowships and awards for her research, including the Scientific Study of Religion Graduate Research Award, the Boston University Center for the Humanities dissertation award, and the International Congress on Science and Religion’s Merit Award for Outstanding Research. As an International Fellow for the KAICIID Interfaith Dialogue center, Dr. Lindsay was named one of the top women involved in interfaith and intercultural dialogue.

In Summer 2012, Dr. Lindsay was sponsored by Robert Lemelson Fellowship of the American Society for Psychological Anthropology to study intermarriage among Roman Jews. Dr. Lindsay also conducted extensive research on healing practices in Hindu and Christian Scientist communities in Boston; secular humanist Jewish communities; the Muslim headscarf industry in Jogjakarta, Indonesia; the religious souvenir industry in Rome; American mid-western monastic eco-spirituality movements; and the role of religion in the Occupy Wall Street movement. She has also conducted ethnoastronomy fieldwork with indigenous communities in Northern Peru, charting how locals syncretically combine naturistic Pachamama spirit imagery with imported Catholic images to interpret celestial phenomena such as constellations, eclipses, and weather patterns.

Dr. Lindsay’s ethnographic and interdisciplinary research combines perspectives from social theory, cultural anthropology, depth and cognitive psychology, neuroscience, sociology of religion, liberal theology, esoteric mysticism, intercultural communications and interpersonal ethics.