Sarah Pike

Sarah Pike

PhD Indiana University
ARTS 394

My training is in religion in America and my research and teaching blend ethnographic and historical methods and materials with an ongoing interest in how religion is practiced and lived outside institutions. In my courses I explore the relationship between religion and ecology as well as religion and ethnicity, identity and cultural expression. I am particularly interested in points of conflict and tension within and between religious communities. My teaching responsibilities have included RELS 313 Religion and Nature, RELS 224 Religion and America's Ethnic Minorities, RELS 257 The End of the World, RELS 322 Religion in America, RELS 325 American Indian Worldviews, RELS 332, World Religions and Global Issues, RELS 339 Confronting the Animal, and RS 482, the senior seminar, on topics including "Cults" and New Religions, Religion and Animals, Religion, Nature and Environmentalism, and Religion and Societal Institutions.

My research has focused on ritual studies and new religious movements and I have written numerous articles and book chapters on contemporary Paganism, ritual, the New Age movement, the Burning Man festival, spiritual dance, environmental activism, and youth culture. Much of my current research focuses on the relationship between humans and the natural environment. My ethnography of contemporary Pagan festivals, Earthly Bodies, Magical Selves: Contemporary Pagans and the Search for Community, was published by the University of California Press in 2001 and New Age and Neopagan Religions in America was published by Columbia University Press in the Contemporary American Religion Series in 2004. It was named a Choice “Outstanding Academic Title.” My most recent book, For the Wild: Ritual and Commitment in Radical Eco-Activism, was published by the University of California Press in 2017.