Samuel's PhD research in Social Anthropology is supervised by Professor Joel Robbins. His research, which takes place in Nashville, Tennessee (USA), examines the ethics of relationships among Evangelical Christians who engage in informal interreligious dialogue and friendship building with their Muslim neighbours. Samuel is interested in how the church conceives of the moral dimensions of this form of evangelical social engagement that foregrounds the recognition of religious diversity and the development of civic objectives with religious Others. What kinds of social and moral questions arise as the churchgoers navigate new expressions of (and arenas for) competing values, including the tension between exclusivism and pluralism? What do their experiences, as well as those of their Muslim counterparts, stand to teach us about the ethics of relationships in societies that are increasingly multicultural and framed by pluralistic public discourses?
Click here to read Sam's recent blog post as he reflects on his first year on the PhD programme.
Samuel grew up in Tennessee, but moved to Montréal, Québec in order to pursue a BA in French Studies from Concordia University. He developed an interest in social sciences through a series of internships at research institutes and community organisations that focus on questions around immigration and intercultural relations. He continued on to receive a MSc in Anthropology (ethnologie) from the Université de Montréal where he was a member of the Laboratoire de recherche en relations interculturelles (LABRRI). During his studies there, he gained an interest in the moral dimensions of civic engagement. He first explored this in his Masters research and thesis on a church in Tennessee whose members recently began participating in grassroots interreligious dialogue with Muslims. Other research to which Samuel has contributed as an ethnographic fieldworker include a study of youth conversion to Islam in Montréal (Institut d’études religieuses) as well as an action research on the political and social discourses of an advocacy organisation for immigrant and minority artists (LABRRI), also in Montréal.
Back to People