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ASU Electronic Theses and Dissertations


This collection includes most of the ASU Theses and Dissertations from 2011 to present. ASU Theses and Dissertations are available in downloadable PDF format; however, a small percentage of items are under embargo. Information about the dissertations/theses includes degree information, committee members, an abstract, supporting data or media.

In addition to the electronic theses found in the ASU Digital Repository, ASU Theses and Dissertations can be found in the ASU Library Catalog.

Dissertations and Theses granted by Arizona State University are archived and made available through a joint effort of the ASU Graduate College and the ASU Libraries. For more information or questions about this collection contact or visit the Digital Repository ETD Library Guide or contact the ASU Graduate College at gradformat@asu.edu.


Resource Type
  • Doctoral Dissertation
Subject
Date Range
2010 2019


Religions, following Max Müller, have often been seen by scholars in religious studies as uniform collections of beliefs and practices encoded in stable “sacred books” that direct the conduct of religious actors. These texts were the chief focus of academic students of religion through much of the 20th century, and this approach remains strong in the 21st. However, a growing chorus of dissidents has begun to focus on the lived experience of practitioners and the material objects that structure that experience, and some textual scholars have begun extending this materialist framework to the study of texts. This dissertation is a …

Contributors
Swanger, Timothy Charles, Bokenkamp, Stephen R, Campany, Robert, et al.
Created Date
2019

On the Antichrist (CPG 3946) is an eschatological sermon historically attributed to Efrem the Syrian. Composed in Koine Greek, On the Antichrist is not an authentic Efremic sermon but is attributed to the construct Greek Efrem, often called in the literature ‘Ephraem Graecus’. Sometime around the 12th century, Slavic Christians translated the work into Old Church Slavonic. As its goal, this study employs On the Antichrist to investigate how religions (e.g. Christianity) employ religio-cultural constructs and either refine, or redefine, them for new audiences and circumstances. To accomplish this, the author transcribes and translates one of the most important manuscript …

Contributors
McAvoy, Shawn, Clay, J. Eugene, Moore, Moses, et al.
Created Date
2019

James Baldwin (1924-1987) was one of the most well-known African American fiction and nonfiction writers of the twentieth century. Throughout his life and career, he earned a worldwide reputation as a respected novelist, memoirist, and essayist who contributed to a wide array of artistic movements and intellectual discourses. Many scholars have noted the particular African American religious and cultural influences upon Baldwin’s work. More recently, scholars have additionally noted the importance of Baldwin’s globally-engaged thought and internationalist life. Throughout all of his work, Baldwin wrote extensively on the subject of religion. This dissertation posits the topics of religion, violence, and …

Contributors
Broyles, Michael Anthony Louis, Moore, Moses N, Fessenden, Tracy, et al.
Created Date
2019

The traditional site of Rachel's Tomb is located just south of Jerusalem on the border of Bethlehem. In recent years, Rachel's Tomb architectural appearance and cultural significance have shifted dramatically in the last two decades and the Biblical figure of Rachel has evolved in the Jewish imagination as a figure "emplaced" there as well. The original stories that have drawn visitors to the site have developed from Biblical and Rabbinic texts, yet contemporary visitors to the site have their own perspectives and stories to tell, grounded in religious tradition, nostalgia, and current political and social realities. At the traditional site …

Contributors
Anderson, Carli, Gereboff, Joel, Mirguet, Francoise, et al.
Created Date
2019

While Lynn White’s 1967 article, The Historical Roots of Our Ecologic Crisis, ignited a firestorm of controversy regarding the relationship between religion, particularly Christianity, and the environment, the testing of White’s hypothesis, that Christians are anthropocentric and anti-environment, has produced results that are significantly less clear. Additionally, little research has been conducted with experts in the field of Christianity, the clergy, adding to already significant gaps in the literature. The current research study helps fill that gap by providing the perspective of clergy on the relationship between Christianity and the environment. This qualitative study uses in-depth interviews to assess the …

Contributors
Samples, Samantha, Crewe, Katherine, Cook, Edward, et al.
Created Date
2019

This study examines how a populist religious leader, Alexander Campbell, altered the economic value system of religious material production in the early United States and, subsequently, the long-term value structure of religious economic systems generally. As religious publishing societies in the early nineteenth century were pioneering the not-for-profit corporation and as many popular itinerants manufactured religious spectacles around the country, Campbell combined the promotional methods of revivalism and the business practices of religious printers, with a conspicuously pugilistic tone to simultaneously build religious and business empires. He was a religious entrepreneur who capitalized on the opportunities of American revivalism for …

Contributors
Dupey, James Daniel, O'Donnell, Catherine, Critchlow, Donald, et al.
Created Date
2018

Guantánamo: The Amen Temple of Empire connects the fetishization of the trauma of nine/eleven with the co-constitution of subjects at Guantánamo—that of the contained Muslim terrorist prisoner silhouetted against the ideal nationalistic military body—circulated as ‘afterimages’ that carry ideological narratives about U.S. Empire. These narratives in turn religiously and racially charge the new normative practices of the security state and its historically haunted symbolic order. As individuals with complex subjectivities, the prisoners and guards are, of course, not reducible to the standardizing imprimatur of the state or its narratives. Despite the circulation of these ‘afterimages’ as fixed currency, the prisoners …

Contributors
Coleman, Diana, Talebi, Shahla, Matustik, Martin, et al.
Created Date
2018

This study analyzes competing forms of Protestant Christianity within the Bible Belt of the Upper South (Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina). On one hand, a conservative “culture war” version of Christianity has dominated the South, and deeply influenced national politics, for almost fifty years. This form of Christianity is predicated on white supremacy and heteropatriarchy and regulates religious, as well as sexual, gender, and racial norms. On the other hand, an emerging movement of those once socialized in the culture war version of Protestantism is now reconfiguring the regional traditions. Through ethnographic fieldwork, qualitative interviews, and historical analysis, this study …

Contributors
Shoemaker, Terry D., Cady, Linell, Gereboff, Joel, et al.
Created Date
2018

Current data indicates that a growing number of individuals in the English-speaking world are identifying as “spiritual, but not religious” (SBNR). Using ethnographic data collected at two important sites of spiritual pilgrimage and tourism—Glastonbury, England and Sedona, Arizona—this project argues that seekers at these places produce spirituality as much as they consume it. Using the lens of economy, this project examines how seekers conceptualize the (super-) natural resources at these sites, the laborious practices they perform to transform these resources, and the valuation and exchange of the resultant products. In so doing, the project complicates prevailing notions, both among scholars …

Contributors
Vann, Jodie Ann, Fessenden, Tracy, Cady, Linell, et al.
Created Date
2018

During the twelfth century, three new schools of Daoism were founded in North China: Quanzhen (Complete Perfection), Taiyi (Supreme Unity), and Dadao (Great Way). While Quanzhen has received much scholarly attention, the others have been largely ignored. By focusing on just one school--Dadao--as in depth as possible and within the historical context, I hope to elucidate the flourishing state of Daoism in North China during the twelfth through fourteenth centuries beyond just the activity of the Quanzhen school. To that end, I have amassed sixteen inscriptions and records, as well as reconstructed one inscription previously incomplete, and added them to …

Contributors
Bussio, Jennifer Jean, Bokenkamp, Stephen R, Tillman, Hoyt C, et al.
Created Date
2017

A poster advertising two 1966 performances of Duke Ellington’s First Sacred Concert at Trinity Cathedral catalyzed research into several storylines that stem from the jazz great’s time in Phoenix, Arizona. Ellington’s arrival on the weekend of November 10th, 1966, was surrounded by controversy within Trinity Cathedral, the Diocese of Arizona, and the diocesan relationship to the national Episcopal Church. Because Phoenix had recently passed civil rights legislation, race relations remained on unstable footing when Ellington’s sacred jazz music—performed by Ellington’s black band members—filled the nave of the historic cathedral. This concert stimulated research into Duke Ellington’s connection to the Episcopal …

Contributors
Downey, Ryan, FitzPatrick, Carole, Norton, Kay, et al.
Created Date
2017

This dissertation takes the material culture of New Orleans’ Spiritual Churches as its point of the construction and application of academic categories in studies of religions of the African diaspora. Because I am interested in what emic explanations reveal about scholarly categories and methods, a dialogic approach in which I consult practitioners’ explanations to test the appropriateness of academic categories is central to this work. Thus, this study is grounded in an ethnographic study of the Voodoo Spiritual Temple, which was founded and is operated by Priestess Miriam Chamani, a bishop in the Spiritual Churches. The Spiritual Churches first emerged …

Contributors
Bilinsky, Stephanie Stephens, Moore, Moses, Astor-Aguilera, Miguel, et al.
Created Date
2016

This dissertation develops a multidimensional approach to examine the ways in which people in small-scale societies create, perpetuate, justify, and overcome social inequality. Inequality can exist within a number of independent domains, some of which are likely to be subtle and dissimilar from those familiar to Western society. The advantages and disadvantages of inequality can shift between various groups and across social scales. Recent ethnographic work suggest that the most common domain of inequality in small-scale societies may involve status accrued to founding lineages. This hypothesis is examined in relation to four additional domains, each inspired by ethnographic data from …

Contributors
Russell, Will Glen, Nelson, Margaret C., Hegmon, Michelle, et al.
Created Date
2016

Since its modern renaissance in the mid-1970s, the Messianic Jewish movement in America has grown from a handful of house churches to a network of hundreds of synagogues and congregations. Mainline American Judaism has unanimously rejected the argument that Jews who believe in Jesus continue to be members of the Jewish community or that their religion is a form of contemporary Judaism. Scholars have accounted for Messianic Judaism as a new religious movement but no consensus has formed on whether to classify Messianic Jewish religion as a sectarian form of Protestant Christianity or American Judaism. This dissertation uses a polythetic …

Contributors
Power, Patricia, Gereboff, Joel D, Clay, Eugene, et al.
Created Date
2015

This dissertation examines lexical and phonetic variations between Daigi, Hakka, and Modern Standard Chinese elements as used in two Daoist temples of southern Taiwan, the Daode Yuan (DDY) and Yimin Miao (YMM) in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, which form linguistic repertoires from which religious communities construct language variants called religiolects. Specific variations in the use of these repertoires appear to be linked to specific religious thought processes. Among my results, one finds that phonetic features of Daigi and Hakka appear linked to the use of language in religious contexts at the DDY and YMM, especially such that alterations in pronunciation, which would …

Contributors
Jackson, Paul, Bokenkamp, Stephen, Oh, Youngkyun, et al.
Created Date
2015

This dissertation explores the various online radicalization and recruitment practices of groups like al-Qaeda and Hezbollah, as well as Salafi Jihadists in general. I will also outline the inadequacies of the federal government's engagement with terrorist / Islamist ideologies and explore the ways in which early 20th century foundational Islamist theorists like Hasan al-Banna, Sayyid Qutb, and Abul ala Mawdudi have affected contemporary extremist Islamist groups, while exploring this myth of the ideal caliphate which persists in the ideology of contemporary extremist Islamist groups. In a larger sense, I am arguing that exploitation of the internet (particularly social networking platforms) …

Contributors
Salihu, Flurije, Ali, Souad T, Miller, Keith, et al.
Created Date
2014

This dissertation is positioned at the intersection of philosophy, theology, and critical theory in order to explore the way early modern literature may be enlisted as a vehicle for a return to an ethically informed humanism, specifically with regard to how Western culture currently understands the contingent categories of "life" and "the human." While a great deal of critical work is currently being marshaled in the field of biopolitics, scholarly focus continues to be placed on the materiality of the physical body, or what I term "biopolitical materialism." What remains underexplored, however, is the reality that "life" and "the human" …

Contributors
Noschka, Michael Joseph, Hawkes, David, Thompson, Ayanna, et al.
Created Date
2014

This dissertation addresses the issue of sexuality in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), also known as the Mormon Church, on both the institutional and individual levels. It traces the ways that the LDS Church's early persecution over polygamy, and the enduring effects of this history - both within and outside the Church - have helped to shape contemporary Mormon policies and public actions related to sexuality and marriage. Despite its relative success in achieving assimilation with the larger American society, the LDS Church continues to be associated with the practice of polygamy, creating a need for …

Contributors
Wertman, Ann, Fessenden, Tracy, Wenger, Tisa, et al.
Created Date
2014

Over the course of more than half a century, Rabbi Dr. Irving Greenberg has developed a distinctive theology of intra- and inter-group relations. Deeply influenced by his experiences in the Christian-Jewish dialogue movement, Greenberg's covenantal theology and image of God idea coalesce into what I refer to as Hybrid Judaism, a conceptualization that anticipated key aspects David Hollinger's notion of Postethnicity. As such, Greenberg's system of thought is mistakenly categorized (by himself, as well as others) as an expression of pluralism. The twentieth century arc of social theories of group life in America, from Melting Pot to Postethnicity by way …

Contributors
Kleinberg, Darren, Gereboff, Joel, Fessenden, Tracy, et al.
Created Date
2014

Islamist groups in Somalia define themselves by their opposition. From the pre-Islamist movement of Mohammed Hassan in the nineteenth century to al-Itihaad al-Islaami in the twentieth to al-Shabaab in the twenty-first, Islamism exists as a form of resistance against the dominant power of the era. Furthermore these Islamist groups have all been influenced by the type of state in which they exist, be it colonial, independent, or failed. This work seeks to examine the relationship between the uniquely Somali form of Islamism and the state. Through use of historical records, modern media, and existing scholarship this dissertation will chart the …

Contributors
Furlow, R. Bennett, Gallab, Abdullahi, Talebi, Shahla, et al.
Created Date
2013

This dissertation examines songs, sticks, and stories pertaining to Tohono O'odham pilgrimages to Magdalena, Sonora, Mexico, the home of their patron saint, Saint Francis. In the sense that Tohono O'odham travel to Magdalena in order to sustain their vital and long-standing relationship with their saint, these journeys may be understood as a Christian pilgrimages. However, insofar as one understands this indigenous practice as a Christian pilgrimage, it must also be noted that Tohono O'odham have made Christianity their own. The findings show that Tohono O'odham have embedded, or emplaced, Christianity within their ancestral landscapes, and that they have done so …

Contributors
Schermerhorn, Seth, Swanson, Tod D, Brown, Eddie F, et al.
Created Date
2013

Conversion to Judaism has a long history, and changes in Jewish law for converts over the centuries have reflected changes in the relationship between the Jewish community and the larger societies within which Jews have lived. As American Jews now live in the most open society they have encountered, a split is developing between Orthodox and liberal Jewish rabbinic authorities in how they deal with potential converts. This split is evident in books written to advice potential converts and in conversion narratives by people who have converted to Judaism. For this project over 30 people who were in the process …

Contributors
Cohen, Mariam, Gereboff, Joel, Woodward, Mark, et al.
Created Date
2013

This dissertation aims to explore the diverse ways in which piety is conceptualized and cultivated by highly-educated Muslim women in Turkey. These women hold active positions within the secular-public sphere while trying to keep their aim of becoming pious in their own way, in relation to their subjective understanding of piety. After a detailed analysis of the formation of the secular modern public sphere in Turkey, in relation to the questions of modernity, nation-building, secularism, Islamism, and the gender relations, it gives an account of the individual routes taken by the highly educated professional women to particular aspirations of piety. …

Contributors
Topal, Semiha, Talebi, Shahla, Cady, Linell, et al.
Created Date
2012

People may conceptualize God as benevolent and as authoritarian. This research investigates the influence of these God-concepts on prosocial behavior; specifically whether such concepts differentially predict a set of beliefs about the self and the world, volunteer motivations, and intentions to volunteer for secular causes. Two studies, one correlation and one experimental, were conducted among college students who were Christians and indicated they believe that God exists. A measurement model of the concepts of Benevolent and Authoritarian God was first tested, and a conceptual path model was then analyzed. I found that concepts of a benevolent God were associated with …

Contributors
Johnson, Kathryn A., Cohen, Adam B., Okun, Morris A., et al.
Created Date
2012

Ambivalent Blood examines the unsettled status of religious language in the semiotic construction of HIV/AIDS in America. Since public discourse about HIV/AIDS began in 1981, a variety of religious grammars have been formulated, often at cross-purposes, to assign meaning to the epidemic. The disease's complex interaction with religion has been used to prophesize looming apocalypses, both religious and national, demand greater moral solicitude among the citizenry, forge political advantage within America's partisan political landscape, mobilize empathy and compassion for those stricken by the disease, and construct existential meaning for those who have already been consigned to physical and social death. …

Contributors
Cleworth, Brandon, Fessenden, Tracy, Cady, Linell, et al.
Created Date
2012

This dissertation analyzes the way in which leaders of certain Taiwanese Buddhist organizations associated with a strand of Buddhist modernism called "humanistic Buddhism" use discourse and rhetoric to make environmentalism meaningful to their members. It begins with an assessment of the field of religion and ecology, situating it in the context of secular environmental ethics. It identifies rhetoric and discourse as important but under acknowledged elements in literature on environmental ethics, both religious and secular, and relates this lack of attention to rhetoric to the presence of a problematic gap between environmental ethics theory and environmentalist practice. This dissertation develops …

Contributors
Clippard, Seth Devere, Chen, Huaiyu, Tirosh-Samuelson, Hava, et al.
Created Date
2012

This dissertation project addresses one of the most critical problems in the study of religion: how new formations of religion are constructed and constituted. My work builds on the recent revisions of the secularization theory, which demonstrates the alternative and hybrid ways people seek out religion in modernity. To this end, my project examines the emerging popularity and phenomenon of international meditation centers in Thailand, focusing on encounters between international meditation center teachers and their international students. Through participant observation and in-depth interviews at these sites throughout Thailand, my project explores the social processes of religious change and adaptation, and …

Contributors
Schedneck, Brooke, Schober, Juliane, Rush, James, et al.
Created Date
2012

This thesis is an ethnographic account of the religious practices of the Ammatoa, a Konjo-speaking community of approximately 4600 people living in the southeast uplands of South Sulawesi, Indonesia. It examines aspects of Ammatoan rituals, cosmology, culture, economy, and politics that, from their point of view, are also considered religious. For the purpose of this dissertation, I understand religion to be ways of relationship between human beings and their fellow humans: the living and the dead, other beings, such as animals, plants, forests, mountains, rivers, and invisible entities such as gods and spirits. This conception of religion provides a better …

Contributors
Maarif, Samsul, Duncan, Christopher, Gallab, Abdullahi, et al.
Created Date
2012

Many of the works of Dominick Argento have been researched and analyzed, but his choral work Evensong: Of Love and Angels s has received limited attention thus far. Written in memoriam for his wife Carolyn Bailey Argento, Evensong draws its musical material from her initials C.B.A. These letters, translated into note names, form a conspicuous head motive that is present in each movement of the work, and it serves multiple functions: as a melodic feature, as the foundation for a twelve-tone row, and as a harmonic base. This paper provides an overview of the work's conception with specific relation to …

Contributors
Page, Carrie Leigh, Rogers, Rodney, Demars, James, et al.
Created Date
2011

In the current context of fiscal austerity as well as neo-colonial criticisms, the discipline of religious studies has been challenged to critically assess its teaching methods as well as articulate its relevance in the modern university setting. Responding to these needs, this dissertation explores the educational outcomes on undergraduate students as a result of religious studies curriculum. This research employs a robust quantitative methodology designed to assess the impact of the courses while controlling for a number of covariates. Based on data collected from pre- and post-course surveys of a combined 1,116 students enrolled at Arizona State University (ASU) and …

Contributors
Lewis, Bret Jeffrey, Gereboff, Joel, Foard, James, et al.
Created Date
2011

This dissertation examines associations between religious affiliation, religious community context and health of women and their children in Mozambique focusing on the following issues: (1) attending prenatal consultations and delivering children in a health facility; (2) women's symptoms of STDs; and (3) under-five mortality. Estimation of random intercept Poisson regression for the outcome about attending prenatal consultations demonstrated a favorable effect of affiliation to Catholic or Mainline Protestant and Apostolic religious groups. The concentration of Zionist churches in the community had a negative influence. Random intercept logistic regression was used to estimate the relationship between religion and institutional child delivery. …

Contributors
Cau, Boaventura Manuel, Agadjanian, Victor, Hayford, Sarah, et al.
Created Date
2011

The organ in the Catholic Church of the United States is a mirror of its time, reflecting the various challenges facing Catholic liturgy today. In some cases, it reflects the rich patrimony of European immigrants, anxious to replicate the liturgical conditions they left behind. In others, it reflects the efforts of liturgical reformers to "update" the liturgy, creating more opportunities for what they understand to be active participation of the faithful. The absence of the organ in some American Catholic churches, particularly, in the time following the liturgical reforms of Vatican II, raises questions on the direction of sacred music …

Contributors
Hart, Skye Matthew, Marshall, Kimberly A., Koonce, Frank W., et al.
Created Date
2010